Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female students using a laptop in a desk.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college to attend can be daunting, especially when considering two prestigious universities such as Dartmouth and Tufts. Both colleges have a lot to offer, and deciding which one is right for you requires careful consideration of several factors. In this article, we will compare and contrast Dartmouth vs. Tufts and help you make an informed decision.

Location and Campus Comparison: Hanover vs. Medford

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, a charming, small town in the upper Connecticut River Valley. The campus is surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains, providing a picturesque setting for students to live and learn.

Tufts University, on the other hand, is situated in Medford, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. The campus is spread over multiple locations and has a mix of urban and suburban settings.

Each location has its unique advantages and disadvantages. The rural setting of Dartmouth offers a peaceful environment and ample opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, skiing, and camping. Medford, being close to Boston, provides access to a rich cultural and social scene. Students can easily explore the city’s museums, theaters, and restaurants.

Another advantage of Dartmouth’s location is its proximity to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a world-renowned hospital and research center. This provides opportunities for students interested in healthcare to gain valuable experience and connections.

Tufts, on the other hand, is located near several major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, offering internships and job opportunities for students interested in those fields.

When it comes to campus life, Dartmouth’s small size and tight-knit community foster a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie among students. The college also has a unique tradition of “house communities,” where students live in designated residential communities with their own dining halls and social events.

Tufts, with its larger student body and multiple campuses, offers a wider range of extracurricular activities and clubs, as well as more diverse academic programs.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Admission Requirements

Dartmouth and Tufts both have highly selective admission processes, and the competition to get accepted is intense. Academic excellence is paramount, and students are expected to maintain a high GPA and demonstrate exceptional performance on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.

Extracurricular activities such as sports, music, community service, and research are also valued and play a significant role in the application process.

The typical admitted student at both universities has an average GPA of 4.0 and an SAT score range of 1500-1600. However, admissions committees evaluate each application holistically and look beyond academic achievements to create a diverse class of students with varied interests and backgrounds.

In addition to academic achievements and extracurricular activities, Dartmouth and Tufts also consider personal qualities such as leadership, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. Admissions committees are interested in students who have a passion for learning and a desire to make a positive impact on their communities.

It is important for applicants to showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials, including essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews. Both universities offer resources and support to help students navigate the application process and present themselves in the best possible light.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered at Dartmouth and Tufts

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Both schools offer a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields, including arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering.

Dartmouth’s unique approach to education combines traditional classroom learning with hands-on experiences through its “inverted curriculum” model, which places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research and civic engagement. Tufts, with its three undergraduate schools, emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and encourages students to pursue double majors and minors.

Dartmouth is particularly well-known for its strength in the liberal arts, particularly in the fields of English, History, and Philosophy. Tufts is well-reputed for its strengths in international relations, engineering, and pre-medical studies.

In addition to their academic programs, both Dartmouth and Tufts offer a variety of extracurricular activities and resources to enhance students’ experiences. Dartmouth has a strong focus on outdoor activities, with opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor sports. The school also has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous student-run theater productions and music groups.

Tufts, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on community service and social justice, with many student organizations dedicated to activism and volunteer work. The school also has a well-regarded study abroad program, with opportunities for students to study in locations around the world.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: The Teaching Methodology

Both institutions boast low student-to-faculty ratios, typically averaging around 7:1 at Dartmouth and 9:1 at Tufts. This translates to more personalized instruction and mentorship for students, resulting in a better learning experience. Additionally, both colleges have strong faculty members who are accomplished in their fields and are dedicated to teaching and research.

In terms of classroom size, both schools have a mix of large lectures and smaller discussion-based classes. With Dartmouth’s inverted curriculum model, students are required to participate in research opportunities outside the classroom, and this offers an even more challenging and unique learning experience than standard lectures.

Tufts also emphasizes engaged learning and often involves multiple stakeholders outside the classroom in student projects.

Furthermore, both Dartmouth and Tufts prioritize creating a positive and inclusive learning environment. Dartmouth has a strong focus on community building, with residential living and learning communities that foster close relationships between students and faculty.

Tufts has a similar approach, with a variety of student organizations and clubs that promote diversity and inclusivity on campus.

Both institutions also offer resources and support for students to succeed academically. Dartmouth has a robust academic skills center that provides tutoring and workshops on study strategies, time management, and writing skills. Tufts has a similar center, as well as a peer tutoring program and academic coaching services.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Career Opportunities and Internships

Dartmouth and Tufts provide ample opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and build their resumes before graduation. Dartmouth has a Center for Professional Development that helps students plan their careers and identify internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

Tufts also has an extensive network of alumni and employers who offer internships, fellowships, and research projects to current students.

