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Program Overview

Want to take a class or two and get a taste of what it is like to study at Tufts University? Open to students who can commute to Tufts or who are looking to take classes exclusively online. This program allows motivated high school students to enroll in Tufts Undergraduate-level courses, studio art workshops, and (during the summer) capstone College Prep workshops. This program is flexible allowing you to take only the classes you need to meet your academic goals.

Join us for a course or two and share the Tufts experience! 

Want to take classes as a residential student? Learn more.

Program Highlights:

  • Top-ranked University just minutes from Boston
  • Earn college credit in undergraduate-level courses and in courses designed for high school students
  • Get help with Standardized Test Prep or College Essay Writing (summer only)
  • Attend our hallmark summer College Prep 101 Workshop that
    • Teaches students the skills they need to succeed in college (and life) and
    • Explores some of our country’s leading Universities through Admissions Tours (past schools have included: Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Northeastern, Brown, Amherst, and Brandeis; not all schools are visited each summer)
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!

Program Outcomes:

  • Excellent academic experience
  • Earn Tufts college credit
  • Official Tufts transcript upon request
  • Enhanced understanding of studying and life at college
  • Skills to navigate the Undergraduate experience

Want to take classes as a residential student? Learn more.

My son got to experience college-level studies and environment -- he was the only high school student in his class and that was a good thing. He operated independently was not in a "camp" for high school students.

The small class size provided my child opportunity to take risks that are not easy to do in a larger classroom of 20+ students in the public school, e.g., actively participating in discussions - sharing and testing out her thoughts and knowledge with a group. The expertise of the instructor was also appreciated and his respectful treatment of the intelligence of his students well noted. Being in a college campus that felt new or different and yet familiar provided much excitement and assurance to my child. The campus also does not feel isolated from the community, and yet provides spatial and emotional security through its landscape, location, and its ever-present-yet-unobtrusive security force

[My student] was very engaged and self-directed while taking the course.  She was always excited to attend the classes.  While she is normally a very good student she seemed to be more enthusiastic about this course than any other.

I like the freedom and the fact that this felt a lot like college… Additionally, I was really fond of my classes and my professor. The classes were amazing and it was a new and better learning experience for me

It is a complete introduction to college life… You enjoy every bit of time, you are free and helped by everyone around you, nothing is competitive you seem to grow in a peaceful environment.

Program Details

Courses

The foundation of the program is the opportunity to take courses at Tufts University. Students have the opportunity to build their own course schedule from our extensive list of lecture courses, with something for every student! Students may choose from courses offered in departments in the School of Arts & Sciences, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the School of Engineering. High school students may take between 6 and 10 credits during a term and an unlimited number of workshops. Like real Undergraduate students, Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers students are responsible for getting themselves to classes or workshops each day and for managing their time while on campus. 

Below we have described the types of courses available to our high school students through this program. Students can choose to take classes from one category or mix and match across categories. Feel free to contact courses@tufts.edu and our student success advisors can help answer basic questions about courses, scheduling, and more. .

Browse Open Courses

Course Type Credit Description
Undergraduate Lectures Tufts Credit These are real Tufts University Undergraduate courses, majority taught by Tufts faculty. TCE students will be in class with Tufts Undergraduate and Graduate students, giving them real exposure to the college learning environment. These courses are offered for credit, each worth between 3 and 5 credits per course. Please note that students entering Grade 11-12 are eligible to take applicable courses in the School of Arts & Sciences, School of the Museum of Fine Arts and School of Engineering; Grade 10 students are only eligible to take applicable School of the Museum of Fine Arts lecture courses.
Pre-College Lectures Tufts Credit [Summer Only] These are college-level courses that are designed specifically for high school students. As rigorous as undergraduate courses, the instructors of these courses are familiar with teaching to high school students and their pedagogical style may offer a bridge for students to a regular Undergraduate course. Pre-College lectures are offered for credit (typically 3 credits) and can be transferred into Tufts University as pre-matriculation credit (akin to the credit you get from AP courses). Students in Grade 10 are eligible to take these courses. See the full list here: Pre-College Lectures
Labs / Recitations n/a Some of the lecture courses - including many of the sciences and humanities - require either labs or recitations (or both). If your lecture course requires a lab or recitation, we will do our best to note it on our course schedule along with their days and times. Typically, these labs and recitations do not offer credit independently of the lecture with which they are associated.
Studio Art Workshops n/a The School of the Museum of Fine Arts offers both Undergraduate Lectures and special workshops, which are short - typically only a few hours long - courses designed to focus on a specific area of study. They are typically offered on weekends and are not available for credit. Students in Grade 10 are eligible to take these workshops.
College Prep 101 n/a [Summer Only] Each Friday for 6 weeks, students will explore topics like career/major planning, interview skills, resume building, and library research with real Undergraduate students and field experts. Each afternoon, students will attend a college tour and admissions session at one of the many leading Universities in the Boston area. In previous years, colleges visited have included: Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Brown, Brandeis, and Amherst. Please note that on Friday, July 3th, due to a university holiday, programming may be subject to change including being offered on the prior Monday.
College Prep Workshops n/a [Summer Only] Students who remain enrolled in at least one lecture course have the opportunity to select from two College Prep Workshops: Standardized Test Prep and College Admissions Essay Writing. These workshops have limited spots available, are open only to students without lectures occurring at the same time, and fill on a first come first served basis. Although they do not offer credit, students register for and attend workshops as they would any other course. 

