4.5 out of 5 Stars
I've met lifelong friends here, academics are top notch, good location, food is good, nice campus, flexible study abroadDowners
Tons of work, many people are very strange, no support for any sort of sports from administration, very poor career services - you really have to hustle on your own to get a good job, they DO NOT RECRUIT FROM TUFTS.Comments
Really, if you're smart enough to get into Tufts, take a hard look at other schools on your list. I would have gone somewhere else.Would You Recommend
Housing isn't guaranteed past sophomore year so I had to live off campus. I wish there was a better living environment on campus- the undergrads feel very divided since we live all over the place. There's a few crime reports but there are always police officers around patrolling so I've always felt very safe. The library is great, it just needs to be bigger! But the best part of campus is its location. Davis Square is close and really fun, plus it's only a short ride into the city. I've LOVED being in Boston.Admissions
I did early action so I can't offer much advice about the admissions process. All I remember is that there were a lot of optional, creative essays that I enjoyed writing. But start working on the app early!Level
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.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
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
There is so much that has to be done. There are so many requirements. Also, the workload is a lot. I have to work 3 jobs in order to stay at this school and don't have to depend upon loans and teachers aren't very accommodating to these circumstances. Also, I am a math major and some of the faculty is really helpful, cares, and can actually teach, but a lot of them are horrendous. I had one teacher that decided to teach statistics (like proofs, equations and such) with POWERPOINT! I was completely appalled and everyone despised that class.Quality of Life
Housing sucks. The only reason why it sucks is because the Directors of Residential Life does not know how to do her job. There is never enough places in the library to study during finals/midterms. It is really expensive to do a lot of things. Many of the events are paid by ticket and I've found myself struggling with finances.Admissions
I applied Early Decision and it was just a matter of getting it done. There's nothing that is extremely special about the application process.Level
There are a lot of general requirements. Core classes are often difficult and tend to weed people out of the more popular majors--they oftentimes discourage people from pursuing grad school, especially pre-med students because it is too difficult to obtain a high enough GPA. They are also often taught by part-time lecturers or short-term professors who are not great at teaching--they are often not eligible to be academic advisors and make it difficult to find one when the time comes to declare a major. Class sizes are okay--intro classes are oftentimes very large and core classes are still not small--usually at around 30 or so. Only language classes, electives or higher level classes are small. Professors tend to offer only four hours of availability through office hours; these are often not enough to see every student that wants to come and sometimes they intentionally place office hours in inconvenient times (such as during 1030am block, when most people have class). There are research opportunities as Tufts is pretty focused on research, but lack of internship opportunities for people who want to get experience in the real world and get paid for it. Tufts is very competitive, although most people don't compete for grades. Grading is harsh in the hard sciences and engineering, oftentimes with no curves so GPAs below 3.0 are not uncommon. Economics courses are somewhat harshly graded--although there often is a curve, GPAs still are concentrated in the B range and tend not to reach the minimums of major investment banks/consulting firms. There are very few notable faculty here--most are in the Fletcher grad school. Study abroad opportunities are great, although can be inflexible sometimes (London programs are full yr, China program is not in a major city, HK is only in the spring, Japan is full year, etc.)Workload is generally pretty high, with more in the hard sciences courses. Work on the weekends are a must and sometimes even during weekend nights.Quality of Life
Housing is terrible and outdated compared to other schools. Cost of living isn't bad. Campus is nice but during the winter it doesn't really show. Facilities are terrible, especially classrooms, desks, etc. Library is okay, but there could be more places to study on campus, and there isn't enough places to study late-night. Dining is okay but better than most schools. Neighborhood and off campus housing are old and crime is not uncommon. General happiness is okay, but social life is very lackluster compared to other schools and people tend to get cliquey after the first year of school.Admissions
Pretty standard, with some extra essays to write (some are optional). Interviews are optional and had small weight, I believe. Many Early Decision students. Financial Aid oftentimes is not nearly enough compared to other schools.Level