Apply to SMFA and Tufts

dsc_8786ashcan student work 

The SMFA at Tufts offers both a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interdisciplinary Art and a 5-year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree Program.

Learn more about Ashcans transfer agreement with SMFA : SMFA + Ashcan

Application Process

Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Art at the SMFA at Tufts or the 5-year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree will apply to Tufts University using either the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or the Questbridge Application.

What’s Different about a BFA or BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree Application?

Your application to the BFA Program or the 5-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree Program must fulfill all of the requirements for a Tufts application, with the following exceptions/additions:

  • You must indicate on your application the program to which you are applying
  • You must submit an art portfolio via SlideRoom. The deadline for this portfolio is: For Early Decision I Applicants, November 1st; for Early Decision II and Regular Decision Applicants, January 1st.
  • You must submit a recommendation from an art teacher in addition to your Guidance Counselor recommendation. For BFA applicants, this may be your sole teacher recommendation. For BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree applicants, please submit this with a second teacher recommendation.
  • All applicants to Tufts will respond to three supplemental prompts. For BFA and 5-Year Combined Degree applicants, the third prompt will challenge you to reflect specifically on your art practice. If you are getting a head start on our supplemental essays, please note that this is option F.
  • BFA APPLICANTS ONLY: If you choose to submit the SAT, you are not required to submit SAT Subject Tests. 5-Year BFA + BA/BS Combined Degree students must submit subject tests to accompany their SAT scores.

Information for First-Year Applicants

Tufts uses the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Everything you need to apply, including the Tufts Writing Supplement, is hosted on the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website. We provide a simple checklist of all the required application materials below. We are not able to accept supplemental materials that don’t appear on this checklist. For those applying through QuestBridge, you can find information about the application here.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision I November 1 Mid-December
Early Decision II January 1 Mid-February
Regular Decision January 1 By April 1

Please also note the separate financial aid deadlines.

Application Checklist

A complete application includes the following nine (9) items, which are required:

  1. Completed Common Application or Coalition Application
  2. Completed Tufts Writing Supplement
  3. High School Transcript(s)
  4. Senior Grades: All applicants will be required to send their senior grades as part of their application. Students applying Early Decision I should send first quarter or trimester grades no later than the last week in November. Students applying Early Decision II should plan for their first semester or trimester grades to arrive no later than the third week in January. Finally, Regular Decision applicants should submit their first semester or trimester grades by the middle of February. Students studying abroad (where predicted grades are common) should send those if senior grades are not available.
  5. Testing:
    • For applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering or the Combined Degree Programs with the SMFA at Tufts or the NEC: SAT with two subject tests or ACT. See the standardized test requirements for information about these tests and recommendations regarding which subject tests to take.
    • For applicants to the SMFA at Tufts’ BFA program: SAT or ACT. Subject tests are not required for BFA candidates applying to the SMFA at Tufts.
  6. TOEFL Scores: Required only for students for whom English is not the first language or who attend a school where English is not the language of instruction.
  7. Letters of Recommendation: Tufts requires one letter from a teacher in a junior or senior year major academic course (math, natural science, social science, English, or a foreign language) and one letter from a guidance counselor for all applicants. Candidates for the SMFA at Tufts’ BFA or Combined Degree programs are required to submit a letter from their art teacher as well. An additional letter from all other applicants, though not encouraged, may be submitted if the student feels it can add new perspective to his or her application.
  8. Extracurricular Activities: In addition to evaluating an academic fit, the admissions committee looks for ways a student may contribute to the community as a whole. They will assess the level and type of involvement in each activity and may ask questions such as: Has the student been a significant contributor or leader? How has the involvement contributed to the school or larger community? Does the student have a special talent in a particular area? We do not expect all students to be team captains, class presidents, or editors-in-chief; rather, we look for meaningful involvement in their school and/or community. The Common Application allows students to list up to ten different activities, but you don’t need to fill every space. Some of the most successful applicants are heavily engaged in just a few activities. Keep in mind that the Common Application is your one chance to show your extracurricular engagements: we are not able to accept a supplemental resume of activities.
  9. Art Portfolio: Required only for students applying to the Combined Degree BFA/BA or BFA/BS and BFA applicants to the SMFA at Tufts. Submit a 15-20-piece portfolio of recent work, which represents your strengths and interests, via SlideRoom.
  10. $75 Application Fee or Fee Waiver – You may have the application fee waived by submitting either i) a written request from your college counselor or school official who can attest that the fee would represent a financial hardship, or ii) a College Board Request for Waiver of the Application Fee form. You may consider the waiver approved unless a member of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions notifies you otherwise. Without an application fee, or an approved fee waiver, we cannot continue to process your application to Tufts University.

These additions to the application are optional, meaning they are not required:

  • Alumni Interview
  • Arts or Maker Portfolio: As the Application Checklist indicates above, the Art Portfolio is required for students applying to the BFA or Combined Degree programs at the SMFA at Tufts. Students applying to the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering, however, may submit an optional arts or maker portfolio to highlight talent in studio art, drama, dance, music, or engineering.

Please also note that applying for financial aid is a separate process, with its own required documents.

Submitting Your Application

All application materials are submitted online via the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website, including high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. If there are materials that cannot be sent electronically, those materials may be mailed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Tufts University
Bendetson Hall
2 The Green
Medford, MA 02155-7057

Information for Transfer Applicants

Application Deadlines

Transfer Admission March 15 May through mid-June
REAL Spring Admission November 1 Mid-December
REAL Fall Admission March 15 Mid-May

Please also note the separate financial aid deadlines for transfer applicants

Learn more about applying as a transfer applicant.


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