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

Join the Tufts Campaign School!

The Tufts Campaign School—offered virtually in January 2022—provides a unique opportunity to learn how campaigns work, to hear directly from industry experts, and to explore future careers in the exciting world of political and advocacy campaigns. Through faculty-led sessions, visits from guest speakers, and skill-building activities, students will explore many aspects of a modern campaign, including: data analysis and polling, fieldwork and voter outreach, communications and messaging, and campaign strategy. Offered via the Tisch College of Civic Life, this experience will be entirely virtual for undergraduate college students from across the country. Guest speakers will include experienced campaign leaders and media professionals, as well as former candidates and 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 and speechwriting
  • Media relations and press outreach
  • Skill building and networking - what do young campaign staffers actually do and how do I get a job doing it?

Program highlights:

  • Opportunity to engage and network with a diverse group of fellow students and guest speakers from experienced campaign experts and industry leaders to former and current candidates 
  • Virtual visit to a local campaign headquarters to hear directly from staff
  • Combination of 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 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 confirm speakers and schedule virtual visits with campaign headquarters. The lives of campaign staff are busy and very fluid - we always have to be prepared for changes! The program is slated to run virtually  from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. each day with one evening activity planned for mid-week.

 

  Day 1: Overview & Campaigns 101 Day 2: Data & Polling Day 3: Fieldwork & Voter Outreach Day 4: Communications & Messaging Day 5: Strategy & Closing Reflection
1:00pm-2:00pm Welcome, program overview & teambuilding Lecture: Data & Polling Lecture: Fieldwork & Outreach Lecture: Campaign Communications & Messaging Lecture: Campaign Strategy
2:00pm-3:00pm Lecture: Campaigns 101 Expert Panel Expert Panel Expert Panel Expert Panel (young staffers)
3:00pm-4:00pm Keynote Address Topic Spotlight: Fundraising Topic Spotlight: VAN Tutorial Topic Spotlight: Speechwriting Activity: Team presentations
4:00pm-5:00pm Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Exercise & Team Meeting Closing Reflection & Wrap-up
Evening     Activity: Virtual Campaign Visit/Event    


Meet Your Program Faculty & Staff

Jess Byrnes, Program Manager, Tisch College

Brian Schaffner, Newhouse Professor of Civic Studies, Tufts University

Jen McAndrew, Director of Communications, Strategy & Planning, Tisch College 

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: Program Fee Balance + Enrollment Forms
September 22 November 1 On/around November 23 +14 days from admissions December 9

Admissions

Admission to this program will take place in one round. The program Admissions Committee will make decisions on this group and send letters at the end of their review indicating students' admissions status.

Admission to this program is extremely competitive with very few spots available. There is no guarantee that all qualified students 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
  • Unofficial Transcript (Undergraduate; high school if you are a Freshman)
  • 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 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 Fees (January 2022)

Program Fee: $1,550

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; it is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program.

The Program Fee Balance of $1,450 will be due by December 9 at 11:59PM ET.

  • Includes: all events listed on the curriculum and materials
  • Excludes: cost of any activities not explicitly listed above

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. Please note, visiting students and Tufts 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 16, 2022.

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

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