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10 Tufts Summer Programs for High School Students

Located in Medford, Massachusetts, Tufts University has consistently upheld its reputation as one of the nation's most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Its commitment to fostering intellectual curiosity, promoting social engagement, and encouraging global perspectives makes Tufts an ideal destination for you if you’re looking to enrich your educational experiences. One opportunity that you should definitely take advantage of at Tufts University is their Summer Programs for High School Students. These pre-college courses not only offer a glimpse into the world-class education Tufts provides but also serve as a stepping stone toward a brighter academic future.


Participating in Tufts University's Summer Programs for High School Students can be a transformative experience for you. Beyond the invaluable knowledge and skills gained in these courses, the experience also carries significant weight on college applications.


Additionally, the exposure to college-level coursework and the opportunity to engage with peers from diverse backgrounds can shape your readiness for the challenges of higher education, making you a more appealing candidate for admissions committees. 


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500, Materials fee: $200

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: Session 1: July 7 – 19, 2024 and Session 2: July 21 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Engineering with Artificial Intelligence Summer Program allows you to dive into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This program is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of AI and ML, coupled with the tools and skills needed to become active participants in this rapidly evolving field. The program's curriculum revolves around four essential initiatives, ensuring that participants are not only well-informed but also ethically responsible and hands-on practitioners in the realm of AI and ML.


You will be introduced to the historical context of AI and ML, gaining a mathematical and algorithmic understanding of these transformative technologies. This initial phase lays the groundwork for a deeper exploration of AI's potential and limitations. You will also have the opportunity to witness AI and ML in action, both within Tufts University and in industry settings. Exposure to cutting-edge implementations of these technologies allows you to see firsthand how AI and ML are shaping various industries, from healthcare to finance. 


The program also fosters critical thinking by engaging you in debates and discussions about the ethical and societal impact of AI and ML. You will explore the roles and responsibilities of developers in thoughtfully implementing new systems, considering the ethical implications of AI-driven decision-making and the potential for bias in algorithms. Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with university instructors and students, immersing yourself in Tufts University's academic environment and research facilities. By the conclusion of the program, you not only possess a deep appreciation for the capabilities of AI but will also have developed your own implemented solutions to pressing problems using artificial intelligence. 


Location: Tufts Medford Campus and Virtual

Cost: On Campus: $5,500 and Virtual $3,800

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: On-Campus: July 7 – 19, 2024 and Virtual: July 28 – August 9, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 


Tufts University's Leadership for Social Change offers two distinct options: an on-campus version and a digital version, providing flexibility for students to participate in a way that suits their needs and circumstances. The digital version, in particular, leverages a variety of digital platforms to emphasize the interconnectedness of societies globally, fostering a sense of mutual interdependence among participants from around the world. Over the course of two weeks, this program unites students, equipping them with the essential skills, resiliency strategies, and civic knowledge needed to foster connections, work collaboratively, and emerge as change agents who inspire others.


Both the on-campus and digital versions of the program share a common goal: to introduce participants to new areas of academic exploration that are crucial for addressing the complex social issues of our time. These areas include educational inequities and neighborhood segregation, environmental justice and community health, public policy and government, as well as grassroots social movements. Through expert-led workshops, interactive discussions, and hands-on activities, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of these critical topics. You will explore the root causes of social injustices, develop critical thinking skills, and learn how to create meaningful change within their communities.


The Leadership for Social Change program at Tufts University goes beyond traditional classroom learning by emphasizing experiential education and practical application. You are encouraged to collaborate on projects and initiatives that tackle real-world social issues, enabling them to develop leadership skills and a strong sense of social responsibility.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 21 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 11-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts International Relations program not only provides you with a glimpse into the academic rigor of Tufts University but also lets you dive into the world of international relations. Over the course of two intensive weeks, you will embark on a transformative journey that encompasses a comprehensive study of international relations, earning college credit, and developing essential skills for their future endeavors.


At the heart of the program are interactive seminars led by experts in the field, where you engage in critical analyses of current global events and explore theoretical frameworks that underpin the study of international relations. These seminars encourage you to think critically, debate global issues, and broaden your perspectives. In small, collaborative discussion sections, you interrogate key concepts and develop your communication skills—skills that are fundamental to success in the field of international affairs.


