MS in Biomedical Sciences Admissions

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Apply to Tufts MBS to Improve
Your Outcomes

Below are basic instructions for submitting an application to the MS in Biomedical Sciences program. Once you are ready to apply, you will create an account in our Graduate Health Sciences Application Portal in order to begin your application, and more detailed instructions will be provided through the portal.

Application Deadline

To Start August 2022: Apply by July 15, 2022 (rolling admissions—apply early).

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is full, which can occur before the deadline. Early application increases your chance of admission.

Prerequisites

The MBS Program has aligned its prerequisites with those of Tufts University School of Medicine. Students must have all pre-medical requirements completed with a C- or better prior to matriculation into the MBS Program.

We encourage applicants to check the requirements at medical/dental schools they may be interested in applying to in the future, as they may differ from the School of Medicine's Requirements.

Application Process

MBS Online Application

  1. Apply online and pay $70 application fee (paid directly through the online application)
  2. After you have submitted your application, you will be able to login to our application portal to view your checklist of required items
    • You can submit your application before your recommendations, test scores, and transcripts have been received
    • You are responsible for monitoring the status of your application and ensuring that all required materials are received by the deadline
  3. Students receive an email when application is complete (until you receive this email, you should assume your application is not complete)
  4. Beginning in January, students will receive an admissions decision approximately four-eight weeks from the date that the application is complete. When a decision has been rendered, you will receive an email to notify you to check your application portal. Note that we do not mail any physical admissions decisions.

Note: Delays can occur around holidays and very busy processing times. It can take several days for credentials to be uploaded to an application, and we appreciate your patience. If a document you submitted has not been added to your application portal after five-seven business days, please email us at mbs.admissions@tufts.edu.
 

Application Requirements

  • We understand that you, your friends and loved-ones may be dealing with unprecedented challenges at the moment – we can work with you and make a plan for your Tufts application.

    The MBS Admissions Committee is aware that many applicants may have received pass/fail grades in some courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although the Committee does prefer letter grades, the unprecedented situation will be taken into account during application review. 

    • For GRE test takers, there's a secure option for you to take the test at home

    • For MCAT or DAT test takers, visit the MCAT website or DAT website, which have the most up to date information on exam administrations. If you do not feel fully prepared to take the MCAT (or DAT, the MBS Admissions Committee strongly suggests that applicants consider submitting a practice MCAT (or DAT) score (as noted under “Official Test Scores”) or the GRE, if you feel well-prepared to take this exam.

    • If you have concerns that you may not be able to provide a test score this 2022 cycle, please email us at mbs.admissions@tufts.edu so we can understand your circumstances.

    • Applicants should not delay applying simply because a test score is not yet available.

    • We also encourage you to register your recommenders within your application so they can append their letters directly to your application; if sending committee letters or Interfolio letters (or additional materials), please have them sent to med-phpd@tufts.edu. As much as you can do electronically (and not via the U.S. mail) is to your benefit.

  • In a short essay, please help the Admissions Committee understand the experiences, inspirations, and challenges that have shaped you as a person and how obtaining the MS in Biomedical Sciences at Tufts will further your career goals. Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, and approximately 500 words or fewer.

    • Three letters of recommendation are required
    • The Admissions Committee prefers to see academic letters
    • We do accept letters written for medical/dental school—they do not need to be written specifically for the MBS Program
      • We are not able to retrieve letters sent to Tufts University School of Medicine for an MD application or to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. You may use the same letters, but they must be sent to our office directly using a process below.
    • Letters should mention the relationship of the applicant to the recommender so they can be put into the proper context
    • Recommendation letters may be submitted electronically through our secure website or by mail
      • If mailed, letters should be in a sealed envelope with the author’s signature across the seal and sent to our address at the bottom of this page
      • If you elect to provide three separate letters of recommendation (not a Committee Letter or an Interfolio packet) you will be asked to provide the name and contact information of your recommender. We will then send an email to the people you identify with a link to our secure website to upload your letter of recommendation. We encourage you to contact your recommenders in advance so they are aware this request will be forthcoming.


