PhD: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the deadline for applying to the PhD program?
A: Applications to the PhD program will only be considered for Fall enrollment. The deadline for submission is Dec 1.
Q: Can a PhD applicant apply directly to the Nutrition and Metabolism program?
A: No, you must apply through the PiBS admissions process. Although you are not required to do so at the time of admission, if you declare that your research interests lie in nutrition and metabolism, you will be assigned an advisor who can guide you to appropriate coursework to develop your interests in this field before making a final decision about what mentor and department or program to join in the second year of your studies. Visit PiBS Admissions for more information and look for “Apply Here”.
Q: What is the minimum GPA for admission consideration?
A: We do not have a minimum GPA to be considered for admission. We look at each application holistically, including letters of recommendation, and research experience. However, the GPA does carry significant weight. Grades of at least a B in upper level science courses are usually needed.
Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score for international students in order to be considered for admission?
A: We encourage the use of the internet-based version of the TOEFL test. We generally look for a total score of about 97 or higher on this test. The IELTS exam may be substituted for the TOEFL. A score of 7 or higher is generally needed for the IELTS. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)or IELTS results must be submitted for applicants who received their degrees in a non-English-speaking country. This requirement is waived only if you have received, or expect to receive, an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university in any of the following countries prior to enrollment in GMS: the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland. This waiver does not include undergraduate or graduate degrees earned from an institution in a country listed above while enrolled in a “dual degree” program with an institution in another country. Studying in the medium of English in a country other than the ones previously listed or studying as an exchange student in an English-speaking country without completing a degree program is not sufficient to waive the English proficiency requirement.
Q: How many letters of recommendation do I need?
A: Three letters are required, however we are willing to review more if you wish.
Q: Who should write my letters of recommendation?
A: The best recommendations are those from faculty with whom you have had experience in both didactic, laboratory or other research settings. These would be the individuals who have seen your work in areas most closely related to your proposed graduate studies.
Q: What is the institution code for submitting TOEFL scores? And how long are my scores valid?
A: The institution code is 3087. Our program accepts scores as old as 5 years.
Q: When do you start reviewing applications?
A: PhD decisions will start in February.
Q: What is the mailing address for transcripts?
A: Graduate Medical Sciences
Boston University School of Medicine
72 East Concord Street, L-317
Boston, MA 02118
Q: How long does it normally take to complete a PhD degree?
A: Completing the degree in 5 1/2 years is achievable. Of course, it takes some students longer to finish.
Q: Does the program provide financial aid, scholarships and fellowships?
A: Students receive full tuition coverage, fees, health insurance options, and a $40,000 stipend per year.
Q: What type of careers are typical for PhD graduates from this program?
A: Although our program is new, graduates of similar doctoral nutritional sciences programs typically go on to such careers as:
- research scientists or clinical associates in pharmaceutical or biotechnology developing compounds to treat obesity and diabetes
- academic positions in major universities, medical centers or small colleges
- coordinators of childhood obesity prevention programs
- executives at biotech companies
- medical writers
Q: Is this program suited for getting my Registered Dietician (RD) credential?
A: This program does not offer the didactic courses or internships that are required for attaining the RD credential. Boston University’s Sargent College does have programs designed to lead to the RD credential.
Q: What are class sizes like?
A: Class sizes range from 6 to 30 students. For first year, a few basic science courses may be much larger.
Q: Can the PhD be done on a part time basis?
A: No. Our PhD program is only available on a full time basis.