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Want to work on a political or advocacy campaign? Or better understand what young campaign staffers actually do and how to get a job doing it?

Join the Tufts Campaign School!

The Tufts Campaign School, an innovative week-long program during Tufts Winter Term, provides a unique opportunity to learn how campaigns work, hear directly from industry experts, and explore future careers in the exciting world of political and advocacy campaigns. Through faculty-led sessions, visits from guest speakers, site visits and skill-building activities, students will explore aspects of a modern campaign, including: data analysis and polling, fieldwork and voter outreach, communications and messaging, and campaign strategy. Offered via the Tisch College of Civic Life, this experience will be in-person on Tufts University's Medford campus and is available to undergraduate college students from across the country. Guest speakers may include experienced campaign leaders and media professionals as well as former candidates and Tufts alumni working on campaigns. Students will produce a digital portfolio of work that can be used for future job or internship interviews. New this year: academic credit is available for Tufts students!

Learn about:

  • Fieldwork - engagement strategies, volunteer recruitment & voter outreach
  • Data analysis and polling
  • Campaign messaging and speechwriting
  • Fundraising 101
  • Media relations and press outreach
  • Skill-building and networking

Program highlights:

  • Opportunity to engage and network with a diverse group of fellow students and guest speakers ranging from experienced campaign experts and industry leaders to candidates and media professionals
  • Visit local campaign headquarters to hear directly from staff
  • Combination of lectures with experiential learning and hands-on skill-building exercises, including simulations

Program outcomes:

  • Understand how campaigns function, including areas in which young staffers typically work
  • Produce a digital portfolio of skills learned during the program, including polling analysis, campaign talking points, social media strategies, and more
  • Network and connect with campaign leaders, reporters, former candidates, and talented Tufts alumni
  • Access the online community of Tufts Jumbos working on campaigns and in politics
  • Receive a certificate of completion
  • For Tufts students, receive academic credit

Program Schedule

Please note: The schedule below is subject to change as we continue to confirm speakers and schedule site visits. The lives of campaign staff are busy and very fluid - we always have to be prepared for changes! The program is slated to run in-person from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. each day with approximately one evening activity planned for mid-week.

  Day 1: Overview & Campaigns 101 Day 2: Data & Polling Day 3: Fieldwork & Voter Outreach Day 4: Communications & Messaging Day 5: Strategy & Closing Reflection
Morning Welcome, program overview & teambuilding Lecture: Data & Polling Lecture: Fieldwork & Outreach Lecture: Campaign Communications & Messaging Lecture: Campaign Strategy
  Lecture: Campaigns 101 Expert Panel Expert Panel Expert Panel Expert Panel (young staffers)
      BREAK/LUNCH    
Afternoon Networking Workshop Topic Spotlight: Fundraising Topic Spotlight: VAN Tutorial Topic Spotlight: Speechwriting Activity: Team presentations
  Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Closing Reflection & Wrap-up
Evening     Activity: Virtual Campaign Visit/Event    

Meet Your Program Faculty & Staff

Jess Byrnes, Program Manager, Tisch College

Brian Schaffner, Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies, Tufts University

Jen McAndrew, Director of Communications, Strategy & Planning, Tisch College 

Application Materials & Deadlines

Key Dates

Note: all dates are as of 11:59PM ET; counts of days include weekends and holidays

Application Opens Deadline: Application Admissions Decisions Deadline: Deposit Deadline: Program Fee Balance + Enrollment Forms
September 21 October 31 On/around November 22 +14 days from admissions December 8

Admissions

Admission to this program will take place in one round. The program Admissions Committee will make decisions on this group and send letters at the end of their review indicating students' admissions status.

Admission to this program is extremely competitive with very few spots available. There is no guarantee that all qualified students will be admitted.

Wait List

Qualified students for whom there are no spots available may be added to the wait list. You will be notified of your status as being 'on the wait list' when you receive your admissions update status from the Admissions Committee. Your position on the wait list will be determined by the time at which you submitted your Wait List Reply Form.

You will be notified by email if a spot in the program opens for you. You will then have 14 days (or until the Deposit / Payment Deadline, whichever is soonest) to submit your deposit to hold your seat.

Students who are admitted off of the wait list and do not submit a deposit within 14 days (or by the Deposit / Payment Deadline, whichever is soonest) will be re-added to the Wait List. At this point, your position on the wait list will be determined by the time at which you submitted your second Wait List Reply Form.

Application Requirements

The online application will ask you for the following information:

  • Basic personal information, including emergency contact
  • Unofficial Transcript (Undergraduate; high school if you are a Freshman)
  • Your year / major (if known)
  • A list of any relevant coursework or internships
  • 300-word open response: Please tell us about why you would like to participate in Tisch College's Tufts Campaign School. In so doing, please consider questions such as: What do you hope to gain from this program? What areas of campaigns most interest you and why? Why is it important to you to complete this program this year? This is an open-ended response, but please be as specific as possible
  • Optional, financial aid application
  • Optional, accommodations needs* 
  • Disclaimers, Warrants, and signatures

You can return to your application at any time by clicking here.

Program Eligibility

Students must be undergraduate students at an accredited higher education institution and at least 18 years old at the start of the program.

