Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


College of Engineering, 1898


The College of Engineering was formally established in 1898, though engineering courses and degrees had been offered as part of the Tufts College curriculum since 1865.The College of Engineering is an undergraduate professional school made up of departments of chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and mechanical engineering.

The first engineering courses were introduced into the Tufts curriculum in the academic year 1865-66 with the advent of a three-year degree program in civil engineering. Students in the program received a degree of civil engineer (C.E.)The course of study was similar to that in the regular course, but with French as the designated language and a greater emphasis on mathematics, including trigonometry, surveying, descriptive and analytical geometry, differential and integral calculus, and mechanics. Students completed courses in organic and inorganic chemistry, botany, mineralogy, geology, and physics, as well as rhetoric, intellectual and moral philosophy, logic, and political economy. Drawing was required throughout the program. The focus of the program was on practical application, with the result that students were frequently out and about doing field projects on campus and in the surrounding area.

In the early years of the school, equipment and funds were in short supply with the result that student projects were often designed to accomplish the dual purpose of educating students as well as creating much-needed equipment for the school. Before funds were raised to purchase a steam engine, students were directed to design their own as a drafting exercise. In 1894, the electrical engineering department constructed, for less than $700, an alternating current dynamo that would have cost $2,000 to purchase.

In 1890 the Department of Electrical Engineering was created, and in 1892-93 the course of study was extended to four years. With the advent of the four year program the degrees granted were bachelor of civil or electrical engineering. In rapid succession the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering were established in 1894-5 and 1898-9, respectively.

Originally the engineering departments, along with most of the other academic activities, were housed in Ballou Hall. As the college and the engineering programs grew, it was clear that engineering needed its own facilities. A first step in this direction was the establishment of the Bromfield Pearson School in 1893.The school was a preparatory school for students desiring to study engineering at Tufts, and in addition to training prospective students, the building constructed for the purpose provided much needed laboratory and classroom space. Additional facilities were added over the years with the construction of Robinson Hall in 1894, Howe Laboratory in 1901, Bray Laboratory in 1947, and Anderson Hall in 1960.

Gardner C. Anthony was the first dean of the College of Engineering, appointed in 1898.

Like Tufts' other professional schools, the College of Engineering struggled for many years with enrollment demands greater than its capacity, lack of endowment, and strained resources.

The College of Engineering added graduate study to its curriculum beginning in the 1961-62 academic year, with masters degrees available in all four departments. Ph. D. programs were added in mechanical engineering in 1963, electrical engineering in 1964, engineering design in 1981, and civil engineering in 1985.

Source: LOH1, LOH2

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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