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 provide a nonsectarian institution of higher learning. Tufts remained a small New England liberal arts college until the 1970s, when it transformed into a large research university offering several doctorates;[Note 1] it is classified as a "Research I university", denoting the highest level of research activity. In 2021, Tufts became a member of the Association of American Universities, a selective group of 64 leadings research universities in North America.The university is known for its internationalism, study abroad programs, and promoting active citizenship and public service across all disciplines.
Tufts offers over 90 undergraduate and 160 graduate programs across ten schools in the greater Boston area and Talloires, France. It has the country's oldest graduate school of international relations, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The largest school is the School of Arts and Sciences, which includes both the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, which is affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.The School of Engineering offers an entrepreneurial focus through its Gordon Institute and maintains close connections with the original college. Admissions is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of just 16%.