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Want to work on a political campaign? Run for office some day? Or better understand the campaign process?

Join the Tufts Campaign School!

The Tufts Campaign School offers a unique opportunity to learn how campaigns work, to hear directly from industry experts, to see candidates and media outlets in New Hampshire, and to do it all during a presidential election cycle. Through faculty-led sessions, visits from guest speakers, and skill-building workshops, students will explore many aspects of today's campaigns: data analysis and polling, fieldwork, and communications. Offered via the Tisch College of Civic Life, this experience will also include a day-long trip to New Hampshire to visit presidential campaigns and/or media events ahead of the February 11, 2020 New Hampshire primary. Guest speakers will include experienced campaign leaders and reporters, as well as former candidates and recent Tufts alumni working on campaigns. Students will produce a digital portfolio of work during this non-credit program.

Topics will include:

  • Fieldwork - engagement strategies, volunteer recruitment, voter outreach
  • Data analysis and polling
  • Campaign messaging, debate prep, and speech-writing
  • Media relations and press outreach
  • Skill building - what do young campaign staffers actually do and how do I get a job doing it?

Program highlights:

  • Engage with a diverse group of guest speakers from campaign experts to journalists and thought leaders
  • Experience presidential campaigns and media outlets in New Hampshire just one month before the presidential primary
  • Visit local campaign headquarters and hear directly from staff
  • Combine lectures with experiential learning and hands-on skill-building exercises

Program outcomes:

  • Understand how political campaigns function, including areas in which young staffers typically work
  • Produce a digital portfolio including polling analysis, campaign talking points, and social media strategies
  • Network and connect with campaign leaders, reporters, former candidates, and talented Tufts alumni
  • Access the newly-created online community of Tufts Jumbos working on campaigns and in politics
  • Receive a certificate of completion

Program Schedule

Please note: The schedule below is subject to change as we continue to line up speakers and schedule appointments at campaign headquarters and media outlets. The lives of campaign staff are busy and very fluid - we always have to be prepared for changes!

Day 1: Opening Dinner & Orientation

Arrival and check-in will take place from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. During check-in, students will receive program materials and be able to ask any questions they might have. Students choosing to live on-campus during the program will be able to move into their residence hall, while students participating from other universities will also receive their student IDs.

The program's opening dinner will begin at 5:30PM. During this event, we will orient you to the program and you'll have the chance to meet your fellow program participants and program staff. This event is required.

Days 2-5: Panels and Skills-Building

  Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Morning Free time / breakfast (on-campus dining or off-campus)
Morning: 9am-12pm Lecture: Program overview and Case Study Panel: Fieldwork and Outreach Panel: Campaigns Reporting Panel: Campaign Communications & Messaging
Lunch Free time / lunch (on-campus dining recommended)
Afternoon: 1:30pm-5:30pm Skills-Building Exercise: Data and Polling Campaign Trip: Local Presidential Campaign Headquarters Skills-Building Exercise: Media Prep for your Candidate Skills-Building Exercise: Event Prep & Messaging
Dinner Free time / dinner (on-campus or off-campus) Free time / dinner (on-campus or off-campus) Event: Dinner & Movie: "The Frontrunner" Free time / dinner (on-campus or off-campus)

On Friday, you will experience the thrill of campaign preparations for the first major event of the 2020 Presidential Elections: the New Hampshire primary! We will visit campaign headquarters where you will meet staffers, ask questions, and experience first-hand what it is like to be preparing for this critical event in the life-cycle of a presidential campaign.

We will go as a group to New Hampshire by bus, departing from the Medford/Somerville campus. All meals, snacks, and materials related to the trip will be provided.

Day 7: Reflection Breakfast & Departure

The program will close on Saturday with a reflection breakfast. Departures and residential check-out must take place by 12:00pm.

