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Program Overview

Get a taste of what it is like to study at Tufts University and try-out life as a college student! Enroll in Tufts Undergraduate courses and/or in one of four college-level courses designed specifically for high school students. This program is designed to mirror the Undergraduate experience, allowing highly motivated students to select their own course schedule and mix college-level study with fun activities and the opportunity to build college and life skills.

Just five miles northwest of Boston, Tufts University’s Medford/Somerville vibrant campus sits on a hill overlooking the city. Tufts’ location offers the optimal combination of a relaxed and safe campus environment that is close enough to the city that everything Boston has to offer is at the fingertips of Tufts’ students.

Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience! 

Program Highlights:

  • Top-ranked University just minutes from Boston
  • Earn college credit in 65+ Undergraduate-level courses, most taught by Tufts faculty
  • Get help with Standardized Test Prep or College Essay Writing
  • Attend our hallmark 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 (e.g., Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Northeastern, Brown, Amherst.)
  • Have fun on weekend field trips, afternoon ice cream socials, and so much more!
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!

Program Outcomes:

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

Want to enroll as a commuter student? Learn more.

    Program Detail

    The Tufts College Experience is designed to reflect the typical experience a Tufts student might have during their Freshman year of college. Students have the opportunity to build their own course schedule to meet their summer learning objectives! Our program balances the rigorous academic courses, most taught by Tufts faculty, with expert-led workshops, and field trips designed to take advantage of the Boston area.

    Each day from Monday to Thursday is structured into three blocks: Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. Within each block students have the option of taking a course (students must take 2) or having “Free Time”; meals, workshops, and other activities are offered throughout the day. Once a student has set his / her schedule, attendance at each event on that schedule will be mandatory, including all meals.

    Courses: Tufts offers courses for every student! Students may choose from ~65 courses offered in ~25 departments in Arts & Sciences and Engineering. Students may choose from a selection of Undergraduate courses (in which students will be mixed with real Tufts Undergraduates) or college-level courses designed for high school students. Courses must be taken for Tufts credit.

    • See our Summer 2019 TCE Course List here!
    • The program application will ask students to select their top 6 course choices and our Pre-College team will place students into classes based on availability (just like real Undergraduates!), working with students as needed to create the optimal experience

    College Prep Workshops: Workshops are offered in the afternoon from M-Th and have limited spots that fill on a first come first served basis. Students may opt to take a workshop instead of Free Time as their schedules permit. Although they do not offer credit, students register for and attend workshops like any other course. Visit the College Prep Workshops page for more information. There are two workshops available:

    1. Admission Essay Writing – Start writing and receive feedback on your Common App essay
    2. Standardized Test Prep – Take practice tests and learn helpful skills for doing your best on the SAT

    Free Time: “Free Time” allows students to practice good time management while giving flexibility to socialize and have fun! Students may study, socialize, explore Davis Square, go to the gym, or enjoy the sunshine. Students must use the buddy system and check-in with staff during this time. Note: safety measures like check-ins and supervision will be in-place; efforts are made to enable student independence in the context of a safe environment.

    Fridays are “College Prep” days. Each Friday morning, students will attend our hallmark College Prep 101 workshop during which 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, and Amherst. Please note that on Friday, July 5th, due to a university holiday, programming may be subject to change.

    Saturday and Sunday are FUNdays, with downtime and field trips to Boston, museums, historic sites, or 6 Flags, baseball games, improv shows and more. See the Activities section below for more information.

    Sample Student Schedule

    Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday & Sunday
    7:00am - 9:00am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Homework,
    and Fun
    9:00am - 10:45am Free time Free time Free time Free time College Prep Workshop
    10:45am - 12:30pm Course Grp A Course Grp A Course Grp A Course Grp A College tours and visits
    12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
    1:00pm - 5:00pm Free time Free time + Workshops Free time Free time + Workshops
    5:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
    6:30pm - 9:30pm Course Grp C Free time Course Grp C Free time Evening activities Evening activities
    10:00pm Quiet Time Quiet Time Quiet Time Quiet Time

    Want to enroll in this program as a commuter student? Click Here

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    Residential Students

    Check-in & Orientation  |  Residential Life  |  Residential Staff  |  Dining  |  Activities & Trips  |  Supervision  | Campus Security

    Check-in & Orientation

    Check-in will begin at Carmichael Hall at 9:00am on Sunday, June 30. Students are welcome to arrive on campus and check in anytime between 9:00am and 5:00pm. During check in, room assignments will be distributed and students will have the opportunity to meet their RAs and roommates and unpack .