Orientation

It is highly recommended that students attend our program Orientation during which we will review the program , discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will be able to pick-up their student ID at this time. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues. The current orientation schedule is as follows:

Winter '19-20 Spring '20 Summer 1 '20 Summer 2 '20 Fall '20
Dec 18 at 4pm Jan 8 at 4pm May 21 at 9am Jul 2 at 9am Aug 28 at 4pm
Dec 19 at 4pm Jan 9 at 4pm May 22 at 9am Jul 3 at 9am Aug 29 at 4pm

Supervision

Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and any expected absences must be communicated to instructors in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot be in a classroom or lab or leave campus during their program without the supervision of a staff member or explicit parental permission received through official processes.

Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.

Commuter students are only supervised on campus during their course meeting times, although Tufts University Police Department and all campus services (except residence halls) are always on call! Commuter students and their parents are responsible for ensuring their student travels to and from campus safely and on time for each class. Detailed information about traveling to each of our campuses, including details on parking, can be found here. Please check the course list if you do not know the campus on which your course meets.

Please note: commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on campus. No meals are provided for these students.

Want to enroll in this program as a residential student? Click here.

Application Materials & Deadlines

Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers students are registering for real Undergraduate-level courses, which fill up quickly each term. We highly recommend applying to as early as possible to save a spot in your top choice courses.

Register Now

Application & Key Enrollment Dates

Although we have application due dates by term, once you have submitted an application for one term, you may register (without re-applying) for any courses during the academic calendar year (Fall 2019 through Summer 2020). Please note admissions is rolling.

Note: all dates are as of 11:59PM ET

Program Application Opens Course Registration Opens Deadline: All Materials Deadline: Payment Deadline: Enrollment Forms
Fall 2019 June 16, 2019 June 1 August 21

Prior to the first day of class* (see the course listing for details)

2 weeks prior to first class* (see the course listing for details
Winter 2019-20 June 16, 2019 October 1 December 14
Spring 2020 June 16, 2019 November 25 January 2
Summer 1 2020 June 16, 2019 January 2 May 15
Summer 2 2020 June 16, 2019 January 2 June 15

Program Eligibility

*Deadlines are driven by the specific courses students intend to enroll in. Please see the academic calendar for more details.

General Requirements

  • Entering high school grades 10-12
    • Please note that students entering grade 10 are eligible only to take Pre-College Lecture courses and SMFA Studio Art Lectures and Workshops through this program
  • Course-level eligibility and pre-requisites may apply and are typically listed in the course description

International Students

Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.

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. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.

Application Requirements

Step 1: Register for courses through our student registration portal

Clicking the link above will take you to a list of courses open to our high school students through this program. If you find our course registration portal through another link or this list is not working, you can always find the courses open to high school students it by selecting "Open to High School Students" under the Course Features filter.

Registering for courses is simple!

  • Select the course you are interested in
  • Review the course details and requirements
  • Click "add to cart"
  • When you are ready, click the cart in the upper right-hand corner of your screen
  • Create an account
  • Check-out! Don't forget to indicate that you are currently in high school!

For more detailed instructions on registering through this portal, please see our "How to Register" page. Please note that, although course registration takes place before your application materials are submitted, you will be automatically withdrawn and will receive a full refund (with the exception of the non-refundable registration fee) if your materials are not received or not approved prior to the first day of classes. 

Step 2: Complete your Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers Application

After you register for your course, you will be directed to the CAT for HS application. You will also receive a link to the application by email. If for some reason you do not see the application, please let us know at courses@tufts.edu.

The application will ask you for the following information:

  • Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
  • Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf
  • Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
  • Warrants and signatures

Step 3: Email or Mail your High School Transcript

After submitting your online application, you must contact your high school and ask them to send a transcript to us. They can send us this information in two ways: by email to summer@tufts.edu or by mail to Tufts Pre-College Programs, Dowling Hall, 419 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.

Step 4: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation

As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.

Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 3 and Step 4 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.

Pre-College Admissions Decision

Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.

Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.

If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at summer@tufts.edu or 617-981-7008.

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.

Post-Enrollment Materials

Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:

  • Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
  • Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline

Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.

