Tufts is a highly competitive, research-intensive university in Medford, about four miles away from downtown Boston (and about 2 miles away from Cambridge). There are just over 5,000 undergraduate students.
Tufts is well-known for its veterinary school, which is about an hour away in Worcester, Mass., as well as its Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, both in downtown Boston. The Fletcher School is Tufts’ highly respected graduate school of diplomacy and international affairs.
Tufts students are intense; they are selected for strength in and out of the classroom. Admissions officers note that Tufts students have often gone beyond required coursework in select subjects in high school, and want to continue their focused study of those topics in college. Engineering students must declare their major at the end of their first year; all others declare at the end of their second year. The Anderson School of Engineering is one of the few engineering schools in the country with no attrition; more students graduate with engineering degrees than start. About 20% of undergraduate students major in one of the six engineering disciplines.
There is no core curriculum at Tufts but they do have distribution requirements; students are required to fulfill requirements in five areas (but there are many options that satisfy each area – sign me up for the “America and the National Pastime” course for social sciences and “Microbrewery Engineering” for math!!). Strong scores on AP and IB tests can place students out of introductory courses. Proficiency in a language is required at Tufts; students must take three semesters of language and three semesters of culture.
First-year students live together in dorms; housing is available for all students who want to live on campus. About 60% of juniors and seniors live off campus, but within a few blocks. About 13% of students join a Greek organization; there are three sororities and ten fraternities. The Friedman Graduate School of Nutrition helps to ensure that food on the Medford campus is good; students give it high marks.
Tufts is the smallest campus in the country to have a daily newspaper, but since there is no journalism major here, all students are welcome to contribute to the paper’s publication. This is also a very artistic and creative campus; there are 8 a capella groups and a very large art center at one end of campus. Many Tufts students are involved in sports, arts, community service or other activities.
Tufts does not offer merit scholarships; all financial aid goes to students with demonstrated financial need. Tufts has partnerships with the New England Conservatory and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, giving students the opportunity to earn dual degrees in five years.