Both universities have strong job placement rates after graduation. The average starting salary for Dartmouth alumni is around $70,000, whereas Tufts graduates start their careers with an average salary of around $65,000. However, your choice of major will undoubtedly influence your earning potential and career path post-graduation.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Tufts offer career fairs and networking events throughout the year, providing students with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and learn about different industries. These events often feature alumni who have gone on to successful careers in various fields, giving current students valuable insights and advice.

Student Life Comparison: Clubs, Organizations, Greek Life, and Athletics

Both colleges have a thriving campus life with various clubs, organizations, Greek life, and athletics opportunities that cater to diverse interests. Dartmouth is particularly known for its Greek life, which plays a significant role in campus social scenes. In contrast, Tufts has a more low-key Greek life scene but a larger emphasis on student organizations and club sports.

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Athletically, both universities have competitive varsity teams in popular sports such as football, basketball, and lacrosse. Dartmouth has a particularly strong track and field program, with many Olympic athletes among its alumni.

Aside from varsity sports, both colleges also offer a wide range of intramural sports for students to participate in. These sports range from traditional team sports like soccer and volleyball to more unique options like quidditch and inner tube water polo. Additionally, both colleges have state-of-the-art fitness centers that are available to all students.

When it comes to clubs and organizations, both colleges have a diverse range of options. Dartmouth has a strong focus on outdoor activities, with clubs dedicated to hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. Tufts, on the other hand, has a large number of cultural and social justice organizations, as well as a thriving arts community with a variety of music and theater groups.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Housing Options

Dartmouth and Tufts both provide on-campus housing options for students, ranging from single rooms to suites and apartments.

At Dartmouth, most students live on campus for all four years, while at Tufts, upper-class students often choose to live off-campus in nearby apartments and houses. Both universities have designated places where students can hang out, study and socialize outside of class. Dartmouth has its own mini-mall with coffee shops, eateries, and a post office.

However, living off-campus can offer more independence and flexibility for students who want to cook their own meals, have more space, and live in a quieter environment.

Off-campus apartments also provide opportunities for students to explore the surrounding community and become more involved in local events and activities. Additionally, living off-campus can be more cost-effective for students who are able to find affordable housing options.

Faculty and Alumni Network of Dartmouth vs. Tufts

Both universities have strong alumni networks filled with accomplished and successful individuals who offer mentorship and career guidance to current students. Dartmouth’s alumni are particularly known for their loyalty to their Alma Mater and often return to campus to participate in various events and initiatives.

Faculty members at both universities are experienced and have deep relationships with their alma maters. They care about their student’s progress and are willing to open up their networks to help them secure internships and jobs.

However, there are some differences between the faculty and alumni networks of Dartmouth and Tufts. While both universities have strong networks, Dartmouth’s faculty members are known for their close relationships with students and their willingness to provide personalized attention and support.

On the other hand, Tufts’ alumni network is known for its diversity and global reach, with many graduates working in international organizations and industries.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities for Students at Both Colleges

Both universities are committed to providing financial assistance to students who need it. Dartmouth, in particular, guarantees to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. Tufts also has a robust financial aid program that includes grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Both institutions offer many scholarship opportunities for incoming students and continuing students based mostly on merit and financial needs. Students should, however, check with the institution’s eligibility and the application processes for the various scholarships available.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Tufts have resources available to help students find and apply for external scholarships. These scholarships may be offered by private organizations, corporations, or government agencies. The universities have dedicated staff members who can assist students in identifying and applying for these opportunities.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Campus Safety Measures

Dartmouth and Tufts are both safe campuses with robust safety measures in place. Dartmouth employs a full-time police force, and Tufts has its own Department of Public Safety. Both schools have 24-hour emergency services and safety escorts available to students who need them.

Both incidents of crime are rare, but crime rate reporting data shows that Tufts has a slightly higher crime rate than Dartmouth. At Tufts, property crime is higher than at Dartmouth, but violent crime is still relatively low at both universities.

Two students sitting on the stairs of a building.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Tufts have implemented various security policies to ensure the safety of their students. For example, both schools require students to register their guests and provide identification when entering residence halls. Dartmouth also has a system in place where students can receive emergency notifications via text message or email in the event of a campus emergency.

