Tufts vs Claremont McKenna: A Comprehensive Guide

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman looking outside while typing in a desk with books.

Tufts vs Claremont McKenna: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to choosing a college, it can be tough to navigate through all the available options. Two institutions that are often compared are Tufts University and Claremont McKenna College. While both schools have their unique features, they can be equally attractive to prospective students. In this article, we will explore and compare numerous aspects of these institutions in terms of location, academics, admissions, student body diversity, athletics programs, campus life, housing options, cost of attendance, financial aid, career services, alumni networks, faculty quality, research opportunities, and study abroad programs. So, sit back and let us guide you through a comprehensive examination of Tufts University vs Claremont McKenna College.

Location and Campus Size: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

The location of a college can be an important factor in deciding where to study. Tufts University is located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, giving students easy access to the city. The campus itself is spread out over three different locations – Medford, Somerville, and Boston’s Chinatown – and covers an area of approximately 150 acres.

Claremont McKenna College, on the other hand, is situated in Claremont, California, a small town southeast of Los Angeles. The campus size spans over 69 acres, providing a more intimate academic environment. Both universities offer picturesque and diverse settings that provide unique experiences.

Tufts University is known for its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, with many of its programs crossing traditional academic boundaries. This approach allows students to explore a wide range of subjects and gain a more holistic understanding of the world. In addition, Tufts has a strong commitment to community service and social justice, with many opportunities for students to get involved in local and global initiatives.

Claremont McKenna College, on the other hand, is renowned for its focus on economics, government, and international relations. The college has a strong reputation for producing leaders in these fields, with many alumni going on to successful careers in politics, business, and academia. Claremont McKenna also offers a unique program called the “Athletic, Academic, and Leadership Program,” which provides student-athletes with the resources and support they need to excel both on and off the field.

Academics: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Tufts University and Claremont McKenna College each offer a diverse range of majors and degrees. Tufts has ten schools – ranging from the School of Arts and Sciences to the School of Dental Medicine – which offer over 100 majors.

Claremont McKenna, by contrast, is primarily an undergraduate institution and offers 32 majors across six distinct departments: literature, economics, history, philosophy, government, and psychology. Both schools uphold a liberal arts curriculum that challenges students to think critically and globally and ensures a well-rounded education.

a group of college students looking happy

Additionally, Tufts University and Claremont McKenna College both offer a variety of opportunities for students to engage in research and independent study. Tufts has a robust undergraduate research program, with over 1,000 students participating in research each year.

Claremont McKenna offers a unique program called the Robert Day Scholars Program, which provides funding for students to pursue independent research projects and internships. These opportunities allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world problems and gain valuable experience in their fields of study.

Admissions Statistics: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Admission to both Tufts and Claremont McKenna is highly selective and competitive. For the class of 2024, Tufts’ acceptance rate was just 15%. The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 1450-1560, and the middle 50% range of ACT scores was 33-35.

The overall acceptance rate for Claremont McKenna for the class of 2024 was 8.9%. The middle 50% range of SAT scores was 1440-1540, and the middle 50% range of ACT scores was 33-35. With such competitiveness, the application process at both universities must be taken seriously.

However, it is important to note that admissions statistics do not tell the whole story. Both Tufts and Claremont McKenna value a well-rounded applicant, taking into consideration extracurricular activities, essays, and letters of recommendation. In addition, both universities have a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that a student’s financial need is not taken into consideration during the admissions process.

Furthermore, both Tufts and Claremont McKenna offer a variety of resources to support their students. Tufts has a robust career center, offering career counseling, job and internship listings, and networking opportunities. Claremont McKenna has a strong emphasis on leadership development, offering programs such as the Kravis Leadership Institute and the Roberts Environmental Center to help students develop their leadership skills and make a positive impact in their communities.

Student Body Diversity: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Tufts and Claremont McKenna both prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion within their student bodies. Both institutions report a similar percentage of students of color, with Tufts having 49% and Claremont McKenna having 51%. Additionally, both universities have a small international student population, with Tufts reporting 8% international students and Claremont McKenna reporting 9%.

However, there are some differences in the types of diversity represented at each institution. Tufts has a higher percentage of students who identify as LGBTQ+ at 12%, while Claremont McKenna reports 7%. On the other hand, Claremont McKenna has a higher percentage of first-generation college students at 16%, compared to Tufts’ 11%. Both universities also have active student organizations and resources dedicated to supporting and celebrating diversity on campus.

Athletics Programs: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Both Tufts and Claremont McKenna offer robust athletics programs. Tufts competes as a Division III school and has a total of 29 varsity sports teams, each a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Claremont McKenna also competes as a Division III school in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and has 21 varsity sports teams. Both universities emphasize the role of student-athletes with exhibitions of sportsmanship and teamwork.

