FAQs for Prospective Graduate Students

Thank you for your interest in the Biology Department at Tufts University. Deciding on the right graduate program for you is a big decision. We understand that there are many issues to consider and you will have a plethora of questions as you navigate through the application process. In order to help facilitate your journey, below we have complied a list of some of the commonly asked questions regarding admissions into our graduate program. Additional information may be found on the Office of Graduate Admissions website. If you don't see the answer to your specific questions, please contact our department.

  • The Ph.D. application deadline for fall admission is December 1. The Open Choice M.S. application deadline is February 15 for Fall admission, and October 15 for Spring admission. We will look forward to receiving your application. Apply Now.

  • Full-time Biology Department doctoral students in good standing typically receive full tuition scholarships and monthly living stipends to cover their expenses. The mandatory health services fee and total student health insurance costs are also covered for Ph.D. candidates during the first five years in our program.

  • The Department of Biology's Graduate Admissions Committee examines ALL aspects of a candidate's application before making their final decisions. Each applicant is considered individually; this involves many factors including academic history, research experience, recommendations, GRE scores if provided, and TOEFL scores (international applicants only). We strongly suggest that you get your application submitted as early in the process as possible.

  • International applicants must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 97 or above on the internet-based exam for the TOEFL. For other tests of English as foreign language, minimum acceptable score on the IELTS is 7.5 ; minimum acceptable score on Duolingo is 120.  If an applicant received a degree from an institution where instruction was conducted in English, the test of English as a foreign language is not required.

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE general and subject tests are not required. Scores may be submitted if they are available.

  • Typically, applicants with GRE scores below the 50th percentile are not considered for admission unless there are special circumstances.

  • No, photocopies, faxes or emailed attachments of scores are not considered official. The scores must come directly from ETS.

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required and most students admitted to the program have a GPA well over 3.0. However, extensive laboratory experience might warrant an exception to this rule.

  • Sure. We understand that often it takes a bit of "life experience" before applicants decide to apply to graduate school. The type of activities you have participated in recently (e.g., taking graduate level courses through an extension/night program, working in biotech, teaching high school) are all aspects of an application that will be carefully reviewed during the admission process.

  • International students are welcome and receive the same financial package as US citizens.

  • We do not set a specific number of International Students that it will admit each year, but instead consider the applications of all applicants to select those who are the best qualified. About 25% of our students come from countries outside the United States.

  • Many of our Ph.D. graduates go on to postdoctoral fellowships in their field, usually at prestigious labs and universities. Careers are varied: some enter academia and become professors at research and teaching institutions, others teach at undergraduate colleges, and others are employed in the biotechnology industry or for non-profit environmental organizations. A number of recent graduates are also employed by government agencies such as NSF, the Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program. Students in our masters' programs have taught at private high schools, worked in law firms, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and startups, and environmental consulting companies. More examples can be found on the individual web pages of some faculty and from the Tufts Career Center, which supports Tufts graduate students in their career search by sponsoring career fairs, workshops, networking events, and individual consultations.

  • The application fee is required except for applicants currently enrolled in a Tufts degree or certificate program (except GCAP students), McNair Scholars, Project 1000, Leadership Alliance or IRT applicants. To have the application fee waived, select this option in the Preliminary Questions section and send an official document from the specific program stating the applicant is a current student or member of one of the programs listed above.

  • Students can refer to their Slate status portal to check the stage of their application.