Apply to the PhD Program

Admission to the PhD program is based on an evaluation and recommendation by the PhD Program Committee. An interview will be required for all finalists at the request of this committee. Additionally, all references will be contacted directly to confirm support for the candidate and verify their skill sets. The dean of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University admits applicants to the program based upon these recommendations.

The PhD program is intended for applicants who have already earned a D.V.M., M.D., M.S. or other post-graduate level degrees as well as strong applicants with a science-related bachelor’s degree. All degrees should be from an accredited college or university. Although there are no specified prerequisite courses, it is expected that competitive applicants will have taken courses similar to the prerequisites for admission to the Tufts DVM program, as well as additional courses specific to their proposed area of graduate study. Students applying to the Clinical Sciences or Pathology tracks must have a DVM degree or are in a DVM program.  Students applying to the Human-Animal Interactions (HAI) track, must have the M.S. degree in Animals & Public Policy or equivalent post-graduate degree.

Admission of PhD students (unless student brings funding through a training grant) requires that the student become ‘matched’ to an appropriate faculty member with the funding necessary to provide a stipend to the student and having the resources to support a PhD Dissertation project (~4 yrs.) within their lab. Each year, the PhD Program Committee identifies faculty able and willing to become mentors to new PhD students and then seeks to match qualified applicants to the PhD program with the most appropriate faculty members based on the applicants’ prior training and future goals. It is thus helpful (but not required) for applicants to clearly describe their career goals in their personal statements, and to explain how research performed by specific members of the PhD program faculty would provide useful training towards achieving those goals.

Information for applicants from foreign countries is below.

PhD Application Requirements

Applicants to the PhD program must submit the following materials by February 1:

  • Application for Admission
    An online application for all applicants to the PhD program is available for your convenience.
  • Application Fee
    A non-refundable application fee of $75, which may be paid by credit card through the online application.
  • Academic Transcripts
    Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. This includes separate official transcripts for all foreign exchange or semester abroad programs, and transfer credit from other institutions that appear on the primary transcript.

If currently enrolled in an academic program, please submit an official transcript of work completed to date. When additional grades become available, please submit an updated transcript.

Please have all official transcripts sent electronically to or mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536

  • Official GRE Scores
    Results from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recipient code for the GRE is 3893. Scores are valid for five years. Additional information can be obtained on the GRE website.

Although the Educational Testing Service now allows options for reporting GRE scores to graduate and professional schools, Cummings School has not changed its requirements. When applying to Cummings School, you must submit all of your GRE scores from all of your test administrations. You may not decide to send certain scores only. This means that if you have already taken the GRE and you need to request scores for your application, you must choose the ScoreSelect All option. If you plan to take the GRE again between now and our November 1 application deadline, you must choose the ScoreSelect All option on your test day. Please note that this option is free—there is no charge when you select this option on your test day.

  • Letters of Evaluation
    Three letters of evaluation from individuals qualified to evaluate the applicant's potential to engage in and complete a graduate research program. Two of these letters should be from individuals with positions at academic institutions and with whom the applicant has worked.

All evaluators will be contacted directly by the admissions committee to confirm support and to verify skill sets.

  • Statement of Research Experience
    Applicants are expected to include in their application a statement describing their research experience.
  • Applicants from Foreign Countries
    In addition to all of the aforementioned application requirements, foreign applicants must also submit:
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, in their original language.
    • Attested English translations of all transcripts, if applicable.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if their native language is not English or if they have not graduated from an institution at which the curriculum is taught in English. The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recipient code for the TOEFL is 3499.