    Students arriving internationally or from the West Coast may have the option to arrive on Saturday if there is no possibility of arriving on Sunday. For students arriving from out of town, there is a shuttle service from the airport and train/bus station for students arriving from out of state. We provide a lot of details about Travel after you have been admitted to the program.

    All students are required to attend Orientation, which will begin at 5:00pm on June 30. During Orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will also have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.

    Residential Life

    Residential Students will get the full Tufts University experience by spending their 6 weeks living in on-campus in Tufts Undergraduate dorms: Carmichael and Wren Halls! Tufts partners with Summerfuel, a well-known provider of High School summer programming, to provide top quality residential and social experiences for its students. Rooms are air-conditioned, 24/7 security and hospitality is available, and accessible rooms are available upon request.

    Bedrooms will be doubles on a common hall. Halls are divided by gender and age and students are grouped into smaller communities known as Resident Advisor groups. Roommates and RA groups are determined based on the pre-program housing questionnaire and taking into account age and geographic diversity. Full bedding and towels will be provided and will be replaced weekly. Wi-Fi is available throughout campus.

    Resident Advisors (RA) will live on each hall and will work to create a strong, supportive residential community. A Resident Advisor’s role is to support students in every aspect of their summer experience while serving as a mentor and active leader. Summerfuel Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.

    Residential Staff

    Residential staff will support students as they adjust to living in a dormitory and being responsible members of a summer program community. The residence staff will include a director, senior staff and one resident advisor for every ten students. Prior to the program, residence staff will be trained to lead student groups, manage student conflict and resolution and oversee all safety aspects on program. They will begin the program well prepared to meet the needs of all Tufts Pre-College Program students.

    This summer's team will be led by George Kinzel, a 20+ year Summerfuel veteran. George has spent his previous summers directing our Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts.

    Meet George


    Residential program fees include three meals per day and brunch/dinner on Sundays. All meals on campus will be at Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center, conveniently located a few minutes from student housing. Dewick-MacPhie provides a wide variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and an organic salad bar. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off-site. Tufts dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.

    Activities & Trips

    We want your summer to be fun too! It is summer after all! Summerfuel will be planning trips and activities throughout the summer that will allow students to make friends, build relationships, and relax from the world-class academic work they will be doing in the classroom.

    Weekend trips might include excursions to Six Flags New England, Crane Beach in Ipswich, downtown Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Duck Boat tours, Charles River Cruises, and more! The cost of any such excursions (including transportation, entrance fees, regularly scheduled meals, and supervision) is included in the cost of the program, although souvenirs, extra food, and other incidentals is not.

    Daily activities might include ice cream socials, midnight pancakes, trips to local coffee houses for poetry readings, lectures around campus, visits to Davis Square, etc. The cost of most of these activities will be included, however incidentals like coffee at the coffee house or public transportation fares for an optional activity will not be covered by the program.


    Students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day. Attendance is taken at each class. During free time, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry or relaxing in the dorm. Students are allowed freedom to explore with friends within an area surrounding campus defined by the program director. In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events.

    Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus without the supervision of an RA or a staff member.

    Campus Security

    Harleston Hall is accessible with a current and valid Tufts ID card, which is required for entry into the building and a mechanical key for your bedroom door. Tufts University security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance. The Summerfuel office is located in the building’s entrance corridor and serves as the information and security hub for students.

    A dedicated residential staff oversees student safety during the entirety of the program. Students are honor bound to follow clear safety protocols whether on campus or in the city, and are required to use the buddy system during free time.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.

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    Life at Tufts

    Student Life & Campus Tour | University Facilities | Health & Wellness | Supervision | Campus Security

    Student Life & Campus Tour

    We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student life experience, from our dorms to our dining halls, our athletic facilities to our check-in and orientation is designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe summer.

    Take a Tufts Virtual Tour

    University Facilities

    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.

    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 Summerfuel 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.


    Students are required to attend all classes and academic sessions each day. Attendance is taken at each class. During free time, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry or relaxing in the dorm. Students are allowed freedom to explore with friends within specified areas surrounding the campus. In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff, and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus without the supervision of an RA or a staff member.

