Pre-College Program FAQs
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs. These instructions include instructions for both types of students.
|Program||Eligibility Requirements for All Students|
|6 Week Programs|
|Summer Session for High Schoolers*||Entering Grades 10-12|
|Tufts College Experience||Entering Grades 11-12|
|Tufts Summer Research Experience||Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start|
|2 and 3 Week Intensive Programs|
|Engineering Design Lab*||Entering Grades 10-12|
|International Relations||Entering Grades 11-12|
|Leadership for Social Change*||Entering Grades 10-12|
|Programming & App Design*||Entering Grades 10-12|
|Studio Art at SMFA at Tufts*||Entering Grades 10-12|
|Summer Study Abroad|
|Tufts Summit||Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start, 2+ years of formal French instruction|
*Students must be 15 years of age by the first day of the program to be eligible unless otherwise noted
Yes! Students who have been home schooled are welcome to apply. We ask that applicants who have been educated primarily or entirely at home provide as many of the application credentials as possible. We understand that the parent / teacher will provide one of the Letters of Recommendation, but (where required) we ask that other, non-family adults provide any additional letters. All relevant academic transcripts, reflecting educational work outside of the home since 9th grade, should be forwarded. Portfolio or summary information about educational experiences can be useful as well.
Yes! We welcome international students who have the educational background, English Language skills, and funding to attend one of our Summer at Tufts programs. Visa requirements and options may differ depending on which program you are participating in. See the "How do I get my visa?" section below which includes visa information for international students.
Two important notes:
- Note that not all of our programs offer housing. We will be unable to admit an international student into a Commuter program without a consent and waiver indicating that student has housing and transportation provided by a close relative within 50-miles of Tufts. Both parent and the close relative must sign the waiver.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer financial aid to international applicants to our pre-college programs.
Summer at Tufts welcomes international students in all of its programs. However, visa options and requirements will be different depending on your intended summer program and your current visa situation (if applicable).
Students participating in Pre-College six week programs (except the Tufts Summer Research Experience program) may be eligible to apply for an I-20 certificate of eligibility, which is needed for F-1 student visa sponsorship through Tufts University. Currently the Summer Research Experience program as well as participants in our short-term Intensive programs are not eligible for F-1 student sponsorship, but other visa options may be available.
The Tufts International Center is responsible for providing visa guidance, including assistance with applying for an F-1 student visa, as well as information regarding other options for Pre-College programs not eligible for F-1 sponsorship. For more information, go to https://global.tufts.edu/tufts-international-center or contact the International Center at InternationalCenter@tufts.edu.
|Test or Course||Test Score or Course Grade|
|Paper-Based TOEFL||600 or above|
|Computer-Based TOEFL||250 or above|
|Internet-Based TOEFL||90 or above|
|IELTS||6.5 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|
Students are also welcome to provide a transcript providing evidence of strong University-level English rather than provide test scores.
See the table below for links to the application pages. Please visit the program pages for more detailed instructions of how to apply to each program as well as a list of the required application materials:
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. So be sure to enter an email address that your parent checks regularly!
You are welcome to have your high school transcript sent via email. HOWEVER, in order for your transcript to be marked as official, the transcript needs to be sent by a representative of your high school. Your high school can send a pdf of your transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your transcript has been received, Summer Staff will mark it as such on your online application portal.
Tufts Summer Staff consider the materials you provide in your application as a whole.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. For students enrolled in a university, regardless of their age, the privacy rights under FERPA are held by them.
Enrolled Summer at Tufts students may authorize the release of their educational records by filing a Consent to Disclose Student Information form with the University.
The FERPA policy for the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering is available by clicking here. It includes when the schools may disclose information from a student’s educational record.
Prior to enrollment, Summer at Tufts may include parents in communications concerning progress in admission. Note, it is Summer at Tufts’ policy to require parent/guardian permission to apply to our program.
Email is the University’s primary method of communication with applicants and enrolled students. Please make sure your student checks email regularly to be certain that all communications from Tufts University are read and responded to in a timely way. Overlooking emails can result in delays, increased costs, etc.
The application will ask for a parent’s email address. Be sure the parent email address listed is an address that is commonly checked as Tufts will also send important information to the parents via email such as the Parent Permission Form, enrollment forms, etc.
Upon enrollment in one of our 6-week programs (Tufts College Experience, Summer Session for High Schoolers, and Tufts Research Experience), Summer at Tufts students are asked to set up a Tufts email account as part of a Tufts network logon profile. This email address will be used to login to Tufts’ Student Information System and CANVAS, the site on which faculty will post course materials. However, Summer at Tufts administration will continue to use students’ personal email addresses for communications throughout the program.
Please note, students enrolling in workshops or pre-college intensives will not receive a Tufts email address.
Earning & Transferring Credit
The ability to earn credit varies by program. Please see the table below for the credit options within each program.
|Summer Session for High Schoolers||Courses can be taken for credit or for audit. If you would like to audit a course, you can indicate this option when you register online. Please see the individual courses for the number of credits offered per course.|
|Tufts College Experience||Courses will be taken for credit. Please see the individual courses for the number of credits offered per course.|
|Tufts Summer Research Experience||Not for credit|
|Intensive: Engineering Design Lab||Not for credit|
|Intensive: International Relations||For credit|
|Intensive: Leadership for Social Change||For credit|
|Intensive: Programming and App Design||For credit|
|Intensive: Studio Art at SMFA||Not for credit|
|Summer Study Abroad: Tufts Summit||Not for credit|
Each college and university has policies and procedures that determine whether or not they will accept college credit earned elsewhere. Earning summer credit at Tufts is not a guarantee that the course will transfer.
