What is Tufts Known For? Is Tufts University a Good School?

Nestled just outside Boston, Massachusetts, Tufts is one of the academic gems of New England. With connections to MIT and Harvard, this R1 university offers an education that stands on its own next to its Ivy League neighbors. 

Known for its unique mascot, one-time Barnum and Bailey circus star Jumbo the Elephant, Tufts has a culture of encouraging students to be star students that find innovative ways to explore art and science. 

Home to both a top engineering school and one of the oldest art schools, students have the opportunity to find what possibilities can be created in an interdisciplinary learning environment. 

In addition to an unique education, students will have the singular opportunity to be in one of the most historical areas in the nation. 

Within an hour of Tufts, students will be able to explore the sites of the earliest American settlements, battlefields of the American Revolution, the harbor where the infamous Boston Tea Party occurred, and the envy of baseball fans, and home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park. 

If this isn’t enough to tempt potential students, below is more information on what makes Tufts University special and why it is worth considering joining the Jumbo community.

What Majors & Academics Are Tufts Known For?

Tufts University
Jellymuffin40, Carmichael Hall, Tufts, CC BY-SA 4.0

Tufts prides itself on being an R1 research university with a liberal arts college feel. 

With over 150 undergraduate majors and minors to choose from, students can pursue a unique interdisciplinary education that results in innovative learning. 

Undergraduates can study within the School of Arts and Sciences, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, and the School of Engineering. 

Each student, whether they are computer science, fine arts, or engineering majors, will take courses in a range of disciplines outside their focus for a more well-rounded education. 

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts presents a unique example of this cross-disciplinary education experience. With the distinction of being one of the oldest art schools in the nation, SMFA combines artistic skill with the rigor of research and real-life experience. 

The school’s connection to the nearby Museum of Fine Arts is of particular note. Students will have access to internships, opportunities to showcase their work and mentorship from some of the most skilled artists nationally and abroad. 

Art intersecting with research goes both ways; a fact evidenced by the School of Engineering. Students have the opportunity to do research in important areas such as environmental sustainability, technology, and infrastructure. 

Students will learn from members of the American Society of Civil Engineers, participate in altruistic organizations like Engineers without Borders, and experience architecture from both an art history and sustainability point of view. 

Regardless of the area that students choose to study, Tufts will provide them with access to vital research experience, talented mentors, and a community of learners that support each other in the journey to creating a better society.

Is Tufts University a Good School?

The short answer to this question is a definitive “Yes.” 

A good school is one that offers students an affordable education, adequate training in their field of interest, opportunities to explore outside their comfort zone, and preparation for the workforce. 

Tufts is proud to note that it meets 100% of demonstrated student need. 

And students whose family income falls under $60,000 a year will receive a student aid package that doesn’t utilize loans. 

Though Tufts does have the option for students to be awarded aid based on merit, most of the aid it offers students is need-based. 

Students also have access to an education that believes being a well-rounded student means being in touch with the local, national, and global society. 

Opportunities like Tufts Civic Semester allow students to travel nationally and abroad to discover what it means to contribute to social issues of injustice and inequity. 

Tufts Career Center helps students take their learning experiences even further by offering career advising, work and internship opportunities, and access to past Tuft alumni. The Herd, as this alumni connection platform is called, connects current students to alumni where they can gain advice from those who have made the transition into the workforce. 

Coming in at number 28 in U.S. News and World reports best National Schools, Tufts is a school that gives students a high-quality education that doesn’t break the bank. 

Tufts University Traditions

One of the first things students will need to see when visiting the Tufts campus is the life-sized elephant statue of Jumbo. 

This real-life international animal celebrity’s involvement with P.T. Barnum, a trustee of Tufts, found his way into the heart of the Tuft academic community and inspired the affectionate label “Jumbos” that all Tufts students claim proudly. 

Apart from its famous mascot, Tufts has traditions that students will find both familiar and unique. 

A staple to many university campuses around the nation is the practice of having a designated object that gets painted on in the name of different causes. 

