Admissions FAQs

How do I apply?


Application Portal

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Physician Assistant (PA)


MS in Biomedical Sciences (MBS)

Public Health and Professional Degree Programs Application

MS in Nutrition/MPH with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Application

MD Combined Degree Programs:

  • MD/MPH*
  • MD/MBA*
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
DVM/MPH Program* Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)

Other Combined MPH Programs:

  • JD/MPH with Northeastern University School of Law
  • JD/MPH with Boston College Law School
  • MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning/MPH
  • Bachelor's/MPH with Tufts University

Public Health and Professional Degree Programs Application

Health Communication Programs:

  • MS in Health Communication
  • Certificate in Digital Health Communication
  • Bachelor's/MS in Health Communication with Tufts University

Public Health and Professional Degree Programs Application

Pain Research, Education, & Policy Programs:

  • MS in Pain Research, Education & Policy (PREP)
  • MS-PREP/MAc with New England School of Acupuncture
  • Certificate in Advanced Study in Pain Topics (PREP & Occupational Therapy)
  • Certificate in Pain Research, Education & Policy
Public Health and Professional Degree Programs Application

* The combined MD/MPH, MD/MBA, and DVM/MPH programs are applied to through the medical and veterinary schools. Students are reviewed by the MPH or MBA committee after they are offered admission to the medical or veterinary school. MD applicants may apply via the online TUSM secondary application at any time during the application cycle. Space is limited in the programs so applying early is recommended.

For more detailed information about the admissions process, please visit the PHPD admissions section.

What are the application deadlines?

The MPH, MS/HCOM, & MS/PREP programs have the following fall and spring priority admissions deadlines:

  • January 15th, with some flexibility, for applicants who wish to enroll in the fall
  • October 25th, with some flexibility, for applicants who wish to enroll in the spring

Applicants may submit after the priority deadlines, but will be considered on a space available basis. The application goes offline and is unavailable from July 15 to September 15.

BA/MPH Applicants must apply by July 15th before their senior year.

The MBS program application deadline is July 1st.  All application materials must be received by this date.  Materials received after July 1st will be considered on a space available basis.

Please note that these are the deadlines for the Public Health & Professional Degree Programs. Dual-degree seeking students must adhere to the deadlines of either the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (if pursuing the MS-Nutrition/MPH) or Northeastern University (if pursuing a JD/MPH) for the separate application that is required by those schools.

How do I contact the Admissions Office or arrange to visit the campus?

Please visit the Contact Us web page to find contact information.  To learn more about your visiting options, please see our Visiting Campus & Events page.

When will I receive an admissions decision?

On average, applicants can expect a decision in 4 to 6 weeks for the MPH program and 6 to 8 weeks for the MBS program. This can vary depending upon the volume of applications we receive, the Admissions Committee schedule, and so on.

After you have submitted your application and we have received all required additional materials, you will be sent an email to indicate that your application has been marked as complete. Within that email, we include a general timeframe of when you can expect an admissions decision.

Applications are reviewed in the order that they are completed. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit all required materials as early as possible.

Which GRE code should I use?

Please use the proper ETS GRE Department Code when submitting your scores.  PHPD has three unique GRE department scores codes.  Please be sure that you use the correct code when applying to one of our programs. 


GRE Code

Master of Public Health (MPH)

6997 – Tufts U Sch Med SOPHAS

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

6997 – Tufts U Sch Med SOPHAS

Physician Assistant (PA)

0438 – Tufts U Pub Hlth Prog Phys Asst CASPA

All other programs:

  • BA/MPH
  • JD/MPH with Northeastern University School of Law
  • MS in Nutrition/MPH
  • MS in Health Communication
  • BA/MS in Health Communication
  • MS in Pain Research, Education & Policy (PREP)
  • MS-PREP/MAc with New England School of Acupuncture
  • MS in Biomedical Sciences
  • MS in Development & Regulation of Medicines & Devices
  • Certificate in Digital Health Communication
  • Certificate in Advanced Study in Pain Topics (PREP & Occupational Therapy)
  • Certificate in Pain Research, Education & Policy

3889 – Tufts U Sch Medicine (Dept. Code: 0616 – public health)

Which TOEFL code should I use?
We require all non-native English speakers to take the TOEFL and have their scores submitted directly to Tufts School of Medicine. Scores are valid for two years from the date of the exam.  Scores of 100 iBT and above are considered competitive. Please note that we do not require this exam if the applicant has attended a school for two or more years in the United States.

At this time, we do not accept the IELTS exam.



Master of Public Health (MPH)


Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


All other programs


Can I get my application fee waived?

Applicants applying to a PHPD Program who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in a U.S. college or university and demonstrate a financial need may be eligible for an application fee waiver.  Permanent residents must provide proof of this status (e.g. a copy of their green card).

Waiver requests only apply to applicants who apply through Tufts and not via the SOPHAS or CASPA application systems.  SOPHAS and CASPA have their own process for applying for an application fee waiver.

To apply for an Application Fee Waiver, you will need to complete our Fee Waiver Request Form. Once it has been submitted, our Admissions Staff will let you know if the waiver has been granted.

