Spring and Summer 2021 Applications Open December 1, 2020!
Pre-College Program FAQs
Who is eligible?
|Program||Eligibility Requirements for All Students|
|Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers||Entering Grades 10-12 (11-12 for undergraduate courses)|
|Tufts Research Experience||Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 at program start|
|Tufts Summer Research Experience||Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 at program start|
|Tufts College Experience||Entering Grades 10-12 *or* Spring 2020 high school graduate; must be 15-17 years old at program start|
|Coding 101||Entering Grades 10-12 *or* Spring 2020 high school graduate|
|Engineering Design Lab||Entering Grades 10-12 *or* Spring 2020 high school graduate|
|International Relations||Entering Grades 11-12|
|Leadership for Social Change||Entering Grades 10-12 (11-12 for undergraduate courses); must be 15-17 years old at program start|
|Mini-Med School||Entering Grades 10-12 *or* Spring 2020 high school graduate; 1 year of biology strongly preferred|
|Studio Art at SMFA at Tufts||Entering Grades 10-12 *or* Spring 2020 high school graduate|
Students electing to live in the dorms or to attend a residential program must be at least 15 and no older than 17 at the start of the program.
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs. Please see the information at the end of this page for important information about visas.
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 during the application process. The following are our eligibility standards:
|Test or Course||Test Score or Course Grade|
|Paper-Based TOEFL||600 or above|
|Computer-Based TOEFL||250 or above|
|Internet-Based TOEFL||90 or above|
|CET-4||550 or above|
|CET-6||520 or above|
|IELTS||6.5 or above|
|Intermediate English Course||Unofficial transcript demonstrating B+ or higher in the last 2 years|
|All-English High School or Middle School||Unofficial transcript demonstrating 1+ years attended in good standing|
Can homeschooled students apply?
Yes! Students who have been home schooled are welcome to apply. We ask that applicants who have been educated primarily or entirely at home provide as many of the application credentials as possible. We understand that the parent / teacher will provide one of the Letters of Recommendation, but (where required) we ask that other, non-family adults provide any additional letters. All relevant academic transcripts, reflecting educational work outside of the home since 9th grade, should be forwarded. Portfolio or summary information about educational experiences can be useful as well.
Can international students apply?
Yes! We welcome international students who have the educational background, English Language skills, and funding to attend our Tufts Pre-College Programs. Unfortunately, Tufts University is not authorized to sponsor F-1 visas for our Tufts Pre-College Programs. Visa requirements and options may differ depending on which program you are participating in. See the "How do I get my visa?" section below which includes visa information for international students.
Note that not all of our programs offer housing. We will be unable to admit an international student into a commuter-only program without a consent and waiver indicating that student has housing and transportation provided by a close relative within 50-miles of Tufts. Both parent and the close relative must sign the waiver.
Is financial aid available for international students?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer financial aid to international applicants to our pre-college programs.
How do I get my visa?
University College welcomes international students in all of its programs. However, visa options and requirements will be different depending on your intended summer program and your current visa situation (if applicable). Please note that we cannot sponsor visas for academic year programs.
Please note that Tufts University is not authorized to sponsor F-1 visas for our Tufts Pre-College Programs. However, international students interested in the Pre-College Programs may have other visa options. The Tufts International Center can advise you on your individual situation. Please click here to consult this informational page on the International Center web site for more details, or email the International Center directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the language requirements for international students?
Please see the "who is eligible" section above.
Where can I start (or return to) my application?
How do I access the Parent Permission Form?
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide your parent/guardian name and contact information. Once you submit your application, our systems will email the parent/guardian you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online Parent Permission Form. So be sure to enter an email address that your parent checks regularly!
Can I send my transcript via email?
You are welcome to have your high school transcript sent via email. HOWEVER, in order for your transcript to be marked as official, the transcript needs to be sent by a representative of your high school. Your high school can send a pdf of your transcript to email@example.com. Once your transcript has been received, Tufts Pre-College Programs Staff will mark it as such on your online application portal.
How do I make my application stronger?
Tufts Pre-College Programs Staff consider the materials you provide in your application as a whole. Be yourself!
Can parents access their pre-college student’s educational records?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. For students enrolled in a university, regardless of their age, the privacy rights under FERPA are held by them.
