Tufts University

4.3 of 5 stars Overall Student Rating (140 Student Reviews)

5 Stars (87)
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Displaying 21-30 of 140 Student Reviews


4.5 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

In the Engineering College, you pretty much have every semester for all four years planned out for you, so there really isn't much room to pick and choose what you want. It's very direct--you get GE/core classes out of the way freshman year and by sophomore year you're already getting into concentration elective. Classes are hard and hard to do well in--it's definitely not a school were slacking off is possible, if you want decent grades. The workload is manageable if you don't procrastinate. The professors are great and incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields. And Tufts is probably one of the best colleges to go on a study abroad program. It's a pretty competitive school, where all the students are striving to do their best, but not cutthroat, where students are trying to undermine each other to reach their academic goals.


Downers

Depending on where you're put in, housing is pretty decent. The cost of living is high, but the dorms are good enough that you don't complain. The campus itself is pretty safe, even late at night, and during the day, there are a ton of places you could explore that are right off campus. It's close enough to the big city if you're ever interested in going, but far enough that you have a nice buffer between hectic, crowded city life. As for facilities, the gym definitely needs work, but the library, music center, and campus center are all pretty nice. Tufts is a really happy school; you'd be hard-pressed to find people who are genuinely unhappy here.


Comments

The application questions/essays are really open--there are no restrictions and they allow for a lot of creative freedom. In fact, I found my Tufts application to be the most fun out of all the others I did. Tufts isn't with the greatest endowment, so financial aid and scholarship opportunities are fewer, but the school does what it can for its students with what it has.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2014


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3.8 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Comments

There is no specific application needed for the school.


Level

1


Graduation Year

2014


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3.2 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

I can only speak for the electrical and computer engineering department at Tufts which is exceptional. The small class sizes really allow for personal relationships with the professors who are generally extremely good at their jobs. Additionally, the small size of the department allows for a number of undergraduate research opportunities which would be hard to come by at larger universities. The classes are all extremely rigorous with heave workloads, but as an engineering major at a top university, this is to be expected. The accessibility of the faculty helps this immensely. It is not uncommon to see professors and TAs in the labs helping student late into the night. For the most part, grading is fair with the exception of a few professors (Karen Panetta) who seem to go out of their way to fail students they don't like. Unfortunately, for the most part the professor's decision is final, and there is no one to appeal to if you feel you were unfairly graded. Study abroad for engineers is rare , but possible with either AP credits or summer courses (or a combination). For engineers the curriculum is mostly pre-determined, with only a handful of opportunities to take electives. AP credits and summer courses help this. An additional minor is possible, but a second major would generally be difficult to complete in four years. Through word of mouth, I have determined that besides the College of Engineering, the department of international relations, and the department of cognitive and brain sciences, the rest of the departments at Tufts are extremely overrated. In particular, I have heard on numerous occasions that the economics department is a complete and utter joke and disgrace to the University. I would highly recommend students not studying engineering, IR, or brain sciences strongly reconsider their decision to even apply to Tufts.


Downers

The dorms are extremely mediocre. They are in decent condition for the most part and are cleaned every day by a cleaning service (ABM), but they are nothing special. On campus housing (the dorms) is typically more expensive than living in an off campus apartment, however Tufts has a ridiculous two year on campus housing requirement, so it is only possible to move out of the dorms during one's third year which is extremely frustrating for students who prefer having their own living space. Being located in New England, the cost of living is high. The on-campus stores (bookstores, mini-marts, etc.) are very overpriced, and since there aren't any retailers within walking distance of campus, students have very little choice but to overpay for their necessities. The library is immense, containing most every book anyone could ever need for class, and allows access to many online databases for research. However, I believe this is standard at most well respected schools. Tufts has two dining halls, which I believe are pretty average. Although Tufts is rated year after year as having some of the best on campus dining, I do not see how or why this is. Every once in a while, during parents weekend, or other events where important guests will be on campus, the dining halls seem to put on a show, making exceptional dishes, but this doesn't last long, and once the guests are gone the same bland frozen or fried food appears every day. Located in a middle class suburban neighborhood, crime is extremely rare, and like most campuses, there are emergency phones/buttons everywhere. Overall, the first year at Tufts gives the impression of a fun, interesting, school with lots to offer their students. However, once the freshman thrill of not living with one's parents wares off, it becomes obvious that the Board of Trustees is only interested in making money and improving the overall image of the school rather than creating a unique learning environment to help students prosper. Nearly everyone I know has had extremely negative interactions with the administration, causing upperclassmen to resent the University as a whole.


