FAQs for Applicants

What are the main requirements for admission into this program?
Applicants to this program have typically received a Master’s degree with a thesis requirement or have otherwise demonstrated their ability to do independent research/scholarship. Applicants are also expected to describe their PhD project, articulate its interdisciplinary aspects, and identify faculty members at Tufts who may serve on their advisory committee.

What are the criteria used to evaluate Step 1 applications?
Step 1 applications are evaluated in terms of (1) academic quality and research potential of the applicant (based on academic record, previous research, recommendation letters, etc.), (2) quality of the proposed PhD project, (3) interdisciplinarity of the proposed PhD project, beyond what may be feasible in a departmental program, (4) presence of appropriate advisors at Tufts for the proposed project.

What are the criteria used to evaluate Step 2 applications?
Step 2 applications are evaluated in terms of (1) quality of the proposed PhD project (described in more detail than in Step 1) and extent to which it is interdisciplinary, (2) demonstrated commitment of the PhD advisory committee members to advise the proposed PhD project, (3) appropriateness of the proposed coursework, (4) appropriateness of the qualifying examination structure and timing. Step 2 applications are discussed at a meeting with the applicant, the Ph.D. advisory committee, and the Interdisciplinary Doctorate Committee.

What are the required and elective courses for this program?
There are no specified course requirements or qualifying examination procedures for all students in this program. Instead, as part of the Step 2 application, applicants (in consultation with their advisory committee) describe and justify the proposed coursework and structure of the qualifying examination.

Is this program administered by a particular department? Who are the faculty affiliated with this program?
There are no departments or faculty members specifically associated with this program. All departments and faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and other schools at Tufts may participate in this program. It is expected that applicants to the program identify and reach out to prospective faculty advisors as part of their two-step application process.

Who is eligible to serve as primary advisor?
The primary advisor must be a full time tenured or tenure-track faculty member in the Tufts School of Arts and Sciences or in the Tufts School of Engineering, and actively engaged in research/scholarly activities in the field of the proposed PhD project.

Should the proposed Ph.D. advisory committee be involved in the preparation of the application?
For Step 1, the PhD advisory committee members only need to be named to show that Tufts has appropriate faculty members to advise the project. Contacting them before the submission of the Step 1 application is optional. For Step 2, the PhD advisory committee is expected to be involved in the preparation of the application, so that they can refine the scope of the project, advise on the planned coursework, define the structure of the qualifying examination, and be fully supportive of the entire plan of study and research project.

Does admission into the program come with tuition scholarship and/or graduate assistantship?
Students admitted to the program receive a full tuition scholarship. Teaching or research assistantships are not offered as part of admission into the program, but applicants may investigate the opportunity of graduate assistantships with their primary advisor.