Enrolled University College students may authorize the release of their educational records by filing a Consent to Disclose Student Information form with the University.
The FERPA policy for most Tufts Pre-College Programs is available by clicking here. It includes when the schools may disclose information from a student’s educational record.
Prior to enrollment, Tufts Pre-College Programs may include parents in communications concerning progress in admission. Note, it is Tufts Pre-College Programs’ policy to require parent/guardian permission to apply to our program.
How will Tufts communicate with my student?
Email is the University’s primary method of communication with applicants and enrolled students. Please make sure your student checks email regularly to be certain that all communications from Tufts University are read and responded to in a timely way. Overlooking emails can result in delays, increased costs, etc.
The application will ask for a parent’s email address. Be sure the parent email address listed is an address that is commonly checked as Tufts will also send important information to the parents via email such as the Parent Permission Form, enrollment forms, etc.
Upon enrollment in one of our Academic Year or 6-week programs (Tufts College Experience, Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers, and Tufts Research Experience, Tufts Summer Research Experience), University College students are asked to set up a Tufts email account as part of a Tufts network logon profile. This email address will be used to login to Tufts’ Student Information System and CANVAS, the site on which faculty will post course materials. However, University College administration will continue to use students’ personal email addresses for communications throughout the program.
Please note, students enrolling in workshops or pre-college intensives will not receive a Tufts email address.
Earning & Transferring Credit
Can I earn Tufts credit?
The ability to earn credit varies by program. Please see the table below for the credit options within each program.
|Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers||Courses can be taken for credit or for audit. If you would like to audit a course, you can indicate this option when you register online. Please see the individual courses for the number of credits offered per course.|
|Tufts College Experience||Courses will be taken for credit. Please see the individual courses for the number of credits offered per course.|
|Tufts [Summer] Research Experience||Not for credit|
|Intensive: Engineering Design Lab||Not for credit|
|Intensive: International Relations||For credit|
|Intensive: Leadership for Social Change||For credit|
|Intensive: Mini-Med School||Not for credit|
|Intensive: Coding 101||For credit|
|Intensive: Studio Art at SMFA||Not for credit|
|Summer Study Abroad: Tufts Summit||Not for credit|
Will this credit transfer?
Each college and university has policies and procedures that determine whether or not they will accept college credit earned elsewhere and, importantly, what the credit counts for. Earning credit at Tufts is not a guarantee that the course will transfer.
However, we have seldom heard of a situation in which Tufts credit has not been accepted at another higher education institution.
How does my student transfer the credit earned at Tufts?
After your student’s course or program is complete, an academic transcript can be requested from Tufts Student Services. With this document, your student can request transfer credit at the college or university he or she will attend.
If your student attends Tufts as an undergraduate, he or she can speak with his or her academic dean to see how the credit that was earned in a Tufts Pre-College Program can be added to their plan of study.
Remember, each college and university has policies and procedures that determine whether or not they will accept college credit earned elsewhere. Earning credit at Tufts is not a guarantee that the course will transfer. However, we have seldom heard of a situation in which Tufts credit has not been accepted at another higher education institution.
Will this credit transfer to my high school?
Tufts cannot guarantee that these courses or programs can be used at your high school. Students should be in touch with their school to determine what is possible. Tufts is happy to provide an appropriate transcript specific to your program.
Is there financial aid available?
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only a limited amount of 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.
Many of the programs offer a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75-100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need. The timing of award distributions is program-specific and are made until all available funds have been distributed. For more information, please consult the information on the program pages.
Programs offering financial aid:
- Tufts College Experience
- Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers (summer only)
- Tufts Research Experience
- Tufts Summer Research Experience
- Tufts Pre-College Intensives:
- Engineering Design Lab
- International Relations
- Mini-Med School
- Coding 101
- Studio Art at SMFA at Tufts
How is tuition billed and paid?
For most programs, once you have accepted your spot in the program, you will be charged a deposit that will appear on your online application portal. You can pay your bill through the application portal. Once you have paid your deposit, you will be charged the remaining tuition for the program, which will also be payable via the application portal. For more information regarding billing and payment, click here.
For Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers, please see our billing and payment page.
Please be on the lookout for communication from firstname.lastname@example.org once you have accepted your place in the program for more details.
