How to Get Into Tufts - Admission Requirements + Tips

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May 6, 2024
10 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/6/24

Want to learn how to get into Tufts? This article will tell you everything you need to know. 

Getting into Tufts University is a goal many aspiring students hold dear, and it's no wonder why. Nestled in the picturesque town of Medford, Massachusetts, Tufts is renowned for its distinguished faculty, innovative research opportunities, and vibrant, close-knit community. 

However, the path to securing a coveted spot at this prestigious institution can be challenging, requiring dedication, preparation, and a keen understanding of what Tufts looks for in its applicants. 

In this article, we'll delve into the essential steps, tips, and strategies to help you navigate the admissions process and increase your chances of joining the ranks of Jumbos at Tufts University.

Tufts University Acceptance Rate

The Tufts University acceptance rate typically hovers around 9.5%.

Tufts University acceptance rate compared to how many students Quad get's into the same school!

Is It Hard to Get Into Tufts?

Getting into Tufts University can be quite challenging due to its highly competitive admissions process. With a history of academic excellence and a strong reputation in various fields, Tufts attracts a large number of well-qualified applicants from across the globe. 

The university looks for not only strong academic records but also considers factors such as extracurricular involvement, essays, recommendation letters, and standardized test scores. Tufts values diversity and a holistic approach to admissions, making it essential for applicants to stand out in multiple areas. 

While the Tufts admission rate may be a challenge, it's certainly not impossible. Aspiring students who demonstrate passion, a commitment to learning, and a well-rounded set of skills and experiences have a chance to secure a place in this esteemed institution.

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into Tufts.

What Programs Does Tufts Offer?

Tufts University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across various disciplines. Here is a brief overview of some of the programs and schools at Tufts:

  • School of Arts and Sciences: This school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Majors and minors span from English and psychology to biology and physics.
  • School of Engineering: Tufts' engineering programs cover areas like mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, and electrical and computer engineering.
  • The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy: This graduate school focuses on international relations, diplomacy, and law. It offers master's and doctoral programs in global affairs.
  • School of Medicine: Tufts University School of Medicine provides medical education, including MD programs, as well as graduate programs in biomedical sciences.
  • Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: This school offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program, as well as graduate degrees in various veterinary sciences.
  • School of Dental Medicine: Tufts' School of Dental Medicine provides programs in dental medicine, including the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
  • Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life: This college is dedicated to civic engagement and offers programs that encourage students to become active and engaged citizens.
  • School of Nutrition Science and Policy: Tufts' nutrition programs focus on research and policy related to nutrition and health.
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts: This school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in fine arts, studio art, and art education.
  • School of Social Work: Tufts' social work programs prepare students for careers in social work and related fields.
  • Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: This school offers graduate programs in nutrition science, food policy, and related areas.
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: This school offers various master's and doctoral programs in fields such as history, economics, psychology, and more.

These are just some of the programs and schools at Tufts University. Tufts is known for its interdisciplinary approach to education, allowing students to explore a wide range of academic interests and often encouraging collaboration across disciplines. 

It's advisable to visit Tufts' official website for the most up-to-date information on specific programs and offerings.

Tufts Admission Requirements

To secure admission to Tufts University, aim for a competitive SAT score of 1540 or an ACT score of 35. Additionally, maintaining a GPA higher than 4.04 will enhance your chances of acceptance. To take your application up a notch, craft an exceptional personal statement sharing your personality, values, and aspirations.

Tufts University, like many selective institutions, has comprehensive admission requirements that encompass various aspects of an applicant's academic and personal profile. 

While the exact requirements may evolve, the typical criteria for admission to Tufts include:

  • A strong high school transcript with a challenging course load
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors
  • Standardized test scores (although Tufts has been increasingly test-optional) 
  • Well-crafted personal essays that showcase an applicant's character and aspirations 
  • A commitment to extracurricular activities that highlight leadership, community engagement, or special talents. 

Tufts University also values a diverse student body, so they consider factors such as geographic and cultural background during the admission process. 

What Kind of Students Does Tufts University Look For?

Tufts University seeks a diverse and talented group of students who not only excel academically but also possess qualities and experiences that align with the university's values and its vision for fostering a vibrant and inclusive community. Here are some key characteristics and qualities that Tufts typically looks for in its applicants:

  • Academic Excellence: Tufts values students who have a strong academic record, particularly those who have challenged themselves with a rigorous high school curriculum.
  • Intellectual Curiosity: The university seeks students who are naturally curious, enjoy learning, and are eager to explore a wide range of academic disciplines.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Tufts places a high emphasis on diversity in all its forms—cultural, socioeconomic, racial, and more. They value students who can contribute to a rich and inclusive campus environment.
  • Passion and Commitment: Applicants who are passionate about their interests, whether in academics, extracurricular activities, or community service, are highly valued.
  • Leadership and Engagement: Tufts looks for individuals who have demonstrated leadership abilities and a strong commitment to making a positive impact in their communities.
  • Critical Thinking: The university appreciates students who can think critically, solve problems creatively, and approach complex issues with an open mind.
  • Global Perspective: Given Tufts' strong international focus, students who have a global perspective and an interest in international affairs and global issues are particularly attractive.
  • Personal Character: Tufts values applicants with strong character, integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.
  • Extracurricular Involvement: Involvement in extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, and other pursuits that showcase a well-rounded and engaged individual is also considered important.
  • Alignment with Tufts' Values: Applicants who can demonstrate a genuine alignment with Tufts' values, such as active citizenship, interdisciplinary learning, and a commitment to positive change, have an advantage in the admissions process.

