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#90 Overall Influence #25 Desirability Rank

Tufts University

Private research university in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts

Featured Alumna

Mariana Mazzucato ranks among our Top Influential Economists Today.

By James Barham, PhD

Tufts University was founded as Tufts College in 1852 in the Boston Metropolitan Area–suburb of Medford, north of Cambridge. The school was built under the auspices of the Universalist Church of America on 20 acres of land donated by businessman and philanthropist Charles Tufts. Today, the university also has a satellite campus located in downtown Boston.

When Charles Tufts first purchased the land, it was an undeveloped parcel on the top of a barren hill, and when his family asked him what he intended to do with it, he is said to have replied: “I will put a light on it.”

The college was built up piecemeal over the years. In 1893 a medical school began operation, with electrical, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering schools all opening during the same decade. In 1933 the internationally renowned Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy was founded.

Women began to be admitted to Tufts College in 1893, while Jackson College for Women—a closely associated, but administratively separate, four-year, women’s liberal arts college—opened in 1910. In 2002, Jackson College was wholly absorbed by Tufts’s School of Arts and Sciences.

In 1954 the college was officially elevated to university status and its name changed accordingly. However, the school’s rapid growth into a major research university began particularly with the presidency of French scientist, Jean Mayer, beginning in 1976.

Tufts is associated with seven Nobel laureates, namely,

  • Physicist, Rainer Weiss
  • Chemist, Roderick MacKinnon
  • Computed-tomography (CT) pioneer Allan MacLeod Cormack — physiology or medicine
  • Economists, Eugene Fama & Paul Samuelson
  • Egyptian-born international public servant, Mohamed ElBaradei — peace
  • President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos — peace

Other distinguished Tufts-connected individuals include the following:

  • Singer-songwriter, Tracy Chapman
  • New York Times publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr.
  • TV personality, Meredith Vieira
  • Showman and philanthropist, P.T. Barnum
  • Actors, William Hurt, Peter Gallagher & Jessica Biel
  • Psychologists, Robert J. Sternberg & Richard Alpert (Ram Dass)
  • Mathematician and philosopher, Norbert Wiener
  • Linguist, Ray Jackendoff
  • Computer scientists, John Reif, Kathleen Fisher & Pierre Omidyar
  • Cell biologist, Frederick Grinnell
  • Evolutionary biologist, Sean B. Carroll
  • Electrical engineer and inventor, Elihu Thomson
  • Engineer and government administrator, Vannevar Bush
  • Economist, Peter Navarro
  • Historians, Gordon S. Wood & Jill Lepore
  • Indian politician and former United Nations diplomat, Shashi Tharoor
  • Former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson
  • Current US Representative, Dan Crenshaw
  • Former US Senators, Daniel Patrick Moynihan & Scott Brown

From Wikipedia

Tufts University is a private research university on the border of Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1852 as Tufts College by Christian universalists who sought to open a nonsectarian institution of higher learning. It was a small New England liberal arts college until its transformation into a larger research university in the 1970s, though its corporate name is still "The Trustees of Tufts College". Tufts is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity", and it became a member of the Association of American Universities, a selective group of major research universities in North America, in 2021. Tufts emphasizes active citizenship and public service in all its disciplines, and is known for its internationalism and study abroad programs.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$5,267
30K - 48K$6,516
48K - 75K$13,525
75K - 110K$27,430

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


, Medford MA 02155-5555

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

7 per 100K

Violent Crime

1 per 100K

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

12 per 100K

Violent Crime

2 per 100K

What is Tufts University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#33 World Rank
#44 World Rank
#106 World Rank
#45 World Rank
Political Science
#111 World Rank
#45 World Rank
#116 World Rank
#162 World Rank
#72 World Rank
#92 World Rank
Computer Science
#88 World Rank
#91 World Rank
#201 World Rank
#109 World Rank
#160 World Rank
#105 World Rank
#250 World Rank
#269 World Rank
Religious Studies
#144 World Rank
#236 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#260 World Rank

Other areas of influence

#100 World Rank
Social Work
#177 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#346 World Rank

Influential People

Who are Tufts University's Most influential alumni?

Tufts University 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Medical, Business, and Political Science

Alex Spiro

American trial lawyer

Matt Bai

Matt Bai

American journalist

Anita Shreve

American writer

Myron Sharaf

American medical academic

Tiffany Field

American psychologist

Esther Wilkins

Author of the first comprehensive book on dental hygiene

Kuzhikalail M. Abraham

Kuzhikalail M. Abraham

Indian-American chemical engineer

Robert Hormats

Robert Hormats

American government official

David W. Burke

Business executive

Lester Grinspoon

American physician

Richard Leigh

American writer

Julie Salamon

American journalist