What Does it Take to Get Into Tufts University?

Strategies by School
April 23, 2020
Located Just Outside Boston, Massachusetts, Tufts University Welcomes Talented Students To Its Campus Every Year...

Since 1852, Tufts has broken barriers in research and liberal arts while offering positive experiences through a vibrant campus culture, diverse dining program, and plenty of opportunities for students to grow and achieve all their goals.

If you’re ready to start your college journey, keep reading to find out how to get into Tufts University through an honest and compelling application.

What You’ll Find In This College Guide:

Tufts University's Ideal Student

The average GPA and standardized test scores for incoming Tufts students are:

  • GPA: 3.91
  • SAT: 1460
  • ACT: 32


Intentionality is a quality that Tufts University admissions looks for in every applicant. An intentional student is one who takes initiative on projects, reaches out for help if they need it, and exhibits excellent leadership skills.

Carry this intentionality into your application process, too! If you’re going to be in the Boston area at any point, visit Tufts’ campus. Making a point to physically travel to Tufts and meet their admission officers shows great intentionality. Also, use Tufts’ extremely helpful admissions blog; here, you’ll find valuable tips and advice for making your application stand out among others. They’ll be able to identify their own advice and know that you took time to read about the kind of student they’re looking for.

  • How were you intentional with your school work, classmates, and teachers during college?
  • Why do you think taking ownership of your education is important and how do you plan on bringing this to Tufts with you?
  • If you could identify one weakness that possibly inhibits your intentionality, what would it be and how will going to Tufts help you grow in that area?


Being one of the U.S.’s foremost art schools, Tufts is all about creativity. Even if you’re not planning on studying art, creativity can still be valuable in every major. At Tufts, blending research tactics with a liberal arts education is the core of their curriculum, so the more you can tell Tufts University admissions about how you brought creativity into your high school projects, the better off your application will be.

  • Is creativity one of your skills? If not, what’s a skill you have that can help you bring some life to your research efforts at Tufts?
  • In your research projects, can you identify areas where there’s room for creativity or possibly more innovative approaches to achieve a desired result?


Being a good steward of resources can go hand-in-hand with intentionality; the two qualities are different, however, because intentionality has to do with initial action and being a good steward involves taking advantage of every opportunity and resource that becomes available to you.

Students who can be considered good stewards of their resources aren’t afraid of trying new things. They’re always on the lookout for new experiences, not solely because it will look good on their college application, but because they want to be as well-rounded as possible.

  • What’s an activity, hobby, or interest that you’ve always wanted to try but have been hesitant to?
  • How did you use all the resources available to you to become the best student you can be?
  • How do you plan on using all of Tufts’ resources? Are there any specific groups or clubs that you’re already excited about?


Lastly, having a passion for blending research with a well-rounded liberal arts education is an absolute must for Tufts University’s ideal student. Gaining experience in several important areas in addition to using research tactics is the basis for every class at Tufts.

Be prepared to use research in unique and innovative ways and approach new ideas in your field, whether it be in Tufts’ world-renowned international relations program or their noteworthy art program.

  • Have you used research tactics like gathering information and formulating theories in any of your high school classes?
  • Do you enjoy working with others and sharing the outcome of each project with your group?
  • How will an education from Tufts help you grow in your particular field?


Tufts University is widely known for combining a research-based university with a liberal arts-focused curriculum. This allows Tufts to offer their students a vast range of top-notch degree programs.


Tufts University’s ideal student is eager to grow and improve in their academics, hobbies, and their overall contribution to their field. Regardless of the major they choose, the groups they join, or the activities they participate in, Tufts students approach everything with a sense of discovery, positivity, and innovation.

Be open about your high school experience and how you think Tufts will help you get to where you want to be. Don’t craft your application to fulfill what you think Tufts University admissions wants to see; just be yourself! Be honest about whether or not you enjoy research and working with others. The more honest you are, the better off your chances will be of getting accepted. At the end of the day, Tufts is looking for students the integrity to uphold their mission, vision, and values.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Tufts

Tufts has the fifth lowest acceptance rate in the state of Massachusetts at 15%; last year, 3,143 students were accepted out of 21,501 applicants. Pay close attention to Tufts University’s requirements to deliver a compelling and polished application!


To start your Tufts University application, choose one of the following application platforms:

From there, you’ll be directed to choose your colleges from a drop down menu so you can get started on the different general and specified portions. Any Tufts-specific information that is needed will automatically be provided through either application you choose.


You’ll need to provide Tufts University admissions with your official transcripts and your Senior Grades. Depending on the deadline you’re submitting your application under, provide the most recent grade report that is available to you. You can go through your counselor to obtain these documents.


Tufts admissions requires two letters of recommendation; one must come from a teacher of a major subject or the area of study closely related to what you plan on studying, and the other must come from a counselor.


Tufts’ Art program is exceedingly popular among students pursuing careers as visual artists; if you’re planning on applying to Tufts’ art program, be prepared to submit art-related materials with your application. You’ll need to provide a letter of recommendation from an art teacher and a 15-20 piece art portfolio. You’ll also need to provide short essays answering two art-specific questions in addition to your writing supplement.

Additionally, SAT or ACT scores are completely optional for Tufts applicants.

Whether or not you want to provide your standardized test scores is completely up to you, and it will not be considered as part of your admission decision.

You may also opt to participate in an alumni interview; if you feel that your Tufts application doesn’t accurately capture your personality or passions, feel free to contact the admissions office to be connected with an alumni member in your community. By sitting down and talking with a Tufts alumni, you could get a better idea of the Tufts campus community, and the connection will give your application a nice boost.


