Second Portal Program

working in the lab

Students enrolled in the second or third year at Tufts University School of Medicine can apply for admission to the MD/PhD Program through the Second Portal Program.


Second or third year medical students who have demonstrated outstanding performance in their medical school curriculum and also demonstrated interest and experience in research will be eligible to apply for admission.

Entry into the Program

Students who are admitted through the Second Portal option will enter the MD/PhD program after successful completion of the second or third year of medical school and Step I of the National Boards. Typically, successful applicants will be expected to complete a research rotation during the summer following completion of their first clinical clerkship and passing Step I. Students usually select their PhD program in the late summer. Students fully engaged in an existing research project may be exempted from the rotation requirement at the discretion of the Program Director.

Support for Second Portal Students

During the PhD years, students entering the Second Portal Program will be supported by their PhD thesis advisor, just as other MD/PhD students are supported. Depending on the availability of funds, Second Portal Program students will receive full support (stipend plus tuition) for the remaining years of medical school. To be eligible for support during the final year(s) of medical school students must successfully defend their PhD thesis before returning to medical school.

Expectations for Applicants

It is anticipated that applicants for Second Portal admission will demonstrate interest and ability in research by participating in the summer research program sponsored by the medical school between the M1 and M2 years or participating in significant research work under the aegis of other programs such as those sponsored by HHMI, NIH or other agencies. Students considering the Second Portal are also strongly encouraged to use some selective time to pursue a research selective.

For more information email Michael Chin, MD, PhD, MSTP Director, with any questions.