“It’s nice to have someone who cares about you and who cares about your work, to guide you and to help answer those questions that you can’t solve all by yourself.”

Rachel Orlang, BFA


Your first year at SMFA is full of newness. You’re acclimating to a new schedule, new city, new friends, and maybe even a new climate. We know it’s a big change, which is why we work to help you adapt and connect to the academic and support resources of both campuses. The academic advising team at SMFA at Tufts works in partnership with the faculty to support you throughout your studies. Advisors help you track degree requirements, assist with course selection, and connect you to the faculty and staff that are important to your development. Students are required to meet with an academic advisor each semester in advance of registration.

In addition to academic advising, you’ll receive crucial mentorship from seasoned faculty and staff who help students to push out of their creative comfort zones, encouraging students to refine skills, take risks, and make conceptual connections across disciplines. Your mentors and the feedback you receive from Review Boards, which take place at the end of each semester, will guide you in developing a personalized curriculum that best suits your individual artistic practice.


Leah Gadd, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Advising at SMFA at Tufts

Leah oversees the academic progress of undergraduate students pursuing the BFA program (including the SMFA portion of the combined degree). In addition to her work with students, Leah also works with various committees developing policy and advising on curricular matters. Leah has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts in 3D from Massachusetts College of Art & Design. 

Tobias Bennet, Academic Resource Advisor & Accessibility Services Liaison at SMFA at Tufts

Tobias supports BFA students’ engagement with the curriculum and provides guidance on academic and intellectual direction, interpretation of university policies and procedures, and access to resources on both the SMFA and Medford/Somerville campus. As the on-site liaison for Student Accessibility Services, he also works one-on-one with all students to implement accommodations at the SMFA. Tobias holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master’s of Education in Higher Education Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Student Accessibility Services

The Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office works with students to discuss and implement reasonable accommodations, support students throughout their time at Tufts, and help students advocate for their needs. SAS also works with campus partners to educate the Tufts community and to promote a more inclusive and diverse university. 

Visit the Student Accessibility Services site for more information.

Academic Resources

The Academic Resource Center (ARC), based on the Medford/Somerville campus, provides academic support to students throughout their academic career at Tufts. The center offers study strategies, one-on-one tutoring, and workshops in writing, public speaking, and time management. International and multilingual students for whom English is not their first language may take advantage of the English language support offered by the center. Our programs promote engaged, collaborative learning that build on your strengths while addressing your concerns and questions.

On the Fenway campus, students can schedule one-on-one writing consultations or time management and study strategies consultations. Writing consultations can support you through any stage in your writing process – from brainstorming and organizing ideas to clarifying and polishing your work. Our writing support is collaborative and conversation-based, and we believe every writer deserves a discerning, compassionate reader. Time management and study strategies consultations help you to create more effective learning strategies and solutions for learning and life balance based on your style and needs. You can collaborate with a consultant on the topics that interest you: planning (designing routines, scheduling a busy week, breaking big projects into smaller tasks), learning strategies (reading and skimming, note taking, studying, test taking, and test anxiety strategies), and well-being (life balance, relaxation, motivation/procrastination, perfectionism, prioritization).