Tufts University

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Updated August 7, 2020

Tufts University was initially established by Christian Universalists in 1852 on land donated by philanthropist Charles Tufts. For its first century, Tufts was a small New England-style liberal arts college. By 1976, Jean Mayer, a French nutritionist, took over presidency and transformed Tufts into a larger private, non-sectarian research institution. Tufts University now enrolls over 5,100 undergraduates and 5,400 post-graduates annually across 10 academic schools. Centered on Walnut Hill, Tufts has a 150-acre urban campus in Medford, Massachusetts, just 3.2 miles from downtown Boston. Satellite locations also operate in Chinatown, Grafton, Cape Cod, and abroad in Talloires, France.

Endowed for $1.5 billion, Tufts University is ranked the 27th best national university, 24th top value school, and 22nd top college for veterans by the U.S. News. In particular, Tufts has America's 59th best graduate education and 65th top graduate engineering programs. Given an "A" financial grade, Tufts was recognized for the country's 73rd most grateful grads by Forbes. The Princeton Review named Tufts the 24th best impact school with the 20th most politically active students nationwide. Newsweek crowned Tufts University among the "25 New Ivies." The Daily Beast noted Tufts as the fifth hottest school for 80 percent enrollment increase since 2000.

Tufts University Accreditation Details

Last reviewed in 2013, Tufts University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). This is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. Master's degrees have specialized accreditation from:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA)
  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE)

Tufts University Application Requirements

Getting into master's programs at Tufts University isn't easy with the highly selective acceptance rate of 17 percent. Graduate applicants must have completed or be finishing a four-year baccalaureate program from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. International three-year bachelor's degrees may be equivalent. Master's programs generally mandate a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the junior and senior years. Some, such as the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, require a 3.5 GPA in math and science. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general or subject scores must be achieved in the last five years. Additional requirements vary. For instance, the Master of Public Policy requires at least seven years of relevant experience. Non-U.S. citizens must score 600 or higher on the TOEFL pBT.

Graduate students must apply before Fall deadline on January 15th or Spring deadline on September 15th. Tufts University requires submitting an online application with the following:

  • $75 application fee by credit card or e-check
  • Unofficial copies of collegiate transcripts
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • A 2,500-word, five-page personal statement
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Official GRE scores via code 3901
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if foreign)
  • Electronic artwork portfolio (M.A.T. in Art Education only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Graduate education costs at Tufts University vary by program. Most M.A., M.S., and M.P.P. programs will charge full-time students $48,412 yearly. The Master of Science in School Psychology costs $41,152 and the Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Planning costs $33,880 each year. Engineering master's programs offer discounts at $15,036 per semester. Part-time graduate students are billed $4,840 per course. Post-baccalaureate certificates will charge $3,872 per credit. Master's students must pay the $50 student activity fee, $756 student health fee, and $2,451 health insurance fee (unless waived). Residential scholars must afford approximately $7,134 for housing and $5,960 for meal plans yearly.

The NCES reports that 42 percent of full-time Tufts students earn assistance. Financial aid packages have an average worth of $32,054. Graduates can borrow additional funding with Stafford, Perkins, or Grad PLUS loans with interest. Some may qualify for free federal aid with the TEACH Grant. In-state residents should apply for the MASS Grant, Massachusetts Public Service Grant, or Massachusetts Educational Rewards Grant. Low-income students may receive the need-based Tufts Grant for up to $60,000. Master's programs can provide tuition waivers with teaching and research assistantships. Employer tuition assistance is accepted. Institutional awards, including the PHPD Scholarship, Bosworth Scholarship, Hargens Fellowship, and City Year Scholarship, are also numerous.

Master's Degree(s) Available

Tufts University has eight graduate divisions conferring 38 master's degrees in a variety of professions. With a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, graduate seminars are small enough for personalized, interactive training. Tufts is particularly known for its Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, America's oldest graduate school for international relations. A partnership with Brandeis University also provides an AACSB-accredited MBA program. Other notable master's programs include the:

Master of Science in Bioengineering

Fully accredited by the ABET, the M.S. in Bioengineering program introduces students to the application of engineering principles to resolve biological and medical problems. Six tracks are available in Bioinformatics, Biomaterials, Biomechanical Systems and Devices, Cell and Bioprocess Engineering, Environmental Biotechnology, or Signals and Systems. The two-year program consists of four core credits and five elective credits with master's thesis research. Hands-on training is completed in Tufts' Tissue Engineering Resource Center.

Master of Arts in Teaching 

Tufts' Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program satisfies initial teaching license qualifications in Massachusetts for graduate students seeking to help youth learn in PK-12 schools. Full-time students can complete the 12-course curriculum within one calendar year, including a student teaching placement. Specializations are offered in Art Education, Elementary STEM, or Middle and High School Education. Since 2009, 100 percent of graduates have found teaching jobs.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Delivered with entry-level or post-professional tracks, the M.S. in Occupational Therapy program follows ACOTE guidelines to produce competent, ethical therapists who help people recover daily living skills. The full-time program consists of 18 course credits over four graduate semesters. Students must complete six months of supervised fieldwork, or two 480-hour placements, to satisfy certification requirements. Certificates can be added in School-Based Practice, Advanced Pain Study, or Hand and Upper Extremity Rehab.

Other unique master's degrees at Tufts University are the M.S. in Astrophysics, MFA in Studio Art, M.A. in Museum Education, M.S. in Human Factors, and M.A. in Classical Archaeology.

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