Frequently Asked Questions about the MCM Program

What is conservation medicine?

Conservation Medicine focuses on health relationships occurring at the interface of humans, animals and the environment and seeks to develop and apply health management practices, policies and programs that sustain biodiversity and protect the ecosystems essential to animal and human health. Conservation medicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field that incorporates the tools and perspectives of many different scientific and medical professions in order to solve complex global health problems such as controlling disease in wildlife populations to help protect human and animal health and preserve species biodiversity.

How do I apply to the MCM program?

For your convenience applications can be made using our online application. Applications will be considered on rolling basis beginning April 1 each year for admission in the following fall. A full listing of all application requirements can be found on the MCM Application page. Applicants should contact the Office of Admissions if they have any questions about their application.

What are the requirements for admissions?

MCM applicants must have experience working on human, animal or environmental health issues, ideally as part of graduate training or through relevant work or research experience. At a minimum, applicants must have completed the equivalent of a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university. Applicants must submit a completed application, application fee, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all colleges and or universities attended, GRE general subject scores, and a CV (Curriculum Vitae). More information is available on the MCM Prerequisites and MCM Application page.

Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

Yes. In addition to all of the documents outlined on the MCM Application page, international applicants must submit:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, in their original language.
  • Attested English translations of all transcripts, if applicable.
  • Test results for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if their native language is not English.

Are there prerequisite courses I need to take?

All applicants are required to take: one year (two semesters) of biology, and a basic statistics course (one semester). In addition, a minimum of one semester of a science/engineering laboratory is also required, preferably in biology. Please see the MCM Prerequisites page for a full listing of all program prerequisite requirements. Applicants should contact the Office of Admissions if they have any questions about course work or meeting these prerequisites.

Do I need an advanced degree, such as a veterinary degree, to apply for the MCM?

An advanced degree is not required to apply. Since many disciplines are involved in conservation medicine, the program also seeks a diversity of backgrounds for each entering class, including; veterinarians, natural and social scientists, engineers, public health and medical professionals, lawyers, policy and wildlife professionals, and others interested in applying their expertise to conservation medicine issues. Non-veterinarians are encouraged to apply. Please see the MCM Prerequisites page and Is this program right for me? for more information.

What kind of experience should I have to apply?

MCM applicants must have experience working on human, animal or environmental health issues, ideally as part of graduate training or through relevant work or research experience. The MCM program is seeking individuals that are each able to represent a functional level of expertise in a contributing discipline. This expertise may be demonstrated by successful completion of an advanced degree, such as a master's degree or higher, or experience through relevant work or research experience that demonstrates competence in a desirable area. Because conservation medicine encompasses so many diverse fields, there is no set formula for what combination of education and experience produces disciplinary expertise. Please see Is this program right for me? for some contributory disciplines.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Applicants do not need to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) if they have completed a DVM, PhD, JD, MD or other doctoral degree at an institution in the United States. The General Test of the GRE is required for applicants holding MA, MS or other master's level degree or an undergraduate degree or for any degrees earned outside of the United States. Scores are valid for five years. No GRE subject test is required. The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recipient code for the GRE is 3893.

Are there scholarships or financial aid available?

The MCM program does not offer scholarships or financial aid directly through the program. Students with financial need should apply for any applicable outside scholarships or funding opportunities.

Are there opportunities for work study?

Work-study can be an excellent option for some. However funds are limited, and eligibility is based on financial need, so please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

What is the program curriculum?

The MCM program is an intensive twelve-month program with small seminar style courses. Laboratory and hands-on field techniques are included within the program. Students will also immerse themselves a real world conservation medicine experience through a preceptorship. More information and course descriptions are available on the MCM Curriculum page.

Does the MCM program require a thesis?

Because this is an intensive one-year masters program, there is not sufficient time to include a quality research experience resulting in a traditional thesis. However, each student is required to develop a year-long case study on a conservation medicine issue that results in a review article for publication.

What are the research opportunities available through the MCM program?

Because this is an intensive one-year masters program, there is not sufficient time to include a dedicated research experience resulting in a research thesis. A short term research opportunity exists during the program year through a four-week internship. If funding is available, select students may have the option of continuing with a research fellowship for another twelve months conducted under the mentorship of a program faculty member. There will also be opportunities to network with prominent conservation medicine research scientists for other research opportunities following completion of the program.

Where is the MCM program located?

The MCM program is administered by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and many of the classes will be held on the Grafton, MA campus. However, because this is an interdisciplinary degree program, classes will also be held on Tufts' Medford campus and the Boston health sciences campus. Maps and visiting information about all campus are available on the Visiting, Maps & Directions page.

Is this program right for me?

The MCM program is for students who are focused on a career in conservation medicine. Students should have a good understanding of conservation medicine and appreciate the value of a One Health approach to human, animal or environmental health issues. Students should have attained a broad-based education and range of experience, ideally including international or cross cultural exposure and the ability to work collaboratively.

The MCM program seeks to build a diverse class of individuals who are each able to represent a functional level of expertise in a contributing discipline. This expertise may be demonstrated by successful completion of an advanced degree, such as a master's degree or higher, or sufficient experience through relevant work or research experience that demonstrates competence in a desirable area. Good communication skills, foreign language skills and writing skills exemplified in a publication record are highly desirable.

Some examples of contributing or complementary disciplines include, but are not limited to:

  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Human Medicine and Nursing
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Law and Policy, especially Environmental Law
  • Wildlife or Forest Management
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Genetics
  • Environmental Studies
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Anthropology, especially Medical Anthropology
  • Health and Environmental Economics
  • Civil Engineering, especially Environmental Engineering and Public Health Engineering
  • Basic Health Sciences such as Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Virology and Pathology
  • Management

Is there a student laptop requirement?

Yes. More information can be found on the school's Laptop Requirement page.