How to Ace Your Tufts Secondaries

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Tufts University website with logo

How to Ace Your Tufts Secondaries

If you’re applying to Tufts University School of Medicine, then the secondary application process is an important step that could make or break your application. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the secondary application process and share some tips for crafting compelling essays that showcase your fit with Tufts.

Understanding the Tufts University Medical School Secondary Application Process

Most medical schools, including Tufts, require a secondary application after you submit your primary application through AMCAS. Tufts uses the Common Application for Medical School Secondary Applications (CAMSSA). This secondary application gives the admissions committee a deeper look into who you are, your interests, values, and experiences.

As you begin to prepare your secondary application for Tufts, it’s important to keep in mind the significance of this step in the admissions process. The secondary application is an opportunity to showcase why you are a strong fit for Tufts and how you can contribute to the school’s community.

Importance of Secondaries in the Admissions Process

The Tufts University School of Medicine secondary application process is a crucial part of the medical school admissions process. It allows you to showcase your fit with Tufts and demonstrate why you’d be an asset to the school’s community. The secondary application provides the admissions committee with a more in-depth understanding of your experiences, goals, and values.

aerial view of Tufts University

It’s important to approach the secondary application with the same level of care and attention as your primary application. Take the time to reflect on your experiences and how they align with Tufts’ mission and values. This will help you craft a compelling and authentic application.

Timeline for Submitting Secondaries

Tufts typically sends out secondary applications in mid to late July. Depending on when you submit your primary AMCAS application, you may receive your secondary invitation later or earlier. Tufts’ secondary application deadline is October 29th at 11:59 PM EST.

We recommend submitting your secondary application as soon as possible to avoid any technical issues or overwhelming stress. Submitting your application early also demonstrates your eagerness to attend Tufts School of Medicine.

Tufts University Medical School’s Unique Approach

Tufts University School of Medicine is unique in its approach to medical education. Their TUSM Competencies reflect their commitment to professional skills and recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion in the medical field.

At Tufts, students are encouraged to develop a deep understanding of the social determinants of health and the impact of health disparities on communities. This approach prepares students to provide culturally competent care and address the complex health needs of diverse patient populations.

Tufts also offers a variety of research opportunities and clinical experiences to help students gain hands-on experience in their field. These experiences allow students to develop their skills, build their network, and explore their interests.

Overall, Tufts University School of Medicine is a unique and innovative institution that prioritizes the development of well-rounded, compassionate, and skilled physicians. If you are considering applying to Tufts, take the time to reflect on your experiences and how they align with Tufts’ mission and values. This will help you craft a compelling and authentic application that showcases why you are a strong fit for Tufts.

Tips for Writing Compelling Secondary Essays

Researching Tufts University Medical School’s Values and Mission and reflecting on your experiences that align with these values is the first step in crafting a strong secondary application. However, there are many other things to consider when writing your secondary essays that can help you stand out from the crowd. Here are some additional tips to help you write compelling secondary essays:

Researching Tufts University Medical School’s Values and Mission

One of the most important steps in crafting effective secondary essays is researching Tufts University School of Medicine’s values and mission. Tufts values include professionalism, service, innovation, inquiry, inclusion, and diversity. Take time to reflect on your experiences that have developed these values within you. Consider how you can demonstrate your alignment with these values in your essays.

For example, if you have experience volunteering at a free clinic, you could discuss how this experience has helped you develop a deep commitment to service and a passion for providing healthcare to underserved communities.

Alternatively, if you have conducted research in a particular area of medicine, you could discuss how this experience has helped you develop a deep appreciation for inquiry and innovation in the field.

Tailoring Your Essays to Tufts’ Specific Prompts

One of the biggest mistakes you can make on a secondary application is submitting generic essays without addressing Tufts’ specific prompts. Tufts has been known to ask challenging questions, especially the “Why Tufts?” prompt. Take your time, be specific to Tufts and demonstrate the depth of your research and thoughtfulness in your writing.

a group of medical school students walking through a hallway

For example, if you are asked to discuss why you are interested in attending Tufts, you could discuss the school’s unique approach to medical education, which emphasizes a patient-centered, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. You could also discuss specific programs or initiatives at Tufts that align with your interests and goals, such as the school’s commitment to global health or its focus on community service.

