Impressions Of
Tufts University

Academic Experience

Female Undecided on Major C/O 2021

Has there been anything you have felt Tufts has done especially well or poorly academically?
Especially well, I would say they tailor the class size to the class itself. Even though I didn’t really enjoy the Expository Writing class, I liked how it was a small class because I think that is important in a writing class. Whereas, in my lecture classes, like Art History, I felt that it was appropriate to have 50 kids in the class.

How accessible have your professors been?
My professors have been very accessible. Especially as an athlete, there are times when we have an away game or there’s something going on and an extension would be really helpful. They’re super accommodating and very understanding of how, especially for freshmen, the experience can be a little overwhelming.

Male Sociology Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel the Sociology department does especially well or poorly?
Personally, I have had a very positive experience with the Sociology department, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. I think it really depends on what kind of learner you are. It’s very reading intensive and is a lot of in-depth analysis, so if that’s not your style then I might look to do something else.

In terms of Tufts, all of the professors I’ve had have been really wonderful. They make themselves available for office hours at least two or three hours a week, which is very helpful.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Tufts is unique in that it’s a top-notch academic institution, but I find that it’s really not competitive at all. People are always looking to help one another in whatever way they can. People are more competitive with themselves to do well rather than competing with other people for certain grades.

Male Political Science Major C/O 2018

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Almost all the Political Science classes, except my seminars which had weekly response papers due, were lectures. There are mostly one or two tests and a final, maybe an essay instead of those. There are not many chances for evaluation in most of the courses.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely competitive. People are very ambitious. But, I’ve never seen a situation where someone is not willing to help someone else. I had one class where the professor told us that he expected us to collaborate on a final. I also have studied together with friends when we are in the same class.

Social Opportunities

Female Undecided on Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There’s not a huge Greek life at Tufts, but the sports teams have off-campus housing and a lot of the nightlife takes place there in the sports team’s houses. Then there’s also bars and pubs in the greater Boston area, so that’s a fun way to go out at night also. When I’m not in season, I go out usually Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and then when I am in season, just Saturdays.
[8 of 18 fraternities and sororities are deemed as being “in good standing” by the university.]

Are there certain places you go on certain nights?
Yes, on Tuesday everyone goes to this place called “The Pub,” which is a couple of minutes from Tufts, and on Thursdays, there is usually something called the Burren Night, which is at this bar in Davis Square, which is a really cool area that everyone goes to. It’s a live music kind of thing.

How happy are you with the weekend activities or nightlife at Tufts? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m personally very happy with the nightlife at Tufts because with the amount of academic work I have to do and [my sport], having something with a little bit more of a party atmosphere wouldn’t really be the best for me. It’s not a crazy party school, but I think it’s enough. The people that are there are great, so I really like it.

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I like going out with friends. There are bars around campus that people like going to on weeknights and there are parties on the weekends. Greek life isn’t really in the scene yet because we had a lot of fraternities and sororities shut down, but it should be more of a presence this upcoming year. The nightlife was a little bit slow to start this past year because of that, but then it ramped up as the year went on.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Depending on my workload, it was available to go out Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then if a special event was occurring, you could find something to do every night if you wanted to. Tuesday and Thursday are popular nights at [local bars]. Then Friday and Saturday, because I’m on a sports team it was more popular to go to a party at an athlete house, so we’d go to one of those.

Male Sociology Major C/O 2020

How happy were you with the nightlife at Tufts? Is there anything you would change if you could?
For me personally, I’m happy with it. As long as I get to hang out with my friends if I’m happy. There are options to go out to if I want to and I take advantage of those. [When I was choosing a school], partying wasn’t a number one priority and I think that holds true for a lot of people at Tufts. If I could change anything I would make things more open and inclusive. I feel like the social life is kind of divided between groups at times, but I think that happens naturally.

Another thing I’ve noticed about social life is that it’s directly tied to the weather, which is not something that does not bode well for us considering the winter here lasts like five months of the time we’re here. When it’s nice out the social life is happening, but when it’s cold it’s harder to find an excuse to walk outside when it’s like 20 degrees [Fahrenheit].

Campus Culture

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the student body?
I think you’re going to find your people. I think Tufts is a pretty big blend of personalities. I don’t think we have an identity in the student body, it’s very eclectic and quirky overall. You will find the people you get along with, but it’s probably going to be a smaller group within the big majority of the school.

How did you meet your closest friends?
Through mutual friends. I definitely recommend doing FIT as a pre-orientation. I didn’t do it because I signed up too late, but my roommate did it, and we were kind of friendly from before Tufts, so I met people through her. I also met people through my teammates. I’m probably going to be a science major, so a lot of my intro to science classes were like 500 people, and there are these tutoring groups that are 10 kids and you can make your class smaller by having a group of people to study with. I met people through that.

Male Sociology Major C/O 2020

To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think it is much more mixed in terms of sexual orientation than racially. Tufts is a very diverse place. There is a high percentage of international students and a whole mix of different races and ethnicities, but I think they don’t always mix as well as they should. But, I understand it, it’s natural to want to be with people like yourself. [About 11% of undergraduates are international students, 13% are Asian, 7% are Hispanic, and 4% are Black.]

