There have been times where professors have actually come to me when I messed up on an exam. Classes can be hard. Yet professors are very open and are always there to help. Grading is also tough, but classes are very enjoyable. Class sizes are small which leads to great interaction amongst fellow classmates and the professor. I have yet to have a TA teach a class, and I just graduated. All classes I have had are taught by professors with terminal degrees in their respective fields. Students are very nice and often collaborate. The competitiveness that exists is on an individual level, not between students.
Quality of Life
How can someone not feel happy at Tufts? It's a great school with friendly people, great resources, and a beautiful campus.
Academics here are challenging but rewarding. Tufts has general requirements and core classes which can be excluded based on AP test scores (which have to be about a 4 5) or (in the case of language requirements) if you pass their short language exemption exams at the start of freshman year.
Students can double major or minor very easily. And there are plenty of interdisciplinary studies as well. Academic advising is very helpful as there are advisors for your major as well as advisors for those who are pre-med.
Their about only two or three intro classes that are really big. The rest of the classes are very small. Indeed, even in the big classes, professors can still know your name if you make an effort. The small classes are a huge plus because they are actually taught by professors with PhD's (or the top degree in their field) and not TA's. The professors are also extremely accessible. Indeed, I have had a teacher come to me when I struggled on an exam. Most professors are willing to meet outside of office hours and really want the student to succeed. These professors grow to be good advisors and friends. They also provide a range of research opportunities for students that are interested.
Tufts is very competitive. But students are not competitive with one another, but rather, themselves. Indeed, collaboration occurs often and students will help other students out and study together. Grading and exams are tough. As one student said in the library "I got a perfect on the SAT, why is this so hard?" But the information that students learn is not regurgitation, but rather applying concepts to the real world. You can't just memorize things for exams, you have to know the underlying concept and apply it to the real world or real world problems. This goes for any subject. Students are happy to get B's as Tufts is really hard and is known for slight grade deflation. Indeed, I was valedictorian out of a class of 700 at my high school. And I definitely feel like the average student at Tufts.
There are definitely some notable faculty. Especially in the area of international relations. This is in part thanks to the Fletcher School whose access and resources are available to undergraduate students. There are some professors that aren't famous in their field, but still hold PhD's, are accessible, and extremely smart and caring. Students prefer professors that are helpful rather than if they are famous.
Study abroad opportunities are great. Students are highly encouraged and studying abroad is well known at Tufts. This is in part due to the internationalism of the school. Students almost always enjoy their study abroad experience and Tufts is very well respected and well known in that respect. But there are also students who don't study abroad and still are very happy.
The workload can vary from subject to subject. The sciences (engineering, biology, chemistry, etc.) are very difficult whereas the humanities can be very writing intensive. But despite the workload, students are happy.
Quality of Life
People at Tufts are happy. The campus is beautiful (especially in the Spring and Fall). The winter months aren't that bad either, especially since Tufts cleans up the snow in the road relatively quickly. Students are required to live on campus for the first two years (and it's guaranteed). This isn't the case for junior and senior year. But off campus housing is de facto on campus and is also very cheap. For some, living off campus is a cheaper alternative. Massachusetts is also nice in that land lords can't charge water utilities.
Freshman year, students are required to have an unlimited meal plan. This is nice because there is something called "trick-turning" where a student can go to the fast "food stop" to stock up on drinks and snacks but also go to the cafeteria to get food.
The food is very good (especially compared to other campuses). But it can get boring. Luckily, Boston and the surrounding area of Tufts has plenty of great food options for students. Indeed, most students don't stick with the unlimited meal plan and rather cook or grab their own kind of food.
The relations with the surrounding neighborhood are great. The same applies for community relations. Students volunteer in the community, thus helping the relationship with the surrounding area. There is some crime off campus, but never on campus. Students feel extremely safe and the school's police department is excellent. They will even pick you up from off campus if you feel uncomfortable walking back alone at night.
Overall, Tufts students are happy. While there may be some disgruntled factors (whether that be the administration or whatever) students are generally very happy.
Academics are challenging, but not impossible. For a few general lecture classes (Bio 13, Intro to Psychology, etc.) the classes are large, but for the most part classes are below 25 and are very personal and discussion based. There are some general distribution requirements which are helpful in giving direction and very flexible. There are many ways to complete your general and major requirements. My academic advisor is very accessible and incredibly helpful. All of the professors are very dedicated to their work and excited to share with their students. Study abroad is highly suggested for all students, and Tufts does everything it can to make sure all students have this opportunity.
