Discover new interests, pursue existing passions and create a summer to remember with students from around the world.

Session 1: July 01 - July 13, 2018
Session 2: July 15 - July 27, 2018
Both Sessions: July 01 - July 27, 2018
Program Fee:
One Session: $4,295
Both Sessions: $7,895
Campus Dormitory
Completing grades 9 - 12
Program Fee includes:

Tuition, room, 3 meals per day, 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.

Summerfuel Tufts encourages students to prepare intellectually and socially to pave the way for a succesful college career. Students experience college life just outside Boston on the campus of a top-ranked US university. The Tufts program is designed to encourage exploration and discovery with the option to take four courses and two workshops over a four-week period.  Courses are structured to require student involvement and participation.  Activities are customized based on student interest, insuring a highly personal experience.

Tufts enjoys a privileged location set high on a hill overlooking downtown Boston. At just five miles northwest of Boston, the Tufts campus is far enough so that it enjoys a relaxed campus environment yet close enough that the city and all of its resources are within reach.  The program offers an exciting experience for students who thrive in a supportive environment of curiosity, creativity and engagement. A summer at Tufts combines the benefits of easy access to the facilities of a top-ranked university with the excitement of city life.

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Alumni Testimonial

"Summerfuel allowed me to learn about and meet people from all
around the world. An entire college experience was given to me over
the course of the program; from the classes, to the new friends,
to sharing a dorm. My teachers inspired me to think and learn in a
new light.”

-- Michael G., Coral Gables FL



In the tradition of all Summerfuel Pre-College programs, a wide range of courses are available to encourage students to seek out new experiences.  Courses are seminar style with a highly interactive format. Curricula are designed to foster each student’s ability to think critically and independently and to write, reason and communicate clearly.


Davis Square forms the physical and cultural center for the small city of Somerville and Tufts’ off-campus life. The university community continues into downtown Somerville and the city of Medford creating a vibrant and stimulating home for the summer. The Square features numerous restaurants, shops and cafes, as well as the local T-stop, serving as your gateway to Boston and all that the city has to offer.


Spend the summer walking in the footsteps of America's founders, supporting Boston's legendary sports teams and hunting for the best clam chowder, or 'chowda' as a true Bostonian would say. Home to over 200,000 college students, Boston is a big city rife with American history, culture and good eats coupled with an easy, small-town charm.






Harleston Hall, formerly known as South Hall, is located on lower campus, quite close to basketball and tennis courts.  Harleston is also next to Aidekman Arts Center and Dewick-MacPhie Dining Hall. Rooms are mostly doubles and are furnished with extra long twin beds, desks, chairs and built-in closet.  


Campus Housing

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.

University Facilities

Students will have full access to the university’s facilities including the libraries, computer lab and student center.  Summerfuel 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.


Program fees include three meals per day. 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 Summerfuel of dietary needs during the application process.


Harleston Hall has 24-hour security, with separate electronic key access required for entry to the building and a physical key for your bedroom door. Tufts University security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance.  The Summerfuel Tuft’s program 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.

Sample Daily Schedule

08.30am • BREAKFAST
09.15am • MORNING SEMINAR (5x/wk)
12.00pm • LUNCH
02.00pm • WORKSHOP (2x/wk) / ACTIVITIES
04.30pm • AFTERNOON SEMINAR (4-5x/wk)
06.30pm • DINNER
07.00pm • FREE TIME


Students have full access to downtown Somerville, which is just steps away from the dorm and is full of student restaurants and shops. In addition, students will visit Boston at least twice weekly.


The Farmer’s Market

Every Wednesday, Davis Square plays host to the most varied and well-attended farmer’s market around. It’s a great spot to grab a fresh snack in between classes.

Johnny D’s

This jazz club in Davis Square is a legend, attracting both popular and up-and-coming acts, and offers great New Orleans grub to boot.

Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market

Historic buildings, myriad food choices and world-class street performances make this a delicious destination.

