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About Tufts University
Tufts University is a private research university incorporated in the municipality of Medford, Massachusetts. Tufts College was founded in 1852 by Christian Universalists who worked for years to open a non-sectarian institution of higher learning. Charles Tufts donated the land for the campus on Walnut Hill, the highest point in Medford, saying that he wanted to set a "light on the hill." The name was changed to Tufts University in 1954, although the corporate name remains "the Trustees of Tufts College." For more than a century, Tufts was a small New England liberal arts college. The French American nutritionist and former professor at the Harvard School of Public Health Jean Mayer became president of Tufts in the late 1970s and, through a series of rapid acquisitions, transformed the school into a larger research university.
The university is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate degree programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in Massachusetts and the French Alps. The university emphasizes active citizenship and public service in all of its disciplines and is known for its internationalism and study abroad programs. Among its schools is the United States' oldest graduate school of international relations, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts offers art programs affiliated with a major museum, the Museum of Fine Arts. The University offers joint undergraduate degree programs with the New England Conservatory, and the Sciences Po Paris with additional programs with the University of Paris, University of Oxford and constituents of the University of London. Some of its programs have affiliations with nearby institutions Harvard and MIT.
Tufts is a charter member of and athletically competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Tufts accepted 14% of undergraduate applicants to the Class of 2020 from a pool of 20,223. It is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as the third best university in Massachusetts after Harvard and MIT and one of the top schools in the U.S.
School of Arts and Sciences
Tufts' largest school, the School of Arts and Sciences, is committed to intellectual and artistic engagement through a liberal arts tradition that prepares all of our students for a lifetime of learning.
Located on the Medford/Somerville campus, the School is just five miles outside of Boston, a vibrant city known for its historic sites and cultural resources.
Through a broad and comprehensive curriculum, students choose from among more than 70 undergraduate degree programs. Our liberal arts core is founded on dynamic learning, research, and creative partnerships between faculty and students who think deeply and shape ideas together. An emphasis on active learning leads Tufts students to become thoughtful and expert practitioners in their professions and leaders in their local and global communities.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences brings to bear all the resources of Tufts University—a vibrant research institution with a rigorous intellectual culture. We offer more than 22 doctoral programs and 30 master’s degree programs – from Art History to Physics – and opportunities to teach and mentor some of the brightest undergraduates in the country.
Our faculty members are committed to your success and offer complete professional preparation. Through coursework, mentoring, publishing, fieldwork, and independent research, our graduate students enter their careers positioned to apply what they've learned.
School of Engineering
- Founded: 1898
- Location: Medford, Mass.
- Dean: Jianmin Qu, Karol Family Professor
- Houses six academic departments, three centers, and Tufts Gordon Institute
- Biomedical Engineering, Chair, David Kaplan
- Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chair, Kyongbum Lee
- Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chair, Kurt Pennell
- Computer Science, Chair, Kathleen Fisher
- Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chair, Eric Miller
- Mechanical Engineering, Chair, Chris Rogers
- Tufts Gordon Institute, Director, Mark Ranalli
- Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), Director, Merredith Portsmore
- Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Director, Holly Taylor and Caroline Mahoney
- Center for STEM Diversity, Director Darryl Williams and Associate Director Kristin Finch
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
At The Fletcher School, for more than 80 years, we have tried to “know the world.” Our job is to prepare our graduates to be practitioners in every dimension of international relations: economics, finance, diplomatic history, politics, culture, security and many other disciplines. The challenges we face in this turbulent 21st century quite literally transcend borders – we must be ready to connect in every sense of the word.
We seek to build partnerships between nations, government agencies and the public/private sector in order to be ready to shape international issues and events. Our extensive network of graduates today serves in every venue in the global milieu – heads of state and government, political leaders in power and opposition, judges, diplomats, senior military officers, corporate leaders at every level, international bankers, and development officials. The Fletcher School not only “knows the world,” but is part of shaping it through the global work of our graduates.
