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Program Overview

We welcome high school juniors and seniors with prior research experience to join us for a semester at Tufts under active mentorship to learn hands-on laboratory techniques and/or data and processing skills. Students will work in Tufts research laboratories, actively participating in the rigorous and ethical research currently being explored at Tufts. Students will gain proficiency of authentic research practices as they work side-by-side with the faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students at Tufts University. Although the particular techniques will depend on the research team that hosts each individual intern, all students will actively contribute to ongoing research projects; and learn about research ethics and how to evaluate information objectively. Lab time will be supplemented with a poster session and the opportunity to experience life on the Tufts University campus.

  • During the Fall and Spring semesters, students and their mentors will arrange times to be in the labs based on the student's school schedule and the lab's staffing schedule. Typically, this will be around 15 hours a week of in-lab time on afternoons and evenings. Please note that we can only accommodate commuter students during the Fall and Spring.
  • Our summer program offers a more intensive full-day research experience with the option to live on campus and participate in additional journal clubs, field trips, and networking events. If this appeals to you, check-out the Tufts Summer Research Experience

Just five miles northwest of Boston, Tufts University’s Medford / Somerville tranquil campus sits on a hill overlooking the city. Tufts’ location offers a relaxed and safe campus environment with easy access to Boston.

Program Highlights:

  • Top-ranked university just minutes from Boston
  • Work side-by-side with world class faculty and researchers
  • Use interdisciplinary strategies involving emerging technologies, computational thinking, and previously published work to investigate a question
  • Receive direct exposure to emerging technologies in a genuine research-based activity
  • Gain first-hand experience in evaluating real experimental data
  • Employ critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills to investigate an question related to their lab’s research
  • Develop a poster and present it at a poster session
  • During the summer program, participate in journal clubs, and develop a poster and present it at a poster session
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world

Program Outcomes:

  • Skills and foundational knowledge critical for success in lab and data-based research
  • Improved ability to interpret, use and analyze real experimental data
  • Increased comfort working in a rigorous laboratory setting and team
  • Ability to differentiate the roles that individuals fulfill on an effective research team
  • Research poster and lab notes for future applications
  • Refined verbal and written communication skills from participating in a real poster session and in-depth conversations with other researchers
  • Enhanced understanding of college-level research

Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.

Program Detail

Each student selected to participate in this competitive program will be paired with a Principal Investigator and mentor in one of Tuft’s many outstanding research laboratories. The majority of time in the program will be mentored research in the student’s laboratory. Students will be fully integrated into the research team including team meetings and presentations, an incredible opportunity to interact with world-class researchers.

During the program, students will be introduced to the research happening in the lab. Mentors will guide students in understanding the ongoing scientific inquiry and will work with the students on interpreting journal articles related to that research. Throughout the program, students will work with their mentors and PIs to build their research skills, perform controlled experiments, and interpret and extrapolate real experimental data. Where possible, each student will be able to complete an open-ended research project they design with their mentor. All of this learning will culminate in the student producing a poster about their lab’s research to be presented at the program’s poster session at the end of each term.

During our summer intensive program, Tufts Summer Research Experience, students will also benefit from journal clubs, guest lectures, networking sessions, and skills-building workshops. Interested? Check-out TSRE!

Residential Students (Summer Only)

If you are interested in experiencing life on Tufts' campus while having a world-class mentored research experience, please see our intensive summer program: Tufts Summer Research Experience.

Unfortunately, during the academic year, we are unable to offer housing for students at this time.

Commuter Students

Summer Students: please see the Commuter Students policies for Tufts Summer Research Experience as they are different from the below, which is specific to Academic Year students.

Commuting to the Program (Fall and Spring)

During the academic year, all students must be able to commute to Tufts campus. 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, including details on parking, can be found here.

Students are only permitted to be on campus during the specific times scheduled with their PI or Mentor and are only permitted to enter spaces as instructed by their PI, Mentor, or Tufts Pre-College Programs. Commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on campus.

Orientation (Fall and Spring)

All students are required to attend orientation:

  • Fall Semester: September 18 2019 at 5pm
  • Spring Semester: January 15 2020 at 5pm

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.

Life at Tufts

Summer Students: please see the Life at Tufts section for Tufts Summer Research Experience as there are additional amenities available during the summer.

Student Life & Campus Tour (Fall and Spring)

We endeavor to make every 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 (Fall and Spring)

Students will have access to the libraries, computer lab, and student center, in addition to the lab and building in which their primary lab is located.

Health & Wellness (Fall and Spring)

We are unable to offer health and wellness services for academic year Tufts Research Experience students 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

Supervision (Fall and Spring)

Students are required to attend all sessions that they schedule with their PI or Mentor and any expected absences must be communicated to the PI or Mentor 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 lab or leave campus during their scheduled lab time without the supervision of a staff member. Commuter students’ commute to campus and time outside of the sessions scheduled with a PI or Mentor will not be monitored by program staff, although Tufts community members have Tufts University Police Department and other campus safety protocols available at all times.

Campus Security (Fall and Spring)

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.

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

For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

Application Materials & Deadlines

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Application & Key Enrollment Dates

Admission granted on a rolling basis

Program Application Opens Application & Materials Deadline Deposit Deadline Tuition Deadline Enrollment Forms Deadline
Tufts Research Experience (Fall 2019) July 1 August 15 10 days after acceptance September 1 September 18
Tufts Research Experience (Spring 2020) October 1 December 15 10 days after acceptance December 30 January 15
Tufts Summer Research Experience (Summer 2020) December 1 May 1 10 days after acceptance May 15 June 8

Program Eligibility

Student Eligibility

Program Eligibility Requirements for All Students Visa Support Available
Tufts Summer Research Experience Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start Yes
Tufts Research Experience (Fall and Spring) Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start No

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
Internet-Based TOEFL 100 or above
IELTS 7.0 or above
All-English High School or Middle School Transcript demonstrating 1+ years

Application Requirements

Step 1: provide initial information through the online application

Basic Personal Information Recommender Contact Information Test Scores Academic History & Transcript Other Requirements
Yes 1 Optional Yes
  • Up to 3 lab preferences, indicating your order of preference. Please note that students indicating only 1 lab are not typically considered for additional labs if their first choice is unavailable
  • One 250-word essay describing your research experience and your interest in research
  • For each lab for which you would like to be considered, a 250-word personal statement describing your interest in the specific lab

Step 2: after your initial application is submitted, the following documents must be provided to complete your application:

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

Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online parent permission form. There is no action required from you, except to remind your parents to complete the permission form. If they did not receive the permission form, please email us at

Letter of Recommendation

Once you submit your Step 1 application, our systems will automatically email the recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to submit a Letter of Recommendation. This person can be a teacher, counselor, mentor, etc and you will be asked to provide a name and email address for the person you would like to write your letter during the Step 1 application process. There is no action required from you, except to ask and remind your recommender to complete the Letter. If they did not receive the email from us, please email us at

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Tuition & Fees

Summer Students: please see the Tuition & Fees section for Tufts Summer Research Experience as tuition and fees differ for the summer program.

Program Rates 

  • Fall Semester: $8,000
  • Spring Semester: $8,000

Additional Information & Related Policy Information

  • Materials fee: $200 materials expense is additional for this program
  • 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 (Fall and Spring)

  • All high school students enrolled in Tufts Summer Research 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 not be eligible to participate in the academic year program and should consider the summer program.

Other Key Financial Policies

Refund Policies

Billing & Payment Policies

All Policies

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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