    You have three options for fulfilling the recommendation requirement to the MBS application:

    1. Each of your three recommenders submit their own recommendations
    2. Request that your pre-health advising office submit a committee letter or a packet of letters on your behalf (committee Letters must be the full letters from which the composite was made, NOT a letter formed from excerpts)
    3. Submit three letters through Interfolio or another document sharing service
      • If you are submitting your recommendation letters via Interfolio, please send them electronically at med-phpd@tufts.edu
  • A test score is required to apply to the MBS program. Applicants may submit an official MCAT or DAT score, a practice MCAT or DAT score, or official GRE scores. 

    • Please plan to take your exam and have the scores sent to us with enough time to complete your application by our July 15 deadline. Note that official test scores may take several weeks to be processed and sent to us, so allow time for this process. Deadline extensions are not provided.
    • Applicants should not wait to submit their application to the program until they have taken an exam and/or until their scores are available. Either practice or official exam scores can be sent to Admissions after an application has been submitted. 
    • All applications are reviewed holistically, and the Admissions Committee encourages students to only take official tests if they feel well-prepared. If applicants have not previously taken the MCAT or DAT, submitting a practice exam is strongly encouraged, and may ultimately be to a student’s benefit so that they do not have a sub-optimal score included on future medical school applications.
    • Applicants who have already taken the MCAT, DAT or GRE should submit their official score(s).

    If you are applying using a practice exam score, the Committee suggests the following resources:

    • MCAT: There are low-cost, scored practice exams available through AMCAS. To submit these scores, save a PDF or take a screenshot of your exam results to upload to your application.

    • DAT: There are is a free, scored practice exam offered through Kaplan. To submit these scores, save a PDF or take a screenshot of your exam results to upload to your application.

    If you are applying with an official test score, please follow the instructions below: 

    Test Instructions How to submit

    MCAT

    Log in to AAMC and follow instructions to create and print your own official score report.

    You will be provided with instructions for submitting the .pdf of your MCAT score report, verification code, and AAMC ID in the application.

    Do not send MCAT scores electronically to the Tufts School of Medicine, as they will be delivered to the MD program Admissions Office.

    GRE

    Official GRE scores must be sent directly to the PHPD Admissions Office. Please note, there are multiple reporting codes for Tufts so be sure to use the correct code. We cannot retrieve scores sent to the incorrect school.

    Submit directly to Tufts School of Medicine using CEEB code 3889.

    Do not use codes 0438, 6997, or 3891, which are codes for other Tufts programs.

    DAT

    The ADA has permanently eliminated paper copies of test scores. Please request an electronic copy to be sent through the ADA website. All DAT Official Score Reports should be sent to the following email address: med-phpd@tufts.edu.

    Please make sure to follow these instructions:

    • Go to https://www.ada.org/en

    • Click the tab at the top 'Education/Careers'

    • Click 'Admissions Tests and Dental Exams' (under the Education column)

    • Click Dental Admissions Test (DAT) - located on the left hand sidebar

    • This will then take you to the DAT page, click 'Score and Audit Information' - located on the left hand sidebar

    • Click the blue box that says: 'Request your score report', and log in with your DENTPIN and Password. After you login it will prompt you to a page that will ask for the following information:

      • Organization: Tufts University School of Medicine, Public Health & Professional Degree Programs

      • Email Address: med-phpd@tufts.edu

      • Contact Person: Madison Thorpe

    TOEFL

    TOEFL is required for non-native English speakers. Applicants must possess a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based exam.

    Submit directly to Tufts School of Medicine using CEEB code 3889.

    • Copies of ALL undergraduate and graduate transcripts (e.g., EMT courses, study abroad, summer courses, post-bacc) are required for review
    • If you have any courses that are in progress or being completed in a future term, especially pre-requisites, please provide documentation of this (e.g., a transcript that shows courses in progress)
    • If you received two degrees from the same institution that are on the same transcript, you will need to list the institution twice, one for each degree. Upload the transcript with one degree and for the other, upload a blank document. If you leave either transcript section empty, your application will be left as incomplete.
    • International students must also submit an OFFICIAL WES Evaluation of coursework, sent directly from the evaluation agency
    • We accept both unofficial and official transcripts. Generally, your application will be processed sooner if you upload unofficial transcripts; this is also our preference. However, please note that:
      • If you decide to matriculate, you will be required to provide a final official transcript from the institution which awarded you your bachelor's degree, with a date of undergraduate degree conferral. Students without a final official transcript on file by the end of business on orientation day will not be allowed to enroll in the program.

