Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the application for admission?

All applicants to the Basic & Biomedical Sciences division are required to apply electronically:

What is the application fee and how do I pay it?

The fee is $80 and can be paid by credit card or electronic check.

Is there a GPA or GRE cutoff?

No, there is no specific GPA or GRE cutoff. However, recent entering classes have GPAs approximating 3.6 and GRE averages approximate the 70th percentile for all sections of the general exam.

I took the GREs several years ago. Can I still use these scores in my application?

If your scores are ≥ 5 years old, ETS will not release the records and you will be required to retake the exam.

Who is required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam, and is there a minimum score that must be achieved?

International applicants whose native language or language of educational instruction is not English must take either of these exams.  International students who have completed a higher degree, e.g., Masters, in which instruction is in English, are exempt from this requirement.  There is no minimum score needed but we prefer applicants to present scores ≥ 100 on the TOEFL ibt or 6.5 on the IELTS.

What is the school’s institutional code for sending GRE and TOEFL scores? Is there a department code?

The institutional code for UMass Medical School is 3936. There is no department code needed for applications to the Basic & Biomedical Sciences division.

Is there a specific form that recommenders must use?

Yes, recommenders must use the form provided with the online application.

How many applications do you receive, how many are admitted, and how many enroll?

We receive between 475 - 600 total applications each year and make between 90 - 110 offers to enroll a class of approximately 50 students.


How many applications do you typically receive from international students and how many international students enroll each year?How many applications do you receive from international students and how many enroll?

We receive between 225 - 300 international applications each year and make around 35 offers. We make no attempt to enroll a specific number from any specific country.

How are applications evaluated?

Applications for admission are reviewed by the Admissions Committee consisting of faculty members, current graduate students and the Associate Dean for Admissions. Particular emphasis is put on the applicant’s academic science background and especially their research experiences. Recommendations and a personal statement give the committee an important opportunity to learn about an applicant’s background and their motivation for doctoral studies. The required GRE general test also provides a common benchmark for applicants.

Do you have an interview program?

Yes, for applicants living within the U.S. at the time of submitting their application, we host 2 Recruiting Events, one in January and one in February. These include evaluative interviews with faculty and also provide an opportunity for applicants to acquaint themselves with the people, research, and facilities at our school.
Applicants outside of the U.S. are interviewed by phone or skype by faculty members involved in the admissions process.
Invitations to participate in interviews are generally extended between late November and late January.

Is it necessary for me to be in touch with a faculty member whose research I am interested in?Is it necessary for me to be in touch with a faculty member whose research I am interested in?

No, all decisions on invitations for interviews and subsequent admission offers are made by the Admissions Committee. You are welcome to contact faculty members if you have specific questions about their work, but it will not factor into your admissions decision.

What kind of financial support is available?

All students are offered financial support, which includes an annual stipend, waiver of tuition and fees, as well as coverage for health and dental insurance.

When can I begin my studies?

Studies begin only in the Fall semester.

Can I pursue part-time study?

No, there is no program of part-time study.

Can I work while enrolled in the program?

It is expected that enrolled students will devote their full energies toward their academic and research work. However, there are occasional opportunities for students, although not international students because of visa restrictions, to work up to 10 hours weekly in a job on campus.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The time to complete all required curricular and research activities ranges from 5 – 6.5 years.

I have a question that isn’t addressed in this FAQ list, whom should I contact?

You are welcome to contact the admissions office at


December 15, 2015
(for Fall 2016)


January 21-23, 2016
February 4-6, 2016



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