Student Life

Student life at SMFA at Tufts is centered around the thriving center of arts, history, and innovation that is the city of Boston. Located on the Avenue of the Arts between the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum, SMFA at Tufts is surrounded by a flourishing community of students and art-world professionals.

Boston is a walkable city with a large bike culture and a robust public transportation system. You’ll have easy access to art openings, live music, restaurants, nightclubs, symphonies, theater, sports, coffeehouses, or an escape to the beaches and mountains right outside of the city limits.

Office of Student Affairs

Student life at SMFA at Tufts is complemented by services, resources, and support systems, many of which are handled by the Office of Student Affairs. Our staff is available to counsel students on a variety of matters pertaining to student life and personal matters. 

In particular, Student Affairs seeks to enrich your educational experience outside of the classroom. We provide a range of co-curricular programs, services, and opportunities meant to promote artistic, personal, and professional development. Whether you’re having a coffee in the atrium between classes, making work in the animation studio, looking for next steps to further your practice, or attending the opening of an exhibit, you’ll be surrounded by people who know your name.

Student Affairs supports students in these areas:
SMFA Student Affairs
SMFA Office: 617-627-0050
Medford Office: 617-627-3158

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
Laura DaRos

Boston SMFA Campus

Hosting more than 80 colleges and universities with more than 250,000 students, Boston is a great place to attend school—especially art school. Boston is consistently ranked as one of the most creative cities in the country, an international center of education, and a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Our city is truly a hub of culture and learning, offering countless opportunities for collaboration, investigation, and fun!

As well as having Boston at their doorstep, all SMFA at Tufts students benefit from access to two distinct campuses: the Medford/Somerville Campus and the Boston SMFA Campus in the Fenway neighborhood.

The SMFA Campus is home to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts studios, classrooms, and workshops. In addition to being right next door to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, our neighborhood is also home to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. And just a short distance away is the Institute of Contemporary Art. It’s a perfect place to explore the richness of Boston’s art collections (there are 56 museums in the city!) and to make connections with scholars, artists, and art world insiders from across the globe. Whether you’re attending a First Friday celebration in one of our many arts districts, or interning at one of the startups in our Seaport Innovation District, you’ll feel the same groundbreaking energy that draws tech and design firms, gallerists and researchers, writers and filmmakers to our city.

As one of the oldest cities in America, Boston has an internationally diverse population with abundant culture-expanding opportunities. The urban setting of our campus also gives you access to great music venues, classic and experimental theatre, independent film houses and bookstores, great restaurants and farmers markets, bike and walking trails, and of course sports venues, with Fenway Park less than a mile from our front door.

Medford/Somerville Campus

SMFA at Tufts students also have full access to our Medford/Somerville campus, including the full range of community, academic, and resource offerings. Located just over five miles northwest of Boston, this campus is home to Tufts’ School of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering.

Medford/Somerville Campus Map

Getting Around

With dedicated shuttle service between campuses, we make it easy to be engaged with the full range of community, academic, and resource offerings on each. And our location in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston means you’ll be able to connect with the larger art community. 

Tufts Shuttles

Tufts offers shuttle service between the SMFA Fenway campus and the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus during the academic year. The shuttle schedule and more information can be found on the Public Safety site.

We also provide shuttle service between the SMFA Main Building and the Fenway Residence Halls. While the shuttle service offers students convenient transportation to and from their dorms, our beautiful, renovated brownstone residences are just a quick 10-15 minute walk from the Main Building. 

Shuttle App

You can access up-to-the-minute SMFA shuttle information from your mobile device. Download the Tufts Mobile app and click “Tufts Shuttles” to be connected to the shuttle’s GPS tracker, which provides the shuttle’s real-time location.

Tufts Mobile is maintained by Tufts Technology Services 24/7 and is linked to the shuttle's GPS so you can count on it having the most up-to-date information whenever you use it.    


Looking to be a little more environmentally friendly or just don’t want to deal with Boston traffic? You can easily get to SMFA and explore the Boston area via several different modes of public transportation, including on the MBTA or “T”.  SMFA is most easily accessed by the Museum of Fine Arts stop (Green Line E) or the Ruggles stop (Orange Line).

For information about Boston's public transportation system, including fare information and schedules, visit the MBTA website.

SafeRide Services – 9:00pm – 5:00am

SMFA students have the option to use the SafeRide service as an alternative to walking alone at night. For your personal safety, vehicle transports are available via Lyft. For more information, including instructions and policies surrounding the SafeRide service, follow the SafeRide link below.

Getting Around Links

Tufts Shuttle Services 
SMFA/NEC Shuttle Schedule
SafeRide Services

Housing & Residence Life

SMFA Residence Life

The experimental, inclusive spirit you and your peers build in the studio touches every aspect of your life at SMFA. Communal living is an integral part of life for SMFA at Tufts students.