Newbury Street

This bustling street is packed with a wide range of mall favorites, specialty boutiques and designer outposts.

North End

Pasta and pastries rule the streets of this historic Italian neighborhood.

Boston Museums

Wander through the Museum of Fine Arts that boasts an impressive world-class collection; The Museum of Science that hosts a variety of interactive exhibits for curious minds; or, the New England Aquarium, home to hundreds of species of marine life.







At Summerfuel we believe learning should be inspiring and interactive. We design courses that reflect the strengths of the university and the greater Boston area in order to incorporate field trips, expert speakers and hands-on learning opportunities.  

Seminar Structure

All students select one morning (major) course and one afternoon (elective) course.  Morning courses meet five times per week and afternoon courses meet four or five times weekly. 

Courses are seminar style so participation and engagement is crucial.  Although course content will be challenging, homework is limited to ensure that students make the most of their experience at Tufts.  Course size will range from eight students per class to sixteen students per class depending on the discipline. 


Workshops are designed to be a more formal version of the extracurricular programming offered daily.  Workshops will meet five afternoons during each session.  Meeting times will vary depending on the focus of the workshop.  Fitness workshops are generally one and one half hours while community service or college admissions may sometimes be longer.  Workshops are led by Summerfuel team members with expertise in and a passion for the subject.


Courses are designed and taught by an accomplished and passionate faculty recruited from many area colleges, universities and professional forums.  Each faculty member is selected for their subject area expertise and ability to will both challenge and captivate students.  
Past Summerfuel faculty include:

Lauren Rollins
Lauren completed a BA in English and World Literature and a BA in Government and International Politics at George Mason University.  She then completed her MA at Georgetown University and her PhD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Lauren has been active as a Summerfuel faculty member and faculty recruitment director since summer 2013.

Michael Potts
Michael completed his Bacheler of Science at Brunel University, London.  He has since worked as a business analyst and consultant with a particular focus on business growth, team development, efficacy and lean manufacturing.  Michael has taught Entrepreneurship at Summerfuel since summer 2014.

Suggested Course Pairings

Pre-College programs are intentionally designed to encourage broad exploration and we encourage our students to pursue varied interests.  These pairings are offered based on student recommendations of complementary courses. 

Essay Writing | Journalism & Social Media

Law & Society | International Relations & Diplomacy

Medical Science | DNA & Molecular Biology 

Developmental Psych | Psychology of the Criminal Mind


Morning Seminars

Business, Law and Medicine


This course will first consider microeconomics, focusing on the economic activity of individual households and businesses. The second half of the course will explore macroeconomics, and will help students understand the rationale behind national and international economic policy.


In this course, students will learn about starting and managing a small business, from an independent bookstore to a financial consulting firm. They will study the basics of business management, but will also consider how 21st century tools like Facebook, Twitter and Groupon can help a start-up achieve enduring success. By the end of the program, students will have developed plans to start their own small business using 21st century resources.

Introduction to Medical Science

This interdisciplinary course will provide students with knowledge of various body systems including the endocrine system, the biology of mind, the microbial system and immune responses. Innovations in medical science along with current issues in the medical field will be incorporated in discussions.

Introduction to Finance

The language of finance is a universal and significant one. Learn the foundations of finance and how the flow of money relates to important social issues influencing our everyday lives. Examine the connections between local and global finance, and how this affects businesses, governments, and our own personal financial decisions.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Developmental Psychology

Examine behavior through the psychological theories of Freud, Skinner, Maslow, Erikson and Piaget. Critically consider the validity of these theories in light of your own experiences of intellectual and moral development, sensuality and sexuality, family and peer relationships, and coping with stress and problems in daily life. View films and read relevant articles that provide an applied understanding of developmental psychology.

Essay Writing

This course will explore the process of building an excellent essay by beginning with the pre-writing stage and continuing through all steps to a post-work revision. This course will provide preparation for both high school and college writing assignments. Enrollment is limited to enable faculty to provide ample feedback and guidance.

