Located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, Tufts University School of Medicine has been a ground-breaking program since its earliest days. When the school opened in 1893, in the midst of the Victorian era, a quarter of its students amazingly were women.
That representation continues today at the school, with its most recent entering M.D. class consisting of 82 males and 113 females. They’re part of an esteemed four-year program that’s earned top rankings from numerous organizations.
While Tuft’s traditional M.D. program is based in Boston, prospective students who live in Maine or want to pursue a career in rural medicine can join what’s known as Tufts’ “Maine Track M.D.”
Tufts offers the degree through a partnership with Maine Medical Center and follows what it described as a “community-based curriculum.”
Students in the Maine track earn their degree through Tufts but spend most of their time in Maine, including gaining their clinical experience there.
M.D. students also have the option to earn a dual degree. Options include a master’s degree in international relations; a master’s degree in business administration in health management, offered in cooperation with Brandeis University’s Heller School; and a master’s degree in public health, an accelerated four-year program.
The medical school and the Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences also have teamed up to offer a combined M.D./Ph.D. program.
Other degrees available through the medical school include the master’s in biomedical sciences, the doctor of physical therapy, and various PhD programs.
Below, we’ll dig deeper into Tufts’ medical school, looking at its admissions process, acceptance rate, and much more.
Tufts Medical School Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate at Tufts Medical School is approximately 4%.
Tufts’ medical school is one of the best in the nation, so naturally, it’s somewhat tough to get admitted.
For the class of 2025, which entered medical school in 2021, Tufts received 13,388 completed applications and admitted 531, for an acceptance rate of 3.96%.
That is above the lowest acceptance rate in the nation, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine’s 1%, and similar to the rates for the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine (3.9%), and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (4%).
Looking at the schools ranked in the top 100 in America by U.S. News & World Report, the average acceptance rate is 6.3%.
Even getting to the point in the admissions process of getting an interview with Tufts is challenging. In that same group, the class of 2025, the medical school interviewed just 886 of the 13,388 applicants, or 6.6%.
In the end, 195 people enrolled in Tufts’ M.D. program, with the majority of them, 166 students, pursuing the traditional degree.
The remaining students enrolled in dual-degree programs, including 20 for the master’s degree in public health, six for the master’s degree in business administration, and three for the Ph.D.
Tufts Medical School Tuition
For the 2021-22 academic year, students in the traditional M.D. track paid $66,354 in tuition plus $6,268 to $6,873 in health insurance and other fees, for a total of $73,227 for first-year students and $72,622 for second-, third-, and fourth-year students.
Students in the Maine M.D. track paid the same in tuition, health insurance, and other fees, but Tufts estimated that the Maine students would pay less overall than their Boston counterparts overall thanks to lower room, board, and transportation costs in their area.
Factoring in the cost of room, board, transportation, and other daily expenses, Tufts estimated that students would pay a total of approximately $86,800 to $100,500.
The final number depended on the student’s year of study and where they lived (off-campus or with parents). Tufts does have financial aid available, including federal work-study, scholarships, and loans.
During that same year, the most expensive medical school was at the University of South Carolina, where out-of-state students paid $91,557 in tuition and fees. Schools that had similar costs to Tufts included Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
Tufts Medical School Requirements
Applicants must fill out the American Medical College Application Service’s online form and then the Tufts School of Medicine secondary application.
Tufts considers not only candidates’ academic records as a whole but also their extracurricular activities and how well they did in their prerequisite classes.
Through the AMCAS Letters Service, prospective students also must provide letters of recommendation that demonstrate how suited they are for a career in medicine. Tufts does not require that the letters come from specific people.
Applicants can submit at least three individual ones or a packet from the career services or premedical offices at their undergraduate or graduate schools. The packet option could include a committee letter or a collection of individual letters.
Prospective students don’t need to have majored in a specific subject as undergraduates to apply for the M.D. program, but Tufts does have some prerequisites applicants must fulfill.
These include courses in chemistry, biology, and physics, and applicants must meet certain competency requirements in areas such as laboratory skills and statistics.
Applicants must take the MCAT within five years of enrolling at Tufts. If they have not taken the MCAT year, students can still submit their applications but will need to provide their exam results once they have them.
After Tufts reviews the applications, they will then invite a select group to come to campus for a day that will include two interviews with the Admissions Committee, a tour, and more. From there, the medical school will decide who to admit.
Tufts Medical School Notable Alumni
History is filled with the achievements of alumni of Tufts’ medical school. They include the 2003 Nobel Prize for chemistry, awarded to Tufts alumnus Roderick MacKinnon for his work on cell membrane channels and ion channels.
The late Basil A. Pruitt’s development of an anti-bacterial cream to help burn victims and other work in burn treatment earned him the nickname “the father of modern burn care.” He served in the Army, which included a stint at one of Vietnam’s busiest evacuation hospital, and later received the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine.
Ruth M. Easterling, the first black woman Tufts admitted to the program, continued to make a name for herself after graduating in the early 20th century, working with Dr. William Augustus Hinton, who developed his namesake blood serum test for syphilis.
In 2013, Time magazine named alumna Katherine Luzuriaga one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She and a few fellow doctors had used anti-HIV drugs to cure a newborn of AIDS.
Alumni have succeeded outside the medical field as well, such as Glenn Cooper. A best-selling author of thriller novels, he practiced medicine and worked as an executive for a biotechnology company before turning to screenwriting and fiction writing.
Tufts Medical School Ranking
While Tufts does not land in the upper echelons of national rankings, it still makes a respectable showing.
In its 2022 ranking of American medical schools, U.S. News & World Report placed 51st on the list of best schools for primary care training, tying with the Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Duke University School of Medicine, and three others.
Tufts also tied for 52nd on U.S. News’ ranking of the best medical schools for research and tied for 62nd for most diverse medical schools.
Additionally, the Princeton Review included Tufts on its list of best med schools in the country, although it did not include exact rankings. In its look at Tufts University as a whole, Niche gave it an overall grade of A+.
The publication also gave Tufts this top grade in some of the arguably most important aspects of higher education, including academics, student life, and diversity.
The medical school also earned international attention thanks to worldwide educational ranking organization Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which included Tufts on its list of the world’s best places to study medicine. Tufts did not receive an exact numerical ranking but placed in the group of the top 151 to 200 medical schools.
Should You Attend Tufts Medical School?
Tufts students receive a degree from a highly respected medical school that gives them hands-on experience within weeks of beginning classes.
With the help of 200 students, faculty members, and staff, Tufts recently redesigned its curriculum to keep pace with medical advancements.
Tufts’ curriculum includes time not only in the classroom, where students learn in small groups as well as one-on-one lessons, but also in facilities for experiential learning, such as the 9,000-square-foot Clinical Skills and Simulation Center and the Anatomy Lab.
Tufts Medical Center, meanwhile, the university’s main teaching hospital, has 400 beds and is located by the medical school, giving students valuable experience treating patients in one of the country’s biggest cities.
To gain a well-rounded education, students also do clinical rotations at more than a dozen other area facilities, including community health spaces and trauma centers.
For the 194 students in the class of 2021, this experience led them to match to residencies in 24 specialties across 29 states.
Throughout their time at the medical school, whose campus is located in Boston’s exciting Chinatown neighborhood, students can join various school clubs or volunteer locally. To support their learning experience, M.D. students also have access to the school’s Learning Communities, which include amenities like, study areas, a kitchen, and a living room. Faculty “coaches” help guide and meet regularly with students in the communities.
All this and more have helped earn Tufts’ medical school good marks and a favorable reputation.