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How to Write the Tufts University Essays 2023-2024

Tufts University is consistently ranked in among the top 30 universities and wants to admit students who demonstrate a genuine interest in Tufts. One of the best ways to demonstrate interest is through your supplemental essays.

All applicants will answer two prompts, but the prompts will depend on the school you’re applying to within Tufts.

The college applications process may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry⁠—CollegeVine is here to help you tackle Tufts’ supplemental essays! 

Read these Tufts essay examples to inspire your own writing.

Tufts University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Applicants to the school of arts and sciences, school of engineering, and 5-year tufts/nec combined degree:.

Prompt 1: Please complete the following statement: “I am applying to Tufts because…” (50-100 words)

Prompt 2: Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words)

  • Option A: It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity, and why?
  • Option B: How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?
  • Option C: Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community.

Applicants to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree)

Prompt 1: Please complete the following statement: “I am applying to SMFA at Tufts because…” (50-100 words)

Prompt 2: Please answer the following question – we encourage you to think outside the box. Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. Your response must be between 200-250 words. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words)

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree

Please complete the following statement: “i am applying to tufts because…” (50-100 words).

When first approaching this prompt, take a step back and think about why you added Tufts to your school list. Location, size, and prestige may contribute to your desire to apply to Tufts, however you must dig deeper into why and how you, as an individual, are a good fit for the Tufts community. 

As stated on their website , Tufts students are often described as:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Multidimensional
  • Intellectually playful
  • Collaborative
  • Civically engaged
  • Globally minded

With only 100 words, you won’t have a ton of space to delve into every way you embody the characteristics of a Tufts student or list everything you love about Tufts. Instead of using generalities such as “great location near Boston” or “strong math major” or trying to squeeze all your ideas into 100 words, be sure to pick just 2-3 specific reasons you want to apply to Tufts. 

Remember that attending college is not only about academics, but also what you do outside the classroom. So, make sure to mention at least one extracurricular/social factor that drew you to Tufts, along with at least one academic aspect.

Reflect on your life, characteristics, and interests, then do your research and tie those aspects of yourself to Tufts’ values and traditions (refer to bullets above). 

  • Maybe you’re a passionate, civically engaged environmentalist who is drawn to Tufts’ Food Systems and Nutrition minor, as you want to learn more about ways to increase sustainability in the food industry. 
  • Or, maybe the 1+4 Bridge Year caught your eye, as you’re globally minded and want to live and intern abroad in Mexico before beginning your studies at Tufts, to better understand the border crisis and explore your interest in immigration law. 
  • Or, perhaps the Traveling Treasure Trunk theatre group caught your eye, as you love being collaborative and putting on imaginative plays for children. 
  • Or, maybe you’re multidimensional and have completely varied interests, such as ballet and neuroscience, and are drawn to Tufts’ interdisciplinary learning style. 

Regardless of your interests, whether academic or extracurricular, be sure to use them as an opportunity to form a connection between yourself and the Tufts community. 

Additionally, this prompt is a great place to include any notable experiences you had on any of Tufts’ campuses, or with Tufts students and faculty. You should avoid generally discussing an information session you attended or a campus tour you took, as those experiences are not unique to you and thus won’t help you stand out in the applicant pool.

However, you should definitely consider discussing a memorable conversation you had with a group of students, a particularly interesting class you sat in on, a meeting you had with a Tufts professor in the department of your intended major, or a Tufts club meeting you attended. While these experiences are not essential to your essay, they will certainly enhance your answer and further demonstrate your interest in Tufts.

Prompt 2, Option A

It’s cool to love learning. what excites your intellectual curiosity, and why (200-250 words).

To answer this prompt, you need to think about a topic that you enjoy studying and explain why you find it interesting. This prompt is great for applicants who have specific interests they want to showcase, like ancient Greek theater or quantum theory. Regardless of what you choose to write about, you need to be able to explain why this topic ignites your passion for learning and how you will continue to explore this topic at Tufts.

To start your essay off strong, begin by describing what sparked your interest in your topic. A great way to do this is by beginning your essay with an anecdote.

For example, you could explain that you became interested in civil engineering in sixth grade, when your science teacher challenged your class to break into groups and try to build the tallest structure possible using only marshmallows, tape, and uncooked spaghetti. As you worked to determine the perfect spaghetti-to-tape ratio, you realized that you had never before felt so focused on a school project. Keep in mind, your story does not have to be impressive or complicated; even the simplest stories will do as long as they reflect the origin of your interest. 

From here, your essay could go in a couple of directions. You might continue the narrative of your initial anecdote as you elaborate on your passion for your topic. For instance, you could write, “After winning the spaghetti structure challenge, I continued to enter engineering competitions throughout middle and high school, like the High School Bridge Building Contest. The thrill of competing deepened my enthusiasm and sent me to the library in search of books on seismic loads and renewable building materials.”

Alternatively, you could express your intellectual curiosity by explaining what specifically about your topic you find interesting. A fan of art history may identify a special interest in Ming dynasty ceramics; a computer science scholar could describe their fascination with machine learning.The details you share here provide evidence of your interest in your topic, so feel free to show off what you know!

Now that you’ve established your topic of interest, you need to explain to the reader why your topic excites you intellectually. If you are curious about biomedical engineering, you may refer to its many life-saving and life-changing applications, such as bionic eye technology. A Shakesperean may cite how his plays, despite being centuries old, can feel distinctly modern. In explaining why you enjoy learning about your topic, you reveal more about your character and personality to the admissions committee.

Finally, anchor your response in your interest in attending Tufts by explaining how you will continue your studies during your college years. Be specific, and think about how your topic aligns with courses and activities offered at Tufts. For example, if you were writing about your passion for Meso-American archaeology, you might state your intention to further explore the subject by enrolling in Tufts’ annual Archaeology Field School in Belize. Try to think outside the classroom as well—Tufts’ value of intellectual playfulness encourages learning in unexpected ways.

Prompt 2, Option B

How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today (200-250 words).

This prompt is a great opportunity for applicants who want to discuss the influence of the culture of their upbringing on their personality, interests, and values. Additionally, this can serve as an opportunity to discuss a specific event that was particularly impactful for one reason or another. Whether you want to discuss culture or a particular event, you must specifically describe not only the culture or event, but its impact on different aspects of your identity. 

The first step in answering this prompt is to provide some background information. Describe what makes the culture, experience, environment, or event unique. For instance, if you’re going to discuss the caring environment of your community, you need to explain the specific scenarios that illustrate that, such as a weekly potluck. 

The next portion of your essay should be dedicated to how your culture, experience, environment, or event has impacted you. Go deeper than the surface level and show what aspects of your identity have been shaped by the experience you’re discussing. 

For example, if you’re writing about how you grew up in a low-income neighborhood, don’t just tell us “This experience taught me to be resourceful.” Instead, show us your resourcefulness through anecdotes and indirect details:

“Since money was tight, my siblings and I tried to ease the burden on our parents by dumpster diving for food, furniture, and toys. We scoured the streets of the city for overflowing trash bins. We figured out the delivery schedule of local grocery stores. I always looked forward to Wednesdays, when the corner shop would receive new produce shipments, and discard anything that hadn’t been sold. We’d scramble home with our arms full of perfectly-edible apples, carrots, and onions.”

Finally, you should connect the aspects of your identity that were shaped by the culture, experience, environment, or event you wrote about to the Tufts community. Discuss what values you have gained that would allow you to make a positive impact at Tufts. Whether it’s your desire to learn, care for others, collaborate, or advocate, explain how that characteristic will make you a good community member at Tufts. 

In the above example, the student may wish to join the Food Rescue Collaborative at Tufts, to use their resourcefulness to rescue food and help feed people in need.

Prompt 2, Option C

Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community. (200-250 words).

The final option Tufts gives you is to write about a community you are part of. Contrary to the belief that a community essay has to be about something large like an ethnic or religious community, you can actually choose just about anything. Community can span from a club you are in to an online forum of people who share a similar hobby. Don’t let the “seriousness” of your community prevent you from picking this prompt—anyone can write a compelling and personal essay about any community.

The key to success lies within the prompt: “using a specific example or two.” In other words, tell us a story! Anecdotes that are full of imagery will be your best friend for this essay. 

However, just setting the scene with an anecdote isn’t enough. Use your anecdote to explain the natural state of the community prior to your involvement—did the community exist, were members active in the community, did the community lack diversity, were people excluded from joining, etc.

Then, continue the anecdote to demonstrate your contribution. Really show the reader what you did, if you recruited members don’t just say that, explain your process for advertising and the conversations you had with prospective members. Finally, you need to highlight the positive impact you had on your community. This last part tells the admissions officers what you are capable of achieving, so don’t be afraid to brag.

Let’s look at some examples of what sample students could write:

  • Online Book Club: A student who loves to read always turned to online reviews and forums to find her next great read, but she wished there was a way she could talk about the book she was reading in real time with others. This inspired her to start an online book club which she shared on social media to get the word out. Within two weeks she had 10 teenagers from across the country sign up and they read Where the Crawdads Sing for their first book. Not only did she find new friends and get to experience the nuances of the book through other peoples’ perspectives, she created a sense of belonging for the other members of the club.
  • Jarabe Tapatio Dance Team: A student with Mexican heritage who’s part of a larger Mexican community of families felt awkward as she got older and became more distant from the other teenagers at community gatherings. Since she loved to dance, she decided to approach the other kids and suggested they learn a traditional Mexican dance, the jarabe tapatio. Every week, they would meet after school and learn the steps. She coordinated with adults planning the Hispanic Heritage month festival and arranged for the newly created dance team to perform.
  • Caring Older Cousin: A student with a brother his age and a bunch of younger cousins might have always been exclusive at family events and refused to play childish games with his cousins. However, one Thanksgiving he was passing a football with his brother when his 10 year old cousin asked him to teach her. Through the process of explaining how to throw a spiral and what a pass looks like, he began enjoying the company of his cousin and invited the other kids to join. Soon he was running a football clinic in his backyard and playing a touch football game with all of his cousins. 

Each of these examples demonstrates how you can turn anything into an essay about community. Just keep in mind to show the before state, what you did to foster collaboration and inclusion, and the end result from your involvement.

Applicants to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts ( BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree)

Please complete the following statement: “i am applying to smfa at tufts because…” (50-100 words).

The first question is very similar to the “Why Tufts?” essay. However, this one asks you to tie your experiences back into why you want to enroll in SMFA. 

Your goal here is to make admissions officers clearly see you maintaining a presence in their SMFA program. If you don’t like being bound to the restrictions of having to be shuffled into a major, write about how the SMFA program’s freedom of delving into a specific medium or exploring a variety of options caters to your goals.

Let’s say that you are interested in both the arts and doing research in a STEM field. Instead of having to choose between one or the other, at Tufts, you can take the shuttle to SMFA in the morning and research the impact of certain elements on human cells in the evening. 