Demonstrating Your Fit with the School’s Culture

Tufts University School of Medicine is known for its unique and supportive community. When crafting your secondary application, demonstrate how you fit in well with the school’s culture in your essays.

For example, you could discuss how you have been involved in community service organizations or how you have worked to promote diversity and inclusion in your community. You could also discuss your interest in collaborating with other students and faculty members at Tufts to develop innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

Ultimately, the key to writing compelling secondary essays is to be authentic and thoughtful in your writing. Take time to reflect on your experiences and goals, and consider how Tufts can help you achieve those goals. With careful research and thoughtful writing, you can craft a secondary application that truly stands out.

Common Tufts University Medical School Secondary Essay Prompts

Prompt 1: Your Interest in Medicine and Tufts University

Tufts School of Medicine is renowned for its innovative and collaborative approach to medical education, research, and patient care. As a prospective student, it is crucial to articulate why specifically Tufts is your pick out of all the other medical school options.

Perhaps you are drawn to Tufts because of its strong emphasis on community service and its clinics that specialize in underserved communities. You may have a passion for working with diverse populations and see Tufts as the perfect place to further develop your skills and experiences in this area. Alternatively, you may be interested in Tufts’ cutting-edge research programs and its commitment to advancing medical knowledge and treatments.

Whatever your reasons for choosing Tufts, be sure to convey your enthusiasm and excitement for the school. Show the admissions committee that you have done your research and that you are genuinely invested in becoming a part of the Tufts medical community.

Prompt 2: Overcoming Challenges and Personal Growth

Life is full of challenges, and medical school is no exception. This prompt asks you to share a personal challenge, difficulty, or previous failure that forced you to grow and mature and the influence it has had on your professional goals.

Perhaps you struggled with a difficult course or faced a major personal setback that caused you to question your abilities and goals. However, through perseverance and hard work, you were able to overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger and more determined than ever before.

It is important to always conclude on the positive outcome that emerged from the challenge or difficulty, demonstrating your ability to overcome adversity. Highlight the lessons you learned and the personal growth you experienced as a result of the experience.

Prompt 3: Diversity and Inclusion in the Medical Field

Tufts School of Medicine is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of its programs. This prompt seeks to understand how you have been proactive about encouraging diversity and inclusion in your education, professional, and personal life.

Perhaps you have volunteered with organizations that support underrepresented communities or worked to create more inclusive environments in your workplace or school. Maybe you have taken courses or participated in training programs that focus on cultural competency and understanding diverse perspectives.

Group of medical students in college hallway

Whatever your experiences may be, be sure to convey your commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the medical field. Show the admissions committee that you are dedicated to working collaboratively with individuals from all backgrounds and that you understand the importance of providing equitable and compassionate care to all patients.

Strategies for Answering the Most Challenging Essay Prompts

Tackling the “Why Tufts?” Question

The “Why Tufts?” question is notorious among medical schools and is often the most challenging prompt for applicants. Tufts University School of Medicine prides itself on its competency-based approach to medical education, which emphasizes empathy, professionalism, collaboration, and lifelong learning. Therefore, when answering this prompt, it is essential to keep Tufts’ competency values at the core of your writing.

One way to approach this prompt is to research Tufts in detail and highlight the unique features that you are interested in. For example, you could discuss the school’s emphasis on community service and its commitment to serving underserved populations. Alternatively, you could focus on Tufts’ innovative research programs, such as the Center for the Study of Drug Development, or its partnerships with local hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Whatever approach you take, it is essential to avoid writing generic responses that could apply to any medical school. Instead, try to demonstrate your knowledge of and enthusiasm for Tufts specifically.

Addressing Gaps or Weaknesses in Your Application

It can be challenging to address gaps or weaknesses in your application, but it is essential to do so honestly and proactively. Admissions committees understand that no applicant is perfect, and they are often more impressed by candidates who are willing to acknowledge their shortcomings and take steps to address them.

When addressing gaps or weaknesses in your application, it is important to identify the skills and positive actions that you took to mitigate these weaknesses. For example, if you struggled with a particular subject in college, you could discuss how you worked with a tutor or formed a study group to improve your understanding of the material.

Alternatively, if you have a gap in your work experience, you could discuss how you pursued volunteer opportunities or took on leadership roles in extracurricular activities to develop relevant skills.