Comments

I applied for regular admission. Approximately 30% of students apply for early decision. The application uses the Common Application with a unique supplement with extra essay questions. After completing the application, there is a non-mandatory, but recommended interview with a local alumni. Financial aid is unfortunately almost nonexistent unless the FAFSA determines you deserve it, which in my opinion is extremely unfair considering the exorbitant tuition cost and the fact that the FAFSA does not properly judge a middle class family's expected contribution.


Level

4


Graduation Year

2013


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4.7 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

There are a ton of requirements to fulfill--2 semesters of a freshman writing requirement, 2 natural science, 2 humanities, 2 social science, 2 mathematics, 1 culture class, and 6 semesters of a language. I was able to get AP credits for humanities/social science, but these are the subjects that I'm majoring in so this didn't really help. It was a pain to do all the math and science when I didn't want to, so I tried to find "easy" courses for non-majors. The 6 semesters of a language sounds like a lot, but it is easy to waive out of at least a couple if you have taken a foreign language in high school. If, like me, you plan to major in International Relations, you will need 8 semesters of a language. If you stick with spanish, french, or a language you took in high school, then you won't spend your entire college career with the language. But if you start fresh, say with Arabic or Chinese, you will need to take it every semester. There are lots of study abroad opportunities, both through Tufts-run programs and other pre-approved options. About half of the junior class studies abroad each year. Grading is fair and there doesn't seem to be a ridiculous amount of inflation (or, on the other hand, deflation), but some of the intro "weed out" courses have a more rigid grade distribution than upper-level seminars. Workload is about what I expected coming in--classes are equivalent to AP courses in high school (or at least in my highly-competitive public high school). If you care about a class, you will want to work for it.


Downers

Facilities aren't great at Tufts--it is disappointing that Tufts hasn't put the money into improving its dorms, especially to compete with schools of a similar caliber that have worked hard in recent years to update dorm living. Overall, though, it's not about the buildings and Tufts students are generally very happy here. The campus is warm, friendly, and inviting, and it is likely you will run into at least 3 people you know on the way to class, which says a lot about our "not too big, but not too small" vibe. The library is spacious and modern, and is somewhat of a social hub on campus, especially during midterms and finals seasons. I have grown to absolutely love the neighborhood--Medford and Somerville are down to earth and filled with tons of fun activities, restaurants, and nightlife. And Boston is right at our fingertips, and I tend to go in a lot. Yes, there is some crime in the surrounding area, but I don't think that is uncommon for an area like this. I walk around with groups of people at night and feel totally safe.


Comments

Tufts requires the Common App, and has an additional supplement. Tufts' supplement was the longest that I completed (I applied to 15 schools of similar caliber). The supplement has 4-5 additional questions that cover a diverse range of topics, and the optional essay has a bunch of different quirky topics to focus on. Students even have the opportunity to create a 1 minute youtube video for the office of admissions to evaluate. Tufts has ED1, ED2, and regular decision cycles. Interviews are only conducted with alumni off campus and do not hold much, if any, weight in the admissions process. They are more informative than evaluative.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2013


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4.3 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

