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The name “Tufts University” and how it is used affects both the institution as a whole and the individual members of the University community. Appropriate use of the name and insignias can benefit all, while inappropriate use may reflect negatively on both the institution and its individual members.

Because of the far-reaching implications, oversight regarding the use of the University’s name and insignias, and the names of individual schools within the University (including web domain names that incorporate “Tufts” or the name of a Tufts school) will be conducted on an institutional level according to the principles and guidelines outlined in this policy.

The Office of University Counsel will coordinate all requests for use of the Tufts name and insignias, which are trademarks of the University. The Office of University Counsel is located in Ballou Hall, Third Floor, Medford, MA 02155 and requests for approval can be emailed to

The Senior Vice President for University Relations is the individual responsible for making final decisions on use of the Tufts name and insignias, including the names of individual units of the University.


  1. Is the implied association with the University accurate and can we ensure that the association with the University will continue to be portrayed accurately?
    Use of Tufts’ name in connection with an activity, project, or product implies a close association with the University and is generally construed as sponsorship or endorsement. Tufts must ensure that this portrayal is accurate and that it has the requisite control of the activity, project, or product to ensure that the implied close association remains an accurate representation of its affiliation of the University.
  2. Is the use of the Tufts name consistent with the research and educational mission of the University?
    Tufts has an obligation to its students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, and others to ensure that the use of its name falls, in general, within its primary mission of research and education. Some activities such as promotion of individual causes, political or otherwise, clearly fall outside this mission. Some activities such as promotion of for-profit businesses or products may also have legal or tax implications.
  3. What effect will the proposed use of name have on the image of the University as a whole?
    Use of the Tufts name in situations having a potential to diminish or damage Tufts’ image and reputation must be avoided.
  4. Will Tufts be able to realize a fair and reasonable gain (through image enhancement or through economic benefit) from the use of its name?
    Related to this is the issue of liability. If there is a potential for financial, legal, or reputational risk to the University through the use of its name, for example on a particular product, such use of name should be avoided.

General Guidelines and Procedures

  1. Any use of name that refers to the University as a whole must be submitted to the Office of University Counsel for review. The Office of University Counsel will review the request and forward it with a recommendation to the Vice President for University Relations, who will make the final decision. Specific questions or requests for approval can be emailed to
  2. Any use of name that refers to individual schools or units should first be submitted to the Dean or a responsible authority of that school or unit for approval and should then be submitted to the Office of University Counsel for review and transmittal to the Senior Vice President for University Relations.
  3. In considering any proposed use, University officials will be guided by the principles outlined above.
  4. Use of the official Tufts logo will follow these guidelines and additionally must adhere to the graphic standards outline in the University’s visual identity manual. In most cases, such use will require review by the Office of Marketing and Branding  before printing or manufacturing is approved. The University name may not be used to create new logos and may not be integrated or combined with existing logos. Issues regarding co-branding must follow the guidelines above and require review by University Counsel, Public Relations, and Marketing and Branding.

Guidelines for Use of Name by Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni

  1. Faculty members and staff may use the Tufts name or the name of the appropriate school to identify themselves on stationery, business cards, publications in research or educational journals and other materials used in the course of their university-related activities (e.g. John Smith, Professor of Mathematics, Tufts University.) Students and alumni may wish to identify themselves as students or graduates of the University in biographical information. In using or authorizing use of the Tufts name to identify themselves in connection with activities conducted with outside individuals or entities (e.g. authoring a book), members of the Tufts community should be sure that the Tufts name is used in a manner that does not imply University endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity, project or product. For example, when authoring a book, a faculty member may describe his or her affiliation with Tufts University on the inside of the book or book jacket. The name of the University should not appear on the cover of the book. Likewise, the name of Tufts University may not be used in the title of any journal or other publication without the expressed permission of the University. Such permission will not normally be given in any circumstance where the University does not retain exclusive editorial control over the publication. Use of the University name or logo is NOT permitted for cards, stationery, signage, promotional literature, web sites or other communications used in connection with an individual’s private practice or business.
  2. Because “Tufts” is a trademark of Tufts University, and to avoid any confusion between official and personal websites, faculty, staff, students, alumni and third parties are not permitted to create URL names for personal websites that include the word “tufts”.
  3. All other proposed uses of the Tufts name by faculty and staff and any use of the name by students and alumni should be submitted to the Office of University Counsel.

Guidelines for Use of Name by Individual Schools and Units

1. Schools or units may use the name of Tufts University or the name of their school or unit in the following activities:

  • stationery, business cards and other materials used by the schools or other units in the course of their university-related activities;
  • content in printed or multimedia form in which the University, school or unit involved regularly communicates with its constituencies, including course catalogues and related materials, web pages within the domain and similar publications issued by the schools and other units;
  • course materials and any materials prepared for use in connection with courses conducted at the University, whether in printed or digital form.

In any such uses, the school or unit involved should take care that its use does not adversely affect other schools or the institution as a whole. Ultimately the Senior Vice President for University Relations has the right to review and determine the appropriate use of the Tufts University name.

2. Any other use of the University’s name or the name of the individual school or unit will require approval as outlined above in Item 2 of “General Guidelines and Procedures.” In particular, prior approval is required if the use of name involves the sale or distribution for financial consideration of a product or service or the granting of a license for use of the name on merchandise, including but not limited to apparel, software or electronic media.

3. Any news, marketing and/or publicity materials designated for dissemination to media channels and extended audiences of elected/appointed officials, investors, donors, and others concerning official University or School matters require up-front involvement (at the planning stages) with the University’s Public Relations Department and, as appropriate, the Community Relations and Publications departments. The Public Relations Department, working with the mandate and approvals of the University’s administrative leadership team, must review any materials and information targeted at the media. The Public Relations, Publications and/or Community Relations departments should be an integral part of any continuing external publicity or marketing outreach by other parties if it involves the use of the Tufts name, insignias, or affiliation, etc.

Guidelines for Use of Name by Third Parties

In general, use of the University’s name or the name of an individual school or unit requires written approval by the Office of University Counsel as outlined above. However, certain uses by third parties are generally permitted and do not require written approval:

1. A third party may use the University name when reporting a transaction internally or reporting a transaction to regulatory authorities as required by applicable law.

  • For example, a corporation that has made a grant to the University may report the amount of such grant in internal documents summarizing its charitable activities, or on its tax returns.

2. A non-profit or government entity that has funded research or programming at the University may disclose that it has provided such funding. In addition, if such funded research is published, the source of the funding should be indicated along with the University affiliation of the researcher.

3. If a third party receives a license to use or distribute material written or developed by the University, the material should include a written acknowledgment that the copyright is owned by Tufts University and that the material is being used or distributed under the terms of a license with the University (with all other rights being reserved).