Prospective Jumbos – listen up! Here’s a look into how to best answer the Tufts supplemental essay questions.

Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too. 

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:

Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short: “Why Tufts?” (100-150 words)

Answering the question “Why Tufts?” should be viewed as the culmination of your demonstrated interest and a reflection of your “fit” on campus. Universities are constantly trying to assess fit in the same way their applicants are. Craft a thoughtful and honest response here. Be as specific as possible! You should also consider doing some research on Tufts’ academic and extracurricular offerings. If Tufts is your top choice, then this answer should come easily. Students who find themselves forcing the answer may want to reassess their decision to apply.

Have you visited the campus and taken an official tour and information session? You will more easily be able to write this essay if you have done so!

Now we’d like to know a little bit more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions (200 – 250 words). 

A) It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity?

Admissions officers use this question to learn more about an applicant’s core interests. Remember, this can be anything – so don’t be afraid to be honest if the answer is playing video games, doing makeup, cleaning up litter or cooking – anything goes. This prompt can reveal your diversity in interests and how you will bring that diversity to campus.

Before sitting down to write, take some time for self-reflection. Admissions officers are trying to learn more about you as a person, not just the topic you’re passionate about.

B) How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – shaped the person you are today?

Tufts wants to know what makes you, you. Feel free to use an anecdote to reveal who you are and why you are that way. After you use your anecdote or story, be sure to discuss how that has shaped who you are and how you plan on bringing your experiences to Tufts.

C) Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?

If this question doesn’t allow you to expand upon a topic you’re passionate about, skip it. However, if you’ve been engaged in the news and an active participant in society throughout high school – or even just recently – then this is your space to explain. Tufts seeks a socially engaged student body, so the admissions officers want to know where your passions lie, what you’ve done about them in the past and how you intend to continue pursuing those passions at Tufts.

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions: 

Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)

Dive into the curriculum in the arts at Tufts. What led you to study art? What field(s) within the arts match your interests? You might also want to let Tufts know a possible arts-related career path that you intend to follow someday.

Consider the Museum School professors, studios and courses when crafting (pun intended) your answer.

Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world.  What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words) 

Be specific! In the previous answer, you described your intended major, courses and/or favorite medium. In the response, though, you’ll want to talk about what inspires you to create art. What are your ideas? What do you want to explore with your art?

All of Tufts’ supplemental essay questions are geared toward helping the admissions office learn more about your unique qualities and how you will ultimately fit in on their campus. Be yourself and don’t forget to edit, edit, edit!

About the author
Amanda San Román

Amanda earned a BA in rhetoric from Bates College, where she was a Senior Admissions Fellow, responsible for interviewing applicants and leading information sessions. She continues to conduct alumni interviews both in-person and virtually. Amanda manages communication and partnership efforts for AcceptU by facilitating webinars, events, email marketing and technology management.

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