The work is hard! The professors demand nothing but the best, and the students around you are the best, so its impossible to get by with any mediocre work. I have been in a lot of courses with severe grade deflation - i.e., a professor telling a class of one hundred students at the beginning of the semester, "I will not give out more than a few A's this semester, if any". For that course, there were only 6 A's at the end of the semester. I have learned a lot from my courses, though even the large intro ones, and I don't think that the grade deflation hurts much. Most students enter into Tufts pretty concerned about their GPA and intending to get a 4.0, but after the first year when they realize it's not possible, they figure out that the learning is more important than the grades. In fact, that's something I like about Tufts. People care about the learning a lot more than they care about the grades. Also, academically speaking, Tufts is a great community. I've never really experienced "competition" in any of my classes among my peers; it's always a collaborative effort. Students always work together and help each other out, even when they know that their work will be judged against one another's. No one ever forms the students into study groups, but they just coagulate because they like learning and they like spending time with each other. Students don't really compare grades with one another, and the students that do well don't have bad attitudes about it. Academically speaking, Tufts is a good natured place. The class sizes are great. Big classes for intro courses, small classes for seminars, and smaller classes for languages. Tufts language education is awesome. I love being at a place where people are required to take a language. It makes the student body so much more interesting, and at the same time, it gives the language program a strong sense of importance on campus. Almost everyone (except the engineers) leaves campus with memories of hours spent in the language building. The professors, the courses, the teaching methods, the study abroad programs all help our language program to be excellent. I really like the Tufts integration of academic and practical knowledge. In both the classroom and the student activities arena, the importance of the blending of these types of knowledge is always made clear, and it really enriches the student experience. Tufts is a great place. Every day, I realize once again how lucky I am to be there.


Downers

I love it. Everything is great. The facilities are a little old, and the dining halls do have lousy hours (they close too late on week nights and open too late on weekends), and the gym is a little cramped, but overall, I love the campus, the trees, the buildings, the libraries, the neighborhood, and the people. Tufts is great.


Comments

We had to fill out the Common App and a special supplement. I think that the nature of the Tufts supplement made me really like the school. It was funny, quirky, and it seemed like it asked questions that would help the admissions officers get to know me in a real way. It was the most enriching application experience of my senior year.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2013


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4.2 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

Various requirements in terms of language, world cultures, art, and more. My pre-major academic advisor was less the satisfactory, but I had the option to switch advisors. The academic deans are great! Students are not too competitive. Most professors are accessible. It is very hard to get an A. I will be going abroad to Paris all of next year, my junior year. The workload is heavy, but students don't realize that there is a lot of support.


Downers

Our location in the suburbs makes the campus a "bubble" kept away from the city of Boston. It is a safe campus. Students are happy, but only when they find their niche. Housing can be great if you're smart and/or lucky with your lottery number.


Comments

Common Application with very unique essay topics and creative supplementary material that were optional. Very satisfactory, need-based financial aid.


Level

2


Graduation Year

2013


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4.5 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

It's kind of a pain to get all the distribution requirements out of the way, but I was able to get out of about half of them with A.P. credits so that was really useful, although I'm not sure how much longer they're going to continue with that policy. It worked out nicely, though, to get all of my distribution requirements out of the way freshman and sophomore years and it allowed me to experiment with really interesting classes I wouldn't have taken otherwise. That being said, I am still quite happy I can now focus solely on the classes I'll be taking for my majors. There are a lot of research opportunities, and not just in the sciences as you might expect. I have a friend who is an international relations major, and he did research in Bangladesh over winter break our freshman year (he had been at school for 1 semester and still had an amazing research opportunity.) Not gonna lie, the workload seems to get heavier with time and I pulled more all-nighters this last semester than I thought possible. That being said, a lot of those all-nighters were because I spent time trying to balance an on-campus job and a social life with my school-work, but I think that fun-work balance is going to be a challenge wherever you go. And as far as study abroad, I think 40-60% of the junior class goes abroad every year. Tufts has some awesome programs, and you can do non-Tufts programs as well. Just be forewarned that the study abroad office tends to make a lot of things way more difficult than they have to be; they aren't very good about communicating and tend to leave things for the last minute.