Tufts is one of two schools in the nation that is affiliated with a museum. If you want to gain more insight into art history and see paintings for yourself, SMFA will allow you to do so. SMFA’s Morse Study Room even gives SMFA students access to papers that are not available to visitors. Therefore, those who wish to seek more than what is offered in the classroom and explore ranges of art will be well-suited to the program.

If there was a specific instance where you realized that you didn’t necessarily “fit in the box,” this prompt would be a good one to address that. But if you want to knock this question out of the park, ask yourself what you can contribute to the program. Tufts looks for students who want to add to the intellectual vigor of its campus. If you can convey the kind of person you will be on campus, Tufts will be able to visualize the impact you will make more clearly. 

Please answer the following question – we encourage you to think outside the box. Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. Your response must be between 200-250 words. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work?

As an artist, you have most likely developed some kind of theme or style that is recurring. Look back through your past works. Is there a pattern that seems to repeat itself? If so, write about that pattern and why it comes across your work so much. Did you grow up in New York City?

Maybe your art reflects the bustle and diversity of the countless people you see every day. Or perhaps your art could signify the tranquility you seek away from the honking cars and glistening lights. If your work does not have a common theme, or if you are gravitating towards a different theme in your work, explain why this is.

Tie your work back to Tufts and explain how a Tufts education will break the current limits you face as an artist. 

Where to Get Your Tufts University Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Tufts essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free  Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools.  Find the right advisor for you  to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

tufts accepted essays

08 November 2016

Essays that Worked (Tufts Edition)

Posted in Class of 2021 , Essays , Perspectives


This blog post includes successful responses for all of the essay prompts included by Tufts, as well as some video commentary on why each one proved compelling to the admissions team.

Click here  for the essays.

  • Tags: Class of 2021 , College Admissions , Essays , Tufts
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Admissions Blog

Application tips: essays.

Over the next few weeks, our office will be sharing advice on the various requirements of our application process. First up: essays!


The essay, although just a single component of your application, holds immense significance. It offers you the best opportunity to provide the admissions committee with a compelling response to the “Why?” behind your journey to join the Fletcher community. What drives your interest in becoming a part of Fletcher? Why did you choose your specific program? And why now?

To briefly summarize, all applicants are expected to address at least two essay prompts. The first prompt, mandatory for all applicants, is as follows:

Kindly elucidate your objectives for graduate study at Fletcher and for your professional trajectory. Share the facets of your personal, professional, and/or academic background that have equipped you for your chosen career path. Why is The Fletcher School the ideal institution for pursuing your academic goals and preparing for your professional aspirations? Furthermore, please explain your choice of the degree program you are applying for.

Subsequently, all applicants must craft a second essay by selecting one of three prompts. However, applicants to the MGA and PhD programs, as well as those following the Map Your Future pathway, are also required to address a third prompt. For the purposes of this post today, our advice primarily centers on the first essay.

It is crucial that your essay directly addresses the prompt, leaving the admissions committee with minimal queries about your suitability for the Fletcher community. To achieve this, write with clarity, conciseness, and an absence of grammatical errors.

In line with this, ensure you proofread your essay thoroughly. Consider printing it and reading it aloud, or using a writing assistant tool. Collaborating with trusted colleagues for editing is also a viable option. Allow yourself ample time for multiple drafts, as most errors emerge when rushed. Your initial draft will require refinement, which is perfectly fine, as the essay benefits from ample time to evolve before submission. Embrace the concept of drafting and letting your ideas mature before the final polish.

Remember that your resume already outlines your professional and academic journey. Consequently, avoid excessive recapitulation of information already present in your resume. It’s acceptable to acknowledge your prior experiences, but the most impactful essays delve deeper into how those experiences have shaped your decision to pursue an education at Fletcher.

Lastly, be authentic and aim to infuse a touch of enjoyment into your essay. This is one of the rare opportunities in your application where the admissions committee glimpses your personality (besides optional interviews, of course!). Keep in mind that there is no definitive “right answer” for these essays. We want to understand what truly excites you about global affairs and the Fletcher community. Given our multidisciplinary focus, there’s no such thing as a “typical” Fletcher student – individuality abounds.

I trust that this advice proves beneficial. We eagerly anticipate reviewing your application, especially your essays!

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College Essays


Tufts University has a selective acceptance rate— less than 10% in 2022 . You'll need a strong application to stand out from other applicants, including stellar essays. Luckily, this guide is here to help you out!

In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about the writing portion of Tufts University's application, including what prompts are available and how to answer them.

Feature Image: Jellymuffin40 /Wikimedia Commons


If you want to study at Tufts' Ginn Library, you'll need strong essays. Nurcamp /Wikimedia Commons.

What Should You Know About the Tufts University Essays?

Tufts University uses either the Common or Coalition Application, so choose the one that works best for you . Each one has unique essays, so be sure you follow the correct prompt for whichever application you're using.

Both applications have their own writing sections that you'll need to respond to. These essays are more general than the Tufts essays, but it's still important to follow guidelines and aim to impress with them . They're part of your application, and deserve your best effort! The Common Application has one set of prompts to choose from and the Coalition Application has another , so do some reading ahead of time to plan for which one you'll answer if you need to fill out both applications for different schools.

What Prompts Does the Tufts University Application Have?

Tufts University requires you to apply to a specific school within the university during your application. This shouldn't be a problem if you already know what major you'll be applying to, and Tufts recommends not applying as undecided .

The application should give you the correct set of prompts for whichever school you apply to, but you can also check on Tuft's website .

If you're applying to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, or 5-year Tufts/NEC combined degree, you'll have two essays. One is a classic "Why Tufts?" essay with a Tufts-specific twist, and the second prompt allows you to make your choice of two options.

For applicants to the BFA or 5-year BFA+BA/BS combined degree program, you'll also have two prompts. The first is, again, a classic "Why Tufts?" essay question, while the other asks you to to respond to one of three questions. 


What Are the Tufts University Prompts?

Because the prompts vary between different schools, there's a lot of information to cover for how to write the ideal Tufts essay. But Tufts does provide some helpful advice —"Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too."

In short, be yourself . Tufts doesn't just want to hear your academic qualifications, nor do they want to hear their qualifications as a good school recited to them—they already know!

For School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and Tufts/NEC Degree Applicants:

You have two essays to write for this section. Both are required, but the second prompt offers you three potential choices.

Prompt #1: The "Why Tufts?" Essay

The first prompt, which you have 100 to 150 words to answer, reads:

Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, "Why Tufts?"

This is a pretty straightforward question—it's a version of the popular "Why This College?" essay . You wouldn't be applying to Tufts if you didn't already know that you wanted to go there, right? But always be aware that every other student applying to Tufts also knows that it's a good school. You can't just list qualifications back them; you have to dive a little deeper than that.

Tufts wants to know here is not just what attracts you to the college, but also what you'll bring to it . Let your enthusiasm and fresh ideas shine!

Having said that, a great essay is going to show admissions counselors that you've done your research. Be sure you point to specific parts of the "Tufts undergraduate experience" in your writing! For example, maybe there's a specific professor you want to work with, or a unique program that only Tufts offers that's a great fit for you. The more specific you are, the more you'll show admissions counselors that you're serious about becoming a student at Tufts.

Prompt #2: The Free Choice Essay

The second prompt is a little more complex. It also has a word count of 200 to 250, but includes three options you must choose from:

Now we'd like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions.

A) It's cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

B) How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

C) Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?

These three prompts are a great way to tell the admissions office more about yourself, particularly if you have extracurricular interests that you haven't had the opportunity to discuss yet.

Any of these prompts is a great choice, but you can only choose one. Here's a breakdown of who each prompt is a good fit for:

  • Prompt A: If you're an intellectually curious person, this is a great fit for you. People that fit this mold will engage in learning opportunities outside the classroom and constantly be on the hunt for knowledge. If you're the type that reads news before school or watches documentaries for fun, this is a good prompt for you!
  • Prompt B: This is a good all-around prompt! Generally speaking, most people will have some experience that helps them answer this prompt well. Having said that, this prompt requires you to be thoughtful and introspective. You'll need to understand how your experiences and background have shaped the person you are today.
  • Prompt C: Social justice is an important topic in 2021, and Tufts admissions officers are interested in students who fit with the university's mission of an "inclusive and collaborative" environment. If you have been part of the social justice movement, this would be a great prompt for you.

Keep in mind these are just suggestions. If one of these prompts jumps out to you as a perfect fit, run with it.


If you can't find this key on your keyboard, you'll have to invent it!

How to Answer Prompt A

In this prompt, Tufts wants to hear about your curiosity and interests. There are two ways you can approach this essay, each of which has its benefits and drawbacks.

First, you can choose an intellectual interest you have that relates to your future major. For example, say you're majoring in biology because you want to be in drug development. If that's the case, you can talk about a specific aspect of drug development that gets you excited. Maybe it's developing new vaccine production methods that use plants instead of animals, or maybe you want to develop new drugs to treat chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis.

The trick here is being specific and letting your passion shine through, then tying all of that back to your future studies at Tufts. Don't be afraid to talk about a class you can't wait to take, or a project you hope to explore while you're in school. Just make sure that you're balancing talking about why you're curious with your academic plans. You don't want this to sound exactly like your "Why Tufts?" essay!

The second way you can approach this topic is by choosing something you're curious about that's a passion of yours, even if it isn't related to your major. This has the benefit of showing you're curious about more than just your major field, which is something admissions counselors are looking for.

For example, maybe you want to major in kinesiology, but you love social media and you're curious about how it impacts the ways we behave. You don't have to be majoring in psychology or computer science to write about this topic if you're passionate about it! The trick — and drawback — to going this route is making sure you're still connecting this passion back to your plans as a potential Tufts student. Maybe this curiosity has made you want to join the Tufts Psychology Society so you can learn more about how you can use human behavior and social media to help motivate people in your future career as a physical therapist.

How to Answer Prompt B

This prompt is asking you to write about how your background has shaped your character. Admissions counselors are looking for essays that showcase your thoughtfulness, especially in terms of how your experiences impact you as a person. This is a chance for you to highlight parts of your personality and identity that might not otherwise come across in your admissions materials.

If you choose this essay prompt, you'll want to spend some time figuring out which aspect of your background you want to focus on. Luckily, the prompt gives you a few ideas (family, home, neighborhood, and community) to start with, but you're not limited to those! Maybe you want to talk about an after school program you were a part of, or a sports team you played on for your entire childhood. As long as this experience or environment played a substantial part in your upbringing, it's fair game.

Whatever you choose, make sure you're choosing one thing . Don't talk about your family and your neighborhood and your community. This essay isn't long enough to cover all of that material! Instead, pick one thing and get specific. Explain why was this experience or environment important to you, and go into detail about how it impacted you as a person.

The best answers to this prompt are going to tell a story about your experience that helps readers connect with who you are. Perhaps one of the things that most shaped your character was growing up with five siblings. Tell a story about a specific moment that will help admissions counselors understand what that was like!