Our curriculum represents deep connections and partnerships in the academic and international world. Our students can build their expertise with dual degrees at leading institutions of law, business, medicine, urban policy, nutrition, engineering and other disciplines around the world. With multiple degree programs from which to choose, our students can literally shape not only their academic preparation but also the fields into which they will ultimately matriculate.
We offer a superb faculty balanced between academic excellence and real world experience, as well as Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, Master of International Business, Master of Laws in International Law and the powerful distance Global Master of Arts Program. Our one year Master of Arts program designed for mid-career or senior level professionals attracts extraordinary practitioners; and our highly regarded PhD program represents a top international relations degree known around the world.
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life is a national leader in civic education, whose model and research are setting the standard for higher education’s role in civic engagement. Serving every student at Tufts University, Tisch College prepares young people to be lifelong active citizens and creates an enduring culture of active citizenship.
The Tisch College Model
Tisch College is a catalyst for active citizenship at Tufts and is the only university-wide program of its kind. By continuously developing and introducing new active citizenship programming in collaboration with Tufts schools, departments, and student groups, Tisch College builds a culture of active citizenship throughout the university. This entrepreneurial approach grows the university’s capacity for engagement, and allows the college to reach every student at all of Tufts’ schools.
Tisch College Programming
Tisch College offers and supports extensive programming for every member of the Tufts community. Curricular and co-curricular opportunities develop the knowledge and skills of active citizenship among students from every school at Tufts. Additionally, Tisch College supports faculty research in the area of civic engagement, builds capacity to meet community-identified needs among local non-profits, and supports other institutions of higher education around the world in strengthening their active citizenship offerings.
Based on Tufts Medford/Somerville campus, Tisch College is active in the communities in which Tufts facilities are based -Medford, Somerville, Boston’s Chinatown and Grafton—as well as in projects based across the United States and around the globe.
History of Tufts University
In the 1840s, the Universalist church wanted to open a college in New England, and in 1852, Charles Tufts donated 20 acres to the church to help them achieve this goal. Charles Tufts had inherited the land, a barren hill which was one of the highest points in the Boston area, called Walnut Hill, and when asked by a family member what he intended to do with the land, he said "I will put a light on it." His 20-acre donation (then valued at $20,000) is still at the heart of Tufts' now 150 acre campus, straddling Somerville and Medford. It was also in 1852 that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts chartered Tufts College, noting the college should promote "virtue and piety and learning in such of the languages and liberal and useful arts as shall be recommended." During his tenure, Ballou spent a year travelling and studying in the United Kingdom. The methods of instruction which he initiated were based on the tutorials that were conducted in the University of Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Now more than 160 years old, Tufts is the third oldest college in the Boston area.
Having been one of the biggest influences in the establishment of the College, Hosea Ballou II became the first president in 1853, and College Hall, the first building on campus, was completed the following year. That building now bears Ballou's name. The campus opened in August 1854. President Ballou died in 1861 and was succeeded by Alonzo Ames Miner. Though not a college graduate, his presidency was marked by several advances. These include the establishment of preparatory schools for Tufts which include Goddard Seminary, Westbrook Seminary, and Dean Academy. During the Civil War the college actively supported the Union cause. The mansion of Major George L. Stearns which stood on part of the campus was a station on the Underground Railroad. In addition to having the largest classes spring up, 63 graduates served in the Union army. The first course of a three-year program leading to a degree in civil engineering was established in 1865, the same year MIT was founded. By 1869, the Crane Theological Schoolwas organized.
Miner's successor, Elmer Capen was the first president to be a Tufts alumnus. During his time, one of the earliest innovators was Amos Dolbear. In 1875, as chair of the physics department, he installed a working telephone which connected his lab in Ballou Hall to his home on Professors Row. Two years later Alexander Graham Bell would receive the patent. Dolbear's work in Tufts was later continued by Marconi and Tesla. Other famous scholars include William Leslie Hooper who in addition to serving as acting president, designed the first slotted armature for dynamos. His student at the college, Frederick Stark Pearson would eventually become one of America's pioneers of the electrical power industry. He became responsible for the development of the electric power and electric street car systems which many cities in South America and Europe used. Another notable figure is Stephen M. Babcock who developed the first practical test to determine the amount of butterfat in milk. Since its development in the college, the Babcock Test has hardly been modified. Expansion of the chemistry and biology departments were largely led by scholars Arthur Michael, who was one of the first organic chemists in the U.S., and John Sterling Kingsley who was one of the first scholars of comparative anatomy.
