Review Process & Selection Criteria

Student working in the lab

Applicants often wonder what we are looking for in prospective students and what our interview process is like. Some information addressing these questions is given below. We think it is important that there be a match between what we are looking for in our students and what an applicant is looking for in a school.

Selection Criteria

Tufts University uses a holistic admission policy. Holistic file review is a process by which programs consider a broad range of characteristics, including both cognitive and noncognitive qualities, when reviewing applicants’ files. Admissions Committees look for strong academics, prerequisite coursework, research and other relevant experience, and career aspirations and research interests that align with the program.

Applicants to the Basic Science Division are expected to demonstrate superior ability in the biological and chemical sciences throughout their undergraduate and graduate studies. Standardized test results, prior research experience, and letters of recommendation also are used to assess a candidate's potential for graduate study. Our objective is to select students who are not only intellectually capable, but who also possess investigative skills and an inquisitive mind.

Selection criteria for applicants to Clinical and Translational Science include an assessment of the applicant's commitment to a career in clinical care/health services research, the applicant's potential for research as evidenced by prior academic activities, research experience, recommendations from clinical and research faculty who know the candidate well, and the degree to which academic and research interests coincide with opportunities and resources available at the Tufts Health Sciences campus and Tufts Medical Center.

Personal Interview

After the application deadline has passed, each program reviews all complete applications. Based on this review, competitive candidates are invited for a formal interview. Each program has its own interview schedule and procedure.

For the Basic Science PhD Programs, interviews are typically held in January and February either online or in-person. Applicants invited for a formal interview will have the opportunity to learn more about the school and program, as well as meet faculty and graduate students. Each program coordinates its own interview process. International applicants and other individuals living outside the United States are typically offered a virtual interview option. Applicants who apply to multiple programs and receive multiple interview invitations are encouraged to work with the Program Coordinators to organize a single in-person visit if appropriate.

For the CTS MS and PhD Programs, interviews are typically scheduled from March to June.

For the MS in PDD Program, interviews are typically scheduled from March to July.