    If you’re uploading an unofficial transcript to your application:

    • Copy/scan/screenshot your transcripts for each college/university attended
    • Upload all pages of your transcript(s) and one example of the back page to provide us with your university’s transcript key. This can be found on the back of your official transcript or on your registrar’s website.
    • PDF files are preferred but additional formats are accepted (e.g., .doc, .jpg,.tiff)
    • Scanned documents must be clearly legible and on standard U.S. 8.5” x 11” paper. Be sure no text is cut off when scanned.

    If you are sending official transcripts from your college or university:

    • Don’t upload anything in the transcripts section if you’re sending an official transcript. The system will inaccurately count this as your transcript, and review of your application will be delayed.
    • Official transcripts may be mailed via the U.S. Mail to our address at the bottom of this page, or electronically to med-phpd@tufts.edu.
    • Transcripts are only considered official if they are sent directly from the registrar's office of your institution to our office in a sealed envelope. If you scan your official transcript to your application it becomes unofficial.

     

  • Tufts University School of Medicine uses computer-based testing for many of its courses. Exams are conducted using Examplify. Therefore, each student is required to have a laptop. Please note that Examplify cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft's Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments, unless approved by the institution.

    View Examplify Requirements

  • International applicants are eligible to apply to Tufts University School of Medicine, but should be advised that we admit very few and give strong preference to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We also give strong preference to applicants who have (or will have by the time of matriculation) completed their undergraduate work at a U.S. college or university. The international students admitted to Tufts School of Medicine are usually students who have earned Bachelor's degrees in the United States.

    International applicants are citizens of any foreign country (including Canada) who do not hold a United States permanent resident visa (green card). Permanent resident visa status is equivalent to U.S. citizenship for the purposes of our admission process and U.S. federal student loan programs.

    Please note the following:

    1. Given the current U.S. shortage of physicians and the uneven advanced training opportunities for non-citizen/non-green card holders, Tufts School of Medicine and the applicant must have a compelling reason for the applicant to study here. This might include a student’s interest in a program offered here that may not be offered elsewhere.
    2. Accepted international students must be prepared to absorb the high cost of U.S. medical education, and have a full understanding that international students are not qualified for traditional U.S. educational funding including loans and scholarships.
    3. Accepted international students should have a full understanding that they may have limited options in terms of post-graduate training, both geographically and in within specialties. Because of this, students who are not likely to be able to compete for a full range of career training opportunities and programs beyond medical school will only be considered for admission under unique or compelling circumstances.
  • Admitted students will have three weeks to reply to our offer. To accept the seat, students must complete the Candidate Reply Form and pay the non-refundable $500 deposit. Extensions are not available.

  • All supporting application credentials noted above should be sent to:

    Tufts University School of Medicine
    Public Health & Professional Degree Programs
    Attn: Director of Admissions, Rosemary Hilliard
    136 Harrison Avenue, Suite 142
    Boston, MA 02111

    or emailed to med-phpd@tufts.edu.

MS in Biomedical Sciences Program Tuition and Fees

The following tuition rates are for 2022–2023 academic year* and apply to students enrolled in the MBS program starting in Fall 2022.

  • Tuition: $28,095 per semester (flat-rate)
  • Continuation Fee: $2,250 per semester (flat-rate)
  • Fees: $283 per semester

The current academic year's cost of attendance budget (including not only tuition, but room and board, health insurance, books etc.) is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

*Tuition rates and fees are effective as of July 2022. Note that program cost is set each academic year and typically increases a small amount from year-to-year. The Trustees of Tufts University reserve the right to change tuition rates or fees at their discretion.

  • Students enrolled in the MBS program will be billed by the Public Health and Professional Degree (PHPD) programs for two semesters (fall and spring) at the tuition rate listed above for their first year in the program. Most students remain enrolled in the second year working on their thesis, and are billed the continuation fee only for each semester they remain in the program until their thesis is completed.

