Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? We’re happy to help! Please review the following for information on program requirements, deadlines, tuition, and more. If you have a question that is not addressed in the list below, please contact us!
ProgramsProgram Options | Accreditation | Residency | Student Make-up
Q: What programs are available?
The Postgraduate Medical Education department at Harvard Medical School offers in-person and online continuing medical education courses, certificate and custom programs in clinical research, quality and patient safety, and leadership and management, as well as courses in specific therapeutic areas. We currently offer two master’s degrees: a Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation (MMSCI) and a Master of Healthcare Quality and Safety (MHQS.
To learn more about which program may fit your academic and professional goals, visit the program pages under Postgraduate Medical Education.
Q: Is my program accredited?
Harvard Medical School certificate programs are not accredited. The Master of
Healthcare Quality and Safety program and the Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation program are both accredited.
Q: Can I apply credits from my program to a degree program if I successfully complete requirements?
Because the certificate programs are not accredited, Harvard does not provide academic credits for those programs; however, we can provide documentation that states the approximate amount of hours required to complete for students who successfully complete program requirements.
Q: Do I have to live in the United States to apply for a program?
No, you do not have to be a resident or citizen of the United States. Citizens from across the globe are encouraged to apply.
Q: What does the student makeup of the programs typically look like?
Our consensus is that education is enhanced by the diversity of the student body. Harvard Medical School is committed to enrolling a diverse body of talented participants who reflect the diversity of the patients they serve. Our students come from a variety of institutions, ethnic backgrounds, and economic experiences.
Past participants have come from around the world, including the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.
Q: How long are the programs?
The duration of our programs vary. Our certificate and custom programs can run from a few days to six months to 12 months. Our summer school in clinical investigation program runs for one week, and our master’s degree programs are one and two year residential programs.
Admissions & Application RequirementsDegree Requirements | Language Proficiency | Applications | Visas
Q: What prior degree(s) do I need to have to qualify for a program?
To apply to any of our certificate and degree programs, or to be considered for most of our custom programs, you should have already earned a graduate (terminal) degree.
Most eligible candidates hold an MD, PhD., MBBS, DMD, DDS, PharmD, DNP, or equivalent. On a case-by-case basis, the review committee may consider candidates with a master’s degree in a healthcare-related discipline.
Q: Do I need to speak English proficiently?
Candidates who do not speak English as their primary language are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. You may be asked to participate in a brief interview with the Associated Program Director or designee who will assess your English proficiency.
Q: Can I apply to more than one program at a time?
Although you may consider applying to more than one program, we encourage you focus on applying to one program at a time.
Q: Where do I submit my application?
Visit the program page of your choice to complete an application. You must submit all the required supporting documents. Keep any additional materials other than the requested documents to a minimum. If we need any additional information, we will contact you directly. Acceptance notifications take up to 6 weeks.
Q: Do I need to submit anything with my application?
Applicants to all Postgraduate Medical Education programs must submit the following supporting documents with their application:
Letter of Recommendation
Your letter of recommendation should be written by a department/division head/director/chair or supervisor. Acceptable letters of recommendation should be written within the past 12 months. The letter should address your suitability for the program and support your attendance whenever required by the program.
A 300 word personal statement explaining why you would like to be considered for the program of your choice. Your statement should include a brief description of your background, your area of professional interest, how this course will impact your career and the institution and country where you work.
Applicants are prompted to either upload their CV or resume (.doc, .pdf) or type their professional history into the application.
List of awards or publications, if applicable
Q: I’m an international applicant. Can I apply to Harvard Postgraduate Medical Education programs?
Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Medical Education Programs admit qualified applicants from all over the world. Students are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents in order to attend the mandatory program workshops.
The program managers and admissions team will assist with verification of admission and letters of invitation, but cannot facilitate the visa process. Students are advised to consult the appropriate travel offices and consulates to determine what is needed to travel.
Q: Whom should I contact for help with my Visa application?
Students who must travel internationally to meet program workshop requirements must secure their visas and related travel documents. Harvard Medical School and its staff cannot do this for you. Please review the information at the webpages listed below. You will need to satisfy the requirements in each country that your program hosts its workshops.
