Mission and History
University College was established to facilitate the development of university-wide degree and non-degree programs for matriculated students and to offer educational programs that reach new non-matriculated student populations, including pre-K through high school students, working professionals, and lifelong learners. University College is committed to Tufts University's mission as a student-centered research university by seeking to extend access to Tufts' high-quality education to populations of learners for whom a full-time, residential degree in a traditional discipline is not the right option. Dedicated to serving students at all points in their educational journey, University College collaborates with all of the schools and faculties of Tufts University to offer learning experiences that complement and expand the reach of their degrees, certificates, and research.
University College was founded in November 2018 by the Tufts University Board of Trustees with Joseph Auner and Karen Mulder serving as the founding Dean and Executive Associate Dean of the school. University College replaced the Tufts University College of Special Studies, the historical home for continuing education and external academic partnerships at Tufts. Today University College is responsible for Summer Session, Courses at Tufts, Winter Term, Tufts Pre-College Programs, and Lifelong Learning and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts. As a think-tank and a catalyst for experimentation University College is continually developing new offerings, new course modalities, and new opportunities
The community of University College embraces students at every stage of their academic, professional, and personal lives. Current year-round offerings serve high school students, visiting undergraduate and graduate students, working professionals, and lifelong learners seeking career retraining, new life skills, and intellectual enrichment. Offerings include workshops, courses lasting from a few days to a full semester, innovative programs, and new certificates coming soon, along with lectures and special events. Through in-person and online experiences at the university’s Medford, Boston, Fenway, and Grafton campuses, University College is committed to expanding accessibility and access to educational opportunities at Tufts.
The establishment of University College will enable more experimentation and growth of Tufts’ programming and partnerships across all our schools and allow us to reach new student audiences at every stage of their academic and professional development. Expanding our base of traditional and non-traditional students also increases the number of alumni with a deep and broad affinity for Tufts—and amplifies the positive impact that Tufts faculty, students, and alumni are able to make in the world.