HMS MMSc-Medical Education Program Plans for AY 2021-2022

HMS MMSc-Medical Education program is evolving in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The 2020-2021 year is being delivered remotely.  As we converted our courses to run synchronously and asynchronously online, program leaders, course faculty, and students learned a great deal.  We have honed our skills teaching and learning in this new setting and feel confident in the virtual space.  Looking ahead, given the uncertainty that remains on so many fronts related to the ongoing pandemic and given the positive response we have received from our online program, we plan for the 2021-2022 year to be offered remotely as well.  However, for the 2021-2022 academic year, we are hoping to provide a brief, intensive, in-person component - should conditions allow students to make a short trip to Boston to be with faculty and peers. 

Below we respond to common of the mostly frequently asked questions about our program.  Should you desire additional information, please reach out by email with your inquiry.  We are very happy to elaborate and address individual queries.


How much time would I need dedicated to the program and coursework?

We expect full time students to protect approximately 80% of their professional efforts, or approximately 4 days per week, to the program and coursework.  Students take 16 credits per semester and the courses require significant effort.  Students with excessive competing demands (e.g.: clinical work, outside entrepreneurship) often find the program too challenging.  We are very pleased to speak with individual applicants about potential competing demands to ensure each of our students has the time needed to be successful and make the most out of the program experience.

If the program is delivered online, will I be able to obtain an F-1 visa and move to the United States for it?

No.  While we would love to have you come to Boston, visas under these conditions are not currently granted.

How much travel would I need to commit to? Would the program cover travel expenses?

There are likely 3 reasons to travel to Boston for the Master’s program.  First, if deemed safe and feasible, we will offer an intensive, in-person learning experience sometime in 2022.  Dates are not yet determined and we anticipate the travel, though encouraged, would be optional. We acknowledge some students will be unable to travel and can instead access this portion of the program remotely.  Second, students may travel to participate in one of the Harvard Macy Institute courses.  For now, these offerings are virtual, but we expect they will move to in-person in 2022.  Third, students may have the option to come to Boston for graduation in 2023.   None of these travel experiences will be required to complete the program and graduate with the MMSc. Students will need to pay for any travel expenses related to these experiences.

What will be involved in the intensive, in-person learning experience?

If it is deemed safe and feasible to do so, we will invite students to campus in 2022 for a brief, intensive learning experience.  We envision students would have the chance to learn together on campus during this time and also engage in social activities with students and faculty to enable networking.  Students will have the opportunity to explore research mentors and engage in other career development sessions for educators.  While we hope students will be able to travel for this experience, we recognize it may not be possible for all and will work to ensure each student has access to the sessions.

Will I still be able to take advantage of cross registering into electives at the other Harvard graduate schools?

In the current academic year (2020-2021), our students have cross registered into electives at the other Harvard graduate schools.  All elective offerings have been virtually implemented.  Most of the other Harvard graduate schools do not yet know their plans for 2021 and beyond, but we are in close communication with our partners to gather this information as it becomes available.

Would I still be able to take a Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) course?

The HMI courses are highly valued by our students and remain available moving forward.  However, like everyone, HMI has needed to adapt to the pandemic.  This year and next, most if not all courses will be available online but they hope to resume in-person offerings in 2022.  During this transition period, we will offer each of our students the option to take one HMI course of their choosing.  The program will cover the tuition related to the course and participants will earn credit toward the MMSc.

Can I be part time in the online program?

Yes. We believe in being as flexible as possible to support students who would like to train in our program.  The pandemic does add complexity to the part time program, however, and we encourage those who would like part time studies to speak with us directly about this option.