View of different sports equipments.

Tufts has a strong tradition in sports, with many of its teams consistently ranking among the top in the nation. The university has produced numerous All-Americans, Olympians, and professional athletes. The athletics facilities at Tufts are state-of-the-art, including a recently renovated basketball arena, a new softball field, and a multi-purpose outdoor track and field complex.

Claremont McKenna’s athletics program is also highly regarded, with a focus on developing well-rounded student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. The university has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in athletics, with programs and initiatives aimed at promoting equity and access for all students. Claremont McKenna’s athletics facilities include a new fitness center, a soccer and lacrosse field, and a baseball stadium.

Campus Life: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Life on campus at Tufts and Claremont McKenna is characterized by involved and active student bodies. At Tufts, there are more than 300 student clubs and organizations available for students to join, and the university hosts a variety of events each year, such as Fall Ball and Spring Fling.

Claremont McKenna offers an equally robust range of activities, with over 100 student-run clubs and organizations and frequent conferences, performances, and guest speakers on and off campus. Both universities seek to offer a supportive and dynamic environment for their students.

Additionally, Tufts and Claremont McKenna both have strong athletic programs. Tufts is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and offers 29 varsity sports teams, as well as numerous club and intramural sports. Claremont McKenna is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and offers 21 varsity sports teams, as well as club and intramural sports. Both universities have state-of-the-art athletic facilities and a strong emphasis on promoting physical fitness and wellness among their students.

Furthermore, Tufts and Claremont McKenna are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Tufts has several student-led organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and social justice, such as the Asian American Alliance, the Black Student Union, and the Latinx Student Association.

Claremont McKenna has a similar range of organizations, including the Asian Pacific American Mentoring Program, the Black Student Association, and the Queer Resource Center. Both universities also offer a range of resources and support services for students from underrepresented backgrounds, such as first-generation college students and students from low-income families.

Housing Options: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

The housing options for Tufts and Claremont McKenna, like all universities, vary depending on location and budget. Tufts offers on-campus housing for all four years of undergraduate study, as well as some graduate housing options. A unique housing option at Tufts is their mature student housing option for those students aged 23 years and up.

Claremont McKenna guarantees on-campus housing for all four years for undergraduate students, with options ranging from traditional residence halls to suite-style apartments. Both institutions have a variety of housing options that provide students with the comfort and safety they need.

two students moving in to their new dorm room

Additionally, Tufts and Claremont McKenna both offer off-campus housing options for students who prefer to live independently or cannot be accommodated on campus. Tufts has a partnership with a local real estate agency to assist students in finding off-campus housing options, while Claremont McKenna has a database of off-campus housing options available for students to search through.

It is important for students to carefully consider their housing options and budget before making a decision, as off-campus housing can often be more expensive and require additional responsibilities such as paying rent and utilities.

Cost of Attendance: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Attending Tufts or Claremont McKenna is a significant investment, and it is important to be aware of the expenses involved. The cost of attendance at Tufts for the 2020-2021 academic year was $78,400, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

Claremont McKenna’s cost of attendance for the same academic year was $78,800. However, both universities offer resources and support to help students pay for college, such as scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and student loans.

It is worth noting that the cost of attendance may vary depending on a student’s circumstances, such as their residency status, major, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, students may be able to reduce their expenses by living off-campus or participating in a study abroad program. It is important for students and their families to carefully consider all of their options and to plan for the financial commitment of attending college.

Financial Aid Opportunities: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Tufts and Claremont McKenna are committed to making their education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial backgrounds. Both universities offer need-based financial aid programs for students who qualify. Tufts, for example, reports that 42% of their students receive need-based financial aid.

Claremont McKenna states that 43% of students receive need-based aid, with an average grant amount of $51,374. It is important that those who need financial aid explore these options.

In addition to need-based financial aid, both Tufts and Claremont McKenna also offer merit-based scholarships for students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or other talents. Tufts offers a range of merit scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees for four years.

Claremont McKenna offers several merit-based scholarships, such as the Kravis Scholarship, which provides full tuition, room, and board for four years. These scholarships can greatly reduce the cost of attendance for students who qualify.

Career Services for Students: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Preparing for life after college can be a daunting task, but Tufts and Claremont McKenna both offer extensive career development programs to support their students. Tufts offers specialized career services for various academic departments and hosts multiple career fairs and employer events each year.

three students studying outside

Claremont McKenna provides personalized career preparation services, including counseling sessions and career development workshops. Both universities provide students with the resources they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

Additionally, Tufts and Claremont McKenna have strong alumni networks that provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for current students. Tufts alumni are involved in the university’s career services programs, offering advice and guidance to students as they navigate the job market. Claremont McKenna’s alumni network is particularly strong in the fields of business and politics, providing students with access to influential leaders in these industries.

