Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions? We have answers!
Please contact us with any questions that are not addressed below.
ProgramsProgram Options | Residency | Student Make-up
Q: What programs are available?
Harvard Medical School's Postgraduate Medical Education offers in-person and online continuing medical education courses, certificates and custom programs in clinical research, quality, patient safety, 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(s) may fit your academic and professional goals, visit the program pages under Postgraduate Medical Education Certificate Programs.
Q: Can I apply credits from my program to a degree program if I successfully complete requirements?
Since PGME Certificate Programs are not accredited, Harvard University does not provide academic credits for those programs; However, upon successful course completion, we can provide documentation that states the approximate amount of hours required to complete program requirements. Students completing Master's degree coursework receive a full academic transcript.
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. All students are encouraged to apply.
Q: What are the demographics of past participants?
Education at Harvard Medical School is enhanced by the diversity of the student body. HMS is committed to enrolling participants who reflect the diversity of the patients they serve. Our students come from a variety of institutions, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
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 may run from a few days to 12 months. The HMS PGME Master’s degree programs are one and two year residential programs. The Healthcare Quality and Safety program is also offered with a two year part time option.
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 or 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. For certain programs, the review committee will consider candidates with a master’s degree in a health care-related discipline.
Q: Do I need to speak English proficiently?
Candidates who do not speak English as their primary language are required to demonstrate English language proficiency. You may be asked to participate in a brief interview with the Program Director (or a 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 applicants to 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 of 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 may 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 personal statement explaining why you would like to be considered for the program of your choice is required. 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 manager 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 six weeks after their completed application has been 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 faculty review of the individual capstone project. Master’s programs have detailed assessment requirements by course.
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 associate 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 such as London, Shanghai, and Zurich, while most 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 all workshops are required in order to obtain a certificate. If you cannot attend a workshop, you will be required to remediate by attending a makeup workshop at a later date.
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 a program prior to the early admissions 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, along with early admissions deposit reduced tuition amount.
Q: When should I book my travel for my program?
Please do not purchase non-refundable airline tickets until you have received an email from
our office confirming your paid registration and confirmation that the program schedule is final. Harvard Medical School is not responsible for losses due to cancellation of flights, non-issuance of visas, 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, payment is required either in full or through a payment schedule. Please check your program page for additional information. A 10 percent deposit secures your place to the program and should be received no later than the deposit deadline.
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 Admissions Department.
Q: Is there an application fee?
There is no application fee for our certificate or custom programs. Application fees for our master’s programs are noted on the program webpages.
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: Are there any scholarship options?
The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR) offers 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 US federal student aid to pay for my program?
Applicants who reside in the United States are not eligible for federal student aid for Harvard Medical School Postgraduate Medical Education programs.