For Tufts, they have a replica USS Constitution cannon that students can come together and paint under the cover of dark to represent causes or events they want to promote. 

Less clandestine in nature, Tufts students can also look forward to the annual Spring Fling concert. 

After a long semester of studying and stress, students old and new come together to celebrate with their peers and enjoy popular music performers live. Past performers have included A$ap Ferg, Childish Gambino, and Kesha. 

Finally, in the spirit of the university’s first president, who had a vision that Tufts would be like a “light on a hill,” there are two opportunities for students to quite literally be a light on a hill. When undergraduates come in, they will be invited to participate in the Illumination Ceremony. 

This Tufts community event invites students to place a candle on the president’s lawn with their peers as they start their new academic journey. 

When they graduate, students will be invited to return to do the ceremony again as a way of ceremonially ending their time at Tufts. 

Prominent Clubs & Extracurricular Activities at Tufts University

Tufts University
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Tufts offers 300 student clubs and extracurricular activities that cater to career needs, fun, politics, art, Greek life, and more. 

Pre-professional groups can be essential launching points for students looking for insight on preparing for their career of interest. 

Tufts provides students with several pre-professional groups, including pre-law and pre-med. In addition, because of the university’s strong engineering program, aspiring engineers will have the opportunity to be part of some of the top engineering societies. 

Other groups that can give students both a chance to gain important experience for the ‘real world’ ( but also have fun) include different Greek life groups, the school newspaper, and student government. 

Each of these allows students to build a community and leadership skills that can easily translate into life after university. 

That said, not all club involvement has to be about getting ahead – it can include fun for fun’s sake! 

Students who are looking for an excellent way to release the stress and anxiety of their studies will have access to unique offerings like the Tufts Culinary Society, Tufts Mountain Club, and the Tufts University Quidditch team! 

Tufts also knows allowing students to nurture their spiritual selves is essential. 

With a wide array of campus religious communities, including the Tufts Hillel, Muslim Student Association, and Buddhist student group, students will have the ability to find space to practice further or explore their spirituality.

What Sports Are Tufts Known For?

Tufts’ sports fall into the NCAA Division III and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

As a Division III school, Tufts has a unique approach to athletics that ensures students who play sports at Tufts can balance their athletic life with their academics. 

In other words, students who play sports at Tufts understand the importance of excellence on and off the field. 

The university offers many different top sports teams that students can be part of, including track and field and the university’s National Championship-winning men’s soccer team. 

This dedication to athletic and academic excellence is reflected in the university’s membership in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

The NESCAC is made up of eleven liberal arts schools that have a dedication to producing student-athletes who can focus on their academics as much as their athletics. 

Universities that are part of the NESCAC are some of the most competitive and have some of the top teams in the Division III category. 

Tufts also knows that keeping active is important to all students, regardless of athletic status, and provides the entire student body access to an indoor sports center that boasts an indoor track, top of the line exercise equipment, tennis courts, and six-lane swimming pool. 

Outdoors, the school has one of the best track fields available in the area and a special training building on the Malden River for rowing crews.

Why Tufts University?

Tufts University is a school known for its interdisciplinary approach to the Arts and Sciences, for being a top research university with a liberal arts college feel. It is located in one of the most historic cities in the United States. 

The question students need to ask themselves when considering Tufts is how it meets their particular interests and career path. 

The University has been rated in the top 50 best undergraduate experiences

So, if a student isn’t as worried about knowing their exact area of study but is looking for a quality education experience, Tufts offers a top-notch education that is comparable with some of the best universities around. 

If having many on-campus options for personal and career development is essential, Tufts’s offerings of Greek Life, pre-professional groups, and prestigious societies will give students plenty of opportunities to bulk up their CVs. 

Even if students are just looking for a good way to have a lot of fun outside of their studies, the acapella group, dance group, and political group are just a few examples of ways students will have ample opportunity to create a rich education experience.

To be a Jumbo is to be part of a long history of Tuft University excellence. And if nothing else, students can boast about having one of the most unique mascots in the nation!

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