Frequently Asked Questions

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To learn more about the program, watch this recorded live webcast featuring a presentation from Program Director Dr. Jennifer Kesselheim followed by live Q & A.



I have a non-clinical degree. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Yes, you are eligible to apply as long as your degree is doctoral level. The MMSc-Medical Education degree is open to those who already possess or are in the process of completing a terminal academic or professional credential, such as MD, MBBS, PhD, or other doctoral degree in the nursing, pharmacy, public health or health professions-related fields.

I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply?

  • Yes, international students are eligible to apply to the program. Please note that the MMSc-Med Ed Program requests a copy of an official TOEFL score report from any applicant whose native language is not English. The only exemption from this requirement is anyone who earned a bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction. Applicants who took the TOEFL more than three years ago must repeat the test. The program prefers applicants to submit scores from the Internet based test (IBT) of the TOEFL.


Do you offer distance learning or any online courses?

  • At this point, the MMSc-Med Ed requires all students to be in residence in Boston for the first year of the program and does not offer any online courses, executive education programs, or distance learning options. However, it is possible for enrolled students to complete the second year of the degree at a   distance, provided that the student is still able to devote 75-80% of his or her time to working on the thesis project. We anticipate that because some students’ thesis projects will be based at their home institutions, they will need to return home in order to conduct the research.   

May I complete the program part-time?

  • Students are permitted to complete the program on a part-time basis. We anticipate that most part-time students will graduate in three years instead of two but we are happy to have individualized discussions about attending part-time with interested applicants. 

May I work during the program?

  • Yes. The program is designed to occupy 75- 80% of one’s time. Thus, a student could work for 20% time while enrolled in the program.

I would like to apply to the program but I do not have a specific thesis project idea, can I still apply?

  • Yes. We do not require students to have a defined thesis project at the time of application. We do, however, expect that students will have some experience in the field of medical education and the ability to articulate possible research projects/interests.

What careers do graduates from this program pursue?

  • We anticipate that our graduates will be leaders in medical education with a strong commitment to research and scholarship.


What are the acceptance rates for the program?

  • Our program staff tends to speak with prospective applicants in advance of application submission to be sure that the program is a good fit for both parties. For this reason, our acceptance rate tends to be very high as we do not encourage applicants to apply for whom the degree is not a good fit.

When is the next application deadline?

  • We have a single matriculation date of late August 2016. Please see Application Information page for the application deadline.

 Is it possible to defer admission to the program?

  • As a new program, the MMSc-Med Ed has not granted a deferral to date. However, the program will consider a deferral for students for whom circumstances dictate a need.

Are there rolling admissions?

  • Yes, the program offers admission on a rolling basis. Once a complete application is submitted to the program, the admissions committee reviews the application to determine if the applicant should be given an interview. If selected for an interview, the applicant meets with select admissions committee members to assess candidacy for the program. If an applicant is living abroad, the committee will interview via video conference or phone.

What materials are required for the application?

  • The program requires that the following materials are submitted electronically:
    • Completed application form (available online)
    • Letter of intent (no more than three pages in length, describing interest in the program, qualifications, and area of research interest)
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Official transcripts (these may be scanned but must be official)
    • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • TOEFL score (if applicable)

Are standardized test scores required for the application?

  • The only standardized test score that we require is the TOEFL exam. This exam is only required of applicants whose native language is not English. The only exemption from this requirement is anyone who earned a bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction.

How should I send you my TOEFL score report?

  • Please send us a copy of your official score report with your application to the program. You can mail this through the postal service or send it to us electronically.

How should I submit my letters of recommendation?     

  • Please ask your recommenders to send an email to: with an electronic version of their letter attached to the email. Alternatively, you can attach letters to the application form that you will complete.

Cost of Attendance/Financial Aid

Is financial aid available?

  • HMS Master's students are eligible to receive financial assistance from certain government programs. Students are encouraged to review the HMS Financial Aid Guidebook for information regarding the financial aid process at HMS.