  • The Public Health and Professional Degree Programs primarily provide financial assistance in the form of federal loans and work-study awards. There are a very limited number of merit-need based scholarships available each year to meritorious students.

    We strongly encourage you to submit a financial aid application as early in the application process as possible to allow adequate time for the Office of Financial Aid to process your application. Do not wait until you have submitted your application or receive an admissions decision to apply for aid, as this will delay your personal financial aid information.

    Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

FAQs

View answers to frequently asked questions about the MBS program at Tufts University.

  • Is this a post-baccalaureate?

    No, the MBS program is a special master's degree program that requires students to have already taken the undergraduate-level premedical science courses before matriculation.

    How long is the program?

    The MBS program, including the didactic courses and the thesis can be completed in 12 months, although the great majority of students take an additional one or two semesters following their didactic work to complete the thesis and finish in December or May. The fraction of students who elect to complete the entire program within a year is typically 10-20%, while 80-90% elect to take additional time.

    What are the minimum MCAT, DAT, GRE and GPA for the program?

    There are no minimums for the MBS program.

    What are the average MCAT scores and GPA of accepted students?

    Of accepted students, the average GPA is a 3.3 (overall undergraduate) and the average MCAT is a 508.

    Am I a competitive applicant for this program?

    It’s difficult to gauge the competitiveness of any given applicant, as there is so much that is taken into account when we review applications. We recommend that you review information on our averages, what we are looking for, etc., to best get a sense of where you stand in our applicant pool.

    When do students apply to medical school?

    Typically, students will apply to medical school the summer after they have completed the MBS coursework.

    Is the thesis required?

    Yes, all students are required to do either a literature or lab based thesis.

    Do we take classes with the medical school students?

    No, you will be taking the same coursework, but you will only be in class with other MBS students.

    Do I need to retake these classes in the first year of medical school?

    It depends on the medical school you attend, but at Tufts School of Medicine you would be required to retake these courses.

    I think I have already taken some of these classes in undergrad, can I get an exemption?

    Though some of the MBS classes may have similar titles to undergraduate coursework you have done, keep in mind these are graduate level courses that are the same as the first year of medical school. All students must take all courses in the MBS program; there are no exemptions or transfer courses accepted.

    Do I have to do the MCAT prep?

    No, the MCAT prep is optional. MCAT prep is offered to students in the spring and summer semesters.

    Can I work while I am in the MBS program?

    The MBS program is only offered full-time, and has a very rigorous schedule. So, we strongly recommend that you don't work while in the program.

    How many students are in the MBS program?

    We have about 130 students in the MBS program each year.

    I know you are on a rolling admissions basis, when should I apply?

    We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible; even if, for example, you still have to take your MCAT, GRE or DAT.

    Is this program helpful for pre-dental students?

    Yes, we are seeing a growing number of pre-dental students and you are certainly welcome to apply. The coursework is applicable to both pre-medical and pre-dental students.

    I am not interested in medical/dental school; would this program be a good fit for me?

    This program is specifically designed to help students gain admission into medical or dental school. If that is not your goal, this program may not be the best fit for you.

  • I started an application but I don’t see MBS under “Program Choice”. What should I do?

    You have most likely started an application for the wrong department within Tufts. The MBS program is in the Public Health and Professional Degree Programs. You can find the MBS application here.

    Can I submit my application before all my materials have been received?

    Yes, you can submit your application before your MCAT score, transcript, recommendation, etc., have been received. However, we won’t begin our review process until all of these materials have been received.

    Will I get an email when my application is complete?

    Yes, you will get an email when your application is complete.

    How do I send my test score?

    • MCAT - In the ‘Test Scores’ section of the application, there will be a space to provide us with your AAMC ID, Verification Code and Score Report PDF. We will then verify this information with AAMC to get your official score.

    • DAT - When requesting scores on www.ada.org, enter “Tufts University PHPD Programs” in the alternate school text box enter our mailing information.

    • GRE - Use CEEB code 3889- Tufts School of Medicine. Please note that Tufts has many different reporting codes, and if scores are sent to the wrong code we will not be able to retrieve them. DO NOT use codes 0438, 6997, or 3891 which are codes used for other Tufts programs.