Tufts admissions emphasizes the importance of the writing supplement by providing applicants with an in-depth admissions blog which includes tips for students working on their Tufts essay. The writing prompts are available online and year-round so you can get started on your essay-writing skills now!

Tufts University is actually famous for their writing supplement prompts. They’ve been known to craft some pretty quirky questions including “What does Y.O.L.O. mean to you?” Tufts admissions has even been known to ask applicants to create something unique out of a piece of paper or submit a 1-minute YouTube video instead of an essay.


Tufts’ non-refundable application fee is $75; any fee waivers can be submitted through your chosen application platform or your counselor.

For Tufts deadlines, keep these important dates in mind:

  • Early Decision I: November 1
  • Early Decision II: January 1
  • Regular Decision: January 1


Tufts University is for creative student researchers who want to bring the newest and most innovative ideas to every field. If you have a passion for combining research with a well-rounded, liberal arts education, Tufts is the college for you.

Do everything you can to make your passion for this unique educational combination clear on your application. Highlight your creativity in projects, any extracurricular activities that are relevant to your educational goals, and don’t hesitate to include your personality. Tufts wants to get to know the real you!

Tufts University's Campus Life

As if having a unique academic experience wasn’t enough, Tufts University’s campus culture is a huge part of every student’s experience. From clubs to student organizations and athletics to events, Tufts students don’t have a difficult time finding their niche, making new goals, and learning new skills.


On campus, Tufts has over 300 student organizations that range over several different areas of interest like the arts, music, sciences, politics, and community service. Tufts even encourages students to create their own student organizations to be trailblazers for their own interests.


Tufts participates in NCAA Division I Athletics, and almost 1,000 students are recruited to compete in their chosen sport every year. Their intramural sports program is equally attractive to Tufts students, so if competitive sports aren’t your thing, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to stay active.


Tufts University’s campus culture is so high-ranked that the evidence is all in the statistics. Living on campus isn’t required for any student, regardless of year; yet, every year, 99% of freshmen choose to stay on campus.

Medford, Massachusetts is a quaint town that offers plenty of housing arrangements for anyone, whether they’re a student or professional. As you continue your education at Tufts, consider moving off campus and immersing yourself into your community even more.

In addition to their amazing housing program, Tufts dining program keeps bringing in records and awards year after year; in recent years, they’ve been nominated among Best Colleges for Food by the Daily Meal and Niche.

Tufts hosts over 12 dining locations ranging from cafes and cafeterias to quick stop-n-shops so students can grab food whenever they need it. Their diverse locations combined with over 10 meal plans to choose from certainly helps them live up to their name and impressive nominations.


Jumbo the elephant, Tufts’ beloved mascot, dates all the way back to 1885. At the time, Jumbo was the largest elephant in captivity as he performed with P.T. Barnum’s travelling circus. When he passed away, the circus created a larger than life stuffed animal as a replica and donated it to Tufts University, and student athletes quickly adopted him as their very own mascot.

Over 86 years, students would put pennies in his trunk or tug on his tail for good luck. In 1975, a tragic fire destroyed Jumbo and all that remains of him is his tail and his ashes. To this day, students keep the tradition alive by rubbing the peanut butter jar his ashes are stored in. They even “pass the ashes” every time a new athletics director is named.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Tufts

From the moment you begin working on your application to the day you graduate, Tufts University admissions is dedicated to helping you reach your potential, even if that means helping you find your fit at a different college.

This is what makes Tufts University different; they’re invested in you as a student in general, not just as a student at their school. If you’re ready to apply to Tufts University, all you need to do to submit a fantastic application is to focus on a few important points each step of the way.


On your Tufts application, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be yourself. More than anything, Tufts admissions is looking for students who will help them continue their research efforts while maintaining a focus on a strong liberal arts education. The best way to do this, of course, is to accept students who have open minds.

In your application, be sure to highlight any extracurricular activities that will help you stand out. Show Tufts your creative side, your sense of humor, and the intentionality you’ve had with your academic career. Point out all the times you went out of your way to go the extra mile on your school projects, and try to gather some letters of recommendation that will vouch for your work ethic.


When it comes to your Tufts writing supplement, be prepared for anything. This is the section of the application where Tufts will be able to see your personality and sense of humor. Whether the prompt is super quirky or specific and serious, just be straight-forward and honest.

With an educational system that requires a lot of group projects and exploration of different topics, a student who takes themselves a little bit too seriously could disrupt the whole fun part of the research process. Find the balance between showing them you’re serious about your academic goals but you also don’t mind taking it easy.


During your time at Tufts, don’t take your surrounding community for granted! Get off campus and see Medford, make friends in your clubs and student groups, and be an active supporter of your sports teams.

Tufts University is one of the best college campuses in the U.S. specifically for campus culture and student life, so take advantage of it during your four years there!


To top it all off, Tufts’ Career Center continues to help bridge the gap for students to seamlessly cross from student to professional life through internships, jobs, and valuable community service experiences.

In 2018:

  • 96 percent of Tufts students were already employed or enrolled in grad school at the time of graduation
  • 87 percent of students completed at least one internship while at Tufts

Your Future At Tufts University

If you’ve chosen Tufts University as one of your reach, safety, or target schools, you’re in good hands. Tufts admissions makes it clear that the success of their students is one of their top priorities.

As you go through your application process and find that you need help, feel free to reach out to any of WeAdmit’s professional counselors. We’re standing by to help you tailor your application to fit Tufts’ ideal student profile and raise your chances of acceptance.

Start Your Journey To Tufts Today!



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