Master of Science in Dermatology

The Program’s Response to COVID:
In an effort to abide by COVID-19 safety protocols, the International Graduate Training Program in Dermatology has adopted a hybrid curriculum during the 2020-2021 academic year, including in-person and remote clinical and academic experiences. We plan to maintain this hybrid curriculum until given further instructions by institutional leadership. Our administrative team, in partnership with the Boston University International Students and Scholars Office, will continue to support international trainees with visa sponsorship while following local and federal protocols concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

Program Description

The Master of Science in Dermatology program is designed for medical graduates seeking advanced training in dermatology, are based on U.S. graduate medical training methods, encompassing didactic lectures, seminars, conferences, direct patient contact, and in the case of the Doctorate degree, a thesis requirement. All clinical sessions are under direct faculty supervision, and trainees are given increased responsibility as their training progresses. Intensive teaching in dermatopathology is an integral and continuous part of all programs. Much of it takes place at this multi-head microscope.

Program Details

The Master of Science in Dermatology Program is an academic, course-based programs that provide clinical dermatology training with a sound basis in the fundamentals of dermatological science. Students in these programs are assigned to clinical outpatient sessions (4 to 6 per week) at the Boston Medical Center, where they have primary patient responsibility under faculty supervision, as well as rotations in the Department’s Section of Dermatopathology and inpatient consultation service. Specific rotations in dermatological and laser surgery provide additional instruction in these increasingly important dermatological treatment modalities. Daily clinical exposure is complemented by lectures, seminars and conferences by members of the faculty and invited prominent speakers. Trainees are initially enrolled in the Master of Science Program only.  Those interested in continuing their training beyond the Masters, may apply for the one-year Certificate in Clinical Dermatology Program or for the Doctorate of Dermatology Program for an additional two years of training.  Acceptance into the Doctorate program is contingent upon successful completion of the Masters Program, meeting the minimum score requirement on the ABD In-service Exam, and identification of a suitable mentor and project. Application requirements include a medical degree from a recognized university, a year of internship, one or more years of experience in medicine (preferably with an emphasis in dermatology), and proficiency in English. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required.

Graduation Requirements

Trainees have primary patient responsibilities and receive hands-on training in all dermatologic procedures under direct faculty supervision. Evaluation of the students’ performance is based on attendance, exams, written assignments, and faculty evaluations. In clinic, students work under the direct supervision of a faculty member at all times. The faculty member is responsible for assessing in an ongoing manner the students’ history- taking and physical examination skills, background medical and dermatologic knowledge, ability to construct a differential diagnosis, logical approach to patient management, medical judgment, knowledge of therapies including both efficacy and potential side effects, ability to communicate appropriately with referring physicians and other professional colleagues, and consideration and compassion in the care of individual patients. International trainees document patient encounters in electronic medical records.

Each February, trainees are required to take the In-Training Examination of the American Board of Dermatology (ABD), a standardized centrally-graded four-hour examination administered to all dermatology residents in the United States at their training program sites. This comprehensive examination probes knowledge of all aspects of dermatology and includes interpretation of clinical photographs and dermatopathology slides as well as assessment of cognitive knowledge. Trainees in the program are required to score at or above the 15th percentile in order to graduate.

Toward the end of the second academic year, students also have to pass an Final Oral Examination that will test all aspects of dermatology. An external examiner can be invited to participate in this oral examination. Passing this oral exam is also a graduation requirement. Students who are not found satisfactory in their coursework will not be allowed to sit for the final examination.


The application season for the July 2021 start date will officially open August 25, 2020. 

Please register and submit your application through the Liaison Portal. After creating an account, click the “Add Program” tab and search “Dermatology”. Select the program you wish to apply for and complete each of the four quadrants on the portal’s home page (shown below). Applicants requesting application fee waivers will need to fill out a form on the GMS website. Applicants must satisfy one of three circumstances to receive a waiver and provide documentation.

Necessary documents for applying:

  1. TOEFL or IELTS scores requested through Liaison (Academic Portal > Standardize Tests)
  2. Three letters of recommendation through Liaison (Program Materials > Recommendations)
  3. Current curriculum vitae (Supporting Information > Documents)
  4. Notarized copy of medical degree translated into English (Supporting Information > Documents)
  5. Medical school transcripts (Supporting Information > Documents)
  6. Financial sponsorship documentation (Supporting Information > Documents)

The application deadline for the July 2021 start date is January 1, 2021. Please contact us at if you have any questions.  Email is the preferred form of communication.


Trainees are enrolled as special students at the Boston University School of Medicine and are covered by the School’s malpractice and health insurance policies. The University will process your I-20 for a F-1 visa after receipt of your confirmation, deposit, and paperwork.

Instruction of trainees in the Department of Dermatology is yearlong from July 1 through June 30.  Three weeks of vacation per year is customary.

All full-time degree and non-degree programs are tuition-bearing. The tuition fee set by Boston University School of Medicine currently stands at USD $60,864 per year.

All candidates applying to the Masters of Science in Dermatology program must submit proof of funding totaling at least $175,000 through government sponsorship, family/self-funding or loans.


For further information please contact:

Tara Cusack
Training Programs Manager
Department of Dermatology
Boston University School of Medicine
609 Albany Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02118 USA

Telephone: 617.358.9728
Fax: 617.358.9709