Can I get a refund?
Students who officially withdraw from a course are eligible for a tuition refund based on the date of withdrawal (when the official request to withdraw was received), per the schedules below. The refund schedules vary based on the length of the Course / Program Type.
Please go to the Refund Policy page to learn more.
Room & Board
Is housing available for high school students?
The availability of housing depends on the program. In Summer 2019, if a program offers a residential option, students will have access to an air conditioned double room in Carmichael or Wren Hall, overseen by RAs and a ResLife team managed by our partner Summerfuel. If a program is listed as Commuter, no housing or related support is available. Please see the table below for more details:
|Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers||Commuter only – no on-campus housing available|
|Tufts College Experience||Residential only – on-campus housing available|
|Tufts Research Experience||Commuter only - no on-campus housing available|
|Tufts Summer Research Experience||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: Engineering Design Lab||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: International Relations||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: Leadership for Social Change||Residential only – on-campus housing available|
|Intensive: Mini-Med School|
|Intensive: Programming and App Design|
|Intensive: Studio Art at SMFA|
Are meal plans available for high school students?
Yes! Students in residential programs will have a meal plan as a part of their Program Fees.
Commuter students in our intensives, in Tufts College Experience, and in Tufts Summer Research Experience will have lunch provided for them.
Meals are not included for Commuter students in Tufts Research Experience and Courses at Tufts; these students have the option of purchasing a multi-week meal plan from our Dining Services team, please click here for more details.
If your student has an allergy, you will have the opportunity to notify the program during the registration process.
What is Summerfuel?
Summerfuel is Tufts’ partner for residential life and social experiences for pre-college students. While Tufts provides the academic programming and the campus, Summerfuel helps us run our residence halls and the fun activities offered on evenings and weekends for our residential students. For more information about Summerfuel, click here.
Health & Wellness
How will my child receive care if they need medical attention while on your programs?
Please see our Health & Wellness sections on program pages for details about treatment for acute illness or emergencies. Note that, should your child need to receive unexpected medical care during one of our programs, their emergency contact will be notified if provided.
Students in our residential programs will be asked to provide details regarding specific, ongoing medical conditions (e.g., allergies) and our residential partner (Summerfuel) will assist in addressing these concerns.
What precautions do you take to ensure my child will be safe on this program?
Tufts University takes the safety of its students very seriously. More information can be found on each program page and the Campus Safety page.
Regardless of the program, all of our classroom courses take place on Tufts’ campuses (with the exception of any course-sponsored field trips). Tufts makes reasonable efforts to ensure that instructors of programs or courses that are open to high school students and program staff who will spend significant time with high school students receive a background check and attend a Title IX training to participate in the program.
Our residential programs maintain strict chaperone and RA to student ratios of 1:10 and provide ample training to ensure students remain safe during the program.
Can I take a course online?
High school students are welcome to take online courses either as a part of Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers or Tufts College Experience – however, the format for taking an online course differs depending on which program you choose:
If you are a student who only wants to take a course or two without having to come onto campus, you should register for the online course of your choice via Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers. You can take an online course from anywhere in the world – provided you have a reliable internet connection. Online courses are still high-engagement courses that will allow you greater flexibility within your summer schedule.
If you are interested in an online course but would like to have the experience of living on campus, you should register for the Tufts College Experience. Within the Tufts College Experience program, you will take two courses – and one or both of them can be online courses. While online courses will not involve attending a lecture in a classroom, your time to engage in the course will still be structured as a part of the Tufts College Experience. For more information on the Tufts College Experience schedule, please click here.
What should my student bring to Tufts?
All residential programs will receive an email in May with the packing list for the program. Program-specific supply lists will be sent out in May as well.
Please note: for students enrolled in Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers or Tufts College Experience, there may be textbooks required for the courses you will be taking at Tufts. Textbooks are not included in the price of the program and can be purchased at the Tufts Bookstore upon arrival on campus.
Is the campus accessible by public transportation?
Yes! Please visit our Parking & Transportation page for additional details by campus. Please be sure to carefully check the campus location of the course or program that your student will be attending.
Is it possible to go on vacation during my program?
Absence from class is not permitted. It is our expectation that students will attend every meeting of their course or program.