P. T. Barnum was one of the earliest benefactors of Tufts College, and the Barnum Museum of Natural History (Barnum Hall) was constructed in 1884 with funds donated by him to house his collection of animal specimens and the stuffed hide of Jumbo the elephant, who would become the university's mascot. The building stood until April 14, 1975, when fire gutted Barnum Hall, destroying the entire collection.
On July 15, 1892, the Tufts Board of Trustees voted "that the College be opened to women in the undergraduate departments on the same terms and conditions as men." Metcalf Hall opened in 1893 and served as the dormitory for women. At the same meeting, the trustees voted to create a graduate school faculty and to offer the Ph.D. degree in biology and chemistry. In 1893 the Medical School opened and in 1899 the Boston Dental College was integrated into the university. In 1890, the Department of Electrical Engineering was created, and in 1892 - 1893 the course of three-year program in civil engineering was extended to four years. With the advent of the four-year program the degrees granted were bachelor of civil or electrical engineering. Tufts College added the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering in 1894 and 1898, respectively. In 1898, the trustees voted to formally establish an undergraduate College of Engineering.
The Jackson College for Women was established in 1910 as a coordinate college adjacent to the Tufts campus. In 1980 it was integrated with the College of Liberal Arts but is still recognized in the formal name of the undergraduate arts and sciences division, the "College of Liberal Arts and Jackson College." Undergraduate women in arts and sciences continued to receive their diplomas from Jackson College until 2002.
Tufts expanded in the 1933 with the opening of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the first graduate school of international affairs in the United States. The Fletcher School began as a joint effort between Tufts and Harvard University, funded by an endowment from longtime Tufts benefactor and alumnus Dr. Austin Barclay Fletcher. Tufts assumed full administration of the Fletcher School in 1935, and strong linkages between the two schools remain.
During World War II, Tufts College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
Due to travel restrictions imposed by World War II, the Boston Red Sox conducted spring training for the 1943 Major League season at Tufts College. In 1955, continued expansion was reflected in the change of the school's name to Tufts University.
The university experienced some growth during the presidency of Jean Mayer (1976–1992). Mayer established Tufts' veterinary, nutrition, and biomedical schools and acquired the Grafton and Talloires campuses, at the same time lifting the university out of its dire financial situation by increasing the size of the endowment by a factor of 15.
The College of Engineering added graduate study to its curriculum beginning in 1961, with master's degrees available in four departments. It added Ph.D. programs in mechanical engineering in 1963, electrical engineering in 1964, engineering design in 1981, and civil engineering in 1985. In 1984 CEO and chairman of Analogic Corporation and NeuroLogica Corp Bernard Marshall Gordon founded the Tufts Gordon Institute as the first educational institution created to foster entrepreneurship in the engineering fields. In 1991 the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the institute to confer the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Management and in 1992 the Gordon Institute became part of the College of Engineering. In 1999, the College of Engineering became the School of Engineering, when oversight of graduate engineering programs was transferred from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. As part of the same reorganization the Faculty of Arts and Science became the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (AS&E).
Under President Larry Bacow, Tufts started a capital campaign in 2006 with the goal of raising $1.2 billion to implement full need-blind admission by 2011. As of December 10, 2010 the campaign raised $1.14 billion. Tufts received the largest donations in its history since 2005, including a $136 million bequest to its endowment upon the dissolution of a charitable trust set up by 1911 alumnus Frank C. Doble, a $100 million gift from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to establish the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund,and a number of $40 million-plus gifts to specific schools.