And finally, don't forget to connect this back to being a Tufts student by explaining how your character is a good fit for the university. For instance, let's go back to having lots of siblings. Maybe that's taught you to value everyone for their unique personalities because no matter how different you are, everyone brings something special to the table. Because of that, you're excited about making new friends and bringing people together as part of the Tufts community.

How to Answer Prompt C

This prompt is all about social justice. If you're not sure what social justice is, the National Association of Social Workers defines it as "the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities." Put another way, social justice is the fight for equality for everyone regardless of their race, class, or economic status.

To answer this prompt, you'll need to explain how you're learning about, involved in, or fighting for social justice. What steps are you taking to help further this cause in your own life? Note that the prompt uses the term "journey," here. That means admissions counselors aren't expecting you to have this whole "social justice" thing figured out! So don't worry if you haven't arranged a march in your community or taken up donations to help with the Black Lives Matter movement. Admissions counselors are more interested in how you're learning about the social justice movement and making changes in your life to support that cause.

Here's the thing: if you're not part of the social justice movement or aren't comfortable with the idea, do not write this Tufts essay. You're given essay options for a reason! Admissions counselors are trained to sniff out falsehoods, so the worst thing you could do is fib about your social justice work. It's okay if this isn't a good topic for you!

If you do choose this prompt, make sure you start with a story. Did you participate in a march? Have you volunteered with a social justice oriented organization? Telling a specific story about your experience will help readers connect with you as a person. It's also okay if your experience with social justice was talking with a friend about it and realizing that you can do more to support the cause. Like the old saying goes: it's not about the destination — it's about what you're learning in the process.

Also, be honest about what your journey so far. It's okay to say you're still learning, or that the journey has been tough. Admissions counselors value authenticity, and the truth is that fighting for social justice can be hard. Just make sure you're keeping your discussion as positive as you can! Focus on what you've learned and how hard you're trying to make a difference.

And of course, be sure you tie this all back to Tufts. Explain how your understanding of social justice will affect how you participate in your classes and on-campus events. Make it clear that you're going to bring a spirit of equity with you to campus since that's what admissions counselors want to see in future Tufts students.


For BFA, 5-Year BFA+BA/BS at SMFA Applicants:

This section has two required essays. You don't have any choice over which prompts you'll be answering, which eliminates some of the struggle to choose the best option for you.

Prompt #1: The "Why SMFA at Tufts?" Essay

The first prompt, which must be answered in 100 to 150 words, reads:

Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts?

This prompt is similar to the "Why Tufts?" essay prompt, but with a slightly different focus. SMFA at Tufts is the School of the Museum of Fine arts program at Tufts , so it's definitely for those interested in the arts.

The admissions office wants to see you demonstrate what exactly draws you to this school over others, and what specifically drives you to seek an art degree . What will you get out of Tufts that you couldn't get elsewhere? How will an art degree enrich your life, and how will you use that degree in the future?

Colleges want to foster intellectual growth in their communities, which is why they ask for more than a standard "this is a good school" answer. They want to know why you want to attend, but they also want to know what you're bringing to the community .

Browsing Tufts and SMFA at Tufts galleries are a great way to get some inspiration. Can you see your artwork fitting in there? What will you offer that isn't already represented?

Think about art that you've created or art that you want to create . How will Tufts help you get there? What makes you want to pursue an art degree, rather than art as a supplement to another field? Clearly articulating your interest and commitment will demonstrate that you're a good fit for Tufts to the admissions office.

Prompt #2: The Art Prompt

The second prompt, also with a 200 to 250 word count, reads:

Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. What are the ideas you'd like to explore in your work?

This question dives a little bit deeper into your artistic mind. It's not enough to create art that is beautiful on a surface level—Tufts wants to know that you're thinking about your art meaningfully, too .

This prompt is essentially an artist's statement , though it's focused more on your artistic intent on a large scale rather than on an individual piece. Look through some of your favorite art you've created and think about common themes and recurring ideas, even if you didn't intend for them to be there . What concepts are you trying to explore, even subconsciously?

Consider not just what your art looks or sounds like, but also what it's made of and why you chose to make it that way. Think beyond availability or ease of use—always keep the question of "why" in your mind.

Themes are good, but try not to go too general or invent something that isn't there. Much of art is about capturing beauty, so try to think deeper than that. And if you're going to claim that your art critiques or represents something, you need to be able to demonstrate that— analyze what you've created to show how it connects to your themes, don't simply project something over the top and hope that admissions officers don't notice it wasn't really there .


What Do Tufts Essays That Worked Look Like?

Thankfully, Tufts University isn't shy about putting accepted essays online for applicants to browse. While some of these essays apply to older topics, they'll still help you get a sense of what admissions counselors are looking for in excellent students (and their essays).

"Why Tufts?" Essay That Worked

I vividly remember stepping onto the roof of Tisch Library and seeing a group of kids sitting in hammocks, overlooking the Boston skyline. I briefly tuned out my tour guide's presentation and began to eavesdrop. The students covered everything from physics to what they had for lunch that day. When they spoke about physics, they did not speak with pretension; instead they spoke with passion. Likewise, when they spoke about something as simple as lunch, they did so with witty intrigue. Tufts students are as interesting as they are interested. This description not only resonates with me, it defines me.

This essay does an excellent job of answering the questions at the core of the "Why Tufts?" essay. The writer channels an experience they had while at Tufts, detailing how listening in on other students solidified their desire to attend. They use words like "passion" to describe Tufts students, showing traits they also want to channel.

The ending really hits on something important: this student wanted to be part of the student body because the students they overheard were not only interesting people, but also interested . Remember the prompts mention of being "intellectually playful?" This is the perfect way to demonstrate curiosity, interest, and love of learning int he specific context of Tufts .

"What Have You Created?" Essay That Worked

This essay applies to an older prompt that asked students to talk about one of their creations. Here's what this student had to say:

When people talk about building something, creating it, they most often mean something physical. Engineers, architects, and laborers, these are the professions that I think of as making things. I've never been much of a builder, I lack that particular understanding of the world that is required to envision what you will build, and have never been coordinated enough to make much of anything with my hands, but I can create. What I have made is not something you can hold or touch, it spans no gaps and holds no weight, and I can't even claim to have laid a single finger on its construction. My creation is a poem, or rather, poems. Series of letters symbolic of sounds strung together to make words, which are in turn collected into lines and stanzas, pieces of a whole. My poems cannot be touched, but they can touch you; though they won't form a bridge, they can cross a divide; and while you'll never be able to weigh them on a scale, the weight of the ideas they hold can be felt the moment you read them. So I may not be an engineer or an architect or a laborer, but I am a creator. I craft words into meaning, forge lines into rhymes, and sculpt imaginations. So even if I can't hold what I make, I can watch it take shape and see its impact on the world.

This essay does an excellent job of answering the question not just by stating the answer, but by embodying it . It's clear that the student is a writer; their language is vivid, immediate, and playful, demonstrating how strong their grasp is on word meanings and sentence structure.

Importantly, this essay doesn't disparage other disciplines—it interprets poetry using language physical creators might use, such as "spans," "bridge," and "weight.

There's a great deal of creativity and intellectual play in this essay, which serve to set the writer apart from students who might have focused more on the existence of the thing they'd built (a souped-up car engine, for example) than the function of the thing they'd built (a souped-up car engine that reduces carbon emissions, for example).

When tackling this prompt, think about how you, too, can exemplify your creation in your essay .


Think like a dolphin: smart and playful!

Key Points for Your Tufts Essays

Best practices for Tufts essays are similar to other schools, but there are some special considerations to keep in mind.

Pay Attention to Tufts' Intellectual Bent

Tufts makes a point of using words like "playful" and "intellectual." These suggest a curiosity about the world that goes beyond wanting to attend a good school because it's a good school. Keep them in mind as you're writing— how can you demonstrate your own curiosity and interest in the world?

Remember That Tufts Is a Research University

You'll be interacting more with graduate students than you would in other settings . Not only will this give you a leg up in applying to grad school, but it will also grant you the opportunity to think more deeply than if you were only exposed to other undergrads.

Demonstrating an interest in learning from other students and participating in a learning community is a great way to show that you're interested in the unique experience of attending a research university.

Choose the Prompts That Are Right for You

Because Tufts has two different sets of prompts depending which school you'll be attending, be sure you select the right ones. Further, be sure you really maximize each prompt's potential— the rest of your application covers academics, so use your essay to showcase what really makes you stand out .

What's Next?

Before you get started on writing your essays, you'll want to know what kind of admission requirements Tufts has . Great essays are important, but you should also demonstrate academic success!

Plan to get the best scores possible on your standardized tests, too. Reading about ACT and GPA requirements ahead of time can help you plan your academic strategy, as can reading about SAT requirements . Use these guides to get a head start!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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tufts accepted essays

August 8, 2023

Tufts University School of Medicine Secondary Application Essay Tips [2023-2024]

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tufts accepted essays

The Tufts University School of Medicine describes its fundamental mission as promoting human health, with an emphasis on leadership and clinical care. It is looking for students with a strong background in the fundamentals of science who want to apply that work in a clinical setting. The school’s curriculum emphasizes early patient contact along with full integration of the sciences. Because the Tufts medical school is focused on classes where there is a dynamic environment with a great deal of peer-to-peer work, you should emphasize your ability to lead and contribute to a medical school class in your application.

tufts accepted essays

Tufts Medical School secondary application essay questions

Tufts secondary essay #1.

Do you wish to include any comments (in addition to those already provided in your AMCAS application) to the Admissions Committee at Tufts University School of Medicine? Please explain briefly. ( 1000 characters)

You can use this space to write about anything not in the AMCAS. Be sure you do not repeat your personal statement. This is a good place to indicate anything specific about Tufts or about your personal background that relates to your med school application. Some applicants use this space to write about a personal experience that is particularly relevant and not included elsewhere in their application. Others write about a personal circumstance, an opportunity or job offer that arose at some point after they submitted the AMCAS primary application.

This is also a great place to say why you want to attend Tufts Medical School .

Tufts secondary essay #2

Please briefly describe your plans for the coming year. Include in this explanation if you will be a student, working, conducting research, volunteering, etc. (1000 characters)

A thousand characters is approximately 200 words – not a lot. Discuss what you plan to do in the upcoming year that most shows your fit with Tufts’ vision, mission, and values . If you are a rising senior, will you have any leadership positions? What do you hope to accomplish in those roles? What research, if any, will you conduct? What community service will you do? Where will you participate as a clinician?

If you are taking a gap year, show, as discussed in this Admissions Straight Talk episod e, that it’s going to be a growth year. What will you accomplish at work? How will you immerse yourself in different populations? Will you work as a scribe (excellent clinical exposure)? Will you participate in a research project? Be included as an author?

Highlight plans that demonstrate your commitment to medicine as Tufts sees it and that indicate that you will be a valuable member of the school’s next incoming class.

