Tufts University was founded in 1852. The private institution is located in Medford, Massachusetts. (About five miles from Boston.) The suburban campus is about 150 acres, and freshmen and sophomores are required to live in on-campus housing. With just over 5,600 undergraduates, Tufts has been able to remain an intimate place for critical thinking and research opportunities.
The undergraduate programs at Tufts include the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, and the College of Special Studies (which hands out bachelor of fine arts degrees through the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.)
The most popular majors include social sciences; biological/life sciences; engineering; computer and informational sciences; and interdisciplinary studies. Tufts also offers programs through the Experimental College. Although the college does not give degrees, it gives students the chance to take classes for credit in a variety of different fields. This allows them to take courses from non-academics and explore various interests. Upperclassmen are also able to create and teach their own classes.
Tufts has a thriving social atmosphere on campus. About 13 percent of students participate in Greek life. (As part of the ten fraternities, six sororities, and one co-ed group.) The university is also well known for its biweekly magazine, “The Tufts Observer,” which was founded in 1895. The newspaper, “Tufts Daily,” has been named one of the best college newspapers in the country.
Tufts also has a strong athletic program. They participate in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III levels. Their mascot is Jumbo the elephant, because one of the original trustees was P.T. Barnum. Barnum was famous for his circuses, and the elephant has remained behind the school spirit of Tufts University. There is even an elephant statue near Barnum Hall (the biology building).
Students looking for a suburban atmosphere just a short distance from a big city should investigate Tufts University. Their individualized courses of study and strong faculty members should entice students interested in flexible, yet enriching academic programs. With notable alumni including senators and Olympians, Tufts offers numerous opportunities for all its undergraduates. The on-campus social traditions and activities also provide a well-rounded college experience for all students.