FAQs

We have divided the FAQ for the MBS program into general questions, academic questions, financial questions, and questions about applying.

What is the value of the MS degree in biomedical sciences?

The MBS program is designed primarily to prepare students for successful application to and performance in medical school. Candidates will also find this program helpful as preparation for other health sciences programs and careers, including public health, dental medicine, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, nursing, and graduate research.

What is the average GPA, GRE & MCAT?

The average overall undergraduate GPA of our accepted students is a 3.3 out of 4.0. The average GREs are 159 – Verbal, 159 – Quantitative, and 4.5 – Writing. The average MCAT is a 30, which is roughly equivalent to a 508 on the new exam (based on percentiles). The average DAT is about an 18. These are certainly not minimum scores, as we like to ensure a holistic review of each application. This information is meant to give you a sense of our applicant pool.

How does this program differ from a post-baccalaureate program?

There are many types of post-baccalaureate programs. The majority are offered on college campuses and teach undergraduate courses only. Some are designed for those who have no science and need to complete the premed requirements, and others are for those who need additional science work to strengthen their applications.

The MBS program is a special master's program that offers students who have already completed their pre-medical course requirements an opportunity to strengthen their candidacy for medical school in rigorous graduate and medical school courses, providing a strong indication to medical school admissions committees of their likelihood of success in medical school. Students in the program can earn a master’s degree for their work, gain valuable skills in computer-based learning, learn important clinical skills, and complement their studies with a master’s degree in public health or business administration.

What is unique about the Tufts program?

The Tufts MBS program supplements first-year medical courses with other classes that will help students cope with some of the more difficult first-year courses, including gross anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. In addition, students can take advantage of our strength in computer-based education and in other unique teaching and learning modes. Finally, we have designed a program with intensive advising and support services.

May I apply to medical school and receive recommendations from the program before completing it?

Students can apply to medical school while enrolled in the MBS program, or more typically, after it has been completed. Our program staff will do everything possible to support the student’s application, regardless of when students wish to apply to medical school.

What opportunities are available in addition to medical school?

The MBS indicates completion of a graduate level education, and is excellent preparation for other health sciences educational programs, as well as biomedical careers. Our program has outstanding advising and counseling services for students wishing to explore these opportunities.

When does the program start and end?

Classes typically begin at the end of August, preceded by a two-day orientation period. The end date varies according to the option chosen. Students can complete the program as early as the end of the first year and depending on the thesis option chosen, as late as August of the second year.

Is it necessary to complete a thesis?

A literature or laboratory-based thesis, which is the capstone of our program, must be completed successfully to obtain the MS degree.

How does this program compare to others of its kind?

The Tufts MBS program supplements the core first-year medical courses with classes designed to prepare students for medical school and other clinical experiences. A unique feature of our program is a computer-based anatomy course to all students and to teach an introductory clinical medicine course that gives students a taste of working with patients.

Which professional schools have MBS students been accepted to?

Please see the list of professional schools where MBS students have been accepted.

How can I also earn a master of public health degree?

We have designed a special option that consolidates the 18-month period normally required to complete an MPH with the MBS program. Candidates may apply for the MPH at the end of either their first or second semester. Students wishing to apply at the end of second semester must enroll in the spring Epidemiology course as one of their electives.

What is the cost of the program?

View the tuition rate and fees for the current academic year. By state law, students must pay the health fee and either purchase the Tufts health insurance hospitalization plan or show evidence of equivalent coverage.

Is financial aid available?

Students (citizens of the United States or eligible non-citizens) are eligible to apply for financial aid from many federal and private loan funds. Candidates planning to borrow money for medical school should be aware that they may reach the federal loan cap if they also intend to take out loans for the MBS program.

What are the application deadlines?

Applicants may apply until July 1. The individual applicant is responsible for knowing the status of his or her file and should login to our application portal to monitor the status of their application after submission. Please note that it takes several days for credentials to be matched up with an application. We strongly encourage students to submit their application at least one week or more before the deadline to ensure there is time for the Admissions Office to process all required materials.

Are test scores required?

Yes. No waivers are given. For premedical candidates, MCAT scores are preferred; for pre-dental candidates DAT scores are preferred. However, if neither of these exams have been taken, GRE scores will be accepted.

May I submit my MCATs through AMCAS?

Do not submit your MCAT Score electronically through AMCAS, as those would go to our MD Program. To submit your scores to the MBS program, go to the online Testing History (THx) Report System at https://services.aamc.org/mcatthx/. To get your verification code, log-in via the above link and choose the option to "create and print my own official score report." Please email (med-phpd@tufts.edu) this report as an attachment, being sure to include the verification code within the body of the email, to our institution. (You may have to select “print to PDF” to do so.) Please note that verification codes are only valid for 90 days, and after that, you would have to create and print a new score report.

What are the MBS prerequisites?

Please note that given the recent change in medical schools shifting from the “traditional pre-medical pre-requisites,” you should check with individual medical schools on their specific requirements. The MBS program has aligned its pre-requisites with those of Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM).

Students will not be allowed to matriculate into the MBS program unless all pre-medical requirements have been completed with a C- or better. An official, final transcript with date of degree conferral MUST be received prior to matriculation to document completion. Additionally, when submitting the application/transcripts, students must be able to indicate if they are enrolled or registered in a premedical required course no later than the final semester prior to their intended enrollment at Tufts.

Is an interview required?

The program does not require or offer interviews.

Do I apply for the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the same time or can I apply for the MPH program while in the MBS program?

Given the rigors of MBS coursework, students apply to the MPH program in the spring semester with a typical application deadline of March 15th.  MPH classes begin in Summer Session I, which starts in May.

Where can I find more information about the admissions process and upcoming open house?

You can read more detailed instructions about the MBS Admissions process and view the calendar of upcoming open houses.

Does the Tufts MBS Program offer a linkage or guarantee program with TUSM?

The Tufts MBS Program does not offer a linkage or guarantee program with TUSM, however about 50 percent of MBS students typically receive interviews with TUSM.

Can MBS courses be counted towards your first year of medical school if you go to Tufts? Or another medical school?

No, MBS courses cannot be counted towards the first year of medical school at Tufts. However, past MBS students have indicated that after taking the MBS courses they have an even better understanding of the Tufts first year medical school coursework, which is extremely valuable. For information on whether or not other medical schools count MBS courses towards the first year of medical school, students should contact the specific school to inquire.