One distinctive aspect of this program is its emphasis on experiential learning. You are tasked with working in teams to navigate and resolve simulated crisis situations, providing you with valuable insights into the complexities of international diplomacy and conflict resolution. Furthermore, you gain access to Tufts University's extensive academic resources, including the Tisch Library, where you can conduct research under the guidance of advanced classroom assistants and a research librarian. This culminates in the creation of a college-level research paper, offering you a taste of the intellectual rigor and scholarly inquiry that define higher education.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $5,000, Residential: $6,750, Materials Fee: $200

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 7 – 26, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10 -12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


If you are an aspiring artist, the Tufts SMFA Studio Art program gives you the perfect opportunity to explore your creative potential in a stimulating and supportive environment. Over the program's duration, you will engage in a diverse range of foundation classes that encourage you to transcend traditional artistic boundaries. Led by a team of highly qualified artists and educators, you will receive expert instruction in various technical skills, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and animation. These classes empower you to develop your artistic abilities, enabling you to create a portfolio filled with complex and intentional works of art.


One of the program's unique features is the emphasis on critical engagement with art. Group critiques, guided by experienced instructors, provide you with valuable insights into your work and foster a collaborative atmosphere for artistic growth. Field trips to local museums and galleries offer inspiration and opportunities for you to contextualize your art within the broader artistic landscape. Moreover, the critical studies class encourages you to delve deeply into the meaning and significance of art in the real world, encouraging you to think critically about the role and impact of your creative endeavors. The program's dedication to introducing new materials and ideas, providing one-on-one guidance from faculty and staff, and offering portfolio reviews by SMFA admissions representatives ensures that you leave with not only enhanced technical skills but also a refined approach to artmaking and renewed creativity. Additionally, the exposure to different mediums, renowned art institutions in Boston, and insights into the life of a collegiate art student make this program an invaluable experience for those passionate about pursuing art at the next level.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $5,000, Residential: $6,500, Materials Fee: $100

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 7 – July 19, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 11-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Mini Med School: Careers in Medicine program is a great opportunity for you to study alongside faculty and experts from one of the nation's leading medical schools, Tufts University School of Medicine. Throughout the intensive program, you embark on a multifaceted journey into the world of medical sciences, gaining valuable insights into the rigors and intricacies of medical education and practice.


The curriculum of Mini Med School is thoughtfully structured to provide a holistic understanding of medical and health-related topics. Through engaging lectures, interactive medical case studies, and hands-on training, you begin to experience what it's like to study and work in the field of medicine. One of the program's highlights is the series of field trips to the Tufts Medical campus, where you visit the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center and engage in hands-on activities within the anatomy lab. These experiences offer a glimpse into the practical aspects of medical training and patient care. 


Mini Med School also places a special emphasis on two critical areas in medicine: infectious diseases and immunology. These topics are at the forefront of healthcare today, and you delve into them through in-depth study, including medical microbiology lab sessions and infectious disease-focused medical case studies. By exploring the importance of appropriate treatment and cutting-edge solutions being developed by researchers, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the field of medicine. Mini Med School goes beyond the classroom by facilitating question and answer sessions with admissions staff, medical doctors, professionals from various health-related fields, and current medical students. These interactions provide invaluable insights into medical school and the diverse career options available within the realm of medicine and health sciences.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 7 – July 19, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp will equip you with the skills and mindset needed to launch new ventures, whether they be startups, small businesses, or non-profit organizations. This bootcamp offers a hands-on Tufts experience, providing you with a unique opportunity to explore the world of innovation and business development.


One of the key highlights of this program is the opportunity for students to work closely with mentors who are drawn from the Tufts community, including current students and alumni. These mentors serve as valuable guides, offering insights into the entrepreneurship ecosystem at Tufts and connecting students with essential learning opportunities and resources. Throughout the bootcamp, you develop a comprehensive understanding of how to build a business case and create differentiating solutions. You also gain practical experience in crafting a go-to-market strategy and a sales plan, honing your skills in identifying target markets and effectively reaching customers. One of the program's most exciting aspects is the opportunity for you to pitch your original ideas to a range of stakeholders, including advisors, potential funders, investors, and even potential employers. This experience not only builds confidence but also prepares you to navigate the real-world challenges of entrepreneurship, where effective communication and pitching are crucial for success.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500, Materials Fee $200

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 7 – July 19, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Lab Science Investigations: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) program allows you to dive into the complex and pressing issue of AMR and antibiotic stewardship. The program's focus on AMR is particularly relevant, given the alarming statistics that underscore the severity of this global health challenge. With the potential for drug-resistant diseases to surpass major causes of human death, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, by 2050, the importance of addressing AMR cannot be overstated. As a student researcher in this program, you will have the unique privilege of immersing themselves in the world of AMR research, working towards a deeper understanding of the problem and its far-reaching implications.