Ultimately, the goal of addressing gaps or weaknesses in your application is to reassure the admissions committee that you are committed to overcoming these barriers and that you have the resilience and determination to succeed in medical school.

Showcasing Your Unique Background and Experiences

Tufts School of Medicine is keen to see applicants’ unique backgrounds and experiences. The school values diversity and inclusion and believes that a diverse student body enhances the educational experience for all students.

medical students wearing scrubs, talking and laughing

When showcasing your unique background and experiences, it is important to focus on the skills and perspectives that you bring to the table. For example, if you come from a non-traditional background, you could discuss how your experiences have given you a unique perspective on healthcare and patient care.

Alternatively, if you have a particular talent or hobby, such as music or art, you could discuss how this has helped you develop skills such as creativity or attention to detail that will be valuable in your medical career.

Ultimately, the goal of showcasing your unique background and experiences is to demonstrate that you are a well-rounded and interesting candidate who will contribute to the Tufts community in meaningful ways.

Editing and Polishing Your Secondary Essays

As you embark on the journey of crafting compelling secondary essays, it’s important to remember that this is no easy task. It requires a great deal of time, effort, and attention to detail. One of the most important things you can do to improve your writing is to seek feedback from trusted sources.

Seeking Feedback from Trusted Sources

When it comes to seeking feedback, it’s important to find people who can give you comprehensive feedback on the coherence, relevance, and clarity of your writing. This might include editors, mentors, professors, and friends who have experience with the application process. Not only can they help you identify areas for improvement, but they can also provide valuable insight into what admissions committees are looking for in a successful applicant.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all feedback is created equal. While it can be helpful to get input from a variety of sources, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which suggestions to incorporate into your writing. Be sure to consider the source of the feedback and whether or not it aligns with your own goals and values.

Ensuring Clarity and Conciseness in Your Writing

Another key aspect of successful essay writing is ensuring that your writing is clear, concise, and to the point. One common mistake that applicants make is diluting their writing with unnecessary words or phrases. Remember, admissions committees are looking for applicants who can communicate their ideas effectively and efficiently.

Another important consideration is to make sure that you’re addressing the prompt. It’s easy to get carried away in your writing and steer away from what is required. Always compare your writing against the prompt and make adjustments to ensure clarity. This will help you stay focused and on track and will ultimately result in a stronger, more effective essay.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Mistakes

Finally, it’s important to be aware of the common pitfalls and mistakes that applicants make when writing secondary application essays. One common mistake is being too repetitive with language. While it’s important to reinforce key themes and ideas, using the same words or phrases over and over again can come across as lazy or unoriginal.

Another common pitfall is failing to display your fit with the school in your writing. Admissions committees want to see that you’ve done your research and that you have a genuine interest in attending their institution. Be sure to highlight specific aspects of the school that appeal to you and explain how you see yourself contributing to the community.

Finally, be sure to conduct thorough proofreading before hitting submit. Essays riddled with basic grammatical errors can signal a lack of attention to detail or a lack of respect for the application process. Take the time to review your work carefully, and consider enlisting the help of a professional editor or proofreader if necessary.

By following these tips and strategies, you can improve your chances of crafting successful secondary application essays that showcase your unique strengths and qualities as an applicant.

Preparing for Potential Interviews and Next Steps

Familiarizing Yourself with Tufts’ Interview Process

After the initial evaluation of your application, selected applicants will be invited to interview in a “multiple mini-interview,” which is an eight-station interview process. Prepare for the MMI process by reflecting on ethics, social issues in medicine, professionalism, and other topics that might come up. Review expected behavior and response guidelines.

medical students wearing scrubs looking at the camera

Practicing Common Medical School Interview Questions

Set time aside for interview preparation. Practice answering as many anticipated questions as possible with trusted friends and mentors to build confidence.

Staying Informed and Engaged with Tufts University Medical School

Staying informed about Tufts University School of Medicine is a natural way to communicate your interest in the school beyond the application stage. Sign up for email and mailing lists, attend webinars and events to stay connected with the school and be informed about potential updates.


Effectively demonstrating your interest and fit with Tufts medical school community through secondary essays is crucial for acceptance into the program. Always be specific to Tufts, conduct thorough research, and align your essay writing with the TUSM competency values.

Do not hesitate to seek feedback from trusted sources, proofread your work, and prepare for potential final interview stages. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to acing your Tufts University School of Medicine secondaries.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we offer.



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