The sixteen majors in the School of Engineering at Tufts are designed for collaborative, interdisciplinary thinkers and builders who like to get their hands a bit dirty. Engineers never work in isolation, and that is why we emphasize collaboration and communication both within and across disciplines. We also believe that there is not one "right" way to do something. Throughout their undergraduate experience, students develop the skills to troubleshoot and problem solve - because, at Tufts, we believe there is not one "right" way to be an innovator.
Tufts Engineering Values
A Project-Based and Collaborative Engineering Education
One of the hallmarks of Tufts Engineering is a project-based engineering education. As a first-year student, one of your first classes will be a hands-on, non-technical, project based engineering class designed to get you working in a team to begin learning the engineering design process. Some examples of these classes taught in the past include The Music & Art of Engineering, Simple Robotics, Climate Change Engineering, Engineering in Crises, and Biomechanics.
You will end your Tufts engineering journey by working together with a group of your classmates to complete a senior design project. This year-long project will test your engineering skills and will also grant you the opportunity to dive deep into an area of engineering that interests you. Past projects have included a water-resistant headband for visually impaired swimmers, a voice assistant to teach millennials about finance, and a wearable pollution patch.
Equal parts playful and practical, the projects that students develop in Tufts engineering courses range from educational tools to robotic haunted houses to model buildings that can withstand earthquakes. This hands-on, high-touch approach runs throughout your time at Tufts. From prototyping medical devices in Biomedical Engineering to developing a thread-based data glove with your senior design project team, project-based learning is at the core of Tufts Engineering.
Socially Conscious Engineering
Tufts engineers don't simply ask if something can be created; they ask how and why. Deeply immersed in both engineering technical work and the liberal arts, Tufts engineers are nimble and adaptable in and outside of the classroom. Multidisciplinary learning is vital to understanding engineering issues in the context of the larger world. Tufts engineers connect ideas from various disciplines—philosophy to mechatronics—to become the engineers of the 21st century. Our flexible engineering program challenges traditional curriculum restrictions by allowing engineers to choose a second major or a minor from either the School of Engineering or the School of Arts and Sciences.
Each engineering major and minor promotes an ethical and interdisciplinary approach, including significant strength in the areas of human health, sustainability, and the human-technology interface. We like when engineers look at the big picture and the broad implications of their work—we call this engineering with a conscience.
Research in an Intimate Environment
Our School of Engineering blends resources of a top-tier research institution with the strengths of a small liberal arts college. With our emphasis on the undergraduate experience, Tufts offers students the opportunity to collaborate with faculty across all disciplines on their research projects. In fact, 60% of our undergraduates participate in research before graduation. From Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto’s work on chemically-sensing fabrics to Professor Eric Hines’ work in offshore wind energy to Professor Susan Landau’s research on the intersection of technology and privacy, faculty and students alike are collaborating to solve tough problems related to human health, sustainability, the human-technology interface, and beyond.
Tufts is also one of the institutions with the easiest ability and heftiest faculty support for undergraduates to conduct their own independent research. If you are someone who wants to dive deep and conduct your own, self-designed research, the Tufts Summer Scholars Program can help you secure funding to conduct research of your own design for ten weeks over the course of a summer. Tufts Summer Scholars of the past have included an Electrical Engineer who researched facial recognition algorithms, focusing on how algorithms behave with alternative images. A Tufts Civil Engineer spent the summer researching the Malden River just north of Boston. Throughout his research, he discovered resources that would aid the progress of five different projects, including the creation of a railway-to-pedestrian bridge.
Tufts engineers do more than math and science. They are also kind, creative, collaborative, logical, enthusiastic, and down to earth. Collaboration is an especially big theme in our School of Engineering. On most problem sets that you complete as an engineering undergraduate, the first question will be “Who did you work on this with?” It is an expectation that you are working together to solve problems—because that is how engineering works in the real world! Our students understand that they need to be able to communicate and work with a wide variety of people to best solve the world’s most pressing problems.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty, staff, students, and alumni from the Computer Science department came together to create the Tufts CS Code for Good, a program that matches current students with various community service organizations and projects. You will foster close relationships not only on the Tufts campus, but we also make sure that you understand the power and importance of embedding yourself into the broader communities that us Jumbos call home.
Virtual Engineering Information Session
You can register here for a Virtual Engineering Information Session, where our Admissions team will give an overview of the program, answer your questions and provide more resources, and you can also watch a recorded session below:
Emai Lai: (Making) My Tufts Story
My name is Emai Lai, and I’m a School of Engineering alumna who studied Human Factors Engineering and Film & Media Studies. While wrapping up my junior year, I made this video to highlight some of my favorite opportunities and experiences at Tufts. From designing websites to directing short films, I’ve loved collaborating on research and projects both in the engineering school and through the Film & Media Studies program. As I mention in my video, despite having multiple storylines or narratives, my Tufts story is ultimately a story of making, and it’s still in the making!
Bray Laboratories, Halligan Hall, the Science and Technology Center, the Science and Engineering Complex, the Joyce Cummings Center, and the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex are among the many different spaces where our engineers immerse themselves in problem solving, tinkering, and inventing.
These maker-spaces, facilities, and lab spaces are home to professors and students working together to carry out ground-breaking research and design projects. If you are someone who enjoys tinkering and building, the Nolop Fabrication, Analysis, Simulation, and Testing (FAST) Facility in the Science and Engineering Complex is one place (of many!) where you can indulge your creativity. Equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, woodworking and metalworking tools, a full-time staff member to help you out and answer your questions, and more, you can quickly prototype a project (for class or just for fun!) and work with and learn from your peers. Nolop is open to every member of the Tufts community.
Interviews with Engineers
Some of our students took the time to sit down with Tufts engineers in 10 different majors to learn more about what it is they do—you can see what they had to say here. You can also discover the full list of sixteen majors offered through our School of Engineering here.