View or Download the 2015-2016 Policies and Procedures Manual

Purpose of the Handbook

This handbook provides all students at the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Friedman School) with the rules and regulations that apply between their first registration in the Friedman School and the receipt of an M.S. or Ph.D. degree. It describes the procedures, requirements, expectations, and recommended timing for completion of the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and the consequences of non-compliance.

Students are responsible for knowing and complying with these procedures.

Policies and procedures governing degree programs are changed periodically. The policies that apply at the time of the student's first registration in a degree program will be the policies that the student must follow. (See: archived Policies & Procedures manuals.) When a student who has received an M.S. from the Friedman School is admitted to the Ph.D. program, or when a student who has withdrawn from a program is readmitted, s/he will follow the policies and procedures that are in effect at the time of first registration following the new admission. Students who take a leave of absence of 365 days or less will continue to follow the policies that were in effect when they entered the program. Students who take a leave of absence of more than 365 days will follow the policies that are in effect at the time of their first registration after the leave of absence.

University Policies

Degree Requirements

  • Master of Science Degree For information regarding the Master of Science degree requirements, please refer to the Degree Requirement Worksheet for the program of interest.
  • 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.


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.

View details on the Registration page.


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.

View details on the Cross-Registration page.

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.