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Tuition & Fees

Program Fees - Fall 2019 through Summer 2020

Tuition

For Credit: see individual course listing; typically $990 per Credit

Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis for most courses and the total number of course credits and the total cost of any given course will be listed on the course when you register. Most courses that are open to high school students are $990 per credit and are 3 credits each, for a total tuition cost of $2,970. Please be sure to check the cost of each course for which you are registering.

  • Includes: course tuition
  • Excludes: course textbooks and materials, airfare/transportation to and from class, medical insurance, required vaccinations, medical and dental expenses, and anything not explicitly stated above.

Audit/Non-Credit: see individual course listing; typically ranges $100-$1,300 per Course

Tuition is charged on a per course basis. Each course listing will indicate whether the course is non-credit or open for audit and what the audit rate is. The audit rate typically ranges from $100-$1,300 per course depending on the field of study. Please note that when you audit a course or take a non-credit course, you do not receive course credit, though the course will still appear on your transcript. Please be sure to check the cost of each course for which you are registering.

  • Includes: course tuition
  • Excludes: course textbooks and materials, airfare/transportation to and from class, medical insurance, required vaccinations, medical and dental expenses, and anything not explicitly stated above.

Fees

Fee Type

Cost

Application Fee $65 (Non-refundable)
Materials & Lab Fees Some courses may have materials and lab fees, which will be charged at the time of registration. Typically, these fees range from $100-$500.
Late Registration Fee A Late Registration Fee will be added to a registration that is submitted to the university on or after the first day of the course session ($50 until the close of the Add/Drop period, $100 thereafter).
Late Payment Fee A Late Payment Fee will be applied to student balances that remain on or after the first day of the course session. This amount will be 1.5% of the balance, and will be compounded monthly.

Health Fees - Summer 2020

Health Insurance: TBD, only if evidence of valid U.S.-based health insurance is not presented (Summer 2019: $358)

  • Coverage Dates: TBD
  • Students carrying sufficient, valid U.S.-based health insurance do not need to pay this fee
  • All high school students enrolled in Tufts Pre-College Programs must carry valid U.S.-based health insurance
  • Students will be asked to provide evidence of sufficient insurance during the enrollment process. If your student has sufficient insurance, no further action will be necessary
  • Those who do not have sufficient insurance will be asked to purchase a plan during the enrollment process during the summer; during the academic year, these students will not be eligible to participate in the program

Vaccinations: TBD, only if evidence of required vaccinations is not presented (Summer 2019: $100-$300 per vaccine)

  • Students who can demonstrate that all required vaccinations were received prior to the program start date do not need to pay these fees
  • All high school students enrolled in Tufts Pre-College Programs must show evidence of required vaccinations during the enrollment process. If your student has all required vaccinations, no further action will be necessary
  • Those who do not have all required vaccinations will be asked to provide further documentation
    • During the summer, parents will be offered the option of providing consent for the student to receive the vaccination while on campus. If a student receives the vaccination while on campus the student will be responsible for the associated fee and grades / transcripts will be with-held for non-payment. If a student does not provide appropriate documentation or agree to receive the vaccination while on campus, Tufts reserves the right to remove the student from the program.
    • During the academic year, students who cannot provide the required documentation will be unable to participate in the program.

Other Key Financial Policies

Refund Policies

Billing & Payment Policies

All Policies

Financial Aid

Availability of Awards

Tufts Pre-College Programs are 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.

Financial aid is only available for this program for courses that are offered during the Summer Session (May - August).

During the summer, financial aid is distributed through a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need. We typically distribute two awards in February and will continue to issue awards in March and April, until all available funds have been distributed.

Please note, international students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc

Process

  1. Complete the course registration and program application process outlined above
  2. Submit a Financial Aid Application to summer@tufts.edu.
    1. Deadlines. Submit by the dates below to be considered for that month’s review cycle. Submissions will not be considered after available funds have been distributed.
      1. First deadline: submit by February 21
  3. We will review your financial aid application only after you have been admitted to the programOnce admitted, your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
  4. If you receive an award
    1. You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
    2. You will have 10 business days to accept the award by emailing courses@tufts.edu
    3. Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
    4. Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
  5. If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle, unless funds are no longer available.
  6. Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.

Financial Aid Application

Policies

Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.

Life at Tufts

We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student life experience is designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe academic experience.

Take a Tufts Virtual Tour

University Facilities

Students will have access to libraries and the student center in addition to the classroom/building in which their course(s) or lab are located.

Health & Wellness

We are unable to offer health and wellness services for students in this program at this time. Faculty and staff are instructed to contact the student's emergency contact in the case of health and wellness concerns and Tufts University Policy in the case of a medical or psychological crisis or emergency. In a medical or psychological crisis or emergency, please immediately contact Tufts University Police at 617-627-6911.

Campus Security

Tufts campus is considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgment and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system.

For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.