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Program Overview

Join our community of artists and makers and spend your summer building a portfolio of new and exciting artwork! In line with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University's (SMFA at Tufts) approach to interdisciplinary art making, the goal of the Pre-College Summer Studio Art Intensive program is to coach students through creating conceptually sophisticated artwork. As you learn to work with new materials and deepen your understanding of familiar mediums, you will make connections to bigger ideas.

Over the course of the program, you will participate in foundations classes that will blur the lines between disciplines. Taught by a team of qualified artists and educators, these classes will include instruction to technical skills such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital media. As you work on open-ended projects, you will build a portfolio of materially complex, intentional works of art.

In tandem with these foundations classes, additional programing including group critiques lead by instructors and visiting artists; field trips to local museums and galleries; and a Critical Studies class that will focus on analysis and the contextualization of art within the real world, will support you in thinking deeply about what it means to make art.

The program will take place at SMFA at Tufts, one of Tufts University’s treasures. SMFA's campus is located in the heart of Boston's Fenway neighborhood, allowing young artists easy access to the city and Boston’s many art destinations – the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the SoWa Art and Design District, and many galleries.

Residential students will have the opportunity to experience life on our beautiful Medford / Somerville campus just outside the city – a short 20-minute shuttle ride from SMFA at Tufts. Staying in our Medford / Somerville dorms will give students the opportunity to live, eat, and have fun with students from many pre-college programs while gaining access to the many amenities of our residential campus.

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

Over the course of three, students will explore the following questions:

  • How do artists examine, critique, and better the world around us?
  • How can art transcend medium by combining and transforming materials in order to communicate something new and meaningful?
  • What ideas are important to me and how can I best communicate them?

Program Highlights:

  • Work one-on-one with a faculty or graduate student mentor to develop your portfolio
  • Expand your art practice with the introduction of new materials and ideas
  • Refine your approach to making art and create in your own studio space
  • Collaborate with other young artists to make meaningful work
  • Live in the Tufts’ Medford campus dormitories and experience life as a SMFA student
  • Take advantage of visits to local museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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

Program Detail

Foundations Classes

Drawing and Painting, Sculpture/3D, and Digital Media

During the three weeks of the program, students will participate in three foundations classes that are geared towards instruction in drawing/painting, sculpture/3D, and digital media. Students will work with a range of materials from acrylic paints and charcoal to wire, found objects, and digital animation. These classes will help students build technical skills while supporting them in making connections across mediums. Each class will build towards a final project that allows students to use their learning to explore ideas and materials that interest them.

Critical Studies Class

This class will connect visiting artist talks, field trips, and other explorations of making art in the context of the real world. The Critical Studies class will introduce students to analysis and critique while supporting them in writing and thinking critically about art, including their own.

Portfolio Development

Students will have the chance to work one-on-one with summer program faculty mentors to help develop their portfolios. They will also have individual meetings and daily access to members of SMFA at Tufts' admissions team who are ready to answer questions about building a portfolio and putting together college applications.

Final Exhibit

On the last day of the program, students will participate in a final exhibition attended by family, friends, faculty and other members of SMFA at Tufts’ community. Students will have the chance to learn what it's like to work in exhibitions as they collaboratively curate and install the show.

Schedule

Sample student schedule is subject to change.

Sample Schedule

Time Block Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30am - 8:30am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Free Time Free Time
9:30am - 11:15am Foundations A Foundations A Foundations A Open Studios Foundations A
11:20am - 1:05pm Foundations B Foundations B Foundations B Foundations B
1:05pm - 1:55pm Lunch/Open Studio Lunch/Open Studio Lunch/Open Studio Lunch/Open Studio Lunch/Open Studio
1:55pm - 3:40pm Critical Studies Critical Studies Critical Studies Field Trip Critical Studies
3:45pm - 5:30pm Foundations C Foundations C Foundations C Foundations C
6:30pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner

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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 9:00am on Sunday, July 7. Students are welcome to arrive on campus and check in anytime between 9:00am and 5pm. 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 July 7 at SMFA. Transportation from the Medford/Somerville campus to SMFA’s Boston Fine Arts campus will be provided for residential students. 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 3 weeks living on the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus. 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, feature 24/7 security and hospitality, 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 the Summerfuel Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts.