Meet Your Program Faculty & Staff

Jess Byrnes, Program Administrator, Tisch College

Brian Schaffner, Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies, Tufts University

Julie Dobrow, Professor and Tisch Senior Fellow (tentative)

Philippe Reines, Visiting Lecturer, Tisch College (tentative)

Application Materials & Deadlines

Key Dates

Note: all dates are as of 11:59PM ET; counts of days include weekends and holidays

  Application Opens Deadline: Application Admissions Decisions Deadline: Deposit Deadline: Housing Payment Deadline: Program Fee Balance + Enrollment Forms
Priority Round - Tufts Students Only September 15 October 21 On/around November 4 +14 days from admissions (on/around November 18) December 10 December 16*
Regular Round - Non-Tufts and Tufts Students September 15 November 18 On/around December 2 +14 days from admissions (on/around December 13*) December 10 December 16*

Note: * The deadline for payment if you need on-campus housing is December 10. This can be submitted as a partial payment. 

Admissions Rounds

Admission to this program will take place over two rounds.

  • A "Priority Round" is open to Tufts students who submit their applications by October 21st. The program Admissions Committee will make decisions on this group and send letters at the end of their review indicating students' admissions status.
  • The "Regular Round" is open to all students, including non-Tufts students and Tufts students who missed the priority deadline. Regular Round students will be considered for admission to any seats that remain after the Priority Round Deposit Deadline.

Admission to this program is extremely competitive with very few spots available. There is no guarantee that all qualified students who apply Priority or any students who apply Regular will be admitted.

Wait List

Qualified students for whom there are no spots available may be added to the wait list. You will be notified of your status as being 'on the wait list' when you receive your admissions update status from the Admissions Committee. Your position on the wait list will be determined by the time at which you submitted your Wait List Reply Form.

You will be notified by email if a spot in the program opens for you. You will then have 14 days (or until the Deposit / Payment Deadline associated with your round, whichever is soonest) to submit your deposit to hold your seat.

Students who are admitted off of the wait list and do not submit a deposit within 14 days (or by the Deposit / Payment Deadline associated with your round, whichever is soonest) will be re-added to the Wait List. At this point, your position on the wait list will be determined by the time at which you submitted your second Wait List Reply Form.

Application Requirements

The online application will ask you for the following information:

  • Basic personal information, including emergency contact
  • Program preferences (e.g., whether you would like to be a residential or commuter student)
  • Unofficial Transcript and your year / major (if known)
  • A list of any relevant coursework or internships
  • 300-word open response: Please tell us about why you would like to participate in Tisch College's Tufts Campaign School. In so doing, please consider questions such as: What do you hope to gain from this program? What areas of campaigns most interest you and why? Why is it important to you to complete this program this year? This is an open-ended response, but please be as specific as possible
  • Optional, financial aid application
  • Optional, accommodations needs* 
  • Disclaimers, Warrants, and signatures

You can return to your application at any time by clicking here.

Program Eligibility

Students must be undergraduate students at an accredited higher education institution and at least 18 years old at the start of the program.

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. For questions regarding visa options and requirements, contact the Tufts International Center for assistance, by sending an e-mail to internationalcenter@tufts.edu or go to https://global.tufts.edu/tufts-international-center.

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.

Post-Admission

Students will have 14 days (including weekends and holidays) to submit a deposit to hold their seat in the program. Enrollment confirmation is contingent on payment of all program fees in full and the completion of a number of forms and waivers. These forms and waivers will be provided after admission to the program.

Accommodations / Accessibility

* Tufts University values the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty, recognizing the important contribution each student makes to our unique community.  Tufts is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the Tufts experience. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations for participation in the Tufts Campaign School, please contact the Student Accessibility Services office at Accessibility@tufts.edu or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with an SAS representative and determine appropriate accommodations. You will also be given the opportunity to note any accommodations needs during the application process. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision.

Admissions 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.

Tuition & Fees

Program & Housing Fees (January 2020)

Program Fee: $2,200

A non-refundable Deposit of $100 is due within fourteen days (including weekends and holidays) of admission to hold the student's seat. This deposit will be applied to the total Program Fee and is not incremental; it is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program.

The Program Fee Balance of $2,100 will be due by December 16 at 11:59PM ET.

