Location: Tufts University
Medford / Somerville Campus
Eligible Students: Entering grades 11-12 and must be at least 15 by program start
Credit: Tufts Credit
Housing: Tufts dormitory with air conditioning
Supervision: Full-time support staff 1:10 RA ratio
Program Fee: $10,000
Financial Aid: Details forthcoming
Applications Open: December 1st, 2017
Applications Close: May 1st, 2018
Application Requirements (core):
Academic transcript and history
1 letter of recommendation
Course preferences
Optional: standardized test scores

Program fee includes:
Tuition, room, 3 meals per day (brunch / dinner on Sundays), use of select campus facilities, included excursions and daily activities, bed linens, pillow and towels, 24-hour residential care and support, staff accompanied airport transfer during specified windows.

Not Included:
Airfare/transportation to and from home city, courses and activities shown to have an extra fee, laundry, spending money, souvenirs, meals eaten away from program, airport transfers outside of specified windows, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, medical and dental expenses and any non-program-related transportation needs.

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 College Experience

July 1st – August 10th 2018
6 weeks. Tufts Credit Option.

Get a taste of what it is like to study at Tufts University and try-out life as a college student! Enroll in Tufts Undergraduate courses and / or in one of four college-level courses designed specifically for high school students. This program is designed to mirror the Undergraduate experience, allowing highly motivated students to select their own course schedule and mix college-level study with fun activities and the opportunity to build college and life skills.

Just five miles northwest of Boston, Tufts University’s Medford / Somerville tranquil campus sits on a hill overlooking the city. Tufts’ location offers the optimal combination of a relaxed and safe campus environment that is close enough to the city that everything Boston has to offer is at the fingertips of Tufts’ students.

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

Program Highlights:

  • Top-ranked University just minutes from Boston
  • Earn college credit in 40+ Undergraduate-level courses, most taught by Tufts faculty
  • Get help with Standardized Test Prep or College Essay Writing
  • Attend our hallmark College Prep 101 Workshop that
    • Teaches students the skills they need to succeed in college (and life) and
    • Explores some of our country’s leading Universities through Admissions Tours (e.g., Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Northeastern, Brown, etc.)
  • Have fun on weekend field trips, afternoon ice cream socials, and so much more!
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world!

Program Outcomes:

  • Excellent academic experience
  • Tufts college credit for two courses (if credit is selected)
  • Official Tufts transcript upon request
  • Enhanced understanding of studying and life at college
  • Skills to navigate the Undergraduate experience

Please note, planning for Summer 2018 has only just begun and details are subject to change.

Want to enroll as a commuter student? Learn more.

Not for you?

Are you a commuter who just wants to take a course or two rather than participate in a whole program? If so, check out our Summer Session for High Schoolers option.

Do you need a shorter program? Try our Pre-College Intensives or Studio Art Workshops.

Program Structure

The Tufts College Experience is designed to reflect the typical experience a Tufts student might have during their Freshman year of college. Students have the opportunity to build their own course schedule to meet their summer learning objectives! Our program balances the rigorous academic courses, most taught by real Tufts faculty, with expert-led workshops, and field trips designed to take advantage of the Boston area.

Each day from Monday to Thursday is structured into three blocks: Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. Within each block students have the option of taking a course (students must take 2) or having “Free Time”; meals, workshops, and other activities are offered throughout the day. Once a student has set his / her schedule, attendance at each event on that schedule will be mandatory, including all meals.

Courses: Tufts offers courses for every student! Students may choose from ~40 courses offered in ~25 departments in Arts & Sciences and Engineering. Students may choose from a selection of Undergraduate courses (in which students will be mixed with real Tufts Undergraduates) or college-level courses designed for high school students. Courses must be taken for Tufts credit.

  • See our Summer 2018 TCE Course List here!
  • The program application will ask students to select their top 6 course choices and our Pre-College team will place students into classes based on availability (just like real Undergraduates!), working with students as needed to create the optimal experience

Pre-College Workshops: Workshops are offered in the afternoon from M-Th. Students may opt to take a workshops instead of Free Time as their schedules permit. Although they do not offer credit, students register for and attend workshops like any other course. See a list of our workshops here.

Free Time: “Free Time” allows students to practice good time management while giving flexibility to socialize and have fun! Students may study, socialize, explore Davis Square, go to the gym, or enjoy the sunshine. Students must use the buddy system and check-in with staff during this time. Note: safety measures like check-ins and supervision will be in-place; efforts are made to enable student independence in the context of a safe environment.

Fridays are “College Prep” days. Each Friday morning, students will attend our hallmark College Prep 101 workshop during which students will explore topics like career / major planning, interview skills, resume building, and library research with real Undergraduate students and field experts. Each afternoon, students will take attend a college tour and admissions session at one of the many leading Universities in the Boston area. Explore a selection of: Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Brown, etc.

Saturday and Sunday are FUNdays, with downtime and fieldtrips to Boston, museums, historic sites, or 6 Flags, baseball games, improve shows and more. See the Activities section below for more information.

Want to enroll as a commuter student? Learn more.

Sample Student Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
/ Sunday
7am - 9am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Homework,
and Fun
9am - 10:45am Free time Free time Free time Free time College Prep Workshop
10:45am - 12:30pm Course Grp A Course Grp A Course Grp A Course Grp A College tours and visits
12pm - 1pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1pm - 5pm Free time Free time + Workshops Free time Free time + Workshops
5pm - 7pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
6:30pm - 9:30pm Course Grp C Free time Course Grp C Free time Evening activities Evening activities
10pm Quiet Time Quiet Time Quiet Time Quiet Time

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 is not.

Daily activities 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.

Student Life

We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student life experience, from our dorms 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.

Take a Tufts Virtual Tour

Want to enroll as a commuter student? Learn more.

Check-in and Orientation

Check-in and Orientation will be held on Sunday, July 1, 2018. All residential students are required to attend Orientation. Parents are welcome to attend as well! During Orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Afterwards, room assignments will be distributed and students will meet their RAs and Roommates. 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 6 weeks living in on-campus in one of Tufts Undergraduate dorms: Harleston Hall! 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, 24/7 security and hospitality is available, and accessible rooms are available upon request.

Bedrooms will be singles or 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 program fees include three meals per day and brunch / dinner on Sundays. All meals on 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 and an organic salad bar. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off-site. Tufts dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.

University Facilities

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.

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.

In any type of health & wellness emergency, 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.


Harleston Hall 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 section below for additional information and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.

Safety & Security

The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance to us. Each staff member is carefully vetted using a written application, personal interview, professional reference check and required background check.

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 our Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts.

Meet George


Students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops 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 an area surrounding campus defined by the program director. 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.

Campus Safety

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 and residence halls require a current and valid Tufts ID card for entry and a mechanical key for access to bedrooms.

For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.


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