It's important to note that Tufts practices a holistic admissions process, considering all aspects of an applicant's profile. While they value academic achievements, they also take into account an applicant's unique experiences, perspectives, and potential contributions to the Tufts community. 

Each application is reviewed individually, and the university seeks to build a diverse and dynamic student body that reflects these values.

Students volunteering at food drive

How to Apply to Tufts University?

Applying to Tufts University involves a comprehensive and thorough process. 

To begin, prospective students should visit the official Tufts admissions website to access the most current application instructions and deadlines. Typically, Tufts accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application, allowing applicants to choose the platform that suits them best. 

Along with the application form, you'll need to submit your high school transcripts, letters of recommendation (usually from teachers and a counselor), standardized test scores (though Tufts has adopted a test-optional policy in recent years), a well-crafted personal essay, and a list of extracurricular activities and achievements. 

Tufts also encourages applicants to consider a "YouTube Optional" submission to provide additional insight into their personalities and interests. Paying attention to Tufts' specific essay prompts is crucial, as they often focus on the university's core values and what makes you a unique fit for the Tufts community. 

Additionally, Tufts practices a need-blind admissions policy for domestic applicants, meaning they don't consider an applicant's financial situation during the admission process. However, for those seeking financial aid, you'll need to submit the required financial aid forms and documentation.

Tufts Application Process and Deadlines

Tufts University's application process is a carefully structured journey that demands attention to detail and adherence to specific deadlines. 

Typically, the Regular Decision deadline for both applications falls on January 4th, while the Early Decision deadline is November 1st. Tufts offers two rounds of Early Decision, with the second round having a deadline of January 4th. 

Keeping a close eye on the official deadlines and ensuring all materials are submitted on time is essential for a successful application to Tufts University.

Tips on How to Get Into Tufts University

Getting into Tufts University is a competitive endeavor, but with the right approach and preparation, you can enhance your chances of being admitted. Here are some tips to help you in the Tufts admission process:

Maintain Strong Academics

Tufts places a significant emphasis on academic excellence. Consistently earn high grades in challenging courses throughout high school. Tufts GPA requirements are usually around 4.04, though your SAT score can help if you are low. 

A strong academic record demonstrates a commitment to excellence and positions applicants as intellectually capable of thriving in Tufts' challenging and stimulating academic environment.

Standardized Tests

Standardized test scores, like the SAT or ACT, remain significant for Tufts University admissions. While the institution is test-optional, strong scores can bolster an applicant's profile. They provide an objective metric of academic readiness and help differentiate candidates in a competitive process, especially when other aspects of their application align closely with peers.

Craft an Exceptional Personal Essay

Crafting an exceptional personal essay is paramount for Tufts University admission. It offers a unique opportunity to showcase personality, values, and aspirations beyond transcripts and test scores. A well-written essay can demonstrate a genuine fit with Tufts' culture, mission, and values, making a compelling case for acceptance.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation play a vital role in the Tufts University admission process. They provide insights into an applicant's character, academic abilities, and contributions. 

Strong recommendations from educators or mentors can validate an applicant's potential and commitment, adding depth to their application and helping admissions officers make informed decisions.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are highly significant for Tufts University admission. They showcase a well-rounded applicant actively engaged in diverse interests, leadership, and community involvement. These activities not only demonstrate passion and commitment but also align with Tufts' emphasis on civic engagement, creating a compelling case for acceptance.

Demonstrate Interest 

Demonstrating genuine interest in Tufts University can significantly impact admissions. Engaging with the institution through campus visits, interviews, and outreach signals a strong desire to become part of the Tufts community. It underscores an applicant's commitment and can differentiate them in a competitive pool, increasing their chances of acceptance.

Fit with Tufts

Emphasizing one's fit with Tufts University is crucial for admissions success. Tufts values a diverse and inclusive community that values active citizenship and interdisciplinary learning. 

Demonstrating alignment with these values in your application highlights your potential contributions and enhances your chances of admission, as it reflects a genuine fit with the institution's ethos.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are core values at Tufts University. Applicants who can showcase their commitment to these principles through their experiences, perspectives, and contributions stand out. Tufts seeks individuals who can enrich its community by fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment, making these qualities integral to successful admission.

Optional Materials

Optional materials in Tufts University applications provide an opportunity to showcase unique aspects of your candidacy. These materials, like additional essays, portfolios, or creative submissions, can enhance your application by highlighting talents, interests, or experiences not fully represented elsewhere. 