Due to different requirements in programs, Combined Degree (BFA + BA/BS) students will live on the Medford campus for the first two years. You can check out the different living options on the Medford Campus here.  

All first-year BFA students live in Tufts housing on Beacon Street in the coveted neighborhood of Brookline, near our SMFA campus. For many of you, this will be the first time that you’re part of an artistic community. Honestly, it’s awesome. It provides the invaluable experience of living in a community of people who are dedicated to growing and evolving as students and artists.

Second-year BFA students may elect to live off campus, or apply for Tufts housing through our housing lottery. 

While you will benefit from the proximity to your classes and campus activities, the greatest benefit to living in SMFA housing is the close relationships that you will form with your peers. We’re a tight-knit community at SMFA. The people you live with will come from a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and parts of the world. These differences provide a diverse community that will define your student experience and enhance your artistic growth.

The Residence Halls

SMFA's Beacon Street housing consists of three historic, renovated brownstones—1023, 1025, and 1047 Beacon —located in close proximity to the Fenway campus. The residence halls provide students with a quintessential college experience in one of the most desirable neighborhoods of Boston.

Each residence hall has a variety of room types, including singles, doubles, and triples, many of which have in-suite bathrooms. In addition, each student is provided with a bed, desk, desk chair, bureau, complimentary Wi-Fi, on-site laundry services, community kitchen facilities, and a large community space where there is always something spontaneous and unexpected happening.

The Residence Life Staff

Each residence hall has a student staff that is responsible for the student leadership of each hall. The student staff is comprised of First Year Assistants (FYAs), Community Development Advisors (CDAs), and Graduate Resident Directors (GRDs). Their duties consist of extra-curricular programming, move-in and move-out facilitation, student support, resource connection, on-call availability, and assisting in health and safety inspections. 

First Year Assistants and Community Development Advisors are hired through an extensive application process and are required to participate in a week-long training seminar that prepares them for serving in this leadership capacity. The Office of Residential Life and Learning coordinates all aspects of SMFA living in conjunction with SMFA Student Affairs

Who lives in SMFA Residence Halls?

SMFA housing is required for all BFA first-years.  

While housing is required for first-years, there is limited additional on-campus housing available to other students on a first come, first served basis through the Tufts housing lottery.  

Off-Campus Living

After their first year at SMFA, many students live off-campus in one of Boston's diverse and interesting neighborhoods. Our Office of Residential Life and Learning provides listings of available apartments, roommates, realtors, and alternative accommodations; plus, office resources to support your search, including telephones, Internet access, and bulletin boards. 

If you plan to live off-campus, you should start your housing search three to four months before the fall semester and two months before the spring semester. Visit our off campus housing site for apartment listings, roommate matching, and tips for navigating the apartment search.

Visit ProArts Connect's housing section for a bulletin board of available roommates and housing opportunities within the art community.


SMFA Café 

Since it opened, The SMFA Café Express has been a staple at SMFA. With a variety of beverages like espresso drinks, coffee, tea, or cold drinks and an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soup-of-the-day, and snacks there is always something tasty to grab. More information can be found on the Tufts Dining website.

Café Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8AM - 7PM
Friday: 8AM - 4PM
Closed weekends, holidays, and during school recess, including Summer 2018. 

Special 2018-2019 Meal Plan

In addition to choosing from one of Tufts’ meal plans, for the 2018-2019 academic school year, SMFA students can also choose to opt in to meal plans offered at Emmanuel College. For more information on meal plan options, email SMFA Student Affairs.


SMFA students are eligible to participate in our declining balance program, Rhino Bucks. Rhino Bucks are accepted at more than 70 businesses in Boston that welcome Campus Cash. All businesses that welcome Campus Cash have a "Welcomed Sticker" in a visible location. 

Add Rhino Bucks to Your Card

Tufts Dining
Phone: 617-627-3566

Sustainability at SMFA


If you are passionate about the environment then the Eco-Rep program may be for you! The Eco-Reps are a group of residential students who work in their dorm communities to raise awareness about ecological issues, encourage environmentally responsible behavior, and plan fun, creative, and environmentally geared events and activities. They also help out the Office of Sustainability at various campus events. 

Learn More About Eco-Reps

Carte Util

The Carte Util is a sustainability initiative at SMFA to both reduce art material waste and provide reusable materials to students for free. Instead of throwing away art supplies that you no longer need, the Carte Util takes donations of used art supplies to then be checked out by students who need them throughout the term.

Sustainability Task Force (STF)

The Sustainability Task Force (STF) at SMFA is made up of an enthusiastic cohort of faculty, staff, and students here at 230 The Fenway. The STF is a coalition whose mission it is to bring sustainability and environmental practices to the forefront here at SMFA. Whether they are operating the Carte Util, working towards making the entire campus Green Certified, or championing composting and overall reducing waste, there are several ways you can get involved.