Summer 2023 Pre-College Program Applications are now LIVE, don't delay, start your application today!
Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers
Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Options
Want to take a class or two and experience what it is like to study at Tufts University? 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.
Spring Semester course registration opens soon, virtual and in-person options are available.
- Top-ranked University just minutes from Boston
- Earn college credit from a list of dozens of Undergraduate-level courses, most taught by Tufts faculty
- Take courses in person or on our engaging Virtual or In-Person Campuses
- Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!
- Excellent academic experience
- Tufts Credit*
- Official Tufts transcript upon request
- Enhanced understanding of studying and life at college
- Skills to navigate the Undergraduate experience
* Upon passing a course taken for credit
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
It is highly recommended that students attend our program Orientation during which we will review the program, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.
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 dozens of courses offered in a wide variety of 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 1 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 attending classes or workshops each day and for managing their time.
During Academic Year 2022-2023, courses will be offered in a variety of modalities (in-person, hybrid, and virtual); most hybrid or virtual courses will be held live via Zoom or Canvas in the meeting time listed on the course list and will generally be recorded and posted as asynchronous recordings to Canvas, along with digital discussion boards so that all students can participate. Some courses will have required synchronous elements and these should be confirmed with the instructor on the first day of classes.
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 email@example.com and our student success advisors can help answer basic questions about courses, scheduling, and more.
|Undergraduate Lectures||Tufts Credit||These are real Tufts University Undergraduate courses, with the majority taught by Tufts faculty. CATHS 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 2 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 Hallmark Courses||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 Hallmark Courses|
|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] Our hallmark college prep offering, the six Friday sessions of College Prep 101 include interactive morning workshops during which students will explore topics like career / major planning, time management, interview skills, resume building, and tips on writing an effective college essay. Each afternoon, students will attend college tours and Q&A discussions with admissions staff at some of the many leading universities in the greater Boston area. In addition to Tufts, schools may include area institutions such as: Amherst, Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis, Brown, Emerson, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Simmons, and others.
View the Summer 2022 syllabus here. Summer 2023 course details coming soon!
|College Prep Workshops||n/a||[Summer Only] Students who remain enrolled in at least one lecture course have the opportunity to select from our custom College Prep Workshop: 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.|
Materials & Other Requirements
Certain courses may require materials such as physical or virtual textbooks or course packets, which you will be able to find closer to the start of the term on your course syllabus or through the Tufts Bookstore website.
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Technical Needs & Support," no other materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs materials and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students can participate outside of program hours. These programs include both on campus and weekend excursions throughout the city of Boston. In the past activities have included Duck Tours, movie night, soccer, Guest speakers from a variety of disciplines, Lunch & Learns on topics such as goal setting, financial literacy and stress management, as well as Trivia Nights, Wellness Courses, and much more! Confirmed social activity details will be provided closer to program start.
Virtual students will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of virtual social engagements with students from different modalities of program. Students will have an opportunity to sign up for these events one week prior to the event start.
Life at Tufts
Whether you commute to our program, live with us on-campus, or participate virtually, we endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. From our dorms to our dining halls, our athletic facilities to our check-in and orientation, all aspects of our programming are designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe summer.
Just five miles northwest of Boston, Tufts University’s Medford/Somerville tranquil campus sits on a hill overlooking the city. Our location offers a relaxed and safe campus environment with easy access to Boston.
Guidelines & Access
Safety & Campus Access
Students will have full access to the university’s facilities including the libraries, computer lab and student center. Students will also have full access to Tufts’ Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness center, featuring racquet courts, a swimming pool and cardio and weight-training equipment.
In addition, SMFA Studio Art Intensive students will have access to supervised studios and resources including, the W.Van Alan Clark Library, the media stockroom (where you can borrow any equipment necessary for your art), the School Store, the computer lab. See more details about our studios.
Health & Wellness
Tufts works hard to ensure the health and well-being of all of its students. Once accepted to the program, Tufts will ask all students to submit information related to their health and will collect details regarding allergies and accessibility concerns. Tufts and Residential Life staff will work together to ensure students’ routine medical needs are met.
Tufts also has procedures in-place for students with urgent or emergency needs, illnesses, or injuries. Our procedures combine on-campus and hospital-based care depending on the nature and severity of the issue. A student’s emergency contact will be notified, if one is provided, in the event of an issue. Please see our Health & Wellness Services page for additional information.