Furthermore, both universities offer internship and job placement services to help students gain practical experience and secure employment after graduation. Tufts has partnerships with a variety of organizations and companies, providing students with a range of internship opportunities. Claremont McKenna’s career services team works closely with students to identify their career goals and connect them with relevant job opportunities.

Alumni Network: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Building a strong alumni network is essential to the success of a university and its graduates. Tufts and Claremont McKenna each have an active network of alumni who are involved in their respective communities, providing mentorship, financial support, and other resources.

Tufts has over 100,000 alumni worldwide, many of whom offer internships and job opportunities to current students. Claremont McKenna has a strong network of alumni that remain dedicated to the institution and its graduates.

Both Tufts and Claremont McKenna also offer various events and programs to connect alumni with current students. Tufts hosts an annual alumni weekend, where graduates can reconnect with old classmates and participate in various activities.

Claremont McKenna offers regional events throughout the year, allowing alumni to network and stay connected with the institution. These events provide valuable opportunities for alumni to give back to their alma mater and support the next generation of graduates.

Faculty Quality and Availability: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

The faculty at Tufts and Claremont McKenna are highly qualified and committed to teaching and research. Tufts boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1 and has 86% of its faculty members holding the highest degree in their field. Claremont McKenna has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, and 91% of its faculty members hold the highest degree in their field. Both universities emphasize the importance of personal connections between faculty and students.

In addition to their high qualifications, both universities also offer a variety of opportunities for students to engage with faculty outside of the classroom. Tufts has a robust undergraduate research program, where students can work closely with faculty members on research projects.

Claremont McKenna offers small group seminars, where students can have in-depth discussions with faculty members on specialized topics. These opportunities allow students to develop strong relationships with their professors and gain valuable insights and mentorship.

Research Opportunities for Students: Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Tufts and Claremont McKenna provide numerous opportunities for students to engage in research and scholarly activities. At Tufts, students can work alongside faculty on research projects or participate in summer research programs. At Claremont McKenna, the college encourages students to pursue research through its research institutes, collaborative research, or their projects. Both schools aim to prepare their students for a lifetime of academic inquiry and critical thinking.

Group of students walking in the stairs.

Additionally, Tufts and Claremont McKenna offer research funding and grants to support student research projects. These grants can cover expenses such as travel, equipment, and materials. Students can also present their research at conferences and symposiums, gaining valuable experience in sharing their findings with a wider audience.

Furthermore, both schools have partnerships with local and international organizations, providing students with opportunities to conduct research in a variety of fields and locations. These partnerships also offer students the chance to collaborate with professionals and experts in their respective fields, further enhancing their research experience.

Study Abroad Programs Available at Tufts vs Claremont McKenna

Both Tufts and Claremont McKenna offer students the opportunity to study abroad and gain international exposure, either through their programs or through collaborating institutions. Tufts offers various study abroad programs in over 30 different countries, and Claremont McKenna provides 11 study abroad options in countries such as England, Italy, and China. International experience is an invaluable component of a student’s education and both universities make it accessible to their students.

At Tufts, students can choose from a range of study abroad programs that cater to their academic interests. For instance, the Tufts in Talloires program is ideal for students interested in environmental studies, as it is located in a picturesque French village nestled in the Alps. Similarly, the Tufts in Chile program is perfect for students studying Spanish or Latin American studies, as it offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in Chilean culture and language.

Claremont McKenna also offers study abroad programs that are tailored to students’ interests. For example, the Pitzer in Botswana program is designed for students interested in African studies, as it provides an opportunity to study the country’s history, culture, and politics.

Additionally, the Claremont McKenna in Washington D.C. program is ideal for students interested in politics and public policy, as it offers an opportunity to intern with government agencies and non-profit organizations in the nation’s capital.


Choosing a university is an important decision that can have a significant impact on a student’s academic and professional development. While Tufts University and Claremont McKenna College are very different institutions, they both offer an excellent academic experience and a highly supportive campus community.

When considering where to study, it is important to weigh all factors, such as location, size, academics, cost, and opportunities, to make an informed decision that fits your personal and academic goals. So review your options, take a visit, and decide where the next chapter of your education will be.

a student carrying her notebooks

It is also important to consider the extracurricular activities and resources available at each university. Tufts University offers a wide range of clubs and organizations, including a strong emphasis on community service and social justice. Claremont McKenna College, on the other hand, has a strong focus on leadership development and offers many opportunities for students to engage in research and internships.

Ultimately, the decision of where to attend university should be based on a combination of factors, including academic fit, campus culture, and personal preferences. It is important to do thorough research and visit each campus to get a sense of the community and resources available. With careful consideration, you can make an informed decision that will set you on the path to success in your academic and professional pursuits.

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 to learn more about what we offer.


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