In 2008, Hines Interests and TUDC, a subsidiary of the University, planned to break ground on the South Station Tower. Tufts had acquired the air rights from South Station in 1990, with former President Jean Meyer envisioning a tower that would be the center of medical research. Preliminary design was done by Cesar Pelli, with construction now scheduled to start in 2017. However, Tufts withdrew from the project in 2009.
On November 30, 2010, the university announced that Anthony P. Monaco, formerly of Oxford, would become its thirteenth president. Monaco's inauguration took place on October 21, 2011.
As of October 15, 2015, Computer Science surpassed International Relations as the largest major at the university, with 466 declared majors.
On December 22, 2015, the University announced that it would run the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The merger was completed on June 30, 2016.
On December 2015, the University completed a reconstruction of the Memorial Stairs. A new Central Energy Plant is currently under construction and is set to finish in the summer of 2016. It will replace an aging 60 year old plant and provide new efficiency boilers which in addition to providing the University directly with electricity, heated and chilled water, will help the University cut emissions. The University is also constructing a new science and engineering complex (SEC). The SEC will feature state of the art laboratories and foster interdisciplinary research between the neuroscience and environmental science departments. The new building will be finished by the summer of 2017 and will join the newly rehabilitated 574 Boston Avenue in the expansion of classroom and laboratory facilities for the engineering school.
In 2016, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledged a $100 million donation over four years for the creation of the Allen Discovery Centers at Tufts and Stanford. The centers would fund research that would read and write the morphogenetic code. Tufts biologist Michael Levin will lead the center with research focusing on communications between cells and the causation of birth defects, cancer, traumatic injuries and degenerative diseases.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Year of first Accreditation - 1929
- In 2016, Forbes ranked Tufts 12th among Research Universities, and ranked the undergraduate school 18th in its America's Top Colleges ranking, which includes military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges.
- Additionally, Vault.com's 2013 rankings placed Tufts' undergraduate school 25th in the nation.
- The 2014 Parchment student choice college rankings, which tracks enrollment decisions of 253,440 students who have been accepted to multiple schools in order to reveal their preference for their chosen school compared to the other schools that admitted the student, ranks Tufts as #17 nationally and #13 for national universities for student preference.
- According to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 college rankings, Tufts ranks tied for 27th in the nation, with high school guidance counselors ranking it tied for 23rd.
- In 2015, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Tufts tied for 127th in the world.
- The university ranks in the No. 101-150 range in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities and 252nd in the 2015 QS World University Rankings.
- Additionally, for the class enrolling fall 2013, Forbes placed Tufts among the top 20 in "The Top 100 Colleges Ranked By SAT Scores".
- Tufts' peer schools according to U.S. News and World Report in 2015 include Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Brown.
- Foreign Policy ranked Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 4th in the world for International Relations in 2009.
- U.S. News & World Report for 2017 ranks Tufts tied for 58th for engineering among schools that grant PhD degrees, and also ranks Tufts' Medical School and Research Institute tied for 52nd in primary care and tied for 49th in research, while the Sackler School ranks 68th in their rankings of Best Graduate Schools, Biological Sciences.
- The Boston School of Occupational Therapy, an entry-level masters program within the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Tufts, ranks 6th in U.S. News & World Report's Best Occupational Therapy Programs.
- Tufts' M.A. program in philosophy ranks 1st in the United States in terms of faculty quality.
- Tufts was named by Newsweek as one of the "25 New Ivies" in 2006.
- In The Princeton Review's 2010–2011 "Best 363 Colleges," Tufts was ranked 14th for the happiest students and its study abroad program was ranked 3rd in the country.
- According to the October 2010 rankings compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Tufts ranked 12th in the country (tied with both Harvard and Johns Hopkins) with 17 Fulbright scholars.
- Tufts also ranks 4th among medium-sized schools for the number of Teach for America volunteers it produces.
- Because of its continual growth as an institution, Tufts was ranked as the 5th "hottest school" of the decade from 2000–10.
- Tufts was ranked the 450th top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index college rankings.
