Graduate Student Programming

The StAAR Center offers a wide variety of programming for graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, the SMFA, and the Fletcher School. We understand the particular needs and challenges of graduate students and have developed programming to address those concerns from a strength-based and process-oriented approach. 

Graduate Writing Support and Engagement

Graduate Writing Consultations

We provide one-on-one support for graduate-level projects such as seminar papers, qualifying papers, thesis proposals, fellowship applications, theses, doctoral dissertations, and abstracts and papers for conferences or publication. You may visit once or twice for a particular paper, or you can arrange to meet on a regular basis with the same graduate writing consultant. Because developing your academic writing style takes time and because longer projects benefit from regular check-ins, we particularly recommend regular appointments for first-semester graduate students, multilingual writers, and graduate students working on their thesis, qualifying papers, or dissertation. Our approach is writer-centered, so we encourage you to bring up any concerns, questions, or ideas you have that would help you with your writing! Make a writing appointment on Tutor Finder

Writers Block (Graduate Writing Accountability Group)

Writers Block is a weekly writing accountability group for graduate students. Each weekly, three-hour session includes a short check-in where you can set personal goals and chat with other graduate students about struggles, successes, and strategies. The rest of the session is dedicated writing time to help you build a regular writing habit. A writing consultant will be available to provide structure and consultations as needed. 

Writers Block Dates: We are currently on summer hiatus, with plans to begin again in September. Information coming soon!

Graduate Writing Retreats

The next Graduate Writing Retreat will be held in January; applications will be available in November. 

Usually held in January, June, and August, Graduate Writing Retreats are week-long, writing-intensive events designed to help graduate students make significant progress on their thesis, dissertation, qualifying papers, or related independent projects. Graduate writing retreats provide a supportive environment where you can learn and practice healthy writing habits and focus on your writing. Each retreat includes weekly and daily goal-setting, dedicated writing time, and the opportunity for feedback from graduate writing consultants as desired. Registration is required.

Please note: goal-setting, planning, and feedback are part of the retreat, but this is not a writing class. The majority of the time will be spent quietly writing. Participants must plan to work on a thesis, dissertation, qualifying papers, or similar longer, independent project during the retreat. If you are not sure if the retreat is right for you, email Kristina.Aikens@tufts.eduto discuss options!

Writing Workshops

We offer regular workshops for writing at the graduate level, including topics such as developing a writing process for graduate school, introducing the graduate thesis, productive writing for thesis and dissertation writers, editing for clarity and style, and providing feedback on others' writing. See the Workshops page on Tutor Finder for our upcoming events.

Writing Support for Multilingual Writers and International Students

We are dedicated to helping you develop your voice and ideas. Our writing consultants are also trained to answer questions about diction, rhetoric, grammar, and word choice for greater clarity. We can demystify American academic expectations and essay structures. We encourage writers to meet with the same consultant on a regular basis so that they can learn your writing style and goals; for graduate writers it is common to meet several times with a consultant for the same paper or chapter. Our approach is focused on your choices as a writer: your paper always remains your own. Make a writing appointment on Tutor Finder

Writing Resources for Boston Health Sciences Campus

StAAR Writing Support is currently available to students in Arts and Sciences (including SMFA), Engineering, and Fletcher.

The Health Sciences campus offers Health Sciences Writing Consulting for students enrolled in Tufts Medical School, Dental School, Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Friedman School of Nutrition. Health Sciences Writing Consultants support projects such as research papers, clinical articles, personal statements, theses, doctoral dissertations, conference papers, proposals, posters, and abstracts. 

Academic Coaching for Graduate Students

Individual Coaching

One-to-one academic skills coaching, offered both on campus and remotely, is available to any graduate student seeking academic support. We can assist graduate students with the academic transition to graduate school, time management, work/life balance, creating work plans for thesis or dissertation research, productivity, and/or academic accountability. Make an academic coaching appointment on Tutor Finder


Graduate Academic Skills Workshops

We offer a variety of workshops for graduate students, in graduate-only spaces, that can help you develop strategies for a healthy and successful graduate career. Topics include time management and productivity, practical work/life balance, managing your reading load, effective test-taking, public speaking, presentation skills for conferences and defenses, and more.  

Register for a workshop on Tutor Finder or see our calendar for the schedule of events.

Support for Degree Requirements

We offer drop-in support for graduate students enrolled in statistics-based courses. To see a list of our drop-in hours at the Tisch Data Lab, click "Statistics" on the Subjects page on Tutor Finder.  

For students who must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language (reading, speaking, or writing) to complete their degree, we offer free tutoring in many foreign languages, as well as a support workshop.  Please email the StAAR Center to learn more.


Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

One-on-one appointments and workshops are available for students and groups who want to develop their public speaking skills. Our consultants can help students overcome public speaking anxiety, develop and polish presentation materials, and learn to speak confidently in a variety of academic settings, including conference presentations and thesis and dissertation defenses. Visit Tutor Finder to find a list of available workshops, or email StAAR to find out more about individual consultations.


We offer opportunities for graduate students to co-work with their peers from across the university. During "Study with StAAR," held Sundays, 10am to 12pm, in Tisch Library, you can check in with an academic coach, create a plan for the day, get feedback on breaking down larger tasks, and co-work with other students in our Academic Coaching space. Register for an upcoming accountability event on Tutor Finder!

English Conversation Groups for Multilingual Graduate Students

Join us for a facilitated small-group conversation designed to increase spoken fluency in the English language. We will discuss topics relevant to American academic culture in a low-stress, supportive environment. Our goal is to help you feel more confident speaking in English through casual practice and student-centered discussion. Groups are limited to six participants, along with a facilitator. Schedule coming soon!

Support for Graduate Students With Disabilities

The StAAR Center provides reasonable accommodations as needed for graduate students with disabilities taking classes in person or remotely. Students must register with the office to request accommodations. This includes submitting documentation from a medical provider and meeting with a StAAR Center representative to determine reasonable accommodations through an interactive process. See our Accessibility Pages for documentation guidelines, along with instructions on how to register.

Employment Opportunities for Graduate Students

The StAAR Center employs graduate students from GSAS, SOE, SMFA, and Fletcher to be Academic Mentors, Graduate Writing Consultants, Office Assistants, and more. Generally speaking, applications are due in the spring semester for a fall start date. Currently, applications are closed for 2021 - 2022. Bookmark our Hiring Page and check Handshake for opportunities!

Additional Resources for Graduate Students

Campus Resources for Health and Wellness 

The StAAR Center works closely with many campus partners who support the health and wellness of graduate students:

Counseling and Mental Health Services for Graduate Students

Health Service 

Department of Student Affairs

Fletcher Office of Student Affairs