Downers

The dorms on campus aren't great, but I've found it's more about the people you live with than the building you're living in. Living on campus is probably more expensive than living off campus, but you're required to live on campus your first two years so you don't really have a choice. I think the most expensive part about it is probably the meal plan, but the food at Tufts is awesome as far as dining hall food goes. The library is one of my favorite places on campus to do work. It could be a little bigger - it tends to get really crowded around midterms and finals - but it is a really wonderful place. We get crime reports from our campus police somewhat frequently, because the surrounding areas of Medford and Somerville aren't necessarily the safest, but I've always felt really safe on campus. We have an open campus, but I've walked back from the library at 3 a.m. by myself (I'm a female) and I've felt totally safe. Overall, I'm very happy living on campus and I'm sad that next year (my Junior year) I'm going to live off campus. I mean, I found a great group of people to live with but I am just going to miss being on campus.


Comments

At this point, I think Tufts is pretty well-known for its unique option to include a YouTube video as part of your application. They also have quite a few essays - I think it's 3 or 4 - in addition to the common application essays, but they're pretty good questions and interesting to answer. My interview was pretty easy too.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2013


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4.5 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

We have a distribution requirement that students have to take two classes in five different topics (mathematical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities). It is very, very easy to fulfill these requirements and students can use some AP or IB credits too. There is a language requirement for all arts and sciences students - six semesters and this can be intimidating. However, it is a requirement that is not as bad as it seems. It can be fulfilled in three ways: six semesters of one language, three semesters of one language and three semesters of another language or three semesters of a language and three culture classes that coordinate with that language. Most majors require 10 classes which is very easy to achieve since the average student will take 34 classes before graduation. The student body is not competitive with each other; most students are just competitive with their self. That makes for a very productively academic environment that is not cutthroat at all. The average class size is 20 students, although some introductory classes will be very large. If its a large class, it will break down into smaller discussions sections. Tufts has eleven different study abroad programs and also accepts credits from many other programs. Students are really encouraged to go abroad and 60% will go abroad at some point during their time at Tufts. Students get assigned to a pre-major advisor upon matriculation and once they declare their major they can pick their own advisor within that department.


Downers

The dorms on campus are really great and there are a variety of different living styles available.


Comments

The Tufts admissions process is very unique and elicits different information than normal applications so that we can learn more about the students applying. It is lengthy and unfortunately that alone sometimes scares students away from applying. The application includes the Common Application and several supplemental essays. These essays are fun to write, though! They can be silly prompts or an opportunity to write a short non-fiction story or a chance to add something more about yourself. And the optional essay actually is optional! It doesn't change anything about your application if you complete it or not.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2013


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4.2 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

There are general education requirements, but they are pretty easy to fulfill. I like them, because they encourage me to take interesting classes that I might not have otherwise signed up for. They are really a way to broaden your horizons.


Downers

I always feel safe on campus. Most of the dorms are nice, and rooms aren't too small (although some could use more space for storage). The classrooms are very basic and haven't been updated in a good number of years.


Comments

Common application with unique application questions and short essays. There were opportunities for financial aid and scholarships.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2013


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4.3 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

If you came from a high school that allowed you to take AP's/IB, then you're going to have more freedom in picking your courses because they cover a lot of the general requirements. However, I found out along the way that many courses (often the ones for your major) can fulfill these. Most majors require around 11 courses, but not all of them are specific required courses, so you do have a decent amount of wiggle room to take what is most interesting to you. With advising, I recommend getting to know your advisor well and early because they can be very helpful in giving you advice on your courses/major/study abroad etc. Also, they can write you a nice recommendation letter! Professors are generally fairly accessible because they have required office hours (usually twice a week) and if you can't be free at those times, then you can just email them to set up an appointment. It's almost better to have an appointment so you don't have to feel rushed when you're talking to them (because during office hours, often many students are waiting to see the professor). I believe Tufts is underrated in its research opportunities. The majority of students participate in some form of research during their four years here, and it is not too difficult to find such opportunities. They are also quite rewarding (for me, I learned that I would like to never do research again, but it was an invaluable experience). Regarding competitiveness, the most aggressive kids are in the International Relations program (since it's one of the nation's best schools for the field, it attracts some of the best students). Beyond that, however, most students aren't really competitive with each other (they are very nice and encourage each other to do well). Instead, they are competitive with themselves, pushing themselves to stay up til three in the morning at the library five days a week, play a varsity sport, and work three jobs (I actually know someone who does this). Grading is very inconsistent across teachers. Unlike many Ivy Leagues (sorry to diss you, but you deserve it sometimes), Tufts does not have grade inflation. So, things can be harsh for kids who work hard in a class, yet still don't do very well. Some classes are a cake walk, while others give out one A a semester. We have some great faculty, and there's pretty much guaranteed a few fantastic and relatively famous professors in each department. Sol Gittleman is so entertaining, Joseph Hurka is inspirational, and Paola Servino is invigorating, to name a few. Tufts has one of the best study abroad programs in the nation because it is so comprehensive, and for the International Relations students, it flows very well with their major. The Tufts programs themselves are fantastic, yet they do not exist in as many countries as students often wish. But, Tufts deals with this very nicely. They do an absolutely fantastic job of getting students connected with non-Tufts programs in basically every country in the world and making the transition smooth, easy, and understandable. Workload can be quite hefty at Tufts, and most of the people I know are stressed out 90% of the time. However, it does depend on your own work ethic and coping strategies. I, for instance, do not spend hours upon hours in the library cramming almost every night (I do my work consistently in small bursts), yet so many people do. Lastly, even if people work hard, they play harder! We like to have fun too!