Are there online programs available?
No PHPD programs are offered fully online.  Some individual courses are offered online.

When do classes begin?

Please see our Academic Calendars for program start dates.

  • MPH, Doctor of Public Health, MS/HCOM, and MS/PREP programs: The Fall semester usually begins the week of Labor Day.  The Spring semester begins the week of Martin Luther King Day.
  • MBS program: Mid/late August.  The MBS program starts in the Fall.  There is no Spring start date.
  • Physician Assistant program: Mid-January.
What times are classes offered?
  • MPH, MS/HCOM, & MS/PREP programs:  Most classes are offered in the late afternoon and at night, allowing students flexibility to work during the day. There are some courses offered during the day as well.
  • MBS program: Essentially, students will be in class all day throughout the week.
How many credits are needed for an MPH degree?
The MPH degree requires 13 credits.  All MPH students must meet core knowledge requirements in the following five areas: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Services Administration, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Is the MPH program accredited?
Yes. The Tufts program is a fully accredited MPH Program. The Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) accredits both schools of public health and MPH Programs that reside within other schools, such as the Tufts University School of Medicine.

How long does it take to complete the MPH Program?
A full time student could complete the MPH or HCOM Program in 18 months. However, these programs were designed for students who are employed and allow up to five years for completion of the degree.

How long does it take to complete the MBS Program?
The MBS program includes a fall and spring semester of coursework followed by a thesis component.  The thesis is either completed over the summer or during the fall after the program coursework.

Is work experience required to apply to the programs
No. Many of our students come to us directly from their undergraduate program, and from a variety of academic majors. Some students are preparing for blended careers in law or medicine. In addition, many of our students are public health professionals who have been in the field for several years. We welcome all types of students.

For MPH and MS HCOM, is there a minimum required GRE score and can other test scores be substituted for the GRE?
There is no GRE score minimum. The Admissions Committee takes an applicant’s entire file into consideration when making an admissions decision.

Both MCAT and GMAT scores are accepted in lieu of the GRE. The LSAT may not be substituted for the GRE, unless the student is applying for the joint JD/MPH program.

Applicants may request a waiver of the GRE requirement. Typically, waivers are only granted if candidates have a doctorate or professional degree and/or have several years of professional experience. Students who are interested, will need to complete the Official Test Score Waiver Request
For MBS, is there a minimum test score or GPA?
No, the MBS program does not have a minimum MCAT or GPA requirement to apply.  The Admissions Committee will review each application holistically.

Are specific undergraduate courses required to apply for MPH?
College Biology, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite to graduate from our MPH program.  Students who do not have this will normally be expected to take such a course by the end of their first fall semester.  As Tufts MPH students, they can satisfy this requirement by taking our 0.5 credit Public Health Biology course offered each fall.  Enrolling at another college or university to take an undergraduate level biology course before the end of their first fall semester with us is also acceptable.

What are the MBS pre-requisites?

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).  Please visit this link for more information on TUSM’s pre-requisites.

Students will not be allowed to matriculate into the MBS program unless all pre-medical requirements have been completed – 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 pre-medical required course no later than the final semester prior to their intended enrollment at Tufts.

Is there a thesis component?

MPH & MS/HCOM: An Applied Learning Experience (ALE) is required.

Physician Assistant (PA): A thesis component is not required.

MS/Biomedical Sciences: Students must complete either a literature or laboratory based thesis.

MS/PREP: A capstone project is required.

Is there an Interview during the admissions process?
There is no interview required or available for MBS, MPH, MS/HCOM, or MS/PREP applicants.

There is an interview component for Physician Assistant applicants.
  • Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview to the program.
  • Selected candidates who have complete and competitive applications will be invited to attend one of several interview sessions held throughout the summer and fall.
  • If invited for an interview, applicants will receive an email.
Are classes offered in the summer?

For the MPH, MS/HCOM, & MS/PREP programs:  Yes. We offer two summer sessions, and core courses are available. If you have been accepted for admission for the Fall semester, but you wish to matriculate and start taking courses in the summer, you may arrange to do so by calling or emailing the PHPD Admissions Office.

Students who matriculate in the summer may be eligible for financial aid and are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to discuss the summer application process.

View course schedules

What programs are available to Non-Degree students?

Non-Degree students may register for courses in the following programs only:

  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Health Communication
  • Master of Science in Pain Research, Education & Policy

Learn more about applying as a Non-Degree student here.

    Isn’t Tufts in Medford, Massachusetts?
    The main campus of Tufts University is located in Medford, which is about 9 miles north of Boston. However, the PHPD programs are on the Tufts Health Sciences Campus in downtown Boston.  This campus includes the Medical School, Dental School, Friedman School of Nutrition, and Sackler School.

    Are there Teaching Assistantship or Research Assistantship opportunities available?
    Yes, there are Teaching Assistantship and Research Assistantship opportunities available.  Teaching Assistantships are generally available for the MPH and MS Health Communication Programs for students who have taken the relevant course(s) or have significant experience in the subject area.  RAs are generally available via faculty in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, as well as throughout the other schools housed on the Boston Health Sciences campus of Tufts University.  Please visit the following website for more detailed information.