Tufts secondary essay #3

How might you contribute to the diversity of the student body of Tufts University School of Medicine? (1000 characters)

For this question, you should consider diversity in all its forms : race, ethnicity, language, family background, economic circumstances, education, gender identity, sexuality, ability, and past experience. Consider how you might interact with a diverse group of medical students and contribute to your class. It is not enough to simply say that you are diverse; you need to explain how that makes you a more appealing applicant. If you are struggling to come up with ways to describe your individuality, I encourage you to interpret the question broadly and explain how your experiences make you a unique and worthwhile candidate who is going to contribute a special background, perspective, or experience to Tuft’s class.

Tufts secondary essay #4

Given how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the world these past few years, please contextualize how your experiences have been affected which might include your personal, professional and educational journey. (1000 characters)

It is true, COVID-19 derailed the majority of volunteer work, shadowing, academic research, internships and MCAT plans for medical school applicants. The good news, though, is that you’re not alone. 

Tufts wants you to explain how you were affected , broken down into three categories:

Personally: Were you or your family affected? Did you or someone in your home get sick? Did you or someone in your home have to quarantine? 

Professionally: Did you lose your job as a scribe, a scientist, a caregiver, a lab manager during a gap year during which you planned to work? Did your workplace rapidly shift its practice to “safe distancing” and amp up disinfecting routines? What new opportunities surfaced?

Educationally: Did your winter or spring 2020 grades convert to Pass/Fail grades? How has this changed your transcripts and GPA? Did you have to stop shadowing a physician? Did you have to delay taking the MCAT?

If you were personally affected, definitely explain this, briefly. There’s no room in this prompt to write an involved story. (It has a 1000-character limit.) 

It’s likely this prompt is a place for Tufts to easily and uniformly locate information on how applicants were affected by COVID-19, across applications. That’s practical. So, stay clear and categorize in the manner the school asks: personal, professional, and educational.

Also, consider that this prompt offers a brief opportunity to place in context the effect of a public health crisis that no one could foresee, perhaps in your concluding comment. Avoid self-pity. Avoid woe-is-me. Convey instead how you, a future doctor, adjusted and engaged the crisis. How did you step up to the pandemic in some kind of innovative way?

Tufts secondary essay #5

Do you have any withdrawals or repeated coursework listed on your transcript(s)? Please explain briefly. (1000 characters)

Provide logical explanations for withdrawals and repeated coursework in a manner that demonstrates that you have paid attention to your academic performance as a value and means to an academic goal. Don’t elaborate on any personality conflicts or situational anxiety. Repeated coursework can reflect positively on your motivation as a student, in that it could show that you wanted more time to master a challenging curriculum or wanted to demonstrate more accurate competency than was reflected the first time you took the class.

Tufts secondary essay #6

Did you take any leaves of absence or significant breaks from your undergraduate education? (Do not include time off after graduation.) Please explain briefly. (1000 characters)

Sometimes, students take leaves of absence for medical reasons, personal reasons (typically a family issue such as illness, hospitalization, or trauma), or financial reasons (needing to work). Keep your explanation matter-of-fact, straightforward, and reasonable.

Tufts secondary essay #7

We understand that many applicants encounter academic hardships along the way. Please comment on any academic difficulties that you have encountered since completing high school (grades and MCAT scores) and that you believe might adversely affect your likelihood of medical school acceptance. We believe that such difficulties offer an opportunity for growth and would appreciate learning how your experiences have affected your approach to academics. If you have not encountered any difficulties, you may answer ‘No’. (1000 characters)

Some applicants use this essay to address dyslexia or learning accommodations they needed and to explain how they learned to prevail academically. Some address an unexpected challenge of adjusting to college life, which typically looks like lower grades in one’s freshman year, with progressive and clear improvements thereafter. Others tell a story about a life situation that arose and caused them to take time off to work, heal, or grieve. The key to telling a story like this is to conclude by expressing that you returned stronger, which should be evidenced on your transcript.

Tufts secondary essay #8

Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Misdemeanor crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile 2) any convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court, or 3) any misdemeanor convictions for which any probation has been completed and the case dismissed by the court (in states where applicable)? (1000 characters)

If you have pled guilty or no contest to a misdemeanor crime, you must answer this question truthfully and directly . Do not be evasive. Own the mistake. Keep in mind that admissions committees are fully aware of the life lessons of youth, so it would be best to conclude briefly with what the experience taught you. 

Do not answer this question if your circumstances are covered by an exclusion; your answer should simply be “no.” 

If your answer to this question is yes, even though the prompt doesn’t ask for an explanation, it would be best to provide a brief description of the crime; whether or not you were found guilty, pled guilty, or entered a plea of “no contest”; and what you’ve done since then to walk the line. Have you been sober for 16 months? Do you volunteer for a crisis hotline? Are you an active member of a support group?

Applying to Tufts Medical School? Here are some stats:

Tufts average MCAT score: 514

Tufts average GPA: 3.74

Tufts acceptance rate: 4.5%

U.S. News & World Report ranks Tufts #53 for research and #50 for primary care.

Check out the Med School Selectivity Index for more stats.

Tufts Medical School admissions timeline

Source: Tufts University School of Medicine website

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with Tufts directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***

Mary Mahoney Admissions Expert

Related Resources:

  • Make the Most of Your Experiences for ERAS
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Medical School Recommendation Letters
  • The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Medical School Applications

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How to Get Into Tufts: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

June 6, 2023

tufts accepted essays

Situated just five miles outside of Boston, the campus of Tufts University has long been a destination point for high-achieving teens in the Northeastern United States. However, as with many other prestigious institutions over the last few decades, Tufts has seen a consistently climbing number of applications and a commensurate decline in acceptance rates. Between 1990 and 2000, Tufts experienced 87% growth in the number of annual applicants. From 2001 to 2022, the number of applications rose from approximately 12,000 to almost 35,000 in this current cycle.

Even more than in previous years, gaining acceptance into Tufts requires, for most applicants, an A/A- average in a full roster of the most rigorous courses available to you as well as extracurricular involvement/talents, and SAT/ACT scores that exceed the 95th percentile. On that last note, it’s important to know that the school has adopted a test-optional policy that will still be in effect for those applying in the 2023-24 cycle.

Given the highly-selective nature of Tufts, applicants need to be well informed and understand the level of competition at this university. Toward that aim, this article will touch upon:

  • Tufts acceptance rate
  • Tufts Early Decision acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted Tufts applicants
  • Admissions trends from the Class of 2027
  • The demographics of current Tufts undergraduates
  • Tufts’ yield rate
  • How Tufts’ admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to Tufts
  • Tufts University Essay Prompts
  • How to assess whether applying to Tufts is even worth the $85 application fee (for you)

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Tufts Acceptance Rate – 2023

Out of approximately 34,000 applicants, the Tufts acceptance rate in 2023 was just 9.5%. This is a touch lower than in the last few years which saw the following acceptance rates:

  • Class of 2026: 9.7%

Tufts’ Early Decision Acceptance Rate

This university offers an Early Decision 1 deadline of November 1 and an Early Decision 2 deadline of January 4. Tufts does not report current early decision admissions data, but we do know some of the peripheral statistics. For instance, ED applications for the Class of 2025 were up 19% from the previous cycle. The past few years, the total number applying ED was in the neighborhood of 2,000-2,500 individuals. It’s a solid bet that applying ED (I or II) yields a substantial advantage—however, the true degree of that edge is unknown.

Tufts Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

Those enrolled in the Class of 2026 sported middle-50th percentile standardized test scores of 1460-1540 on the SAT and 33-35 on the ACT. An impressive 87% of 2022-23 freshmen hailed from the top 10% of their high school class and 97% placed in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • 40% of applicants applied via the test-optional policy, down from 44% the previous year.
  • 57% of admitted domestic students in the 2022-23 cycle identified as people of color.
  • 11% of the admitted members of the Class of 2027 are first-generation students.
  • 52% of those accepted into the School of Engineering for the Class of 2027 were women.
  • International students from 75 countries made up 11% of accepted students last year.

Who Actually Gets Into Tufts University?

First, let’s now look at the demographics of the Tufts Class of 2026.

The states producing the greatest number of 2022-23 freshmen were:

  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania

As at any highly-selective university, competition is toughest among those hailing from states with endless streams of qualified applicants (see above). If you hail from a less-populated state like West Virginia, Montana, or Arkansas, your location is more likely to provide a boost to your admissions chances.

The countries from which the highest percentage of Class of 2026 international students hail from are (in order):

  • South Korea

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of members of the Class of 2026 was as follows:

  • Asian American: 19%
  • Hispanic: 11%
  • African American: 8%
  • Two or More Races: 10%

Tufts University Acceptance Rate 2023 (Continued)

The breakdown by gender of 2022-23 freshmen student body notably favors women:

  • Female: 55%
  • Non-binary: 4%

Last year’s freshman cohort attended the following types of high schools:

  • Public: 54%
  • Independent/Religious/Parochial: 46%

Next, let’s look at Tufts University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted is 50%. For comparison, many other top private universities have slightly higher yield rates such as Northwestern and Duke.

How Tufts Rates Applicants

There are six factors that Tufts ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, GPA, class rank, the essays, recommendations, and character/personal characteristics. Extracurricular activities and talent/ability are designated as “important”. Considered factors are: standardized test scores, the admissions interview, first-generation status, legacy status, geographical residence, ethnicity, volunteer work, work experience, and the level of demonstrated interest.

In the words of the admissions office: “Make sure to take the time to truly look over your extracurricular and awards section to add in any additional details or activities that you have been involved with. Tufts and many other schools (not all, but many) will not evaluate your resume as a part of your application.” They also warn: “Don’t let the college application process consume your life at the expense of your other responsibilities. When your schedule feels jam-packed, I encourage you to prioritize your academic success in your senior year courses – this will pay off most in the application process.”

Tips for Applying to Tufts

If you plan on joining the roughly 34,000 aspiring Jumbos for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • As noted earlier, the test-optional policy at Tufts University is in effect for at least the next three cycles.
  • On the Common Application, you are required to list the School/Program to which you are applying. This can be a) the School of Arts and Sciences b) the School of Engineering c) BFA program d) BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree or e) 5-year Combined Degree with the New England Conservatory.
  • Tufts does not offer on-campus interviews with admission staff; however, first-year applicants can request an optional evaluative interview with an alumni member of the Tufts Admissions Network.
  • Tufts does weigh “ demonstrated interest ” in the admissions process. Therefore, it will be noted whether or not you made a campus visit (in non-pandemic times), contacted an admissions officer, etc.
  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental short-answer essays required by Tufts. In the 2022-23 cycle the prompts are as follows:

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:

1) Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, “Why Tufts?” (100-150 words)

2) Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words).

A) It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

B) How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

C) Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?

For detailed advice on each prompt, visit our blog entitled: Tufts University Essay Prompts and Tips .

Tufts university acceptance rate 2023 (final thoughts).