    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 and residence halls require a current and valid Tufts ID card for entry and a mechanical key for access to bedrooms.

    For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

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    Application Materials & Deadlines

    Apply Now

    Application & Key Enrollment Dates

    Program Application Opens Application & Materials Deadline Deposit Deadline Tuition Deadline Enrollment Forms Deadline
    Tufts College Experience December 1 EXTENDED to May 1 May 1 May 15 June 8

    Program Eligibility

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

    Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs. This page includes instructions for both types of students.

    Student Eligibility

    Program Eligibility Requirements for All Students
    Tufts College Experience Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start

    Non-Native English Speakers

    If you are a non-native English speaker, you will be asked to submit documents demonstrating your proficiency in English. The following are our eligibility standards:

    English Language Proficiency Requirements
    Test or Course Test Score or Course Grade
    Paper-Based TOEFL 550 or above
    Computer-Based TOEFL 213 or above
    Internet-Based TOEFL 90 or above
    IELTS 7.0 or above
    CET-4 550 or above
    CET-6 520 or above
    Intermediate English Course Transcript demonstrating B+ or higher in the last 2 years
    All-English High School or Middle School Transcript demonstrating 1+ years

    Application Requirements

    Please note that, for students under 18, parents will be asked to confirm their approval of the application. The application will ask you for the following:

    Application Information & Requirements

    Basic Personal Information Recommender Contact Information Test Scores Academic History & Transcript Other Requirements
    Yes 1 Optional Yes
    • Course Preferences
    • Credit / Audit preference
    • Application fee of $65
    Official High School Transcript (back to 9th grade)

    Delivery options:

    • Mailed to:
      Tufts Pre-College Programs
      Dowling Hall
      419 Boston Avenue
      Medford, MA 02155
    • Emailed: 
      By your high school to
    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.

    Letter of Recommendation

    If your application requires a letter of recommendation, you will be asked to provide and name and contact information for the person you would like to write your letter. This person can be a teacher, counselor, mentor, etc. Once you have entered the contact information, our system will send this person an email with instructions for how to submit their letter of recommendation online.

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    Tuition & Fees

    Program Rates

    Residential rate: $11,000

    • Tuition - $5,940 

    Includes two college-level courses

    • Program Fee - $5,060

    Includes: room, 3 meals per day (brunch / dinner on Sundays), use of select campus facilities, included excursions and daily activities, bed linens, pillow and towels, 24-hour residential care and support, staff accompanied airport transfer during specified windows.

    Does not include: Airfare/transportation to and from home city, courses and activities shown to have an extra fee, laundry, spending money, souvenirs, meals eaten away from program, airport transfers outside of specified windows, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, medical and dental expenses and any non-program-related transportation needs.


    Additional Information & Related Policy Information

    • The purchase of textbooks may be required depending on the course (more information will be sent out upon enrollment)
    • Deposit required (see below)
    • In no cases are incidentals, medical / dental fees, transportation to / from the Program covered in the program fees

    Deposits & Health Insurance

    Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550

    • A pre-payment on tuition is required to reserve space in the program
    • This deposit will be applied toward program tuition and is not an additional fee
    • The balance of payment for tuition is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15, 2019
    • This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program

    Health Insurance 2019: $358 (Coverage dates: June 25 - August 10)

    • Students carrying sufficient, valid US-based health insurance do not need to pay this fee
    • All high school students enrolled in Tufts College Experience 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.

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    Financial Aid

    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.

    Availability of Awards

    Each of the programs offering financial aid in this way offers a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need.

    • Fall: we will distribute any available aid in August, to those who submitted applications
    • Spring: we will distribute any available aid in December, to those who submitted applications
    • Summer: we will 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


    1. Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
    2. Submit a Financial Aid Application (found below) for that program to
      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. Fall: submit by August 1
        2. Spring: submit by November 1
        3. Summer: first deadline, submit by February 21
    3. We will review your Financial Aid Application after we have received the materials below and you have been admitted into the program:
      1. Completed Admissions Application
      2. Parental Consent Form (emailed to your parent after completing your application)
      3. Letter of Recommendation (if needed)
      4. High School Transcript (if needed)
    4. If you receive an award
      1. You will be notified by email within five business days of the deadline.
      2. You will have 10 business days to accept the award by emailing
      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 for the program term in which you are applying, unless funds are no longer available.
    6. Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.

    Financial Aid Application

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    Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies, including the following :