Tufts and UC Davis: Which University is Right for You?

July 30, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Tufts and UC Davis: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing the right university can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available. Two universities that prospective students may be considering are Tufts University and UC Davis. In this article, we will compare and contrast the various aspects of Tufts vs UC Daviss to help you make a more informed decision on which university is right for you.

An Overview of Tufts University and UC Davis

Tufts University is a private research university located in Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts. Founded in 1852, Tufts has a student population of approximately 11,500, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The university comprises of several schools and colleges, including the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

UC Davis, on the other hand, is a public research university located in Davis, California. Founded in 1905, UC Davis has a student population of approximately 39,000, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1. The university offers over 100 undergraduate majors and 96 graduate and professional degrees across several colleges, including the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the School of Law.

Despite their differences in size and location, both Tufts University and UC Davis are highly regarded institutions in their respective fields. Tufts is known for its strong programs in international relations, political science, and engineering, while UC Davis is recognized for its excellence in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and environmental science. Both universities also have active research programs and offer numerous opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning experiences.

Location and Campus Environment: How Tufts and UC Davis Differ

Tufts University and UC Davis differ in their location and campus environment. Tufts is located in the greater Boston area, a bustling metropolitan city with a rich history. The campus is highly urbanized, surrounded by residential and commercial areas. On the other hand, UC Davis is located in the city of Davis, just a short drive from Sacramento. The campus is very expansive and has a more rural environment, featuring extensive farm fields and outdoor recreational areas.

College student looking away from the camera.

Despite being located in a metropolitan area, Tufts University has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. The campus features several green spaces and gardens, and the university has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. In contrast, UC Davis is known for its strong agricultural programs and research. The campus has its own dairy, vineyard, and orchard, and students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning experiences in these fields.

Another notable difference between the two universities is their student population. Tufts has a smaller undergraduate population, with just over 5,000 students, while UC Davis has over 30,000 undergraduate students. This difference in size can impact the campus culture and student experience. Tufts is known for its tight-knit community and personalized attention from faculty, while UC Davis offers a wider range of academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Tufts and UC Davis: Admission Requirements

Both Tufts University and UC Davis have rigorous admission requirements. Tufts currently has an acceptance rate of around 15%, making it a highly selective institution. The admission process at Tufts heavily weighs academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and personal essays. Alternatively, UC Davis has an acceptance rate of around 41%, making it a more accessible institution. The admission process at UC Davis weighs academic performance, essays and extracurricular activities.

Aside from academic performance, Tufts University also places a strong emphasis on standardized test scores, particularly the SAT or ACT. The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1500, while the average ACT score is around 34. In addition, Tufts also considers demonstrated interest in the university, such as attending information sessions or campus visits.

On the other hand, UC Davis values diversity and inclusivity in their admissions process. They consider factors such as socioeconomic background, first-generation college status, and geographic location. In addition, UC Davis also offers a holistic review process, taking into account personal challenges and obstacles that applicants may have faced in their academic journey.

Tufts and UC Davis: Undergraduate Programs Offered

Tufts University offers a wide variety of undergraduate programs including engineering, computer science, political science, international relations and liberal arts and sciences. Extracurricular activities at Tufts focus primarily on the arts and community service. UC Davis, like Tufts, offers a diverse range of undergraduate programs including agriculture, engineering, philosophy, computer science, and many more. Extracurricular activities at UC Davis focus primarily on the arts, service clubs, athletics, and student government.

Both Tufts University and UC Davis offer study abroad programs for their undergraduate students. Tufts has partnerships with universities in over 40 countries, allowing students to study in locations such as Spain, China, and Chile. UC Davis offers study abroad programs in over 30 countries, including Australia, Japan, and Italy. These programs provide students with the opportunity to gain international experience and broaden their cultural horizons.

Graduate Programs Offered at Tufts University and UC Davis

Tufts University offers several graduate programs, including Master’s degrees in Arts and Sciences, Engineering, International Relations, and Law. The Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences also offers Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Sciences, Immunology, Genetics, and more. UC Davis offers a range of graduate programs in engineering, business administration, nursing, and veterinary medicine.

Three students walking in front of a school building.

In addition to the graduate programs mentioned above, Tufts University also offers a Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. UC Davis also offers graduate programs in fields such as psychology, education, and agricultural and environmental sciences.