Meet George

Dining

Residential program fees include three meals per day and brunch / dinner on Sundays. All meals on the Medford/Somerville 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. While at art classes at SMFA during the day, lunch and snacks will be provided. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off site. Tufts/SMFA 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 are not.

Activities on the Medford/Somerville campus 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.

Supervision

Students are required to attend all classes classes in their program each day at SMFA. Attendance is taken at each class and there will always be program staff present in the building to answer and assist with any requests. Once back on the Medford/Somerville campus (after classes) and on weekends, 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

The Tufts and SMFA campuses are 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 judgement 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. Each location 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. Emergency processes and protocol will be reviewed during orientation.

See our policies section for additional information and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.

For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

The residence 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.

See our policy section for additional information and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.

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Commuter Students

Commuting to the ProgramOrientationDining | Supervision | Campus Security

Commuting to the Program

We know that for some students, living on campus is not the best option. We still welcome you to our program! For commuter students, the program will begin at 5:00pm on July 7 at SMFA, 230 Fenway, Boston and end at 8:00pm on Friday, August 2 with a closing dinner at SMFA. Saturdays and Sundays are not considered program days and students are not expected on campus during these days.

During each day of the program, commuter students must arrive on campus at 8:45am at SMFA. Students must depart from campus by 6:00pm at the latest, though students may leave at the end of their afternoon sessions at 5:30pm. Students remaining on campus past 6:00pm or on non-program days will not be under the care of program staff (parents accept responsibility) except on the first Sunday and last Friday of the program, on which days the end of the opening / closing dinners (8:00pm) will be the official departure time for students.

Commuter students and their parents are responsible for ensuring their student travels to and from campus safely and on time each day. For detailed information about traveling to the Boston Fine Arts campus located at 230 Fenway, Boston, please see directions on our website.

Please note: commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on the Medford/Somerville campus. Breakfast and dinner are not provided for commuter students.

Orientation

All students are required to attend orientation, which will begin at 5:00pm on July 7 at SMFA, 230 Fenway, Boston. 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.

Dining

Commuter program fees include lunch and snacks each day of the program. Lunch is served on site at SMFA’s Fenway location. Tufts is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.

Supervision

Students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day. Attendance is taken at each class. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus during class time without the supervision of a staff member. Commuter students’ commute to campus and time before 8:45am or after 6:00pm 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

The Tufts and SMFA campuses 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 judgement 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. For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

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Life at Tufts

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

Student Life

We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at SMFA at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student-life experience, from our dorms (located on our Medford/Somerville campus) 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.

Learn more about the Boston Fine Arts campus.

University Facilities

Medford/Somerville Campus

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.

SMFA (Boston Fine arts Campus)

Students have access to supervised studios and resources including, the W.Van Alan Clark Library, the media stockroom (where you can borrow any equipment necessary for your art), the School Store, the computer lab. See more details about our studios.

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.

For health and wellness emergencies, 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.

Supervision

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 judgement 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. 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 & Admissions Document Deadline Payment Deadline Enrollment Forms Deadline
Studio Art at  SMFA at Tufts December 1 April 1 April 30 or upon enrollment thereafter June 15

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
Studio Art at  SMFA at Tufts Entering Grades 10-12

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 79 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 n/a n/a Transcript not required
  • List of any art classes taken (none necessary)
  • Short interest statement (max 200 words)**

**What are your goals for attending a Pre-College Studio Art Intensive this summer? (max 200 words)

Official High School Transcript (back to 9th grade)

Delivery options:

  • Mailed to:
    Tufts Pre-College Program
    Dowling Hall
    419 Boston Avenue
    Medford, MA 02155

  • Emailed: 
    By your high school to summer@tufts.edu

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: $6,000
Commuter rate: $4,800

Additional Information & Related Policy Information

  • 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 April 1, 2019
  • This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program

Health Insurance 2018: $282

Health Insurance 2019: TBD (Coverage dates: TBD)

  • All high school students enrolled in Tufts College Experience or Pre-College Intensives 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. We will 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

Process

  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 summer@tufts.edu.
    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. February: submit by February 21
      2. March: submit by March 24
      3. April: submit by April 24
  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 summer@tufts.edu.
    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, 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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Policies

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