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Massachusetts Residency Classification

Both residents and nonresidents of Massachusetts are eligible to apply to the MD and MD/PhD programs at UMass Chan Medical School.

The UMass Chan Medical School is a campus of the University of Massachusetts, a public institution of higher education. UMass Chan Medical School is authorized and enabled pursuant to Mass. General Laws, Chapter 75, Section 34. The T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School accepts both in-state (Massachusetts) and out-of-state applicants, as well as Canadian citizens or permanent residents, DACA, refugee, or asylee. UMass Chan Medical School charges different tuition costs depending on whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. In this regard, Mass. General Laws, Chapter 75, Section 34A, states as follows:

“If tuition for the Medical School is set at a lower amount for residents of the Commonwealth, a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.”

With respect to this statute, the term “immediate family” means an applicant’s parent, spouse, child or sibling; and the words “resident(s)” and “resided” mean domicile-a person’s true fixed permanent home or place of habitation, where he or she intends to remain permanently.

To comply with the legislative mandate of Section 34A, UMass Chan Medical School is aided by “proof of residency” guidelines promulgated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Board of Higher Education. Each case of “proof of residency” shall be decided on its own merits on the basis of all facts submitted by the applicant with qualitative rather than quantitative emphasis. A number of factors are required for residency to determine the intention of the applicant to maintain permanent residence in Massachusetts. No single indicium is decisive. The burden of proof rests on the applicant seeking classification as a Massachusetts resident.

First and foremost – seven years of uninterrupted federal and Massachusetts tax returns for the  seven year period immediately prior to enrollment, wherein Massachusetts is listed as the applicant / first degree relative’s legal residence (and not merely a P.O. Box). If the applicant’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) claim the applicant as a dependent on their taxes, the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must list Massachusetts as their legal residence on their federal and Massachusetts tax returns. Partial year tax returns will be considered.

Residency Validation

The issue of an applicant’s residency is usually first encountered (but not decided) when he/she completes the online AMCAS application, where applicants indicate Massachusetts as their state of legal residency–either through their own seven-year minimum residency or through a first degree relative's (parent, legal guardian, sibling or spouse) seven-year minimum residency.

Once the AMCAS application is received by the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School, applicants will be required to complete the T.H. Chan School of Medicine specific online “Residency Validation” secondary form (RV). The RV requests information establishing the applicant's claimed residency in Massachusetts. It is intended to assist UMass Chan Medical School in determining if the applicant lawfully qualifies as a Massachusetts resident. If UMass Chan Medical School is unable to initially make this determination, we may request additional documents/materials that might inform this decision–such as the documents/materials listed earlier in this policy.

The decision on whether an applicant (or the applicant’s first degree relative) qualifies as a Massachusetts resident for the requisite seven continuous years or more prior to enrollment shall be made by the T.H. Chan School of Medicine Office of Admissions. Should the Office of Admissions determine that an applicant does not meet this residency requirement, the applicant may request a further review of this decision by the UMass Chan Medical School Residency Review Committee (RRC). In addition, the applicant will also still be considered for admission as an out-of-state applicant.

Residency Review Process

  1. The applicant contacts the Office of Admissions via email at: admissions@umassmed.edu and requests a further review of their residency status. This request must specifically state why the applicant believes he/she (or an immediate family member) qualifies as a Massachusetts resident. 
  2. The Office of Admissions will acknowledge receipt of this request and advise the applicant to submit as much supporting documentation as possible–such as those documents and materials listed in this policy.
  3. The applicant must promptly submit to the Office of Admissions all requested documentation and any information the applicant views as applicable to this decision. 
  4. This information and supporting materials will be forwarded for review and a final decision by the RRC.

The candidate will be notified of the status of her/his request for review as soon as possible following submission of the additional information and supporting materials. The decision on appeal is final and may not be appealed further. 

Changes in Residency

If an out-of-state accepted applicant becomes eligible for in-state tuition and fees BEFORE registration and enrollment, through marriage or other means, he/she becomes eligible for in-state tuition and fees. It is the accepted applicant's responsibility to notify the Office of Admissions and provide documentation related to their change in residency. The Office of Admissions will make a determination, based on the documentation provided, if the out-of-state accepted applicant meets the in-state residency requirements and notify the individual of that determination.

If an out-of-state accepted applicant's residency status changes AFTER registration and enrollment, he/she remains classified as an out-of-state student/nonMA resident for tuition and fees for the duration of their enrollment at UMass Chan Medical School.  

Reservation of Rights

UMass Chan Medical School reserves the right to set its own lawful policies and procedures on the criteria and guidelines used to help determine/classify an applicant’s residency status. UMass Chan Medical School’s decisions on all these matters shall be made within the exercise of its sole and exclusive discretion.