Information for First-Year Applicants
Tufts uses the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Everything you need to apply, including the Tufts-Short Answer Questions, is hosted on the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website. We provide a simple checklist of all the required application materials below. We are not able to accept supplemental materials that don't appear on this checklist. For those applying through QuestBridge, you can find information about the application here.
|Application Type||Application Deadline||Notification Date|
|Early Decision I||November 17||Mid-December|
|Early Decision II||January 1||Mid-February|
|Regular Decision||January 1||By April 1|
Please also note the separate financial aid deadlines.
A complete application includes the following items, which are required:
- Completed Common Application or Coalition Application, including:
- Letters of Recommendation: Tufts requires one letter from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course (math, natural science, social science, English, or a foreign language) and one letter from a school counselor for all applicants. Candidates for the SMFA at Tufts' BFA or Combined Degree BFA + BA/BS programs are required to submit a letter from their art teacher as well. An additional letter from all other applicants, though not encouraged, may be submitted if the student feels it can add new perspective to his or her application.
- Extracurricular Activities: In addition to evaluating an academic fit, the admissions committee looks for ways a student may contribute to the community as a whole. They will assess the level and type of involvement in each activity and may ask questions such as: Has the student been a significant contributor or leader? How has the involvement contributed to the school or larger community? Does the student have a special talent in a particular area? We do not expect all students to be team captains, class presidents, or editors-in-chief; rather, we look for meaningful involvement in their school and/or community. The Common Application allows students to list up to ten different activities, but you don't need to fill every space. Some of the most successful applicants are heavily engaged in just a few activities. Keep in mind that the Common Application is your one chance to show your extracurricular engagements: we are not able to accept a supplemental resume of activities.
- Completed Tufts Short-Answer Questions (part of the application)
- High School Transcript(s)
- Senior Grades: All applicants will be required to send their senior grades as part of their application. Students applying Early Decision I should send first quarter or trimester grades no later than the last week in November. Students applying Early Decision II should plan for their first semester or trimester grades to arrive no later than the third week in January. Finally, Regular Decision applicants should submit their first semester or trimester grades by the middle of February. Students studying outside the United States (where predicted grades are common) should send those if senior grades are not available.
- English Proficiency Test Scores: Required only for applicants whose primary language is not English, unless they have been enrolled in a school where English is the language of instruction for at least three years. Students enrolled in ESOL classes during secondary school may be asked for proof of proficiency. Click here for additional information.
- Art Portfolio: Required only for students applying to the BFA or Combined Degree BFA + BA/BS programs at the SMFA at Tufts. Submit a 15-20-piece portfolio of recent work, which represents your strengths and interests in the visual arts, via SlideRoom. More information on the required portfolio for these programs and how to submit can be found by clicking here.
- $75 Application Fee or Fee Waiver: You may consider the waiver approved unless a member of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions notifies you otherwise. Without an application fee, or an approved fee waiver, we cannot continue to process your application to Tufts University. Approved waivers are:
- A written request from your college counselor or school official who can attest that the fee would represent a financial hardship, or
- A College Board Request for Waiver of the Application Fee form.
These additions to the application are optional, meaning they are not required:
- Standardized Testing: Beginning with students applying for fall 2021 admission, applicants have a choice about whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for undergraduate admission to Tufts University. If applicants would like us to consider their exam results as one component of their candidacy, we will do so in a nuanced and contextual way. If students choose not to submit exam results, we will evaluate their candidacy in a nuanced and contextual way without scores. Our holistic, committee-based approach to application review provides us with the flexibility to evaluate academic and extracurricular accomplishments within a student’s individual context. We do not require SAT Subject Tests, the SAT Essay, or the writing section of the ACT and will not consider them in our process. Tufts accepts self-reported testing on the Common Application, QuestBridge Application and Coalition Application when students are applying. Students who are admitted and choose to enroll at Tufts will be required to send their official scores.
- Alumni Interview
- Arts or Maker Portfolio: As the Application Checklist indicates above, the Art Portfolio is required for students applying to the BFA or Combined Degree BFA + BA/BS programs at the SMFA at Tufts. Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering, however, may submit an optional arts or maker portfolio to highlight talent in studio art, drama, dance, music, or engineering via SlideRoom. If applying through the Common Application, you will indicate your plans to submit a portfolio as part of the application and will see a link to submit your portfolio via SlideRoom at the end of the application; please note there is a $12 charge to submit your portfolio through SlideRoom. If applying through the Coalition application, visit the Tufts SlideRoom to create an account, select the appropriate “QuestBridge/Coalition App” program, and submit your portfolio.
Please also note that applying for financial aid is a separate process, with its own required documents.
Submitting Your Application
All application materials are submitted online via the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website, including high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. If there are materials that cannot be sent electronically, those materials may be mailed to:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
2 The Green
Medford, MA 02155-7057