The Bulletin: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


    GSAS Student Handbooks

    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the academic unit responsible for all post-baccalaureate degree and certificate programs offered through the School of Arts and Sciences. The advanced degrees offered are the master of arts, master of science, master of fine arts, master of arts in teaching, master of public policy, educational specialist, doctor of occupational therapy, and doctor of philosophy.  as well as graduate certificates in a variety of disciplines. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also partners with other Tufts schools and several Boston area colleges and universities to offer joint and dual degrees, including juris doctorate, master of public health, and master of business administration.

    Through its doctoral programs, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences aims to advance knowledge and to develop intellectual leaders in selected areas of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In order to encourage the close association of doctoral candidates and faculty, the number of programs offered is relatively small and the number of students admitted to each is limited. Through its wide variety of master’s and certificate-level programs, the school provides students with a focused education and specific skills to further their professional and academic careers.

    Please refer to the individual department sections of this bulletin to obtain further details on specific programs offered at the Graduate School. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website and specific departmental websites will provide more information on program offerings. The Graduate Student Handbook should be referenced for information on the policies specific to graduate students.


    Graduate program and application information is available online. The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee. The fee is waived if the applicant is a current Tufts undergraduate, graduate, or certificate student. The admission deadlines and requirements vary by program, as do scholarship packages.

    Reserving Graduate-Level Courses While an Undergraduate

    Tufts undergraduate students may reserve graduate-level courses taken prior to completion of their baccalaureate degree that are not needed for completion of those degree requirements. In order for a course to be held for graduate study it must be a graduate-level course and the grade earned must be B- or better. Through arrangement with the registrar, these courses are designated on the transcript and, with faculty approval, may be applied toward a graduate degree at Tufts or elsewhere.

    Undergraduate students must complete the appropriate paperwork in order to reserve courses for graduate education.

    Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Program with the School of Arts and Sciences

    The School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) offer Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Programs through select departments. The Fifth-Year Master’s Degree is one way of recognizing the increasing number of undergraduates entering college with exceptional preparation in certain areas. In this program students can enroll in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs together with the goal of completing both within five years. Students seeking admission to the program should consult their undergraduate major advisor, their Associate Dean of Advising, and their prospective graduate advisors before applying to the Graduate School.

    Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program students are required to complete the undergraduate degree requirements and graduate before moving into the master’s portion of their program. Students who do not receive their bachelor’s degree by August of their senior year must continue to enroll as an undergraduate and pay undergraduate tuition. Four years of undergraduate tuition and the entire tuition for the master’s degree are required.

    Students enrolled in this program are allowed to apply two or more courses toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degree, in addition to reserving courses for the graduate degree. Shared courses can be used to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. The option to share courses will vary between programs and students are encouraged to reach out to the program’s department with questions.

    Courses reserved for the graduate degree are not calculated into the undergraduate GPA and can’t be used to satisfy any undergraduate degree requirements, including:

    • The minimum number of credits needed to graduate
    • Major and minor requirements
    • Foundation and Distribution requirements

    Admission to the Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program is typically during the junior year or early in the senior year. Students interested in the program should discuss their plans with their advisors early in their academic career to facilitate program planning. A student may elect to withdraw from the program at any time by filing the appropriate petition. A list of participating programs and application details are available online. Interested students should contact their department or program of interest for the most up-to-date curriculum information.

    Certificate Programs

    A number of advanced certificate programs are offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Each program consists of a coherent set of credit-bearing courses in an emerging or rapidly evolving field. The certificate can serve as a credential for professional advancement or as an intermediate step toward a master’s degree. More information is available online.