Student life @Tufts University
Tufts has a variety of dining options, including two main dining halls named Carmichael and Dewick. The menus for these dining halls can be found at Tufts Recipes. There is also Hodgdon Good-To-Go which offers students a place to grab a quick bite to go.
Tufts competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference—the NESCAC—in NCAA Division III. Their mascot is Jumbo, which is the only college mascot to appear in Webster's Dictionary. The mascot comes from P. T. Barnum's circus, as Barnum was one of the original trustees of Tufts College. According to legend, Jumbo the Elephant heroically jumped in front of a train, sacrificing himself to save a younger elephant from dying. Jumbo's stuffed skin was donated to the school, and was displayed until a 1975 fire destroyed the body, except for the tail, which had been removed for conservation work. Now, a statue of the elephant is a prominent landmark on the quad, near Barnum Hall, the Biology building.
Tufts men's lacrosse team won the school's first ever NCAA team championship in 2010, beating Salisbury State University in the championship game. They lost in 2011 to Salisbury in the championship. In 2012, the women's field hockey team won their first national championship, beating Montclair State University 2–1 in the finals. Coach Tina McDavitt won DIII National Coach of the Year in 2012, as well. The field hockey team had previously been national runners-up in 2008. The women's softball team won three consecutive NCAA Division III National Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The men's lacrosse team won their second NCAA Division III National Championship in 2014 and their third Championship in 2015, beating Lynchburg. On December 6, 2014, the men's soccer team won its first-ever DIII National Championship, defeating Wheaton College 4-2.The men's and women's squash teams have been historically successful, ranking within the top 30 teams in the nation.
Performed at most football games "Tuftonia's Day", the Tufts fight song, was written in 1912 by Elliot W. Hayes. It can also be heard at Tufts' numerous A Capella concerts and at homecoming
The Tufts Daily is the daily student newspaper, and the Tufts Observer, established in 1895, is the school's biweekly magazine and the oldest publication on campus. The Zamboni is Tufts' monthly humor and satire magazine. The Princeton Review has named Tufts' college newspaper as one of the best in the country, currently ranking it No. 10.
In 1969, Tufts was the center for Civil Rights activism due to the controversy surrounding the construction of Lewis Hall. Students staged a work strike to protest racist hiring policies practiced by the construction company Tufts had commissioned to build the residence hall. In addition to writing letters, students sat in Ballou and East Halls, and collaborated with black workers. These demonstrations eventually attracted support from major metropolitan areas in the Northeast. In 1970, Tufts adopted new hiring policies which were subsequently adopted by other universities. It led to the creation of training programs for minority employees on campus, in addition to the foundation of the Africana Center.
Tufts is a medium-sized university with around 5,000 undergraduates. Seven out of ten undergraduates live on campus. Students can choose from 40 residences from small special interest houses, to traditional dorms, to shared apartments. There are 25 residence halls. Similar to residential colleges, students would frequently organize discussions and bring in guest speakers and plan several activities together. Upperclassmen have the option of living in special interest housing which are 15 houses reflecting a specific cultural or academic interest. Each house offers organizes several activities and events not limited to residents. Shared apartments are usually the most popular in the university with apartments like Sophia Gordon Hall (SoGo) a primary gathering place for juniors and seniors. The high density residential neighborhood around the university provides additional housing for students who opt to live off campus.
The University has two main dining centers, Dewick-MacPhie serving downhill students, and Carmichael serving uphill students. Each dining hall has a different menu and atmosphere. Both offer a European-style servery with multiple stations. The Princeton Review has listed Tufts in its "Best Campus Food" category since 2005, ranking it as high as second. In addition to the two main dining centers, there are a variety of smaller cafes, including a Kosher Deli.
There are 13 total Greek life organizations at Tufts. About 25% of the student body is involved in Greek life.The six national fraternities with chapters at Tufts are Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, Theta Chi, Theta Delta Chi, Zeta Beta Tau, and Zeta Psi. In addition, there are four sororities: Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, and Kappa Alpha Theta. There is also one co-ed fraternity, ATO of Massachusetts, and two local fraternites, Pi Delta and Pi Rho Omega.