With acceptance rates falling under 10% in recent years, Tufts University is a school that is looking for students who sit among the very top of their high school class and have posted SAT/ACT that are at or above the 95th percentile. Remember, even though there is room for those who take advantage of the newly adopted test-optional policy, the median SAT score for one recent class was 1,500. With such a competitive admissions process, all students need to make sure that they, in conjunction with a counselor, formulate an  appropriate college list , containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. Hopefully your dream of entering the next Tufts freshman class becomes a reality, but, in the event that things don’t unfold as hoped, you’ll still end up at an institution with comparable attributes and opportunities.

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Tufts University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Regular Decision Deadline: Mar 15

You Have: 

Tufts University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements:  1 essay of 100-150 words; 1 essay of 200-250 words.

Supplemental Essay Type: Why , Oddball

Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. 

Applicants to the school of arts & sciences or the school of engineering:, please respond to one of the following three prompts in 200-250 words:, it’s cool to love learning. what excites your intellectual curiosity.

Tufts wants to accept intellectually curious applicants, so why not use this opportunity to rant and rave about your current obsession? Maybe you find marine life to be absolutely fascinating, and you’ve been reading up on the most dangerous creatures in the deep dark sea (and their preferred prey, of course). Or maybe you are super interested in Greek mythology and have been voraciously reading every book you can find on Poseidon and his many adventures. When was the last time you went down an internet rabbit hole trying to research something? When were you extremely motivated to solve a problem or create something new? What was the last fact or skill you learned outside of school that truly captured your imagination? The bottom line here is to discuss examples of what truly fascinates you, while also reflecting on what these examples say about your personality traits, interests, or learning style.

How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

This is a classic community essay, through and through. Admissions wants to know what or who has made you into the person you are today. Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person, and how has that made your perspective unique? What you focus on here can be reflective of larger cultural constructs or specific to you and only you. Tufts is looking to add diverse perspectives to the melting pot that is their student body. Is there anything you can teach your classmates about your hometown, traditions, culture, cuisine, orientation, identity, race, or ethnicity that they might not already know? Were you raised in a Muslim family in a small southern town? Do you identify as trans or queer? Were you adopted as a child? What has influenced your identity? What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at Tufts?

Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community.

First of all, let us remind you that your “community” can be just about anything, from your neighborhood to your family to your comedy troupe. Pick a community that means something to you and the diversity narrative will fall into place. Maybe your progressive church welcomes people of all sexualities and gender identities, and you developed a brand new youth group for queer and questioning teens. Perhaps your school is incredibly homogenous and isolated, and you helped your Spanish class organize Skype chats with a school in Guatemala to learn more about different parts of the world while developing your Spanish skills. No matter your starting point, be sure you tell a clear story with a beginning, middle, and end that demonstrates your commitment to creating inclusive environments. It might be tempting to pen a vivid description of your community and leave it at that, but the point of an essay like this is to tell a story about you and your contributions.

Applicants to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts:

Please respond to the following prompt in 200-250 words:, art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. what are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work   .

Tufts wants to know what kinds of ideas keep you up at night. Your response doesn’t need to have static answers that will stay with you, of course; your ideas will change over your evolving life as an artist, but now is the time to try to pin down a basic explanation of what your art means to you, what it addresses, and for bonus points: why you want to spend the rest of your life immersed in it. Ultimately, like with all written components of your application, it’s integral to be highly specific and use personal details to bring your essay to life. This isn’t the place to be modest or undersell yourself; present your work proudly and succinctly, and admissions is sure to be impressed. Inspiration can be infectious, so be passionate and take them on a journey into your mind.

In addition, we will ask all applicants to complete this sentence in 100 words or less:

“i am applying to tufts because…” .

Well, well, well… the admissions department wants to know why you hope to attend Tufts University next fall. What a surprise. Start by browsing the Tufts website and reminding yourself why this school is on your list to begin with! Does Tufts offer a specific major that’s hard to find at other institutions? Is there a professor you’d really like to learn from or a club you want to join? What do you have to offer Tufts’ community? Maybe your favorite classes are the ones in which you and your peers discuss literature and debate symbolism. Perhaps you are the punniest person you know and think this core part of your character will help you assimilate into Tufts’ playful culture smoothly. Whatever your reasoning may be, share it with admissions—and be concise! 

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First-Year Student Applicants

At Tufts, we accept the Common Application , the Coalition Application , and we are a  QuestBridge  college partner.

Application Deadlines

Please also note the separate financial aid deadlines . 

Materials Submission Deadlines

Applicants can use their applicant status portal to check on the completeness of their admissions file.

Early Decision I

Early Decision II

Regular Decision

Application Checklist

A complete application includes the following items, which are required:.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Tufts requires one letter from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course (math, natural science, social science, English, or a world language) and one letter from a school counselor for all applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering. BFA applicants must submit two letters of recommendation: one from a school counselor and one from an art teacher. Combined Degree (BFA+BA/BS) applicants must submit three letters of recommendation: one from a school counselor, one from an art teacher, and one from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course. An additional letter from all other applicants, though not encouraged, may be submitted if the student feels it can add new perspective to their application.
  • Extracurricular Activities: In addition to evaluating an academic fit, the admissions committee looks for ways a student may contribute to the community as a whole. They will assess the level and type of involvement in each activity and may ask questions such as: Has the student been a significant contributor or leader? How has the involvement contributed to the school or larger community? Does the student have a special talent in a particular area? We do not expect all students to be team captains, class presidents, or editors-in-chief; rather, we look for meaningful involvement in their school and/or community—this can also include significant at-home or family responsibilities. The Common Application allows students to list up to ten different activities, but you don't need to fill every space. 
  • Completed Tufts Short-Answer Questions  
  • High School Transcript(s)
  • Senior Grades : All applicants will be required to send their senior grades as part of their application. Students applying Early Decision I should send first quarter or trimester grades no later than the last week in November. Students applying Early Decision II should plan for their first semester or trimester grades to arrive no later than the third week in January. Finally, Regular Decision applicants should submit their first semester or trimester grades by the middle of February. Students studying outside the United States (where predicted grades are common) should send those if senior grades are not available.
  • English Proficiency Test Scores : Required only for applicants whose primary language is not English, unless they have been enrolled in a school where English is the language of instruction for at least three years. Students enrolled in ESOL classes during secondary school may be asked for proof of proficiency. Click  here  for additional information. 
  • Visual Art Portfolio : Required only for students applying to the BFA or Combined Degree BFA+BA/BS programs at SMFA at Tufts. Your visual art portfolio should consist of 15-20 images and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work. The ideal portfolio will demonstrate your conceptual development while highlighting your technical abilities. We encourage you to submit work that you believe to be the strongest representation of your skills and experiences to date, regardless of medium. You will upload your visual art portfolio after submitting your application by logging in to your applicant portal. Find more information and resources about portfolio guidelines here . After submitting your application, you will receive a link to your Tufts applicant portal. Submit your portfolio by selecting the “Digital Portfolio” tab in your applicant portal, where detailed upload instructions can be found.
  • A digital request indicated on the Common Application or Coalition Application powered by Scoir, or
  • A written request from your school counselor or secondary school official who can attest that the fee would represent a financial hardship, or
  • A College Board College Application Fee Waiver form. 

These additions to the application are optional, meaning they are not required:

  • Tufts has made the decision to suppress/(hide) the SAT and ACT test scores on the Common Application for ALL students applying. This means that when you submit your standardized test scores, you will not see them in the application or on the PDF of your Common Application. Even though they will not be visible to you, those test scores WILL be a part of the data our admissions team receives, and they will become a part of your application and be visible in your Tufts application to our admissions officers.
  • Optional Alumni Interview
  • Arts or Maker Portfolio : As the Application Checklist indicates above, the Art Portfolio is required for students applying to the BFA or Combined Degree BFA+BA/BS programs at SMFA at Tufts. Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering may submit an optional arts or maker portfolio to highlight talent in studio art, drama, dance, music, or engineering. After submitting your application, you will receive a link to your Tufts applicant portal. Submit your portfolio by selecting the “Digital Portfolio” tab in your applicant portal, choosing a portfolio category from the drop-down menu, and uploading your media. Information about the optional engineering Maker Portfolio can be found here .

Please also note that applying for financial aid is a separate process, with its own required documents.

We reserve the right to evaluate an application and make a final decision, even if all parts of the application have not been received.

Submitting your application.

All application materials are submitted online via the Common Application website,  Coalition Application website , or through the QuestBridge National College Match application , including high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. If there are materials that cannot be sent electronically, those materials may be mailed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions Tufts University Bendetson Hall 2 The Green Medford, MA 02155-7057

PA Program Admissions

​​ Return to Main PA Program Page

How to Apply

The  CASPA Application Portal opens on April 25, 2024 , at which time applicants for January 2025  start date  may begin an application . Do not submit the application until all final transcripts are received.

Please note that the Tufts PA Program has a Green Deadline, August 1, 2024 (See  CASPA's deadline definitions ). Applicants  should  aim to have all items submitted by July 1, 2024 in order to meet the "verified-by" deadline of August 1.

Applications must meet CASPA and Tufts requirements:

  • Application e-submitted in CASPA with application fee paid
  • Resume/CV is uploaded
  • Patient Care Document found in CASPA is completed and uploaded
  • All official transcripts received by CASPA
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation received by CASPA
  • Third letter of recommendation (references from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as one of the three required recommendations)
  • Optional Official GRE/MCAT Scores ( if choosing to submit as part of the application)
  • Two short essays (around 1,000–1,500 characters each)
  • TOEFL Scores (if required)

Once an application meets CASPA and Tufts requirements for submission, the application will be reviewed by the admissions team to ensure minimum GPA and patient care experience hours have been met. Applications that are complete, verified, and meet minimum requirements will then be sent to the PA Admissions Committee for review and consideration for interview.

In addition to the application materials, there are also a set of prerequisite requirements students must meet.

Review Prerequisite Requirements

Application Requirements

Below are all the application requirements for admission to Tufts' PA program. Prospective applicants are advised to review this information carefully.

Official transcripts

Official Transcripts must reflect:

  • All undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework taken,
  • All required  prerequisite coursework  with final grades, and
  • An official, final transcript indicating completion of the bachelor's degree (Applicants must request official transcripts from their Registrars' offices that include a date of graduation/degree conferral date.)
  • Overall 3.0 GPA for Science and Prerequisite requirements.

ALL official, final transcripts from all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate institutions attended (degree and non-degree) should be sent to:

CASPA - P.O. Box 9108 - Watertown, MA 02471

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the Transcript Request Form provided by CASPA, which will be available once attended institutions have been listed. PDFs, unofficial and/or photocopied transcripts will not be accepted. Applicants should NOT send any transcripts or evaluations directly to the PA Program.

