TUSDM Welcomes the Class of 2017

Starting August 26, TUSDM welcomed 194 new members into the community.

The Class of 2017 arrived for their Student Orientation this week, marking an official start to the fall at TUSDM.

(Credit: Alonso Nichols for Tufts University)

“We just want to congratulate them,” said Melissa Friedman, Director of Admissions. “They’ve all worked hard and gotten through a truly impressive group of applicants. It’s a huge achievement.”

The incoming student population is demographically similar to classes of the past few academic years. The students have a gender ratio of 53 percent female to 47 percent male, meaning that the enrollment of women exceeds that of men for the second year in a row. The school also continues to be one of the top schools for enrollment of underrepresented minority students with seven percent of students self-reporting as black or African-American, and nine percent reporting as Hispanic.

“The university and the school have a serious commitment to diversity,” Freidman said. “Our incoming student demographics reflect that commitment.”

There were 4,293 applications to the dental school this past year. Less than 500 students were selected to be interviewed, and out of that, only about 400 were accepted. This meant the students who have enrolled have an even higher academic profile than in previous years, with an average GPA of 3.43 and 29 students who hold master’s degrees.

Friedman said that the new students will meet with a rigorous and challenging curriculum. She encouraged students to maintain balance in their lives, whether by joining a student organization, or an intramural sport, making sure to spend time with family and friends, and enjoying the city around them. In an address to the new students on Monday, Tufts President Anthony Monaco said the students should count on the university to be part of their support system.

“Dental school is an intense experience,” he said. “But you are coming to a student-centered and friendly environment, both at the school and across the university.”

If a new student is in need of help, Friedman said, Tufts has a bevy of resources to assist them in their success. The Tufts Student Advisory and Health Administration Office, for example, can offer short-term, confidential counseling or referrals. Tufts EthicsPoint provides students with ways to confidentially report unethical or inappropriate activity. They should also feel free to speak to Dr. Robert Kasberg, the Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, Katherine Vosker, the Director of Student Affairs, their course directors, practice coordinators, instructors, or even their peers with questions or problems that arise.

“The one thing I would tell them is to recognize when you need help, and not be afraid to ask,” Friedman said. “Sometimes it takes a while to recognize what a caring community Tufts is. Even if it’s not an academic problem, students should feel comfortable to ask their peers, their faculty, their mentors when they need help.”