Skip to main content

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Records

Call Number: UA006

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, memos, reports, and brochures relating to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. It also contains materials related to Hydro-Quebec.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 -- 1975
  • Creation: 1876 -- 1997


Language of Materials



Records containing information related to student education, staff and faculty employment, and Board of Trustees records are closed for 75 years from the date of creation.

This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was officially founded in 1909, more than thirty years after the first graduate degree was awarded at Tufts College.

In 1875, members of the Tufts faculty and administration approved a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree. The program required either one year of supervised study at Tufts, or the equivalent done away from the campus over a period of two years or more. Tufts graduates were eligible for the program, as were graduates from other schools with similar courses of study. The first MA was awarded the next spring, to a student working with the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

Over the next few decades, interest in graduate education skyrocketed, and Tufts saw more and more students entering the program each year. In 1897, in order to meet increased demand, a Master of Sciences program was added to the graduate curriculum. Five years earlier, Tufts had established a preliminary Ph.D. program as well. The program was specifically for work in Biology and Chemistry, with other departments to be added as the faculty saw fit.

In 1892, in order to have some control over who was admitted to graduate programs, Tufts established a committee of seven faculty, led by the president. The committee picked a board of three to examine each graduate candidate and decide on their admission to the school. By the year's end, the committee was already being referred to as the graduate department.

The department finally was made official in 1903, and the office of the dean of the graduate faculty became a full time position. After the official establishment of the department, the requirements for degrees were finalized. Students were to complete thirty credit hours to receive a master's degree, and the work was to be done in one main department with related work in another.

By 1906, the size of the graduate program began to worry some members of the faculty. They were not being paid extra to teach graduate classes, which amounted to an extra course load of work for a faculty member working with as graduate student. The graduate department established a faculty committee to look into feasibility of continuing graduate education, and almost immediately the committee returned with a decision. Most of the faculty felt that graduate education was very important to make Tufts a competitive school, and also felt that the presence of graduate students increased the level of academics on campus. A year later, however, the faculty did decide to vote out the Ph.D. program. It was not reestablished until almost fifty years later.

In 1909, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was made official, with the administrators from the graduate department continuing in their positions. As of 2001, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences continues to operate in numerous departments at Tufts University.


4.29 Linear Feet (7 boxes)


This collection is organized in three series: Subject files, Annual reports, and Unprocessed accessions.

Custodial History

The "Graduate School" collection was created by Russell Miller in preparation of his history of Tufts, Light on the Hill. It contains material relating to graduate school programs that did not fit into any of his other subject categories. The material was assembled from various administrative departments. No attempt has been made to restore the original order of this material.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States