The questions that follow pertain specifically to the PhD program. Please also review the general Admissions FAQs.

What is the PhD program's application deadline?

Applications from external (to Fletcher) candidates to the PhD program are due on December 20 of the year prior to the year in which you wish to enroll. Please note that December 20 is the date by which not only the online application, but also all supporting materials, should reach the Office of Admissions. There is no Early Notification Program for the PhD program. Note that internal (MALD) candidates should contact the PhD Program Director, Jenifer.Burckett-Picker@tufts.edu regarding application procedures.

Does The Fletcher School waive tuition for PhD students?

Although Fletcher provides scholarship support to PhD students who demonstrate financial need, the School does not routinely waive tuition. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and merit, and are renewable for students who remain in good academic standing while taking required classes.

Are PhD students expected to teach or conduct research at Fletcher?

No. Although Fletcher PhD students may wish to pursue teaching or research opportunities within Fletcher or elsewhere at Tufts University, Fletcher scholarships come with no teaching, research, or other work obligations.

Do PhD students continue to pay tuition for as long as it takes to graduate?

No. Once PhD students have completed their coursework, they are charged only an “Enrollment Fee” by the university. In 2017-18, the Enrollment Fee is $4,022 for the year. Tuition scholarships are granted on the basis of need and merit to PhD students in the coursework phase of their degree. Some stipend funding may also be available and, as scholarships are not tied to research or teaching responsibilities, students may arrange their own preferred work during the academic year. Scholarships are also available for the Enrollment Fee paid by PhD students who have completed their coursework. Applicants for admission to the PhD program should complete the scholarship application form on the online application.

My master’s degree required only one year of study, but that’s normal at my university. Am I eligible to apply to the Fletcher PhD program?

Admission to Fletcher’s PhD program requires a prior master’s degree that lasted at least three semesters (one and a half years) and required at least twelve semester-long courses. When establishing this requirement, the Fletcher faculty was aware that some very interesting students would not be able to apply directly to the program.

I only have a one-year master’s, but I still want to apply to Fletcher’s PhD program. What can I do?

Prospective students whose master’s degree does not make them eligible to apply directly to the PhD program can pursue the MALD program, and later apply to the PhD program. The majority of the students in Fletcher’s PhD program have previously pursued a MALD.

How long does it take to pursue a PhD at The Fletcher School?

Once students have completed their coursework, they generally take one year or less to complete their comprehensive exams, and an additional year or less to prepare a formal dissertation proposal. Once the proposal has been approved, writing the dissertation averages about three years, but the time needed depends on how many other activities, besides the dissertation, the student is pursuing.

What is the minimum acceptable GRE score?

Although there is no minimum required GRE score, the PhD Admissions Committee seeks students with strong academic potential. Prospective applicants may want to note that competitive scores are above the 50th percentile in all categories. For admitted students in the past five years, the middle 50% of scores on the verbal portion of the GRE exam ranged from 160 to 166. On the quantitative section of the GRE, the middle 50% of scores ranged from 153 to 160. Naturally, the Committee's expectations will vary, depending on an applicant's background and goals. Verbal scores tend to be lower than the average for non-native English speakers, while quantitative scores tend to be higher than the average for students pursuing quantitative subject matter.