Tufts and UC Davis: Student Body Diversity

The student body at Tufts University is diverse, with students hailing from all over the world. Approximately 50% of undergraduate students identify as white, with the remaining sections identifying as minority groups. Similarly, UC Davis has a diverse student body, with approximately 36% of undergraduate students identifying as white and the rest identifying as minority groups.

One notable difference between the two universities is the percentage of international students. At Tufts, approximately 10% of undergraduate students are international, while at UC Davis, the percentage is slightly higher at 12%. This may be due to the fact that UC Davis has a larger overall student population, allowing for a greater number of international students.

Another factor to consider when comparing student body diversity is the range of socioeconomic backgrounds represented. At Tufts, there is a significant population of students from high-income families, while at UC Davis, there is a larger representation of students from lower-income families. This may be due to the fact that UC Davis is a public university with lower tuition costs, making it more accessible to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Cost of Attendance at Tufts University vs. UC Davis

Tuition fees and cost of attendance vary depending on the institution. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Tufts’ tuition and fees for undergraduates amount to $60,000, while UC Davis’ tuition and fees for residents amount to $14,000, and non-residents amount to $44,000.

However, it is important to note that the cost of attendance includes more than just tuition and fees. Other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses can significantly impact the overall cost of attending a university.

According to the College Board, the estimated cost of attendance for Tufts University for the 2021-2022 academic year is $78,000, while the estimated cost of attendance for UC Davis for residents is $34,000 and for non-residents is $58,000. These estimates take into account the additional expenses beyond tuition and fees.

Tufts and UC Davis: Financial Aid Available

Both Tufts University and UC Davis offer financial aid to their students, with need-blind admission policies and substantial financial aid available for those who qualify. Financial aid at Tufts is distributed on the basis of need, merit and diversity. UC Davis offers various scholarships, grants and work-study programs.

Young woman using a laptop in a library.

Additionally, Tufts University and UC Davis have dedicated financial aid offices that provide guidance and support to students throughout the financial aid application process. These offices can assist students in understanding the different types of financial aid available, completing the necessary forms, and answering any questions they may have about the process. Students are encouraged to reach out to these offices for assistance in securing the financial aid they need to pursue their academic goals.

Athletics Programs at Tufts University versus UC Davis

Both Tufts University and UC Davis offer a vast range of athletic programs. Tufts is an NCAA Division III school, and its varsity teams participate in the New England Small College Athletics Conference. UC Davis, on the other hand, competes at the NCAA Division I level, with UC Davis’s men’s and women’s basketball teams being the most notable athletic programs.

Despite the difference in NCAA divisions, both Tufts and UC Davis prioritize the well-being of their student-athletes. Tufts has a strong emphasis on injury prevention and recovery, with a dedicated sports medicine staff and state-of-the-art facilities. UC Davis also places a high value on the health and safety of its athletes, offering comprehensive medical care and resources for mental health support.

Tufts and UC Davis: Campus Life

The campus life at Tufts University and UC Davis is exciting and vibrant. Students have a variety of extracurricular activities to choose from, ranging from arts and music groups to community service organizations. Tufts has a relatively small campus area, which will enable students to form close-knit communities. Alternatively, the large UC Davis campus area makes it easy for like-minded students to find each other and bond over shared interests.

Both Tufts and UC Davis offer a diverse range of dining options on campus. Tufts has a variety of dining halls and cafes, including vegetarian and vegan options, while UC Davis has a famous farmers market that offers fresh produce and local cuisine. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to sustainability and offer programs to reduce waste and promote eco-friendly practices on campus.

Tufts and UC Davis: Career Opportunities

Tufts University and UC Davis have alumni networks that are extensive and powerful, offering graduates access to numerous post-graduation opportunities. Tufts graduates have been successful in the fields of education, engineering, and medicine. UC Davis graduates have been successful in the fields of veterinary medicine, engineering, and agriculture.

However, there are some notable differences in the types of career opportunities available to graduates of each university. Tufts University is located in the greater Boston area, which is known for its strong presence in the healthcare and biotech industries. As a result, Tufts graduates may have an advantage when pursuing careers in these fields. On the other hand, UC Davis is located in California’s Central Valley, which is a hub for agriculture and food production. This means that UC Davis graduates may have more opportunities in these industries.

