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Hunter and Tufts


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Hi All!

I am hoping someone could offer some advice regarding programs for both Hunter and Tufts. I have been accepted to both for an MA in Art History. I know program-wise and placement-wise, both are suitable for pursuing PhD programs afterward or securing employment. I am however concerned with the size of the program at Hunter -- I've read that the program can have up to 125 students at one time, which seems to offer a lot less one-on-one attention from advisors and seems to be considerably more competitive for internship placement/ assistantships/ etc. I've already had difficulty communicating with their academic offices and scheduling calls with professors to discuss the program. This seems to corroborate my feeling that I may be just another cog in the academic machine here. I also do not know how funding works at Hunter -- I've read that you do not find out about financial aid until you have accepted and enrolled at the program...which seems counterintuitive to making an informed decision. 

Tufts, on the other hand, has been phenomenal in reaching out and communicating their interest. Their program is considerably smaller -- 7-10 students -- and as a terminal MA program, all of their resources go to MA students. It seems overall like a more collaborative and congenial environment. They've offered financial aid and potential 2nd year assistantships. It is, however, still more expensive then Hunter and I would have to take out more loans to attend and I've heard over and over again not to take out an exorbitant amount of loans to attend an MA program...but I've had no experience with loans and am not sure what the appropriate standard of loan debt is for an MA program. 

Any advice you can offer to alleviate some of my concerns on the two programs is welcome! Likewise, advice on financial aid processes is also welcome. 


Thank you!

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  • 4 years later...

Good morning!

I was accepted to both programs with funding offers. Even with a half tuition scholarship Tufts was too expensive so I declined. Hunter offered me a 12k scholarship with my admittance and they sent me my financial aid package a few days after. Unfortunately they were all loans so I declined the package. Luckily I have enough saved to cover the rest of the cost of attendance

I ended up choosing hunter because they offer a curatorial certificate in addition to the MA. I’ve been emailing Dr. Singerman and he stated that there are teaching and research assistantship’s. Typically professors chose students to support research, or they find a position with an outside institution. Teaching assistantships are typically reserved for PHD students but some advanced MA students receive them. although it has a large class size, and therefore less resources for students, I believe the many perspectives will lead to a more comprehensive education. Moreover I was looking for a competitive program, and I felt this worked due to scarcity of opportunities. another huge factor for me was the amount of resources. Not only do you have access to archives and libraries in New York, you also have access to courses from other CUNY institutions, meaning a very diverse curriculum. Moreover I wanted to make connections in New York rather than Boston because my area of study has a much larger scene in New York.

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I loved my time at Tufts for an art history MA. It's an excellent program. Made some life-long friends. Top notch, brilliant faculty who give MA students time and attention, second year assistantships are for the large part not very much time commitment but nice paychecks, if you're contemporary there are opportunities to work at Tufts' contemporary art institution. I was also choosing between two programs at the time, and leveraged that to secure more funding from Tufts. Sometimes sending a nice diplomatic email (in which the main goal is to work together, you and Tufts, to find the most optimal decision) can go far in negotiating more funding. With the additional funding I received, plus a bit of my savings, but mostly $ from my part-time jobs while at Tufts (totally doable! and honestly a much needed break from studying sometimes), I didn't have to take out loans. If you DM me I'd be happy to share with you the exact email I sent to negotiate more funding. 


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