    How do I send my letters of recommendation?

    There will be further instructions in the application about how to have your recommendations sent. It varies depending on what type of recommendation you are sending (three individual letters, a letter packet/committee letter, or Interfolio Letters).

    How do I send my transcripts?

    The fastest way to send us your transcripts, and our preferred method, is for you to upload an unofficial transcript directly through the application. You can have official transcripts emailed to med-phpd@tufts.edu or paper copies can be mailed to our office (address provided under Additional Materials tab).

    Do I have to send official transcripts?

    No, we accept unofficial transcripts for the review of your application. We do require official transcripts when students matriculate into the program.

    Will you start reviewing my application before it is complete?

    No, applications are not reviewed until all materials have been received and your application is complete.

    Can I use my personal statement from medical/dental school applications?

    We recommend that you write a personal statement specific to the MBS program following our prompt.

    How long should the personal statement be?

    Your personal statement should be 500 words or fewer.

    Can I use my recommendations from medical or dental school?

    Yes, we are happy to accept letters of recommendation written for medical/dental school.

    Can I transfer my materials from Tufts Medical/Dental to my MBS Application?

    No, unfortunately we are not able to access any materials on file with Tufts School of Medicine or Tufts Dental School. You will need to send your materials directly to our office.

    Do I need to send transcripts from study abroad/summer courses/community colleges?

    Yes, we need to see transcripts from every institution you have attended or plan to attend.

    In my status portal, one of my materials has a red X next to it and says “Awaiting”. What does that mean? Will that get updated if the material has been received?

    A red X means that materials has not been received and your application is not complete. The status will updated when it has been received.

  • How long until I can expect a decision?

    On average, students can expect a decision 4 to 6 weeks from when their application was completed (not from when it was submitted).

    Can I check my application status?

    Once your application is complete, the next update you will receive is when a decision is rendered. If you have not heard anything since your application was completed, you can assume that your application is being reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

    How will I know when a decision is ready?

    You will receive an email from our office to notify you when a decision has been posted to your status portal.

    How many seats are still left in the program?

    We are not able to disclose how many seats are left in the program at a given time. However, we will update our website and let applicants know if the class has been filled.

    Can I start my Financial Aid application now?

    Yes, we encourage students to start the Financial Aid process as soon as possible. You do not need to wait to receive an admissions decision to apply for Financial Aid. For more information on Financial Aid click here.

    When I get a decision how long do I have to reply to your offer?

    You will have three weeks to reply to an admissions decision. If you apply late in the cycle, you may have less time to reply and therefore will need to be prepared for a short window to decide.

    I have updated test scores/transcripts, can I send them to you now?

    Yes, we would be happy to update any materials you have. You can email them to med-phpd@tufts.edu and we will take care of uploading them to your application. Please note, if your application is already under review, we cannot guarantee that the Admissions Committee will be able to take new materials into consideration.

    I talked to other applicants to the program and their applications were complete after mine, and they got their decision before me. Why is that?

    We do begin the review process in the order in which applications were marked complete. However, there are many factors that determine how long a file will take to be reviewed, and the review time can vary.

  • What was wrong with my application?

    Unfortunately, we cannot disclose information to any students about the review of their application or provide feedback from the Admissions Committee. However, we can provide you with some general information about what we are looking for. The average MCAT of an accepted student is a 508 and the average GPA is a 3.3. These are not minimums, but if an applicant is far from these numbers that could be holding them back. We will also consider the rigor of institutions attended and courses taken. We equally consider the personal statement, letters of recommendation, clinical/non-clinical experience, etc. Please keep in mind that we are not a post-bac or remedial program, but rather a master's level program with the same curriculum as the first year of medical school.

    Can you reconsider my application this cycle?

    We are unable to reconsider your application in the same cycle. If you’re still interested in the MBS program, we encourage you to apply in our next application cycle.

    Can I talk to an advisor or someone from the Admissions Committee about my application?

    If you have reviewed the information that we’re able to provide about what we’re looking for in an applicant and you’re still feeling unsure about how to improve your application we would encourage you to speak with your pre-health advisor for more guidance, as our office is not able to provide these advising services.