Tufts offers courses, workshops, and programs year-round in many modalities, including in-person, hybrid, and virtual, to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive educational experiences to matriculated and visiting students.
- In-Person/On-Campus courses and programs meet on the Medford, Boston, or Grafton campuses (and around the world through study abroad). In some cases, and at the discretion of the instructor, there may be flexibility for students to participate virtually in in-person courses.
- Hybrid courses and programs have both: i) virtual components delivered online and ii) in-person opportunities. It is possible for students to participate exclusively virtually in hybrid courses and programs.
- Virtual courses and programs are delivered 100% online.
- Synchronous virtual courses and programs follow the published schedule of class meetings and require attendance at all sessions.
- Asynchronous virtual courses and programs have no fixed meeting pattern and give students flexibility to interact with course content on their own schedule; please note: some asynchronous courses may include required sessions and/or proctored exams at specific times.
Virtual and hybrid courses and programs at Tufts are carefully designed to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as traditional in-person/ on-campus offerings. Course instructors will offer online office hours, and there may be virtual review sessions with teaching assistants, discussion session, and oral exams for language courses. Please consult the course listing or check with your instructor if you have questions about the course requirements.
Our Pre-College Program’s Virtual Campus is bringing new meaning to the educational experience for those Summer programs taught completely online, as we strive to recreate, through digital tools, the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University. Virtual Campus programs may incorporate synchronous and asynchronous components, and course content offered synchronously will be recorded for students to access if they were unable to attend the synchronous meeting time or would just like to review a previous session. Tufts Pre-College Programs staff will run a series of virtual social activities throughout the Summer programs so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students can participate outside of program hours.
Learning Management Systems
Tufts uses the Canvas Learning Management System for all courses. Canvas provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Canvas is also the platform used by Tufts virtual courses and programs. Most instructors will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site. Zoom is used to allow students to connect virtually for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions, and when classes are recorded for posting on Canvas.
For questions specific to Canvas, please contact email@example.com
Academic Policies for Virtual Courses
Tufts virtual courses offered through Courses at Tufts, Pre-College, Summer Session, or Winter Term are subject to the same policies and procedures as face-to-face courses. Specifically:
- Tufts virtual courses have the same academic expectations as face-to-face courses at Tufts.
- Tufts students apply these courses towards graduation requirements in the same way that Tufts face-to-face courses apply. See policy specifics under the special note below.
- Tufts virtual courses will be graded according to standards used by Tufts University. Every course instructor will set expectations for the quantity and quality of the work you do to complete the course and will affect the evaluation of your work for the course and grade.
- While asynchronous virtual courses provide greater flexibility for students, students are expected to log on frequently to Canvas (the university’s learning management platform) to view course content, interact with their instructors and peers using online messaging tools, keep up with course requirements, and to submit written work.
- Virtual courses that are asynchronous will follow the ‘Asynchronous Course Policy’ for refunds, Virtual courses that synchronous will follow the ‘Course Policy 1’ for refunds. https://universitycollege.tufts.edu/courses/policies/refunds#Courses-at-Tufts-(Fall-2020-to-Summer-2021)
Special Note to Tufts Undergraduate students: by vote of the Faculty of the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering, up to five courses designated as online (including virtual synchronous or asynchronous) can count toward graduation for students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018. For students who matriculated after Fall 2018, 15 SHUs of online course work can count towards graduation. For more information, contact your adviser or consult the Tufts University Bulletin. This information is subject to change without notice and the latest policies can be found in the current Tufts University Bulletin.
COVID-19 Addendum: synchronous or asynchronous virtual Tufts courses completed in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 will not be counted toward the current limit of online Tufts credits that may be applied toward graduation from undergraduate AS&E programs. See COVID-19 policy waivers here.
Technical Requirements Policy
Students enrolling in virtual courses and programs must have regular access to a computer with a reliable, high-speed internet connection. Students are expected to log into Canvas and check email daily and need regular and reliable access to the internet using a laptop or desktop computer manufactured in the past five years. For hardware and software requirement minimums, please see the computer specifications for Canvas. Individual courses may require students to have additional software. These requirements will be listed on the course syllabus and the Canvas course site.
Virtual courses will use various digital platforms to facilitate classroom discussion and peer interaction.
Please also see our Technical Requirements page for more details.
Some virtual courses require proctored exams. For courses that require a proctored exam, students will use an online proctoring service called ProctorU. This service requires a webcam, a microphone, and either a desktop or laptop computer (no phones or netbooks). It is the student’s responsibility to obtain access to these items. It is also the student’s responsibility to verify exam dates and exam modality with each instructor for each online class.
Please contact the proctor coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Although a course / program may be virtual, reading materials may still be required for the course. Students are expected to purchase all of the required reading materials for each course or program.
To order textbooks in advance, check the Tufts University Course Materials Finder or the syllabus for the course and term in which you are enrolling. If no information is available, a syllabus will be posted to the Canvas course page listing required books and readings. It is not expected that every student will have acquired the course textbook by the first day of the term or class. However, you should make the purchase as soon as you begin your course so that you have all the resources you need in order to succeed in the course. Please contact your instructor if you expect purchasing any materials to be a problem for you.
Textbooks can be purchased for mailed delivery from the Tufts bookstore in the Mayer Campus Center (46 Professors Row) or through online booksellers (like Amazon) or through any retailer that you might find. Please note that Tufts University does not endorse any particular retailer, these recommendations are offered only as points of information.