Note that CASPA will not update transcripts after an application is submitted so applicants should NOT send:

  • Transcripts with in-progress coursework to CASPA. If an application is received without all prerequisites complete or final grades listed, it may not be reviewed for admission.
  • Updated transcripts to CASPA after verification. Any grades reported as part of Academic Update will NOT be verified and CASPA GPAs will NOT be updated.

International/Study Abroad

International transcripts (except English-speaking Canadian) will not be accepted, but CASPA will accept a foreign transcript evaluation report (Tufts requires  WES evaluation ). An applicant should report study abroad on CASPA if they:

  • Studied via an overseas U.S. institution
  • Studied via another U.S. institution
  • Studied via a study abroad company, directly via your undergrad institution or any other method

A WES evaluation of foreign transcripts is necessary ONLY if the applicant took a Tufts PA Program  prerequisite course  during their study abroad and if the CREDITS AND/OR GRADES for these courses DO NOT APPEAR on their undergraduate transcript. Send all WES evaluations to CASPA for verification of courses.

Get directions on entering study abroad information properly in CASPA .

Evidence of a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care

One thousand (1,000) hours of  direct patient care experience  must be completed and documented in the application. ALL direct patient care experience should be added in the "Experience" section of the application. Please request references to verify direct patient care performance and responsibilities. Applicants are NOT required to provide an official document stating completion of the experience.

Patient Care Document

The purpose of this document is to capture the types of hands-on patient care experiences candidates have performed in their clinical work. The committee does not expect candidates to have had the opportunity to perform all of the listed experiences.

The link to the Patient Care document can be found in the CASPA application (Qualtrics link). Candidates are required to complete and upload this document in the clinical/professional section in CASPA. If an error is made in generating the Patient Care Document, the link may be reused to redo the survey to generate a new document.

View directions to generate Patient Care Document

Three letters of recommendation

The first two letters of recommendation should be received by July 1 at 11:59pm ET, and the third recommendation (required by Tufts) MUST be received by CASPA no later than August 1 at 11:59pm ET. Applications will not be reviewed by the Tufts School of Medicine PA Admissions Committee until at least three letters of recommendation have been received by CASPA.

All letters must be completed via CASPA's online evaluator portal. An electronic request from CASPA Messenger will be sent immediately to each reference once the applicant saves the references’ information into the CASPA system. The evaluator will be asked to complete a skills rating and then attach their letter of reference to the evaluation. Applicants will be able to check on the status of electronic letters via the CASPA applicant portal. Up to five references can be submitted through CASPA in this manner, even after application submission and verification. Letters of recommendation will not be accepted by any other method.

These letters of recommendation should reflect the applicant’s ability to perform graduate-level work, and address the individual’s professionalism, integrity, and motivation. Prior employers, professional colleagues, and academic advisors are acceptable references.  References from shadowing experiences will not be accepted as one of the three required recommendations.

At least one reference should be from a supervisor of a direct patient care experience to substantiate the applicant’s experience and performance in that capacity. Please note that all direct patient care experiences are subject to verification by the program.

A Committee Letter of Reference may be submitted electronically and will be considered as one reference.

Optional Official Test Scores (GRE or MCAT)

Please note that submitting official tests score is optional. This means that scores are not required but can be submitted if a candidate completed the exam. If applicants would like us to consider their exam results as a component of their candidacy, we will do so in a contextual way. If students choose not to submit exam results, the application will not be penalized. Our admissions committee has a holistic approach when evaluating each application. This provides us with the flexibility to evaluate academic and experience accomplishments within a candidate’s individual context.

If a student chooses to submit a test score, they must send it officially from the provider directly to Tufts, and the official test score(s) must be received by CASPA no later than August 1 at 11:59pm ET. Please note, test scores do not arrive in real time.

Scores should be sent to CASPA electronically three weeks prior to August 1 (to ensure they arrive before the deadline) using the Designated Institution Code 0438 (Tufts U Sch Medicine CASPA). This code was specifically created for the Tufts School of Medicine PA Program and will ensure that the Tufts PA program receives applicants' score(s). GRE scores do not arrive to CASPA in real time. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will send new GRE Scores to CASPA up to twice per week. Scores are reported 10-15 days after taking the GRE. Applicants should not have scores sent directly to Tufts as they will not be matched up with an application.

How to send your official test scores to CASPA

Scores are sent to CASPA electronically from AAMC. PAPER COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact AAMC to have MCAT scores released to CASPA, and then can self-report the MCAT score in the “Standardized Tests” section along with the individual AAMC ID#.

An applicant's name, date of birth, and AAMC ID# are used to match the information on the MCAT exam. If the NAME or DATE OF BIRTH appears differently on the MCAT than it does on CASPA, the scores will NOT post automatically to the applicant's account. If the name is different on the test, contains punctuation, or the applicant made an error entering their date of birth information, they must wait the 10-12 day processing time and call CASPA customer service. CASPA can look up the name and manually connect the test score to the desired application.

Two Short Essays

Within the CASPA application, you will have two short essay prompts:

  • Short Essay 1 (1,000 character limit): Describe what positive contributions you can make to the PA profession and to Tufts University School of Medicine's PA Program.
  • Short Essay 2 (1,500 character limit): Please tell us about your journey to PA school and how your background and experiences will positively impact your future as a medical provider. If you have experienced personal circumstances or hardships that have helped you develop qualities that you believe will allow you to better serve your future patients and the medical community as a whole, please share those experiences in your response.

Resume (indicating where and how a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care has been earned)

Applicants are required to upload a resume to CASPA (under the Documents section > "CV/Resume" section).

IMPORTANT: The Tufts School of Medicine PA program reserves the right to verify any experiences listed in the application and/or resume, especially all direct patient care experiences listed.

Specific Applicant Groups & Additional Considerations

Below are guidelines for applicants in special categories along with additional factors considered by the admissions committee.

Recent College Graduates (May 2024)

Students who are set to graduate from their undergraduate institutions in May will likely not have their final official transcripts at the time of application. Please note the following:

E-submit an official final transcript to CASPA before July 1. Even if your transcript may not yet include the degree conferral date, you must e-submit an official final transcript to CASPA before July 1. This allows the application verification process to begin. Please call CASPA customer service to confirm whether the received transcript includes the date of degree conferral.

If your first transcript does not include the date of degree conferral, you must request a second, updated transcript with the degree conferral date to be sent to CASPA no later than August 1 . This updated transcript will be added to your application. The PA Admissions Office will then verify that the degree has been conferred, allowing you to move forward to the prerequisite review process.

Note: All prerequisite courses must be completed at the time of application submission in CASPA.

International Applicants

International applicants are those who are citizens of any foreign country (including Canada) who do not hold a United States permanent resident visa (green card). Permanent resident visa status is equivalent to U.S. citizenship for the purposes of our admission process and U.S. federal student loan programs.

International applicants are eligible to apply to the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program, but should be advised that we admit very few and give strong preference to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We also give strong preference to applicants who have completed their undergraduate work at a U.S. college or university. The international students admitted to the Tufts PA Program are usually students who have earned bachelor's degrees in the United States.

Please note that any coursework completed outside of the United States or  English-speaking Canada  must be evaluated by  World Education Services  (WES). We will only accept evaluations done by WES. Evaluations performed by other companies will NOT be accepted. WES reports should be submitted to CASPA.

Please note:  Graduates of foreign medical schools will not be considered for this program.

DACA Applicants

The Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program welcomes applications from undocumented individuals who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). These applicants will be considered with U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents for admission to the Tufts School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program. The PA Program does not consider an applicant’s financial circumstances in the selection process. However, DACA students must be prepared to absorb the cost of US physician assistant education, and have a full understanding that DACA students are not eligible for traditional US educational funding including federal and/or institutional loans and scholarships. Accepted DACA students will be expected to have proof of funding for all years of their education prior to matriculation. DACA applicants who are accepted to the PA Program will join a supportive community that strives to produce socially and culturally competent physician assistants who will care for a diverse and ever evolving patient population.

TOEFL Scores (if applicable)

All TOEFL scores must be RECEIVED by CASPA by August 1st at 11:59pm ET. School code is  3889 .

Official TOEFL scores are provided to CASPA directly from the ETS in electronic format. PAPER COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Applicants must contact the ETS to have their TOEFL scores released to CASPA.

PLEASE NOTE: For the Tufts School of Medicine PA Program, the TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have attended a U.S. university/institution for two or more years.

Additional Admissions Considerations

Additional considerations will be given to the following:

  • Successful applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the Tufts PA Program mission and value statements in their application.
  • Candidates who graduated from Tufts University.
  • Candidates with a science and pre-requisite GPA of 3.4 and above.
  • Candidates with 2500 or more patient care hours.

After You Apply

Application review and decisions occur on a rolling basis, and will extend only to those completed applications meeting the deadline.

Review Process

CASPA performs a course and degree verification process once all official transcripts are received. All complete applications (e-submitted, payment received, transcripts received, and two letters received) verified by August 1st will be sent to Tufts PA Admissions Office.

Once the Tufts PA Admissions Office has a verified and complete CASPA record for the applicant as well as the third letter of recommendation and test scores, they will send it to the PA Admissions Committee for review. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission to the program.

Interview Process

The Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Program enrolls students in January of each year. Decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Competitive candidates will be selected for a virtual interview day. This day is comprised of a two-hour program overview with student Q &A, and two separate interviews (25 minutes each) with a principal faculty member and then either a clinical preceptor or alumni. Interviewed candidates who are interested in coming to campus for a tour of the facilities with an admissions ambassador, may email the admissions office to place a request. Requests are filled based on availability.

Applicants will receive an email from the PA Admissions Office if they are invited for an interview.

Decision Process

Candidates are notified of their admissions decision via phone call, email, and through the admissions portal. Admitted candidates will have two weeks to respond to their offer and submit a non-refundable $1,000 deposit. Candidates admitted from the waitlist will have a shorter reply and deposit window depending on the time of offer. Deposits are submitted electronically to ensure receipt of the deposit by or before the designated reply deadline.

All candidates who enroll are advised that their matriculation is conditional, pending a successful outcome of a criminal background check and compliance with health immunization requirements. The university reserves the right to rescind offers of admissions for candidates with criminal histories.

Responsibilities of the Enrolled Student

Once students are admitted and enroll in the program, they are required to:

  • Submit documentation verifying their license (EMT, RN, PT, etc.) history and standing
  • Participate in a criminal background check processed through the Registrar's Office
  • Have and maintain American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals (BLS) Certification at matriculation in January and for the duration of their time in the PA program
  • Have access to a car for the duration of the program
  • Learn about laptop specifications
  • Prepare for the medical terminology exam to be given at Orientation
  • Submit required immunization documentation and insurance information to the Student Advisory and Health Administration
  • Follow additional instructions provided in the welcome packet

Tuition and Fees

Tuition rates and fees provided here are effective for students enrolling in the program in January 2025.* ​ Tuition information for currently enrolled students is available from the Office of Financial Aid .

* These rates are subject to approval.

