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How to Respond to the Tufts University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Tufts University is a selective university located in the greater Boston area. With a 16% acceptance rate, it is a selective university. To help increase your chances of admission, your Tufts supplemental essays need to stand out from other applicants. Keep on reading to learn how to best respond to the Tufts supplemental essays. 

Breaking down the Tufts supplemental essays

The Tufts supplemental essays ask for specific responses based on the school an applicant is applying to. 

If you are applying to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree you will need to answer 2 prompts. 1 of these prompts has 3 options you can choose from. 

If you are applying to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts then you will need to answer 2 prompts. 

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree Prompt #1

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

Do your research on Tufts beforehand

Tufts wants their applicants to be well-informed about all that their university has to offer. Therefore, do your research! Find specific classes, extracurriculars, traditions, and aspects of Tufts campus that makes it stand out from all other universities. 

You should be spending as much time as possible researching the Tufts website and social media pages to get a good idea of what you are excited about when it comes to Tufts. 

Make each word count while revealing why you chose Tufts

This prompt is only 100-150 words, which is not a lot of space or time to list everything you love about Tufts. Narrow down your list to a couple of things about Tufts that stand out to you. What you select should be unique and reveal your interests. For example, you can write about being interested in the class “Sociology of Sports” because you are curious about the tough questions facing athletes in modern days. 

Throughout your response, you should not be simply stating things. Rather, use an engaging narrative to respond. For example, instead of saying you “love the campus,” describe what it is that you admire. Remember, you can always cut back words to make each word count and meet the word count!

Questions to consider when answering this prompt

  • Why is Tufts the perfect school for you? 
  • How will you contribute to the campus community? 
  • What does Tufts offer that other schools do not? 

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree Prompt #2 – Option A

It’s cool to love learning. What excites your intellectual curiosity? (200-250 words):

To answer this prompt, think about one thing that absolutely makes you nerd out! 

Consider the following questions to help you choose what to write about: 

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Is there something you want to learn more about? 
  • Why are you interested in this thing? 
  • If you could teach a class what would it be about? 
  • What do you want to major in at Tufts? 
  • What is your biggest interest in life? 
  • What subject is your favorite to learn about? 

Once you determine what interests you would like to discuss in this prompt, think about the “why.” Why are you intrigued by this subject? 

Throughout your response, you should be narrating a story. For example, instead of stating that you like biology, discuss a time when you were young and watched caterpillars turn into butterflies. Share how since that time, you have been intrigued by the circle of life in insects. 

Lastly, you should explain how you hope to further pique your interest while studying at Tufts. Be sure to mention specific classes and organizations that interest and excite you. 

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree Prompt #2 – Option B

How have the environments or experiences of your upbringing – your family, home, neighborhood or community – shaped the person you are today? (200-250 words

This prompt is perfect for if your upbringing greatly influenced the person you are today. 

To begin this prompt, provide some background. Be sure to discuss what exactly your culture or environment was for context. 

Once you have established your background, then you should describe how your culture and environment influenced your upbringing. Describe what pieces of yourself were formed because of your unique background. 

Make sure that you reveal pieces of yourself that are not surface level. Rather, you want to make sure you are being deep and thoughtful in your response. 

Lastly, connect your culture to Tufts. What do you have to share at Tufts? Be sure to write about how you add to the Tufts’ community. In addition, you can discuss any cultural clubs or events that exist on the Tufts’ campus that you are excited to participate in.

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree Prompt #2 – Option C

Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice? (200-250 words

If you are involved in social justice, then this is the prompt for you. To begin answering this prompt, you should choose one social cause that you are extremely passionate about. 

After selecting this cause, provide some background information into how you became passionate about this subject. Share an anecdote describing how you became involved in fighting for this social justice movement. 

After explaining the beginning of your passion, explain how you acted on this passion. Did you join any clubs? Did you create any funding events? Have you attended any protests? 

Lastly, you should discuss how you plan to continue fighting for social justice while at Tufts. Are there any clubs you want to join? Any clubs you want to create? Ultimately, a Tufts admissions officer should get a good sense of your morals and interests from your authentic response. 

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts Prompt #1 

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

This prompt is very similar to the “Why Tufts” essay; however, it asks applicants to be very specific about the School of Museum of Fine Arts or SMFA. 

SMFA is a very unique program as it is affiliated with a museum. Therefore, you should highlight this uniqueness and how you will take advantage of this rare opportunity. Brainstorm and research what programs and opportunities SMFA has to offer that you are excited about. So, rather than answering this prompt by writing about the generic benefits of Tufts, write about the specific benefits that SMFA has to offer. 

In addition, share how you will contribute to the SMFA community. What unique aspects do you have that you can bring to the table? How will your talents be utilized in the SMFA? 

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts Prompt #2

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

Since you are an aspiring SMFA, Tufts already knows you are a creative and artistic person. Therefore, you should describe what type of artist you are. Are you a painter,

sculptor, or sketch artist? Those are just a few to start!

Identify which type of artist you are and what you typically create. If your art has a common theme throughout, share that.  If not, write about where you seek artistic inspiration from and/or what you want to artistically explore at Tufts.

No matter what you write, remember to bring it back to Tufts. Ask yourself how being  part of SMFA will help elevate your work and maybe even change the world!  

Final thoughts on the Tufts supplemental essays

Tufts is looking for unique and ambitious students to join the 16%. Therefore, the most important thing is that you are being authentic throughout your responses. Be sure to always reveal new pieces of information about your personality and interests throughout your responses, and try not to repeat yourself! Good luck during the college admissions process! 

Additional resources

Curious on the best way to write a 500 word essay? Struggling to answer the 2022-2023 Common App Essay Prompts? Wondering how to write an essay about yourself? Scholarships360 is here to help students navigate the tricky terrain of the college admissions process. Be sure to check out our guides to help! 

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