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Tufts University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Tufts University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 100-150 words; 1 essay of 200-250 words.

Supplemental Essay Type: Why, Oddball

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 & 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?

Tufts wants to accept intellectually curious applicants, so why not use this opportunity to rant and rave about your current obsession? Maybe you find marine life to be absolutely fascinating, and you’ve been reading up on the most dangerous creatures in the deep dark sea (and their preferred prey, of course). Or maybe you are super interested in Greek mythology and have been voraciously reading every book you can find on Poseidon and his many adventures. When was the last time you went down an internet rabbit hole trying to research something? When were you extremely motivated to solve a problem or create something new? What was the last fact or skill you learned outside of school that truly captured your imagination? The bottom line here is to discuss examples of what truly fascinates you, while also reflecting on what these examples say about your personality traits, interests, or learning style.

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

This is a classic community essay, through and through. Admissions wants to know what or who has made you into the person you are today. Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person, and how has that made your perspective unique? What you focus on here can be reflective of larger cultural constructs or specific to you and only you. Tufts is looking to add diverse perspectives to the melting pot that is their student body. Is there anything you can teach your classmates about your hometown, traditions, culture, cuisine, orientation, identity, race, or ethnicity that they might not already know? Were you raised in a Muslim family in a small southern town? Do you identify as trans or queer? Were you adopted as a child? What has influenced your identity? What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at Tufts?

Using a specific example or two, tell us about a way that you contributed to building a collaborative and/or inclusive community.

First of all, let us remind you that your “community” can be just about anything, from your neighborhood to your family to your comedy troupe. Pick a community that means something to you and the diversity narrative will fall into place. Maybe your progressive church welcomes people of all sexualities and gender identities, and you developed a brand new youth group for queer and questioning teens. Perhaps your school is incredibly homogenous and isolated, and you helped your Spanish class organize Skype chats with a school in Guatemala to learn more about different parts of the world while developing your Spanish skills. No matter your starting point, be sure you tell a clear story with a beginning, middle, and end that demonstrates your commitment to creating inclusive environments. It might be tempting to pen a vivid description of your community and leave it at that, but the point of an essay like this is to tell a story about you and your contributions.


Applicants to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts:
Please respond to the following prompt in 200-250 words:

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?   

Tufts wants to know what kinds of ideas keep you up at night. Your response doesn’t need to have static answers that will stay with you, of course; your ideas will change over your evolving life as an artist, but now is the time to try to pin down a basic explanation of what your art means to you, what it addresses, and for bonus points: why you want to spend the rest of your life immersed in it. Ultimately, like with all written components of your application, it’s integral to be highly specific and use personal details to bring your essay to life. This isn’t the place to be modest or undersell yourself; present your work proudly and succinctly, and admissions is sure to be impressed. Inspiration can be infectious, so be passionate and take them on a journey into your mind.

In addition, we will ask all applicants to complete this sentence in 100 words or less:

“I am applying to Tufts because…” 

Well, well, well… the admissions department wants to know why you hope to attend Tufts University next fall. What a surprise. Start by browsing the Tufts website and reminding yourself why this school is on your list to begin with! Does Tufts offer a specific major that’s hard to find at other institutions? Is there a professor you’d really like to learn from or a club you want to join? What do you have to offer Tufts’ community? Maybe your favorite classes are the ones in which you and your peers discuss literature and debate symbolism. Perhaps you are the punniest person you know and think this core part of your character will help you assimilate into Tufts’ playful culture smoothly. Whatever your reasoning may be, share it with admissions—and be concise! 

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School Stats:

State: Massachusetts
Acceptance Rate: 10%
Undergrad Population: 6,815
Tuition: $66,358
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