Please complete the following statement: “I am applying to Tufts because…” (50-100 words)
This short essay is a classic ‘Why this school?’ essay. It should highlight your knowledge of the unique opportunities at Tufts, and your own special interests and perspectives. A great way to approach this essay is to do some intensive research on Tufts’ website in order to find academic programs, research opportunities, extracurricular activities and student groups, and unique aspects of student life that interest you. Focus on linking your past experiences and passions to your plans for making the most of your potential time at Tufts.
For example, if you’re a high school senior who is interested in global politics, involved in Model UN, and aspires to become a diplomat, you should refer to these specific aspects of your profile and write about the resources at Tufts that will help you reach your professional goals. You might mention how Tufts’ 1+4 Bridge Year Program will broaden your perspectives on global issues and service learning, or discuss how you could complement your International Relations major with Tufts’ Peace and Justice Studies minor. If you have any other special connections to Tufts–e.g. a campus visit and tour, a friend or sibling who attended Tufts and raved about any special features of its academic or student culture–these details may also find their way into your essay.
Applicants to the School of Arts & Sciences or the School of Engineering:
Please respond to one of the following three prompts in 200-250 words:
It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity and why?
Tufts admissions committee is inviting you to “nerd out.” More specifically, this essay should allow the reader to actually sense your excitement for a specific subject or to understand a foundational academic experience that provided the spark for your continued studies in college. For the former, try to hone in on a particular unique interest within your intended field(s) of study. Instead of writing about how much you enjoy reading, for example, you can distinguish yourself from other prospective English majors by writing about your love of the 17th-century Metaphysical poets, the short story that turned you into an aspiring novelist, or how you noticed that the TV series Dickinson’s cinematography parallels the mood of some of Emily Dickinson’s poems. Alternatively, if you’ve had an educational experience that was particularly powerful–e.g. an immersive Mock Trial program, attending an intensive academic summer camp, conducting research in a lab–you could write about how the experience influenced you and shaped your passions and goals.
How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?
This prompt asks you to reflect on the world you come from and how your background has shaped your worldview. According to Tufts’ Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin, the admissions committee at Tufts hopes to “bring perspectives together that are different and push you to think about your own frame of reference.” Therefore, it’s important to think about and clearly express what your particular frame of reference is, and what you can bring to campus that no one else can. This may be related to a geographic identity, a religious community, a unique intersection of identities that you occupy, a family background, a place of work, a school you attend or have attended, or any other environment that has been meaningful to you. What are the life lessons you’ve gleaned from growing up in your particular neighborhood, or in your particular family? What are the most important communities you are a part of, and how have they shaped your values?
Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community.
The job of the Tufts admissions committee is to build an academic community, and in this example of what we call the “community” essay, they want to understand what kind of value-add you would be to that community. Because they are asking you for specific examples, this essay should take the form of an anecdote where you specifically describe a time when you helped bring people together for a common goal and/or found ways to unite people who were previously divided. A successful essay would demonstrate not only your abilities to work well with others but also shed some light on what you believe the value of collaboration or inclusivity to be. In brainstorming your essay, start by thinking through any time you were working towards something and were reliant on the work of others to get it done–you can’t collaborate or be inclusive if you’re all by yourself! What did that experience teach you about finding common ground with others or about the perspective of another individual or group of people?