Furthermore, both universities offer various resources and programs to educate students on safety measures and prevent incidents of crime. Tufts has a program called “Think Safe,” which provides safety tips and resources for students, while Dartmouth offers self-defense classes and workshops on personal safety.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Social Scene Comparison

Dartmouth and Tufts both have lively social scenes with regular events and activities to keep students engaged and entertained. Dartmouth has a vibrant Greek life, which often organizes parties and events throughout the school year. Tufts has an active student government that plans various campus-wide events such as concerts, cultural festivals, and guest speaker series.

Boston’s proximity offers many more nightlife options for Tufts students, and Medford itself has fun places students go out for meals and relax.

Additionally, Dartmouth has a strong tradition of outdoor activities, with many students participating in hiking, skiing, and other outdoor sports. The Dartmouth Outing Club is one of the oldest and largest collegiate outing clubs in the country, offering students the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness and participate in outdoor adventures.

On the other hand, Tufts has a thriving arts scene, with many students involved in theater, music, and visual arts. The university has several performance spaces and galleries on campus, and students often organize their own shows and exhibitions.

Diversity on Campus: Inclusivity Efforts by Dartmouth and Tufts

Dartmouth and Tufts both strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. Dartmouth has an Office of Pluralism and Leadership, which helps support the diversity of the student body and helps organize various cultural events and programs. They also are known for their Latinx programs as a way of supporting the Latinx communities.

Tufts has the Office of Equal Opportunity, whose primary role is to enforce non-discrimination laws but also promotes a campus environment free from harassment and discrimination. In addition, many on-campus groups celebrate Tuft’s diverse culture and work to foster an inclusive environment.

Both Dartmouth and Tufts have made significant strides in promoting diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Dartmouth has a student-led organization called the Dartmouth Coalition for Immigration Reform, Equality, and DREAMers (CoFIRED), which advocates for the rights of undocumented students and supports the immigrant community.

Tufts has a program called the First-Generation Student Council, which provides resources and support for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

Furthermore, both schools have made efforts to diversify their faculty and staff.

Dartmouth has a Faculty Diversity Initiative, which aims to increase the representation of underrepresented groups among faculty members. Tufts has a Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, which works to promote diversity and inclusion among staff and faculty and to create a more welcoming environment for all members of the Tufts community.

Dartmouth vs. Tufts: Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is a highlight at both institutions, and both universities encourage students to participate in research as a way to enhance their learning experiences.

Dartmouth organizes annual Science Day events to showcase the research of students in the sciences and partners with specific firms such as the Karthik Sankaransabhapathy New Energy and Technology Discovery (SEND) Initiative. Tufts has an excellent focus on interdisciplinary research and has research centers for social, environmental, and global health.

Additionally, both Dartmouth and Tufts offer summer research programs for undergraduate students. These programs provide students with the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects and gain valuable hands-on experience in their field of study.

Dartmouth’s program called the Women in Science Project, is specifically designed to support women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Tufts’ Summer Scholars Program offers students the chance to conduct research in a variety of disciplines, including engineering, humanities, and natural sciences.

Future Prospects after Graduating from Dartmouth or Tufts: Employer Perception and Graduate School Acceptance Rates

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Dartmouth and Tufts degrees are well-regarded, and graduates from both institutions have excellent prospects.

Some of the world’s leading companies and institutions employ alumni from both universities thanks to their solid academic training and outstanding problem-solving and leadership skills. Also, both a significant number of students from both institutions pursue graduate school degrees and have excellent acceptance rates to top grad schools.

Furthermore, both Dartmouth and Tufts offer extensive career services and resources to their students and alumni.

These resources include career fairs, networking events, and job search assistance, which can help graduates secure employment in their desired fields. Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that provide valuable connections and opportunities for career advancement.


Choosing between Dartmouth and Tufts is a big decision, and both institutions have a lot to offer.

Ultimately, your decision will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider the academic programs, teaching methodology, and campus culture, and see if it aligns with your goals and aspirations. With this guide, you should be better equipped to make an informed decision about which college is right for you.

It’s important also to consider the location and surrounding community of each college. Dartmouth is located in a small town in New Hampshire, while Tufts is located in a suburb just outside of Boston. This can greatly impact your college experience and access to resources outside of campus.

Additionally, don’t forget to think about extracurricular activities and opportunities for involvement on campus. Both Dartmouth and Tufts offer a wide range of clubs, sports teams, and organizations, but the specific options and level of involvement may differ between the two schools.


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