Q: When will I hear about an admissions decision?
Applications are reviewed only after we have received all required documents. Most applicants will receive an admissions decision within three to four weeks after their completed application was submitted.
AcademicsCoursework | Grading | Certificates of Completion
Q: What does the coursework look like in the programs?
Most of our programs are a mix of on-demand video lectures, live webinars, and in-person workshops.
Q: How is academic performance evaluated?
Students will be evaluated following each recorded online lecture module (with online multiple choice questions), after team presentations by a faculty panel review, and by review of the individual capstone project.
Q: What does ‘satisfactory completion of requirements’ look like?
In order to obtain the certificate, students need to attend a minimum of 75 percent of the webinars and obtain a "pass grade" for all assignments.
Q: What do I get after I complete a program?
Students who successfully complete all requirements of the program will be awarded a certificate from Harvard Medical School and are eligible for membership in the Harvard Alumni Association.
Attendance RequirementsWorkshops | Online Courses | Deferral
Q: Can I do my program entirely online?
Most of our programs have a workshop component that requires in-person attendance. Some of those workshops take place at international locations in London, Shanghai, and Zurich, and some take place at the Harvard Longwood campus in Boston, Massachusetts.
Please visit your program page for details on the dates and locations of in-person events.
Q: What if I can’t attend a workshop?
Attendance at workshops is a required feature of our programs. If a student cannot attend a workshop, a petition must be submitted to the Education Committee for review and approval.
Q: What is the deferral policy?
There is no deferral policy at this time.
DeadlinesApplication and Payment Deadlines | Booking Travel
Q: What is the application deadline?
There are three important application deadlines for every certificate and degree program:
- early admissions application deadline
- early admissions deposit deadline
- final application deadline
Students who are accepted to the program prior to the early admission deadline and submit a deposit equal to 10 percent of the full tuition fee by the early admissions deposit deadline are eligible for a reduced tuition rate. Please see your program page for specific application and payment deadlines, and early admissions deposit reduced tuition amount.
Q: When should I book my travel for my program?
Please do not purchase non-refundable airline ticket(s) until you have received an email from
our office confirming your paid registration and confirmation that the program will be held. Your program and Harvard Medical School are not responsible for losses due to cancellation of flights, non-issuance of visas or insurance, non-refundable accommodation charges, or any other costs incurred by registrants.
Tuition & Financial AidPayment & Fees | Tuition Amounts | Financial Aid & Scholarships
Q: When do I need to pay for my program?
Payment schedules depend on the program you are admitted to. Once you are accepted to the program you applied to, payment is required either in full or through a payment schedule. Please check your program page. A 10 percent deposit secures your place to the program.
Q: Is there a payment plan for tuition expenses?
On a case-by-case basis, we may consider payment in installments. You will need to submit a written request to the program director.
Q: Is there an application fee?
There is no application fee for our certificate or custom programs.
Q: How much is tuition for my program?
Tuition information can be found on your program’s page.
Q: Can I get a refund if I decide not to attend the program?
Once you are accepted to a program and you pay your tuition, there are no refunds unless the program is canceled.
Financial Assistance & Scholarships
Q: Are there tuition assistance options?
There are several financial support options available.
Harvard Medical School will provide limited tuition support in the form of 25 percent to 50 percent reduced tuition rates to candidates of high merit who are citizens and current residents of low-to-middle income countries (as defined by the World Bank.)
No assistance is provided for educational materials, air or ground transportation, hotel accommodation and meals, insurance, visas, vaccinations, or any other costs related to participation in the program.
Q: What are the scholarship options, if any?
The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR)
can offer tuition support to a limited number of selected candidates in the form of tuition reductions. Reductions will be provided at no more than 50 percent of tuition. Priority is given to candidates from the United Arab Emirates, but candidates from the GCC and MENA region,* and candidates living and working in the GCC and MENA region, regardless of nationality, will also be considered. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and financial need.
To apply for DHFMR support, please select this option on your application.
*The GCC and MENA Region includes: Algeria | Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria| Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | West Bank and Gaza | Yemen
Q: Can I use FAFSA to pay for my program?
Applicants who reside in the United States are not eligible for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Medical Education programs.