Active Citizenship at Tufts

Tufts has been committed to public service since its founding in 1852 when Hosea Ballou II, the university’s first president, articulated engagement with the world beyond its walls as a core mission of Tufts.

In 2000, the university deepened its commitment to producing active, engaged, and effective citizens through the founding of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. All Tufts students are part of this unique college that works across Tufts schools to prepare students from every field to be lifelong active citizens. Serving as an innovator and incubator, Tisch College collaborates closely with Tufts schools, departments, and student groups to generate an enduring culture of active citizenship across the university.

Today, students at every Tufts school are educated as active citizens. Undergraduates from the School of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering have a range of opportunities for every major and interest. Students may select from Tisch College’s growing list of 108 active citizenship courses from 30 departments, and all 3317 undergraduates living on campus engage through Tisch College’s partnership with the Office of Residential Life and Learning.

Students from the School of Medicine are required to complete 50 hours of community service learning, students from the School of Dental Medicine must participate in a five-week “externship” at one of 25 facilities across the country and students from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy are required to take a public policy course. At the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine students actively serve through numerous community programs and students from The Fletcher School arrive as impressive world  leaders and graduate as innovative problem-solvers with strategic cross-sector networks.

Tufts further expresses its institutional commitment to active citizenship through innovative interdisciplinary research aimed at addressing real world problems. Programs like the Tufts University Community Research Center (TCRC) and Tisch College’s Faculty Fellows help faculty develop their research in partnership with the community – ensuring research directly relevant to community needs.  Such efforts have resulted in cutting-edge research such as the Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) Study and Shape Up Somerville.

In addition to supporting faculty’s engaged research, Tufts University is also home to the premier research center on civic engagement. Housed at Tisch College, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) is a nonpartisan, independent, academic research center that studies how young people connect and engage with their communities.

For more information on Tufts’ active citizenship visit the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service website.