International Students

Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program. For questions regarding visa options and requirements, contact the Tufts International Center for assistance, by sending an e-mail to internationalcenter@tufts.edu or go to https://global.tufts.edu/tufts-international-center.

Non-Native English Speakers

If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency.

Post-Admission

Students will have 14 days (including weekends and holidays) to submit a deposit to hold their seat in the program. Enrollment confirmation is contingent on payment of all program fees in full and the completion of a number of forms and waivers. These forms and waivers will be provided after admission to the program.

Accommodations / Accessibility

* Tufts University values the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty, recognizing the important contribution each student makes to our unique community.  Tufts is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the Tufts experience. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations for participation in the Tufts Campaign School, please contact the Student Accessibility and Academic Resource Center at staarcenter@tufts.edu or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with a representative and determine appropriate accommodations. You will also be given the opportunity to note any accommodations needs during the application process. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision.

Admissions Disclaimer 

This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.

Tuition & Fees

Program Fees (January 2023)

Program Fee: $2,300

A non-refundable Deposit of $100 is due within fourteen days (including weekends and holidays) of admission to hold the student's seat. This deposit will be applied to the total Program Fee; it is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program.

The Program Fee Balance of $2,200 will be due by December 8 at 11:59PM ET.

  • Includes: all events listed on the curriculum, materials, and costs for any site visits, all breakfast/lunch/dinner per diem during the duration of the program.
  • Excludes: transportation to/from Tufts campus, housing, meals not explicitly mentioned above, meals eaten away from program or the cost of meals above the per diem rate, incidental expenses, cost of any activities not listed above, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, required vaccinations, medical and dental expenses and any non-program-related transportation needs, anything not explicitly listed above.

Housing Fee: To be announced (optional)

Living in on-campus housing during the program is optional. Tufts students who have full year (Fall 2022 + Spring 2023) on-campus housing will not be charged the housing fee, but should still indicate that housing is needed on their application. Tufts students who have one semester (Fall 2022 or Spring 2023) on-campus housing will be charged the housing fee. Non-Tufts students can also elect to live in on-campus housing and will be charged the housing fee.

For those electing to live on-campus, housing fees are due December 8 at 11:59PM ET.

  • Includes: a dormitory room, bed, and access to dormitory facilities.
  • Excludes: sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, anything not explicitly listed above.

Any requests for housing after December 8 will be considered on a case by case basis.

Financial Aid

Our program is committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend. Please note, visiting students and Tufts international students are not eligible for financial aid at this time.

You will be prompted to complete a financial aid application during the program application process. If you receive a financial aid award, it will be included in your letter of admission. After receiving your letter of admission, you will have fourteen days (including weekends and holidays) to accept your admission and award by notifying us in writing at courses@tufts.edu. If we do not hear from you after two weeks, you will be placed on the admissions wait list and your award will be forfeit, meaning you will not be able to use the financial aid award if you later come off the wait list.

Please note: this program is not available for Tuition Remission or Reimbursement.

Refund Policy

Program Fee: official withdrawals, made in writing to courses@tufts.edu, are eligible for a 100% refund of the Program Fee (excluding the non-refundable deposit) until 11:59PM ET on December 15, 2022.

Housing Fee: official withdrawals will also be an official request to be removed from on-campus housing during the program. If you are not withdrawing from the program but would no longer like to live in Tufts on-campus housing, you must make an official request in writing to courses@tufts.edu. Official requests to be removed from housing are eligible for a 100% refund of the Housing Fee until 11:59PM ET on December 8, 2022. Special cases:

  • If you pay for and/or request and pay for housing after 11:59PM ET on December 8, 2022, you will be considered for housing on a case by case basis.
    • If you do not receive on-campus housing, the Housing Fee amount paid will be refunded to you
    • If you do receive on-campus housing, the Housing Fee amount paid is non-refundable

Cancellation: Tufts University reserves the right to cancel any course or program due to low enrollment or other circumstances beyond the university's control up until the first day of the course or program. Tufts Campaign School makes reasonable effort to determine and communicate program cancellation by December 20 each year.

Paying Your Bill

Pay Online via SLATE Visa, MasterCard, Discover, electronic check / transfer
  • Log-on to your student portal using the Username and Password you created on registration
  • A link should be available on your account page to pay balance due

Other Key Financial Policies

Billing & Payment Policies

All Policies

Housing - Optional

We are pleased to offer an on-campus housing option to participants in our program. Fees for this option differ depending on your student status, please see the "Tuition & Fees" section above for more details.

Check-in: Sunday, January 8 at 3:00PM

Check-out: Friday, January 13 at 4:00PM

Students choosing to live in our on-campus housing will be housed in a Tufts dormitory. Housing may consist of a single, double, triple, suite, or other accommodation assigned by the University. Please note: sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels are NOT provided.

Tufts students with on-campus housing during the academic year:

  • Note that your housing during the program may differ from your academic year housing and you may not have access to your academic year housing during this time

Please be sure to see the Tuition & Fees section of this page for more information about housing payments and deadlines.

Other Information

  • Policies 
    • Tufts Campaign School follows the policies for all non-matriculated students, including those for "All Programs and Courses," "Residential Life," and aligns to the "Courses at Tufts - School of Arts & Sciences" policies at the program level
    • Where not specifically noted above on this page or on the policies page, Tufts Campaign School follows the policies for Intensives
  • University Resources