Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Who are Tufts' Peers?


Replies to: Who are Tufts' Peers?

  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,765 Senior Member
    FWIW, the kids around here that apply to Tufts seem to do so as part of one of a couple themes:
    a) Desired size =Small university or large LAC (mostly Northeast emphasis)
    b) quality private located in.or near Northeast city
    I've seen application overlaps with: Wesleyan, Vassar, Rochester, Brandeis, Johns Hopkins, Barnard, Wellesely, Georgetown, Brown. Wash U & Emory seem reasonable too.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,299 Senior Member
    Judging by average accepted SAT, the student body at Tufts is strong. Looking at academic department rankings, the school has some improving to do. Of course, all schools can improve in at least a few programs...
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,299 Senior Member
    (Sorry for the double-post, but I fell asleep last night. Upon awakening I realized I couldn't just make that statement with nothing backing it up. hehe)

    I'm using grad school and grad program rankings here because it's hard finding undergrad program rankings. While it can't be 100% useful/applicable/accurate, there is some trickle-down bound to affect the quality of the undergraduate education:

    1. Quality of research and research opportunities are likely to be higher/more numerous if the grad program's ranking is higher. This might also apply to internships.
    2. TAs tend to be grad students who teach undergrads in their labs and discussions. It stands to reason that the higher the ranking of the grad program, the higher the quality of the TA. TAs are (of course) especially important during the first two years, when students are taking typically large survey courses in order to fulfill graduation requirements and pre-requisites for their desired majors.
    3. Once students are into their major programs (typically third year and thereafter), the influence of that grad program on the undergraduate version becomes much more pronounced. Now you have undergrad and grad students often in the same classes, for instance.

    So here are some of the rankings of Tufts and some of the other schools mentioned in this thread in terms of grad school/program ranking in Engineering, History, Math, Biology, English and Economics:

    - Tufts is tied for 68th
    - CMU #4, USC #10, Cornell #13, Penn #19, Northwestern #21, JHU #25, Rice #31, BU #37, Roch #39, NYU #47, Brown #49

    - Tufts is tied for 64th
    - Penn #9, Cornell/JHU #11, NU #14, Brown #18, NYU #18, Vandy #24, Emory #27, G'town/Rice/WUSTL #30, Brandeis/Notre Dame #36, CMU #42, USC #46, BC/BU #50

    - Tufts is tied for 73rd (with NYU-Brooklyn)
    - The Real NYU #9, Cornell #13, Brown #14, NU/Penn #17, JHU #25, Rice #28, CMU #34, WUSTL #39, Brandeis/Notre Dame #41, BU/USC/Vandy #46, Emory #65

    - Tufts is tied for 68th with NYU
    - JHU #5, Cornell/WUSTL #11, Penn #19, NU/Vandy #26, Emory #30, Brown #34, CMU/Rice #42, Brandeis #55, USC #65

    - Tufts is not ranked
    - NU #7, Penn #9, NYU #11, Cornell #18, Brown/CMU #19, URochester #22, BU/JHU #24, WUSTL #27, BC #32, Vandy #36, Georgetown #46, USC/Rice #48, Notre Dame #56, Emory #64, Brandeis #72

    - Tufts is tied for 52nd with Rochester and BC
    - Penn #4, Cornell #8, JHU #13, Brown #15, NYU/NU #20, Emory/Vandy #26, WUSTL #32, Rice/USC #36, CMU/Notre Dame #39, Brandeis/BU #44

    I stand by my placement of Tufts in a true peer group with BC, NYU and USC. You could maybe expand that group to also include Notre Dame, Emory, Georgetown, CMU, BU, Brandeis, Rochester, Case Western (not featured here...), and a few others. But Tufts is not in the same academic class (among privates...) as the Ivies, UChicago, Stanford, Caltech, Northwestern, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Rice, or WUSTL.

  • CHD2013CHD2013 Registered User Posts: 2,528 Senior Member
    Someone mentioned overlaps. From the HS in my town, the top overlaps are Cornell, Brown, Hopkins, Columbia, Wesleyan, Penn and Wash U in StL.
  • b773wlzb773wlz Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Tufts is a liberal arts college first, and a research university second, with most of the developments towards a research university happening after the 70s. Just because some US News Ranking for a specific major, which only used peer assessments in its methodology, says that Tufts is lower ranked doesn't mean anything for academic quality. Also, the majority of classes at Tufts are thought by professors, not TAs, even in intro classes.
  • weepingmermaidweepingmermaid Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    ^ This. Am an incoming freshman to Tufts and that was precisely what set Tufts apart from my other top schools (Uchicago, Wes, and Brown). Imo if you really want to suss out Tufts' peers, graduate rankings are irrelevant because that's not where Tufts primary strengths lie.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,299 Senior Member
    That must be the main hook then for the bright students Tufts is attracting (aside from environment/fit): the emphasis on undergraduate teaching. Cool beans.


    At UW most of our survey classes (first two years, pre-major) had two or three weekly lectures administered by the professor; a weekly discussion (small classroom, 10-20 students) centered on homework, exam preparation, discussing the material from the lectures, etc.; and, if applicable, a weekly lab, also
    led by a TA, also with 10-20 in it.

    Are you saying that Tufts does not have discussions or labs to supplement the lectures, or are you saying that only the professor leads the discussions and labs?

  • WCASParentWCASParent Registered User Posts: 2,102 Senior Member
    I am not looking at any rankings, just a historical sense of how Tufts is viewed by NYC employers and the difficulty of getting admitted, and based on those I think Tufts has long been above NYU, Brandeis, Emory, BU, Colgate, and others. Many of the schools in the original post that supposedly list Tufts as a peer are, in my opinion (hardly authoritative, to be sure), doing so aspirationally; e.g., it is laughable to suggest that Clark, American, GWU and Lehigh - all of which are good schools - are peers of Tufts in terms of difficulty of being admitted.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,762 Senior Member
    I am in the Midwest. I would have thought that Tufts is a peer to Vandy, Rice, and WUSTL, but a notch below Northwestern, Duke, and Johns Hopkins. JMHO
  • WCASParentWCASParent Registered User Posts: 2,102 Senior Member
    I think all of the above schools are pretty competitive with each other, including Vandy in recent years ( a look at the test "numbers" for its recently admitted students is surprising).
  • wrathofachilleswrathofachilles Registered User Posts: 772 Member
    As an actual adult, an '08 Tufts grad who has since earned a Master's degree and now (finally) has a successful career, I can honestly say it that questions like this don't matter in the slightest. The prestige wars are futile, and are seriously off-putting to most people. Make the most of your time at Tufts, and you will find success in your post-college life. Simple as that.
This discussion has been closed.