Requirements & Policies

Degree Requirements

Master of Science Degree

A total of sixteen credits is required for a master's degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, including three credits in courses taken in the area of specialization. An internship is also required for the Agriculture, Food, and Environment; Food Policy and Applied Nutrition and Nutrition Communication programs. Students in the Combined Dietetic Internship/Master of Science degree program complete nine credits of course work and 900 hours of clinical rotations. Students in the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy degree program complete nine credits of course work and one credit completing a Master's Thesis.

Doctoral Degree

The doctor of philosophy degree is conferred by the university on advanced students who demonstrate exceptional achievement in original scholarship. To receive the Ph.D. degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, a student must have completed the course work required of the school's master of science degree program or its equivalent; passed a qualifying examination (written and oral components); and successfully defended his/her dissertation. Ph.D. students who have not completed the school's master of science program at a school other than Tufts are frequently required to take one to two semesters of course work at Tufts in order to make up deficits in their training and to prepare for dissertation work. The doctoral dissertation represents a substantial and original contribution of knowledge through creative scholarly research. All doctoral candidates are required to follow the instructions and meet the requirements outlined in the Policies and Procedures for Students Handbook.

MNSP Degree

Please see the program page for more information about prerequisites and procedures.

Online Graduate Certificate Programs

Please see the program page for more information about prerequisites and procedures.


All graduate students must register at the beginning of each term in which they are actively working on a degree. Even if all required courses have been completed, degree candidates are required to register. In order to maintain active status, students not in residence should write to request necessary materials and should register each semester by mail.


A full-time student in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy may enroll in one graduate course during each regular academic semester at either Boston College, Boston University, and Brandeis University. Students attending the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy may also cross-register at any of the other schools of Tufts University.

Time Limit

The minimum residence requirement for the master's degree is two years. All work for a master's degree must be completed within six calendar years. The time limit for completing the Ph.D. degree is seven years after enrollment in the doctoral program. Extensions or leaves of absence may be requested by petition to the dean for academic affairs.

Transfer of Courses

Subject to the approval of the academic dean, graduate courses completed with distinction elsewhere may be counted toward the master of science or Ph.D. degree at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy if they have not been previously used to fulfill degree requirements. A maximum of four courses can be transferred from another institution.

Immunization Records

All full and part-time students, regardless of age, must comply with the Tufts University immunization requirements and Massachusetts General Law (105 CMR 220.600). Questions regarding the Boston Health Sciences Campus immunization requirements should be directed to the Student Advisory & Health Administration Office.  Influenza: Annual Seasonal Influenza vaccine required for all students with patient contact, unless medically contraindicated. Strongly recommended for all others. The Friedman School Immunization Form, with a list of Immunization requirements, is available on the Student Advisory & Health Administration Office (SAHA) website. For more information, please visit the office's website.

Health Insurance Requirements

Matriculated students enrolled in the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition are required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Tufts University Health Sciences Schools to obtain Health Insurance. Tufts University offers all Health Sciences students a comprehensive health insurance plan which meets the State and University requirements. For information about the current insurance plan, visit Students may either enroll in the health insurance plan offered by Tufts University or maintain private coverage as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum State requirements set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To determine if your coverage meets the minimum state requirements see section 8.05 of the Student Health Insurance Program Regulation (SHIP). Your policy must meet the following under the Student Health Insurance Program Regulation:

  • Be underwritten by a United States based company
  • Provide mental health care benefits in the Massachusetts area
  • Provide preventive; primary care; and ambulatory patient services in the Massachusetts area
  • Provide emergency care benefits in the Massachusetts area
  • Cover inpatient hospitalization and both inpatient and outpatient surgical services within the Massachusetts area

Be aware, if you plan to enroll in private coverage, that the enrollment process can take several weeks or months and your policy may not take effect immediately. Therefore, we recommend that you begin researching and applying for coverage as soon as possible. In order to waive the student plan, your coverage must be effective by your first day of orientation at Tufts University. You will need your policy information in order to complete the waiver. Accepted students will receive an email with detailed information regarding the health insurance requirements, plan details, and the deadline date to enroll or waive the school plan. Students will not be registered or be able to attend classes if you are not in compliance with State and University health insurance requirements. Questions: If you have questions please call The Student Advisory & Health Administration Office at 617-636-2701 or 617-636-2700, email: or, or visit our website at Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

Campus Safety

View the Annual Public Safety Report on Tufts University.