In any type of health & wellness emergency, students should immediately contact Tufts University Police at (617) 627-6911.
Please note: medical fees of any kind will be billed to the student and are not included in program fees.
Tufts University 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. Each location is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system and residence halls require a current and valid Tufts ID card for entry and a mechanical key for access to bedrooms. Emergency processes and protocol will be reviewed during orientation.
For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page
To ensure the safety of our Pre-College students, we are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, and following local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to our Pre-College programming.
Please see University College's COVID-19 page for specific information regarding Pre-College COVID-19 policies and procedures.
Tufts University is not only a leading institution of higher education and academic research, but it is leading the nation in terms of higher education's response to our public health crisis.
For more information about Tufts' response and action planning regarding COVID-19: Please visit Tufts University's COVID-19 homepage.
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual and in-person safety protocols.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: We are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, and following local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to our programming. Information below is subject to change as the situation develops.
Commuting to the Program
Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers allows students to take only the classes you need to meet your academic goals, on days and times that are convenient for you.
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.
Like real Undergraduate students, Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers students are responsible for attending classes or workshops each day and for managing their time.
Commuter students and their parents are responsible for ensuring their student travels to and from campus safely and on time each day. Detailed information about traveling to the Medford / Somerville campus and the Boston Fine Arts campus, including details on parking, can be found here.
Please note: commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on campus.
Meals are not included for students participating in Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers. However, food may be available for purchase at campus dining halls, cafes, or other campus locations where food is sold.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the unique nature of each of our Pre-College Programs, virtual opportunities for our programs will vary and this program has not yet defined its specific Virtual opportunities. We have outlined below what a sample version of the Virtual experience would be like. Please check back for updates regarding the details of your Pre-College Program's Virtual options.
Tufts Virtual Campus
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. The program described on the page above is meant to detail how the program will work for Commuter students attending the program on-campus. The experience for Virtual students will necessarily be different: you won't be here and not all elements of the program are perfectly adaptable to the virtual environment. While not yet available, the information below will be updated to specify to the greatest extent possible how the Virtual experience may be modified relative to the on-campus experience. Virtual students will be fully responsible for understanding how the program will work for them and which parts of their experience may be modified relative to the on-campus version of the program: and we are here to help! Please email us at any time and we will help clarify the Virtual version of our program.
Tufts Virtual Campus is designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students virtually. We are carefully designing the virtual opportunities to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
Tufts Virtual Campus has brought new meaning to the educational experience as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
Technical Needs & Support
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software*: programs capable of
*software may vary by program
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software may include Zoom and Canvas.
Trial Run: Getting Connected
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Accessing Tufts Email
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link. You can also set up your Tufts email to forward to your personal email account using these instructions.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Application & Policies
Application Deadlines & Materials
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.
|Program||Course Registration Opens||Deadline: Registration||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|Fall 2022||June 1, 2022||September 3, 2022||
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 2022-23||October 18, 2022||Varies depending on course|
|Spring 2023||December 1, 2022||January 15, 2023|
|Summer 1 & 12 2023||January 4, 2023||May 21, 2023|
|Summer 2 2023||January 4, 2023||July 2, 2023|
*Deadlines are driven by the specific courses students intend to enroll in. Please see the academic calendar for more details.
- 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- Contact information for a school official who will upload your transcript
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
Step 3: Upload Your High School Transcript
During your application process, you will be asked to provide us with contact information for an official from your high school. They will receive an email with further instructions to upload your transcript.
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 email@example.com or 617-627-2926.
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.
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.
Tuition & Fees
Program Fees - Winter 2021 - Summer 2022
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, test prep/essay writing workshop (limited), social activities.
- Excludes: 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.
|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.|
Other Key Financial Policies
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 to students with demonstrated need. We aim to provide enough aid to eligible students that they are able to successfully enroll and participate in the program. We will typically distribute awards monthly beginning in February until the enrollment deadline or until aid is fully 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.
- Complete the course registration and program application process outlined above
- Submit a Financial Aid Application
- The Financial Aid Application will be available once you have completed your CATHS application.
- We will review your financial aid application only after you have been admitted to the program. Once admitted, your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
- If you receive an award
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award form and submitting your deposit
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- 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
- If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle, unless funds are no longer available.
- Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.