How would you describe the student body?
The student body is really nice. Everyone’s super cool, bright, and interested in many things. Rarely do you meet someone that just sits in the library all day, everyone has lives outside of academics and is interested in different things.

Male Political Science Major C/O 2018

What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
I think it serves the fragmentation a little bit. Just giving it the eye test, I think fraternities tend to be a little more White and also just wealthier because you need to have a certain amount of money to pay dues. For some fraternities, they can be around $1,000 a semester and that’s a lot of money to tack on to tuition. I think there are exceptions, but I think the sticker price pushes low-income people away.

How would you describe the student body?
A lot of very ambitious people. Overall, I’d say there’s a pretty bright line in terms of that there are people that are very committed to leftist politics. I think they are 15-20% of the population is really dedicated to leftist politics, and then there’s like 60% that’s kind of a little conservative and the rest is in between. People have an idea of Tufts as a very student activist-y place, but I think it’s more like a very vocal and organized group.

Medford, MA

Pros of

  • “You get a campus feel but you’re close to Boston so you can access everything. It’s extremely nice to be on a campus but not have that be your whole life. You have the city feel, but you have a more reserved spot to have a space to do work and see friends.”
  • “You can go to sporting events that aren’t just Tufts-affiliated.”
  • “It has fewer distractions and is a little quieter than Boston.”
  • “Public transit in Boston is awesome. You can get anywhere you want without a car easily.”
  • “Davis Square is a nice mix between the suburbs and the city in that there are really good restaurants and shopping and generally nice places to study and hangout.”

Cons of

  • “Rent is really high.”
  • “If you’re an outdoorsy person, hiking and other outdoorsy stuff are not as accessible as it would be at some of the other NESCACs.”
  • “There are a lot of families that live in the Medford area, so you get a lot of complaints about noise and that kind of thing.”
  • “It’s a 20-minute walk from campus to the [MTA], so you don’t do it that often, but it’s there if you want to take advantage of it.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Tufts before entering as a freshman?
The role of T.A.’s was a big surprise. For the most part, your professors aren’t the ones grading your assignments, it’s your T.A., and you have no choice in who your T.A. is. So, knowing how the grading system worked. Also, finding connections for guidance on which classes you should take and what professors to take. My first semester I was playing the guessing game and I ended up getting not so ideal professors.

Do you feel that your dorm was a good dorm to get into?
I do feel like it was a good dorm to get into. It was just my roommate and I were a little isolated because we were in the basement, so we didn’t see people pass through the hallways at all.

Male Political Science Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew about Tufts before you entered as a freshman?
I think I kind of wish I understood how classes worked because I think my GPA would be a lot better. The last two years of college my GPA got a lot better. I don’t think I was working harder, I think I just figured out more how the evaluation system works. Like, how in tests professors really want you to mention the readings. Your arguments will only get you so far if you don’t show evidence from the readings. Also, use Ratemyprofessor.com because it doesn’t really lie. It does show you which professors are engaging and smart and inspirational.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I’d tell them to check out Ginn Library. It’s like this really nice, small library for the Fletcher [Graduate School of International Affairs] students, but a lot of Tufts [undergraduates] go there to study. It’s a really nice, relaxing academic space. Unlike the other big libraries, you don’t feel kind of hemmed in by all the people there. Also, check out Dave’s Fresh Pasta it’s so good. After one of my classes on Monday night my friend and I would always cook up some ravioli that we’d get there and it was delicious.

Male Int'l Relations and Russian and Eastern European Studies Double Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew about Tufts before entering as a freshman?
I guess I wish I knew a little bit more about the student body. Basically, just all the things I told you: [academically serious, pretty liberal, and I think everybody’s pretty nice at Tufts. There are a lot of strange kids, and I guess that would be a trade-off with everybody being nice]. Also, I wish I understood Medford and how quiet and far away it is from Boston. [Without traffic, a drive from Tufts to Downtown Crossing is about 15-minutes.]

What have been your favorite times at Tufts?
Senior week this year was really fun. And just in general the beginning of freshman year was really fun too because everybody was energized and going out all the time and meeting new people.

 

Reasons to attend and not to attend Tufts University

To Attend

  • “The location. I love being so close to Boston. And, not just being close to Boston, but also being close to other schools, like Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard, and you can be in a really great college environment.”
  • “It’s generally prestigious.”
  • “The quality of the school. The classes, the instructors, are amazing. The connections you can make afterward from Tufts are really great.”
  • “It’s a collaborative academic atmosphere.”
  • “There is a lot of diversity. There are a lot of international students, people from different ethnic groups, and socioeconomic classes. [In Fall 2018, 11% of undergraduates were international students and 55% of students were White. Socioeconomically, 50% of students come from the top 5% and 2.9% come from the bottom 20%.]”

To Not Attend

  • “If you can’t afford it they’re not going to be lenient. [In 2016-2017, about 41% of undergraduates received grant aid and 25% had to take out loans.]”
  • “If you’re looking for a big school where you can go out every single night, that’s not Tufts.”
  • “If you don’t want to put in a lot of work in writing papers. There are a lot of writing requirements freshman year, so those classes that are mandatory at Tufts. Freshman year was a lot of writing papers.”
  • “It’s really cold.”
Notice: Tufts University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Tufts University.

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