Research Opportunities Available at Tufts and UC Davis

Tufts University and UC Davis are both leaders in research and innovation, with students and faculty engaging in top-level research projects in a wide range of disciplines. Tufts focuses primarily on fields such as biomedical research and international relations, while UC Davis has more extensive research facilities to cater for many different types of projects and fields.

Both universities offer numerous research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Tufts has a Summer Scholars Program that allows students to work on research projects with faculty members, while UC Davis has a Research Scholars Program that provides funding for students to conduct research during the academic year. Additionally, both universities have research centers and institutes that focus on specific areas of study, providing students with even more opportunities to get involved in cutting-edge research.

Faculty Quality: Comparing the Teaching Staff at Both Universities

Tufts University and UC Davis have highly qualified and experienced teaching staff who are experts in their respective fields. Both universities have a student-to-faculty ratio that guarantees students individual attention. However, UC Davis has a greater number of enrollments and a higher student-to-faculty ratio, which can make it somewhat more challenging for students to access faculty when needed.

Three students talking while walking.

Despite the higher student-to-faculty ratio at UC Davis, the university has implemented various measures to ensure that students can still access faculty when needed. For instance, the university has a robust online platform where students can interact with their professors and ask questions. Additionally, UC Davis has a well-staffed academic advising office that helps students navigate their academic journey and connect with faculty members.

On the other hand, Tufts University has a smaller student population, which means that students have more opportunities to interact with their professors. The university also has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, which provides students with the chance to work closely with faculty members on research projects. This hands-on experience not only enhances students’ learning but also allows them to build strong relationships with their professors.

Tufts and UC Davis: Campus Safety

Tufts University and UC Davis prioritize campus safety, with both universities having dedicated campus security services. Safety resources available to students include campus security, police, and safety escorts for students who don’t feel comfortable walking around alone during late hours. Nonetheless, UC Davis’ large campus can make it harder for security to monitor everything effectively.

At Tufts University, the campus safety team also offers self-defense classes for students, which can be helpful in case of an emergency. Additionally, the university has implemented a system of emergency blue light phones throughout the campus, which can be used to quickly contact campus security in case of an emergency.

UC Davis has also implemented a number of safety measures, including a mobile safety app that allows students to quickly and easily contact campus security, as well as a system of emergency call boxes located throughout the campus. The university also offers a safety shuttle service for students who need to travel around campus during late hours.

Student Support Services Available at both Universities

Both Universities have comprehensive support services available to their students, including academic advising, counseling services, tutoring, writing centers, and learning technology centers. They also offer various support programs, including peer mentoring, health and wellness, community service, and student engagement.

Additionally, both Universities have career services centers that provide students with resources and guidance for job searching, resume building, and interview preparation. These centers also offer networking events and job fairs to connect students with potential employers. Furthermore, both Universities have disability services offices that provide accommodations and support for students with disabilities, ensuring equal access to education for all students.

Tufts and UC Davis: Alumni Networks

Both Tufts and UC Davis have strong alumni networks, and they provide a large number of post-graduation opportunities for their graduates. Tufts alumni are known for their success in education and medicine, while UC Davis alumni are renowned for their achievements in the fields of agriculture and veterinary medicine.

Young woman holding her books while walking.

However, when it comes to alumni giving, Tufts has a higher percentage of alumni who donate to the university. This not only shows the loyalty and dedication of Tufts alumni, but also helps to fund various programs and initiatives at the university. On the other hand, UC Davis has a larger alumni population due to its size, which can provide a wider network for job opportunities and professional connections.

Conclusion: Making a Decision Between Tufts University and UC Davis

Choosing between Tufts University and UC Davis comes down to personal preference when it comes to a wide range of factors. Both universities have impressive academic programs, active campus communities, and strong alumni networks that can provide graduates with excellent opportunities for their post-graduation careers. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

Teacher talking to students while in a computer room.

However, it is important to consider some additional factors before making a final decision. Tufts University is located in the Boston area, which offers students access to a thriving city with numerous cultural and professional opportunities. On the other hand, UC Davis is located in Northern California, which provides students with easy access to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, two of the most innovative and dynamic regions in the world. Additionally, Tufts University is a private institution, which means that tuition costs may be higher than those at UC Davis, which is a public university. Ultimately, it is important to weigh all of these factors and choose the university that best fits your personal and academic goals.

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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