However, applicants should only submit optional materials that genuinely contribute to their profile and align with Tufts' values and mission.


If offered an interview, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with an admissions representative and showcase your enthusiasm for Tufts. Be sure to take time to prepare for your interview beforehand. 

Recommendation Form

Recommendation forms are essential components of Tufts University applications. They provide insights into an applicant's character, academic abilities, and personal qualities from the perspective of educators, mentors, or supervisors. 

Strong recommendations can strengthen an applicant's candidacy, emphasizing their suitability for Tufts and contributing to a well-rounded application profile.

Financial Aid

Tufts University offers various financial aid options to help make higher education accessible. Students can apply for need-based aid, which considers family finances. Tufts is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial needs, ensuring that all admitted students have the opportunity to pursue their academic goals regardless of their financial circumstances.

Early Decision

Applying to Tufts University through the Early Decision (ED) option signifies a strong commitment to attending if admitted. ED applicants submit their applications by November 1st, receiving admission decisions by mid-December. Tufts encourages students who are certain about their choice to consider ED, as it can enhance their chances of acceptance.

Stay Informed

Keep up-to-date with Tufts' application requirements, deadlines, and any changes in their admission policies by regularly visiting their official website.

Remember that the admissions process at Tufts is holistic, and they look for well-rounded individuals who will contribute to their vibrant community. Tailoring your application to align with Tufts' values and showcasing your genuine self is key to standing out among the applicant pool.

Male student looking at laptop

Should I Apply to Tufts?

Whether or not you should apply to Tufts University depends on your unique academic and personal aspirations. Tufts is renowned for its rigorous academic programs, innovative research opportunities, and commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community. 

If you are seeking an intellectually stimulating environment that values creativity, critical thinking, and social engagement, Tufts may be an excellent fit. Additionally, Tufts' location in the greater Boston area provides access to a wealth of cultural and career opportunities. 

However, it's essential to carefully consider your academic strengths and interests and how well they align with Tufts' programs and values. Research the university thoroughly, evaluate your own goals, and assess whether Tufts can provide the education and community you desire. 

Ultimately, the decision to apply should reflect your own aspirations and what you believe Tufts can offer you in pursuit of your academic and personal growth.


Here are a few common questions about how to get into Tufts. 

1. What Is Tufts University Known for?

Tufts is recognized for its strong commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community where students from various backgrounds come together to learn and collaborate. The university is also known for its rigorous academic programs and emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, allowing students to explore and integrate knowledge across different fields. 

Tufts' exceptional faculty conducts groundbreaking research in areas such as international relations, medicine, environmental studies, and the arts. 

Moreover, Tufts' location near Boston provides students with access to a wealth of cultural, career, and networking opportunities. Lastly, Tufts University is celebrated for its active engagement in social and civic issues, encouraging students to become informed and socially responsible global citizens.

2. Is Tufts University Ivy League?

No, Tufts University is not a member of the Ivy League. While it is a prestigious and well-regarded institution, the Ivy League is a specific group of eight private colleges and universities in the northeastern United States. 

3. What Are Tufts’ Tuition and Fees?

The undergraduate tuition and fees are approximately $66,358 per year. This figure includes tuition, fees, and room and board expenses. Keep in mind that this cost can be offset by financial aid, scholarships, and grants for eligible students.

4. Where Is Tufts Located?

Tufts University is situated in Medford, Massachusetts, known for its rich history, academic excellence, and cultural diversity.

This location offers a unique blend of urban and suburban experiences. Students at Tufts benefit from easy access to the cultural and career opportunities of Boston, one of the nation's most dynamic cities, while still enjoying the tranquility of Tufts' suburban campus. 

5. Is NYU or Tufts Harder to Get Into? 

Both New York University (NYU) and Tufts University are highly competitive institutions, and the difficulty of getting into either one can vary from year to year depending on various factors, including the applicant pool and the university's admission policies at that time.

Historically, NYU has had a slightly higher acceptance rate compared to Tufts University, which often has a lower acceptance rate, making Tufts arguably more selective. However, it's important to note that acceptance rates can fluctuate, and both universities have competitive admissions processes. Furthermore, the selectivity of a university is not the sole indicator of its quality or the value of the education it provides.

Final Thoughts

Applying to Tufts University is a journey marked by its challenges and rewards. Aspiring students are drawn to Tufts for its academic excellence, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and vibrant campus community. 

While learning how to get into Tufts can be challenging, it is essential to remember that Tufts seeks individuals who not only excel academically but also bring unique perspectives, passions, and experiences to the table. Crafting a compelling application that authentically reflects your character, aspirations, and alignment with Tufts' values is key. 

The decision to apply should be based on a thorough assessment of your academic and personal goals and how Tufts University can help you achieve them. 

Remember that Tufts values holistic individuals who can contribute to its dynamic community, and if you believe that you can be one of those contributors, then applying to Tufts University may be the first step toward an enriching and transformative educational experience.

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