  • Includes: all events listed on the curriculum, materials, and costs for full-day field trip to New Hampshire, all breakfast/lunch/dinner per diem between the dinner on Day 1 of the program and Breakfast on Day 7 of the program.
  • Excludes: transportation to/from Tufts campus, housing, meals not explicitly mentioned above, meals eaten away from program or the cost of meals above the per diem rate, incidental expenses, cost of any activities not listed above, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, required vaccinations, medical and dental expenses and any non-program-related transportation needs, anything not explicitly listed above.

Housing Fee: $0-$560 (optional)

Living in on-campus housing during the program is optional. For those electing to live on-campus, the following fees are due December 10 at 11:59PM ET:

Student Type Fee
Tufts Student Full Year (Fall 2019 + Spring 2020) On-Campus Housing $0
One Semester (Fall 2019 or Spring 2020) of On-Campus Housing $560
Off-Campus Housing $560
Non-Tufts Students n/a $560
  • Includes: a dormitory room, bed, and access to dormitory facilities.
  • Excludes: sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, anything not explicitly listed above.

Any requests for housing after December 10 will be considered on a case by case basis.

Financial Aid

Our program is 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. Awards typically cover 50%-100% of the Program Fee + Housing Fee. Please note, international students are not eligible for financial aid at this time.

You will be prompted to complete a financial aid application during the program application process. If you receive a financial aid award, it will be included in your letter of admission. After receiving your letter of admission, you will have fourteen days (including weekends and holidays) to accept your admission and award by notifying us in writing at courses@tufts.edu. If we do not hear from you after two weeks, you will be placed on the admissions wait list and your award will be forfeit, meaning you will not be able to use the financial aid award if you later come off the wait list.

Please note: this program is not available for Tuition Remission or Reimbursement.

Refund Policy

Program Fee: official withdrawals, made in writing to courses@tufts.edu, are eligible for a 100% refund of the Program Fee (excluding the non-refundable deposit) until 11:59PM ET on December 20, 2019.

Housing Fee: official withdrawals will also be an official request to be removed from on-campus housing during the program. If you are not withdrawing from the program but would no longer like to live in Tufts on-campus housing, you must make an official request in writing to courses@tufts.edu. Official requests to be removed from housing are eligible for a 100% refund of the Housing Fee until 11:59PM ET on December 10, 2019. Special cases:

  • If you pay for and/or request and pay for housing after 11:59PM ET on December 10, 2019, you will be considered for housing on a case by case basis.
    • If you do not receive on-campus housing, the Housing Fee amount paid will be refunded to you
    • If you do receive on-campus housing, the Housing Fee amount paid is non-refundable

Paying Your Bill

Pay Online via SLATE Visa, MasterCard, Discover, electronic check / transfer
  • Log-on to your student portal using the Username and Password you created on registration
  • A link should be available on your account page to pay balance due

Other Key Financial Policies

Billing & Payment Policies

All Policies

Housing - Optional

We are pleased to offer an on-campus housing option to participants in our program. Fees for this option differ depending on your student status, please see the "Tuition & Fees" section above for more details.

Check-in: Sunday, January 5 at 2:00PM

Check-out: Saturday, January 11 at 12:00PM

Students choosing to live in our on-campus housing will be housed in a Tufts dormitory. Housing may consist of a single, double, triple, suite, or other accommodation assigned by the University. Please note: sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels are NOT provided.

Tufts students with on-campus housing during the academic year:

  • Note that your housing during the program may differ from your academic year housing and you may not have access to your academic year housing during this time
  • Note that, if you have Spring Semester housing, you will be able to move into your Spring Semester housing on Saturday, January 11 at the conclusion of the program (subject to change)

Please be sure to see the Tuition & Fees section of this page for more information about housing payments and deadlines.

Other Information

  • Policies 
    • Tufts Campaign School follows the policies for all non-matriculated students, including those for "All Programs and Courses," "Residential Life," and aligns to the "Courses at Tufts - School of Arts & Sciences" policies at the program level
    • Where not specifically noted above on this page or on the policies page, Tufts Campaign School follows the policies for Intensives
  • University Resources