What sets this program apart is its holistic approach to the issue of AMR, rooted in the One Health perspective, which recognizes the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment. As part of the STEM Research Institute, you will have the opportunity to engage with experts from a wide range of fields, gaining insights from engineers, social scientists, biomedical scientists, veterinarians, physicians, drug developers, epidemiologists, healthcare policy experts, and environmental scientists. Working together at the Tufts Levy Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR), you not only explore the scientific aspects of AMR but also gain a comprehensive view of the social, environmental, and policy dimensions that contribute to the issue. This program equips you with invaluable knowledge, skills, and a multifaceted perspective to tackle one of the most pressing global health challenges of our time.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500, Materials Fee $200

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 21 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Coding Academy will equip you with essential coding skills to tackle real-world problems. Regardless of the specific track chosen, you will leave this coding program with newfound enthusiasm for the limitless possibilities that the coding world offers and a robust coding portfolio. With a strong focus on Python, one of the most versatile and widely-used coding languages today, students gain proficiency in a language that underpins mobile apps, web and software development, and desktop graphic user interfaces (GUIs). As the demand for coding and programming skills continues to surge across industries, the skills that you will learn through this program are extremely useful.


What makes the Tufts Coding Academy truly exceptional is its holistic approach to coding education. In addition to daily coding lectures and hands-on training, the program offers a diverse range of faculty guest lectures. These sessions cover topics ranging from the history of programming to introductions to cutting-edge fields like AI, Robotics, and Cybersecurity. You not only gain a deeper understanding of computing and coding but also engage in daily coding, discussions, and skills-building sessions, both individually and in small group settings. The program's "Tech Treks" to leading technology-centric companies in the Boston area, such as Hubspot, Google, Ginkgo Bioworks, and Fidelity, provide you with a firsthand look at the vast array of careers in software and technology. Learning from industry experts, you not only develop in-demand programming skills but also hone essential soft skills required for successful collaboration and project development. The culmination of the program involves you showcasing your coding projects, developed in collaboration with their teams, offering a practical demonstration of the knowledge and skills they've acquired throughout the Tufts Coding Academy.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: Session 1: July 7 – 19, 2024 and Session 2: July 21 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Marketing Essentials program is a great way for you to explore the world of marketing. This program equips you with the foundational marketing concepts and strategies that are not only relevant to your daily lives but also invaluable for their future careers. Marketing is a versatile skill set that is applicable across various business and professional domains.


Throughout the program, you will gain a solid introduction to fundamental marketing concepts and hands-on experience in applying marketing tools and strategies. You will delve into the essence of marketing orientation and customer-focused approaches, recognizing the significance of understanding consumer behavior and market trends. From traditional marketing techniques to the dynamic realm of digital marketing, you explore a wide range of methods used by marketers to engage with audiences effectively.


What sets the Tufts Marketing Essentials program apart is its commitment to providing interactive workshops led by the same esteemed professors and thought leaders who instruct undergraduate and graduate students at Tufts University. This ensures that you will receive a high-quality education that mirrors the university's rigorous academic standards. Additionally, you will benefit from the mentorship of Tufts students and alumni who serve as guides to various marketing and entrepreneurship opportunities and resources available at the university. This immersive experience not only equips you with practical marketing skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of marketing's role in today's dynamic business landscape.


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 21 – August 2, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 10-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Climate Resilience Institute equips you with the knowledge, skills, and perspective needed to address pressing environmental challenges. Through an interdisciplinary case-study approach, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex interplay between social, ecological, and political factors in contemporary environmental issues. Experts from various fields guide you in exploring the principles and key concepts of environmental change and resilience. One of the program's highlights is the hands-on knowledge you acquire in techniques for environmental data collection, analysis, and visualization, empowering you to engage in evidence-based problem-solving.


The program's curriculum covers a wide range of critical topics, from resilient water infrastructure to climate activism and environmental justice. Through a series of socio-environmental field trips with Boston-area organizations, you actively participate in community responses to climate change. These experiences provide real-world insights and foster a sense of environmental stewardship and advocacy. In small teams, you undertake a research project, identifying a socio-environmental research question, collecting and analyzing data, and synthesizing their findings into a college-level capstone project. By the program's end, you not only gain a profound understanding of climate resilience but also develop practical skills and contribute to meaningful solutions. 



One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to dive into research in mechanical engineering, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.


Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 


Image Source: Tufts University logo

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