However, we have seldom heard of a situation in which Tufts credit has not been accepted at another higher education institution.
After your student’s course or program is complete, an academic transcript can be requested from Tufts Student Services. With this document, your student can request transfer credit at the college or university he or she will attend.
If your student attends Tufts as an undergraduate, he or she can speak with his or her academic dean to see how the credit that was earned in the summer can be added to his or her plan of study.
Remember, each college and university has policies and procedures that determine whether or not they will accept college credit earned elsewhere. Earning summer credit at Tufts is not a guarantee that the course will transfer. However, we have seldom heard of a situation in which Tufts credit has not been accepted at another higher education institution.
Tufts cannot guarantee that these courses or programs can be used at your high school. Students should be in touch with their school to determine what is possible. Tufts is happy to provide an appropriate transcript specific to your program.
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to a welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only a limited amount of 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.
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. We will distribute 2 awards in February and will continue to make awards in March and April until all available funds have been distributed. For more information, please consult the information on the program pages.
Programs offering financial aid:
- Tufts College Experience
- Summer Session for High Schoolers
- Tufts Summer Research Experience
- Tufts Pre-College Intensives:
- Engineering Design Lab
- International Relations
- Programming and App Design
- Studio Art at SMFA at Tufts
Once you have accepted your spot in the program, you will be charged a deposit that will appear on your online application portal. You can pay your bill through the application portal. Once you have been paid your deposit, you will be charged the remaining tuition for the program, which will also be payable via the application portal.
Please be on the lookout for communication from email@example.com once you have accepted your place in the program for more details.
Students who officially withdraw from a course are eligible for a tuition refund based on the date of withdrawal (when the official request to withdraw was received), per the schedules below. The refund schedules vary based on the length of the Summer Course / Program Type.
Please go to the Refund Policy page to learn more.
Room & Board
The availability of housing depends on the program. If a program offers a residential option, students will have access to an air conditioned double room in Harleston Hall, overseen by RAs and a ResLife team managed by our partner Summerfuel. If a program is listed as Commuter, no housing or related support is available. Please see the table below for more details:
|Summer Session for High Schoolers||Commuter only – no on-campus housing available|
|Tufts College Experience||Residential only – on-campus housing available|
|Tufts Summer Research Experience||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: Engineering Design Lab||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: International Relations||Residential OR commuter – housing available on campus, however students can choose to commute to campus if they would rather|
|Intensive: Leadership for Social Change||Residential only – on-campus housing available|
|Intensive: Programming and App Design|
|Intensive: Studio Art at SMFA|
Yes! Students in residential programs will have a meal plan as a part of their Program Fees.
Commuter students have the option of purchasing a multi-week meal plan from our Dining Services team, please click here for more details.
Please notify the program directors if your student has an allergy.
Summerfuel is Tufts’ partner for residential life and social experiences for pre-college students. While Tufts provides the academic programming and the campus, Summerfuel helps us run our residence halls and the fun activities offered on evenings and weekends for our residential students. For more information about Summerfuel, click here.
Health & Wellness
Please see our Health & Wellness sections on program pages for details about treatment for acute illness or emergencies. Note that, should your child need to receive unexpected medical care during one of our programs, their emergency contact will be notified if provided.
Students in our residential programs will be asked to provide details regarding specific, ongoing medical conditions (e.g., allergies) and our residential partner (Summerfuel) will assist in addressing these concerns.
Tufts University takes the safety of its students very seriously. More information can be found on each program page and the Campus Safety page.
Regardless of the program, all of our classroom courses take place on Tufts’ campuses (with the exception of any course-sponsored field trips). All instructors of programs or courses that are open to high school students and program staff who will spend significant time with high school students must have a recent CORI check on file to participate in the program.
Our residential programs maintain strict chaperone and RA to student ratios of 1:10 and provide ample training to ensure students remain safe during the program.
High school students are welcome to take online courses either as a part of Summer Session for High Schoolers or Tufts College Experience – however, the format for taking your online course differs depending on which program you choose:
If you are a student who only wants to take a course or two without having to come onto campus, you should register for the online course of your choice via Summer Session for High Schoolers! You can take an online course from anywhere in the world – provided you have a reliable internet connection. Online courses are still high-engagement courses that will allow you greater flexibility within your summer schedule.
If you are interested in an online course but would like to have the experience of living on campus, you should register for the Tufts College Experience. Within the Tufts College Experience program, you will take two courses – and one of both of them can be online courses. While online courses will not involve attending a lecture in a classroom, your time to engage in the course will still be structured as a part of the Tufts College Experience. For more information on the Tufts College Experience schedule, please click here.
All residential programs will receive an email in May with the packing list for the program. Program-specific supply lists will be sent out in May as well.
Please note: for students enrolled in Summer Session for High Schoolers or Tufts College Experience, there may be textbooks required for the courses you will be taking at Tufts. Textbooks are not included in the price of the program and can be purchased at the Tufts Bookstore upon arrival on campus.
Tufts’ Medford / Somerville campus is easily accessible by the MBTA subway and bus system. The Davis Square/Tufts University stop on the Red Line is a short walk away. Also, many bus routes connect Tufts directly to locations such as Medford, Somerville, Arlington, Cambridge, Harvard Square, and Lechmere. Commuter train connections are at Porter Square, South Station, West Medford, and North Station.
Visit the MBTA website for more on public transportation to and from Tufts.
Boston Fine Arts Campus (SMFA at Tufts)
We are a 5 minute walk to the Green Line "E" Train stop "Museum of Fine Arts".
Visit the MBTA website for more on public transportation to and from Tufts.
Absence from class is not permitted. It is our expectation that students will attend every meeting of their course or program.