Downers

Housing is kind of a mixed bag because during freshman year, you get randomly assigned to dorms, and then afterwards you get to pick rooms based on lottery numbers. So, you could get lucky and get assigned to a good dorm first year and then get a good lottery number, or you could get bad luck and live in not so nice dorms. Cost of living is pretty much the same as it is anywhere. You don't have to spend any more money than you are already spending on tuition (especially freshman year, with the unlimited meal plan). When you get older and live off campus, housing can get kind of expensive, but if you search well, you can find the right place for the right price. The campus is very beautiful because it is on a hill overlooking Boston. It has lots of trees and is not too big or too far from downtown. The facilities are somewhat lagging behind those of other schools similar to ours. As someone said, we are a "first-rate institution with third-rate facilities". This is partially true because we are consistently improving our facilities, and I think they are doing a very good job at it. The library, dining halls, and music center are all new and improved, whereas they are still upgrading the gym, campus center, and dorms. The library is huge and is a great place for many people to study (both alone and in groups) and it even has a little cafe so you never have to leave. The food is fantastic at Tufts, no matter what other people say to the contrary (they are just spoiled). You have to remember, this is a dining hall after all. They can't give you as much attention as a 4 star restaurant. There is a lot of variety in the food and it is usually of very good quality. The immediate neighborhood is inhabited by Tufts upperclassmen and graduate students, and then beyond that there are locals, who we don't interact with much. Davis Square, which is only a ten minute walk away, is very nice and has plenty of good places to eat and hang out. We connect with the community a lot, whether it be working with the Somerville Homeless Coalition or tutoring at the local elementary schools. Tufts is rated one of the most dangerous campuses, but that is a misconception. That rating, calculated by the Daily Beast, includes the Tufts graduate schools, which are located in Chinatown, not a very safe neighborhood. The Tufts campus is much safer than that area, but it is not quite a haven. You always have to be careful and watchful, and don't walk around alone (on the edges of campus) at night. Students are rated as some of the happiest in the country, and I definitely think it is true. Everyone loves the school and is really involved in pretty much everything. People are generally very nice and like to support each other.


Comments

Tufts is consistently at the forefront of getting creative and interesting answers out of students, whether it be with their open questions or their YouTube video supplement. You can get an interview, but they are not guaranteed and you have to request them. I had one in my hometown and it was fairly comprehensive; I believe it can only help you. The rest of the application was fine because we got to use the common app. I applied early decision 1 (there are two early decision periods, but I don't think there is early action) because I was 100% sure I wanted to go. I feel like many people apply early without feeling as confident in their choice as they should. A large portion of Tufts students receive financial aid, and it used to be need blind, but with the economic crisis (Tufts lost a lot of money with Madoff) it has become more and more difficult to get proper financial aid. There are a good number of scholarship opportunities and you have to work hard to receive them, but it's definitely worth it in the end.


Level

3


Graduation Year

2013


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