** Tuition rates and fees are effective as of July 2024. Note that program cost is set each PA program academic year (January to December) and typically increases from year-to-year. The Trustees of Tufts University reserve the right to change tuition rates or fees at their discretion.

Completion requirement is six semesters total.

Cost of Attendance Budget

For information about the estimated full cost of the PA Program, including tuition, room & board, fees, etc., see:

  • Cost of Attendance by Semester
  • Student Health Insurance Rates* ( see rates )

*The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Tufts University Health Sciences Schools require all matriculated students of higher education to participate in a health insurance plan. Students may enroll in the student insurance plan offered by Tufts University, or maintain private coverage as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum state requirements set forth by the Commonwealth.

Financial Aid Resources

Tufts School of Medicine primarily provide financial assistance in the form of federal loans.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a financial aid application as early in the application process as possible to allow adequate time for processing. Applicants should not wait until applications have been submitted or until admissions decision have been received in order to apply for aid. Delaying the financial aid application could result in delayed disbursements and/or refunds.

Learn more about general financial aid options

PA Funding Resources

  • PA Foundation

Veterans Resources

Veterans may be eligible for additional financial assistance through the Post-9/11 GI Bill ® .

GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at  http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill .

View the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information

PA Class by The Numbers

For a better picture of our PA program, view the class makeup of our latest matriculated class.

Snapshot of our most recently matriculated class

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE has been test-optional since 2021 and thus is not listed as a reported statistic .

I was accepted to Yale. Here's everything I included in my successful Ivy League application.

  • I got into Yale University after submitting a successful college application.
  • I included my SAT score and high GPA in the application, along with an essay about my culture.
  • Ultimately, I tried to highlight all the ways I would be a benefit to the Yale community.

Insider Today

I recently reviewed my Yale admissions file after being a student there for three years. It was strange but enlightening to read what the admissions officers really thought of my application.

Since then, many people have respectfully requested to hear about my stats, extracurriculars , and essays.

I believe that everyone's college application journey is unique and that mine is just one sample, but I equally understand the urge to hear about other people's experiences. I devoured hundreds of college decision reactions on YouTube just three years ago, hoping to find that secret formula.

So, I'm now sharing a deeper look into my college application. But I want to first emphasize that as complicated and stressful as the process of applying to college may be, the best application you can ever show others will be the one you enjoy writing the most. I know I enjoyed every second of writing mine.

My GPA and standardized test scores were important factors in my application

With colleges such as Yale and Dartmouth reinstating standardized testing requirements , the reality is that academics will always be the first line of assessment for admission.

The GPA I submitted to Yale was 98.23/100. An admissions officer commended my GPA in the context of my financially underprivileged upbringing.

I also tried to take the most rigorous workload possible while also prioritizing my mental health , ultimately sending in six AP test scores. My SAT score was 1590.

I credit a lot of my academic achievements to the fact that I surrounded myself with peers who were very serious about their education.

My pre-calculus teacher's recommendation — the one that the admissions team rated higher — emphasized that I held the second highest grade in her class over her 20-year teaching career.

I tried to highlight my passions in my extracurriculars

My activities were a confusing mosaic of interests and impulses, but one that perfectly captured this 17-year-old boy who was still very unsure about who he was and what he wanted.

I researched human visual perception at a local community college , I performed spoken word poetry, and I hit about 80% of the notes in the choir (on a good day).

Related stories

My primary extracurricular, however, was the one I connected with most. At the start of the pandemic, I founded a language-learning program for children called "Spanish Meets You." I used the proceeds I made from the program, which featured tutoring and pen-palling services, to host community giveaways of essential health supplies — such as masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer.

"Spanish Meets You" evolved from my experience growing up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which was predominantly Hispanic and Asian. I loved going to cookouts and finding a diligent spread of both spicy tamales and fried rice. Despite our cultural differences , the two groups were united in our challenges and our respect for each other.

When I submitted my application, I worried that I didn't have a coherent theme for my extracurriculars, nor enough leadership — but based on the admissions team's comments, my genuine passion for one or two activities mattered in the end.

I wanted to capture who I truly am in my college essay

When I started drafting my essay, I knew I wanted to capture what was unextractable from my résumé: my curiosity, thick skin, and mistakes.

I decided to make the topic of my college essay about Chinese New Year, a holiday I celebrated with my 14 floormates in this tiny Brooklyn apartment building that we all called home for two decades. Every year, I would wait for my father by the door with mandarins, only to be disappointed by his absence.

Ultimately, however, I learned to enjoy this holiday — even if my celebration was unorthodox. My 14 floormates and I are unrelated by blood, but I remember we would gather over food every holiday, tell stories, and play a game of JENGA. Their laughter still ricochets in my ears hundreds of miles away as I now sit in my college dorm room , wrapping up my junior year.

I tried not to overthink the other essay questions

I would jot down whatever came to mind in the first 30 seconds, asking myself: "How would 7-year-old Brian answer this?"

Whenever I took too long to craft a response, it was a sign that I was probably sacrificing genuineness to make a false good impression.

One of the essays asked about my favorite intellectual concept. Instead of showing off by detailing some obscure scientific theory, I moved forward with writing about the diversity of motherhood in the animal kingdom, tying it back to my close relationship with my own mother.

My application was focused on proving how I would fit into the Yale community

Colleges are searching for those who will enrich the lives of their peers in different ways.

Therefore, in my application, I tried to highlight all the parts of me that would prove to Yale I would benefit their campus and their students. In doing so, I was accepted and met students doing just that.

One of my friends, for instance, is studying law. She also loves to rap and surprise her friends with midnight ice cream. Another is a science journalist who gives the best dating advice .

I would say Yale wouldn't be home even if one of them were missing. Everyone is here; everyone ends up where they are.

For students applying to Ivy League schools , I implore you to tell your dynamic, unique story — to think about how your rhythm will fold into a community's song.

Watch: How the Latin Kings gang actually works, according to a former member

tufts accepted essays

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U.S. Military Veterans Benefits

This page contains information for students who are eligible to receive U.S. military veterans benefits. We recommend that service members speak with their Educational Services Officer (ESO) or counselor within their Military Service prior to enrolling at Tufts.

Tufts policy will allow an individual to attend or participate in a program of education if the Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 Beneficiary provides the school with a “Certificate of Eligibility (COE)." Tufts will not impose a late fee, denial of access to facilities, or other penalty against a veteran or eligible dependent due to a late payment of tuition and/or fees from VA.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill .

GI Bill Payment Rates

You can find post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Payment Rates on the  U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs website .

Yellow Ribbon Scholarship

The current Yellow Ribbon Scholarship award at Tufts is $5,000 annually for students enrolled in the Friedman School, the Fletcher School, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering. You can find additional information about the Yellow Ribbon Program on the  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website . 

Estimating Your Total Costs

You can use the  GI Bill Comparison Tool  to estimate your benefits based on your specific school’s costs. 

Federal Student Loan Information

The most recent Cohort Default Rate (CDR) of Tufts University is 1.6%. The corresponding National CDR is 10.8% for students who graduated in 2015.

For the Class of 2018, 33% of undergraduates borrowed student loans for their education. For additional information regarding financial aid and student loans, please refer to the loans section of this site.

For additional information regarding financial aid and student loans, please refer to the  loans section  of this site.

Tuition Refund Policy

If you need to withdraw from Tufts during the course of a semester because of involuntary activation, you should contact the appropriate Veteran’s Point of Contact at your school to determine your refund.

Point of Contact

  • Associate Director of Financial Aid Shaun Thomas is the point of contact for BA, BS, BFA, and Combined Degree undergraduate students
  • Associate Director of Financial Aid Christi Lipman is the point of contact for AS&E and SMFA graduate and postbac students.
  • Associate Director of Veterans Affairs Nora McMillan is the point of contact for Fletcher graduate students.

Refund Policy for Tuition Assistance Funds

(a) Return any TA Program funds directly to the Military Service, not to the Service member. (b) Up to the start date, return all (100 percent) TA funds to the appropriate Military Service when the Service member does not:

     (i) Begin attendance at the institution; or      (ii) Start a course, regardless of whether the student starts other courses.

(c) Return any TA funds paid for a course that is cancelled by the educational institution. (d) Returns any unearned TA funds on a proportional basis through at least the 60 percent portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based upon when a student stops attending. In instances when a Service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, Tufts will work with the affected Service member to identify solutions that will not result in a student debt for the returned portion.

Readmission Policy

Tufts will promptly readmit a service member with the same academic status as he/she had when last attending the school or accepted for admission to the school. This requirement applies to any student who cannot attend school due to military service.

The student must notify the school of his military service and intention to return to school as follows: the student (or an appropriate officer of the armed forces or official of the Department of Defense) must give oral or written notice of such service to the school as far in advance as is reasonable under the circumstances. This notice does not have to indicate whether the student intends to return to the school and may not be subject to any rule of timeliness. Alternatively, at the time of readmission, the student may submit an attestation of military service that necessitated the student’s absence from the school. No notice is required if precluded by military necessity, such as service in operations that are classified or would be compromised by such notice.

Notice of intent to return to school. The student must also give oral or written notice of her intent to return to the school within three years after the completion of the period of service. A student who is hospitalized or convalescing due to an illness or injury incurred or aggravated during the performance of service must notify the school within two years after the end of the period needed for recovery from the illness or injury. A student who fails to apply for readmission within these periods does not automatically forfeit eligibility for readmission but is subject to the school's established leave of absence policy and general practices.

The student must contact the Student Services department at [email protected] or 617-627-2000 to provide notification of service and notification of intent to return.

Tufts will promptly readmit the student into the next class or classes in the program beginning after he provides notice of intent to reenroll, unless he requests a later date or unusual circumstances require the school to admit him at a later date. Tufts will admit the student with the same academic status, which means

  • To the same program to which the student was last admitted or, if that exact program is no longer offered, the program that is most similar to that program, unless he/she chooses a different program;
  • At the same enrollment status, unless the student wants to enroll at a different enrollment status;
  • With the same number of credit hours or clock hours previously completed, unless the student is readmitted to a different program to which the completed credit hours or clock hours are not transferable, and with the same academic standing (e.g., with the same satisfactory academic progress status) the student previously had.

Additional Information

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Ethical Lapses in the Medical Profession

More from our inbox:, don’t cave, columbia, a florida book oasis, balloon release ban.

tufts accepted essays

To the Editor:

Re “ Moral Dilemmas in Medical Care ” (Opinion guest essay, May 8):

It is unsettling, and dismaying, to read Dr. Carl Elliott’s account of moral lapses continuing to exist, if not thrive, in medical education. As a neurology resident in the early 1970s, I was assigned a patient who was scheduled to have psychosurgery.

He was a prisoner who had murdered a nurse in a hospital basement, and the surgery to remove part of his brain was considered by the department to be a therapeutic and even forward-looking procedure. This was despite its being widely discredited, and involving a prisoner who could not provide truly informed consent.