Quality of Life
Housing is excellent and the campus is gorgeous. We have one main library that is in the center of campus and fulfills all library needs including very friendly staff. Tufts University Police Department is very diligent and the blue light safety system is used on campus. The Campus Safety is super friendly and sees that the safety of an inebriated student as much more important than legal consequences. Students often do community outreach and service in the surrounding area. With few exceptions, everybody at Tufts is so happy to be there and the social scene is always vibrant.
Tufts has "distribution requirements", which means we have to take 2 classes within 5 categories that cover natural sciences, humanities, etc. There is also a language requirement that can be filled with language and/or culture classes in tons of different languages. There are numerous research opportunities available to undergrads, from assisting professors and graduate students in biology, chemistry, and psych labs, to more liberal arts/humanities focused research opportunities. There is also lots of funding available for students to perform independent research or receive payment for outside internships. Tufts' professors are generally accesable but students must seek their professors out on their own which can be intimidating. Students are assigned an advisor somewhat randomly at the beginning of their freshmen year (and initial advisors vary greatly in their helpfulness). When students declare their majors, they can select their own advisor and I really like my two advisors although i've never had either of them in class. Choosing an advisor can be somewhat stressful. Lots of Tufts students study abroad and there is an extensive office that assists with getting into different programs, getting financial aid and getting credits to transfer (although I didnt end up studying abroad). Workload is difficult as Tufts is a academically rigorous school but students are passionate and not competitive with each other and there are lots of great tutoring resources.
Quality of Life
The dining halls are amazing - tons of different options, vegetarian food, healthy choices! Safety on campus is high but because Tufts is in the outskirts of Boston, there are sometimes crimes committed on the periphery of campus which can be a problem since a lot of students live off campus. Students who live off campus live in houses that are bordering campus and this adds a lot to a fun social atmosphere around campus. The cost of living in these houses can be somewhat inflated but there is also reasonable housing on campus although the dorms could use some renewing! The library is AMAZING!! The gym is getting a much needed upgrade but overall facilities are good. Overall happiness is high - students like Tufts and are happy to be here. Students are very engaged and looking to get others involved in their field/cause/group/club. There are almost too many events that happen on campus!
Five distribution requirements, ten classes required for a major, some large classes but most classes under 50 people.
Quality of Life
Many upperclassmen live off campus, houses are reasonably priced, dorms are lower quality but other facilities are very nice, the whole campus isn't wireless yet.
Tufts has distribution requirements, which all students must complete. It is fairly easy to fulfill these requirements however, because they often overlap with classes required for one's specific major. The most extensive requirement is the language requirement, which involves 6 semesters of a foreign language (3 of which can be completed with a culture class). Class sizes are larger in intro classes, but are small in upper level classes. Professors are enthusiastic about their subjects and their students, and are easy to talk to. Professors will make time for students if office hours fall during your other class times.
Quality of Life
Everyone I know is extremely happy with the quality of life at Tufts. Dining is amazing, the campus is perfect (not too urban, but close enough to downtown Boston), Tisch Library offers endless resources and has many desks for studying students.
Average class size is 20 students. Distribution requirements are extensive (2 arts, 2 social sciences, 2 mathematical sciences, 2 natural sciences, 1 world civilization, 6 semesters of a language, etc.) To major in a subject is generally 10 courses, a minor is 5. Professors hold weekly office hours and are very accessible outside of class. Tufts is the smallest Research I University (many opportunities for undergraduate research.) 45% of the student body studies abroad.
Quality of Life
Freshmen and sophomores are guaranteed housing on campus, but it is possible to get it as a junior and senior as well. Off campus housing is affordable and convenient. I feel safe on campus especially with TU Police Department around. Everyone is friendly. Students are not competitive about academics even though everyone is very driven and intelligent.
Whether you are in the school of arts and science or the school of engineering, you will have core requirements that must be completed in order to graduate. Think writing, math, etc. It's not too bad.
Professors are brilliant and very helpful. Most professors really care about students and will be willing to meet outside of office hours. This is useful in building a strong relationship which can in turn present many research opportunities.
Study abroad is well known at Tufts. Everyone I know loves their experience abroad and Tufts has a lot of options for students. At the same time, there are student who opt out of studying abroad yet still are happy with their decision.
Tufts is really hard. However, the information that you learn is applicable to the real world (e.g. it has a point and is useful). Consequently, you can't just memorize; rather, you have to understand the underlying concepts in order to do well on exams. Some majors are easier than other, but this is true for any school.
Students are competitive with themselves, not each other.
Quality of Life
The food at Tufts is delicious. However, at times I can get bored. Luckily, there are a multitude of places to eat in the surrounding area. Some buildings feel old yet the University is renovating a lot of them. Those buildings that are renovated look really nice.
Overall, I am really happy at Tufts. The campus just has a friendly and cheerful vibe.