A fellow resident and I knew that refusing would almost certainly result in suspension or dismissal from the residency, so we anonymously contacted our local newspapers, whose reporting resulted in an overflow protest meeting, cancellation of the psychosurgery and legislative action placing conditions on the acceptance of informed consent by prisoners.

It is lamentable that even though bioethics programs are widely incorporated into medical education, moral and ethical transgressions remain a stubborn problem as part of medical structures’ groupthink.

As Richard Feynman has emphasized , doubt, uncertainty and continued questioning are the hallmarks of scientific endeavor. They need to be an integral element of medical education to better prepare young doctors for the inevitable moral challenges that lie ahead.

Robert Hausner Mill Valley, Calif.

I would like to thank Carl Elliott for exposing the “Moral Dilemmas in Medical Care.” There is a medical school culture that favors doctors as privileged persons over patients.

I can remember multiple patient interactions in medical school in which I thanked a patient for allowing me to examine them and apologized for hurting them during my exam of their painful conditions.

I was then criticized by attending physicians for apologizing to the patients. I was told, on multiple occasions, that the patient should be thanking me for the privilege of assisting in my education.

Medical training, in a medical school culture that favors the privilege of the medical staff over the rights and feelings of patients, needs to be exposed and changed.

Doug Pasto-Crosby Nashville The writer is a retired emergency room physician.

As a psychiatrist and medical ethicist, I commend Dr. Carl Elliott for calling attention to several egregious violations of medical ethics, including failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent. Dr. Elliott could have included a discussion of physician-assisted suicide and the slippery slope of eligibility for this procedure, as my colleagues and I recently discussed in Psychiatric Times .

For example, as reported in The Journal of Eating Disorders , three patients with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa were prescribed lethal medication under Colorado’s End-of-Life Options Act. Because of the near-delusional cognitive distortions present in severe anorexia nervosa, it is extremely doubtful that afflicted patients can give truly informed consent to physician-assisted suicide. Worse still, under Colorado law, such patients are not required to avail themselves of accepted treatments for anorexia nervosa before prescription of the lethal drugs.

Tragically, what Dr. Elliott calls “the culture of medicine” has become increasingly desensitized to physician-assisted suicide, nowadays touted as just another form of medical care. In the anorexia cases cited, informed consent may have been one casualty of this cultural shift.

Ronald W. Pies Lexington, Mass. The writer is on the faculty of SUNY Upstate Medical University and Tufts University School of Medicine, but the views expressed are his own.

Carl Elliot’s article on medical ethics was excellent. But it is not just in the medical profession that there exists the “subtle danger” that assimilation into an organization will teach you to no longer recognize what is horrible.

Businesses too have a culture that can “transform your sensibility.” In many industries executives check their consciences at the office door each morning. For example, they promote cigarettes; they forget they too breathe the air as they lobby against clean-air policies; they forget they too have children or grandchildren as they fight climate-friendly policies or resist gun-control measures. The list could go on.

In every organization, we need individuals to say no to policies and actions that may benefit the organization but are harmful, even destructive, to broader society.

Colin Day Ann Arbor, Mich.

Re “ Columbia’s Protests Also Bring Pressure From a Private Donor ” (front page, May 11):

Universities are meant to be institutions of higher learning, research and service to the community. They are not items on an auction block to be sold to the highest bidder.

Universities that sell off their policy platform to spoiled one-issue donors who threaten to throw a tantrum no longer deserve our respect. Grant-making foundations should not be grandstanding online. Give money, or don’t, but don’t call a news conference about it.

If Columbia caves, why should prospective students trust it as a place where they can go to become freethinkers and explore their own political conscience as they begin to contemplate the wider world and issues of social justice?

This is a real test of Columbia and its leadership. I do not envy its president, Nemat Shafik, who has few good choices and no way to make everyone happy. What she should not sell is her integrity, or the university’s. She should stand up to these selfish donors. Learn to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Carl Henn Marathon, Texas

Re “ Book Bans? So Open a Bookstore ” (Arts, May 13):

Deep respect for the American novelist Lauren Groff and her husband, Clay Kallman, for opening the Lynx, their new bookstore in Gainesville, Fla. The store focuses on offering titles among the more than 5,100 books that were banned in Florida schools from July 2021 through December 2023.

To all the book clubbers and haters of bans: Order straight from the Lynx.

Fight evil. Read books.

Ted Gallagher New York

Re “ Keep a Firm Grip on Those Mickey Mouse Balloons. It’s the Law ” (front page, May 9):

Balloons are some of the deadliest ocean trash for wildlife, as mentioned in your article about Florida’s expected balloon release ban.

Plastic balloon debris poses a significant threat to marine life, often mistaken for food or becoming entangled in marine habitats, leading to devastating consequences for our fragile ocean ecosystems.

As the founder of Clean Miami Beach, an environmental conservation organization, I’m concerned about the impact of plastic pollution on Florida’s wildlife and coastal areas. Florida’s stunning beaches and diverse marine life are not only treasures to us locals but also draw millions of tourists each year.

Because of the dangers, intentional balloon releases have been banned in many cities and counties across the state. A poll released by Oceana showed that 87 percent of Florida voters support local, state and national policies that reduce single-use plastic. Gov. Ron DeSantis must waste no time in signing this important piece of legislation into law.

Our elected officials should continue to work together to address environmental issues so Floridians and tourists can enjoy our beautiful state without its being marred by plastic pollution.

Sophie Ringel Miami Beach


  1. ACCEPTED Tufts Essays (HOW TO GET IN!!)

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  2. How to Write the Tufts University Essays: The Complete Guide

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  3. Reading & Analyzing A Successful Tufts University Essay!

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  5. Tufts University Supplemental Essays: 2021-2022

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  1. How to Write the Tufts University Essays 2023-2024

    Prompt 1: Please complete the following statement: "I am applying to Tufts because…" (50-100 words) Prompt 2: Now we'd like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words) Option A: It's cool to love learning.

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  4. Essays that Worked (Tufts Edition)

    08 November 2016. Essays that Worked (Tufts Edition) Posted in Class of 2021, Essays, Perspectives. Still looking for ideas on how to write a compelling admissions essay? Then check out this set of essays that worked, courtesy of Tufts admissions. This blog post includes successful responses for all of the essay prompts included by Tufts, as ...

  5. Application tips: The Essays

    This post is going to focus on Essay 1 - the one required of all Fletcher applicants. The prompt: The Fletcher School's Committee on Admissions seeks to ensure that there is a good match between each admitted student and the school. Please tell us your goals for graduate study at Fletcher and for your career.

  6. Tufts Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). The Tufts supplemental essays are an important part of the admissions process. We examine each 2023-24 prompt and offer advice.

  7. Application tips: essays!

    To briefly summarize, all applicants are expected to address at least two essay prompts. The first prompt, mandatory for all applicants, is as follows: Kindly elucidate your objectives for graduate study at Fletcher and for your professional trajectory. Share the facets of your personal, professional, and/or academic background that have ...

  8. A Short Guide to the Tufts Supplemental Questions

    But our supplemental short-answer questions also play a role in the application reading process in terms of us getting to know more facets of your personality. At Tufts, we require two responses: The first is to complete, in 100 words, the following sentence: "I am applying to Tufts because…", and one other that is your choice from three ...

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    There are two required short-answer questions, which vary depending on the program to which you are applying (read carefully below). We've created this page to allow you to peruse the questions without having to leave this site. Visit the Common Application site or the Coalition Application by Scoir site when you're ready to apply online.

  10. 3 Key Tips for Writing Successful Tufts Supplemental Essays

    Thankfully, Tufts University isn't shy about putting accepted essays online for applicants to browse. While some of these essays apply to older topics, they'll still help you get a sense of what admissions counselors are looking for in excellent students (and their essays). ... Best practices for Tufts essays are similar to other schools, but ...

  11. How to Write the Tufts Supplemental Essay

    How to Write the Tufts Supplemental Essay #1. Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. Pick one of the following (200-250 words): It's cool to love learning.

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    Up first, the "Why" Essay. James Gregoire '19 (South Burlington, VT): It was on my official visit with the cross country team that I realized Tufts was the perfect school for me. Our topics of conversation ranged from Asian geography to efficient movement patterns, and everyone spoke enthusiastically about what they were involved in on ...

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    Tufts secondary essay #7 We understand that many applicants encounter academic hardships along the way. Please comment on any academic difficulties that you have encountered since completing high school (grades and MCAT scores) and that you believe might adversely affect your likelihood of medical school acceptance.

  14. How to Get Into Tufts: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

    11% of the admitted members of the Class of 2027 are first-generation students. ... Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental short-answer essays required by Tufts. In the 2022-23 cycle the prompts are as follows: Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined ...

  15. TUFTS Accepted Essays : r/ApplyingToCollege

    Tufts provides a safe space for intellectual curiosity, where I can explore everything while knowing that my passions will be embraced wholeheartedly. (100 words) 2. Describe the environment in which you were raised - your family, home, neighborhood, or community - and how it influenced the person you are today.

  16. Tufts University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Tufts University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations. *Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. As soon as the 2024-25 prompts beomce available, we will be updating this guide -- stay tuned! The Requirements: 1 essay of 100-150 words; 1 essay of 200-250 words. Supplemental Essay Type: Why, Oddball.

  17. First Year Students

    Application Checklist A complete application includes the following items, which are required: Completed Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application, including:. Letters of Recommendation: Tufts requires one letter from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course (math, natural science, social science, English, or a world language) and one letter from a ...

  18. Applying to Tufts: A Perspective for 2022 : r/ApplyingToCollege

    Most years, the ED acceptance rate for Tufts is ~30-40%. Last year, it dropped to 18%. This is still significantly higher than the RD acceptance rate. The average acceptance rate up until last year was 15%, and it was 11% my year if that gives you a general idea of what the RD acceptance rate must have been.

  19. Tufts University School of Medicine

    Short Essay 1 (1,000 character limit): Describe what positive contributions you can make to the PA profession and to Tufts University School of Medicine's PA Program. Short Essay 2 (1,500 character limit): Please tell us about your journey to PA school and how your background and experiences will positively impact your future as a medical ...

  20. Take a Look Inside a Successful Ivy League College Application

    Essay by Brian Zhang. May 15, 2024, 2:07 AM PDT. The author got into Yale with his successful college application. Courtesy of Eric Gan & Brian Zhang. I got into Yale University after submitting a ...

  21. U.S. Military Veterans Benefits

    Tufts will. (a) Return any TA Program funds directly to the Military Service, not to the Service member. (b) Up to the start date, return all (100 percent) TA funds to the appropriate Military Service when the Service member does not: (i) Begin attendance at the institution; or. (ii) Start a course, regardless of whether the student starts ...

  22. Opinion

    To the Editor: Re " Moral Dilemmas in Medical Care " (Opinion guest essay, May 8): It is unsettling, and dismaying, to read Dr. Carl Elliott's account of moral lapses continuing to exist, if ...