Problem Solving and Interior Design

Design of any kind involves critical thinking and problem solving. This course will give students the opportunity to learn the tools of interior design as they tackle design challenges and develop presentation techniques. Each session will be given a different challenge to address. Students will learn about design concepts, color schemes and furniture selection. Final design boards will be presented as part of the end of class project.

Introduction to Contemporary Art

Get a glimpse into the major artists, artworks, and artistic movements that have shaped the art world since 1945. Analyze a vast range of media, from painting and sculpture, to photography, video, and performance art. Explore everything from Abstract and Pop to Expressionist and Minimalist movements, while learning from authentic examples and participating in class discussions.

Criminal Justice and Corrections

How do we define and enforce the law today? This course provides an introduction and overview to the system of criminal justice operated in the U.S, as well as other cultures. Discuss and explore what constitutes crime, how society responds to it, and the development of policing, prosecution, and corrections.

Preparing for College

English as a Second Language

Designed for non-native speakers of English, this course will compliment immersion in an English language setting by providing structured support for students to improve their English reading, writing and spoken language skills. This class will provide a supportive environment question language usage and boost confidence.

SAT Preparation by the Princeton Review

With 18 hours of small-group instruction and individual consultation plus 3 full-length SAT diagnostics, the Princeton Review program will provide fully comprehensive preparation for the SAT. All students have an online Princeton Review account to review performance and continue practice. [Supplemental Fee]

Afternoon Seminars

Business, Law and Medicine

DNA, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have dramatically impacted our understanding of DNA and its value to individuals and the greater society. This course will introduce the concepts and techniques associated with DNA science and consider several of its varied applications. Students will gain experience as a scientist, practicing analysis and interpretation of experimental results. Discussion about the ethical, legal and social implications of DNA science will enhance our scientific discovery.

International Relations and Diplomacy

Explore international relations both as a theory and as events affecting the lives of ordinary people. This course will examine current events between nation states and the leaders making policy. Students will be challenged to think critically about all sides of the political spectrum and learn how nations use diplomacy to peacefully coexist. Short daily readings plus a short paper or presentation will be required.

Marketing in a Digital World

This course examines how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3D printing, are impacting the business world by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers. How are products promoted in a digital world? How are they being placed and distributed? How does the digital environment impact pricing? Course content will be built around active, project based learning and real business case studies.

Sports Business and Management

Sports play a significant role in many people’s lives across the globe. Get a glimpse into the field of sport management and career opportunities in the sport industry. Discover various sport principles and how they apply to administration, communication, motivation, and leadership style.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Journalism and Social Media

This course is designed to teach students the principles of Social Media in order to give them a clear understanding of how it is shaping the field of journalism. Together we will look at companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Vine to understand how they have spurred a rise in citizen journalism and forever changed the media landscape. Students will use social media tools to create a personal brand and focused content. They will be expected to post regularly and tweet to establish themselves as journalists in their chosen specialty area.

Psychology of the Criminal Mind

What drives people to commit crimes? Do offenders have a failed sense of morality, or is it a biologically hard wired, unstoppable urge? Investigate psychological phenomena such as "group think" and "de-individuation" as relates to environmental factors like poverty, drug use and social upbringing. Explore how mental illnesses like psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder can be a source of criminal behavior and study fascinating examples of how seemingly normal individuals commit serious and violent felonies.

Introduction to Nutrition

Ever wonder about the effects your food is having on your body and mind? Delve into the science of nutrition, and how to apply basic nutrition principles to everyday dietary practices. Investigate the relationship between diet and the processes of the body, as well as how food impacts emotional health. Explore concepts of digestion, absorption, energy, and much more.

Theater Acting

Do you hear the call of the stage? Learn the basic elements of stage craft in this hands-on course. Study plays as well as works on acting technique, and practice exercises to develop concentration and imagination, improvisations, and scene study.

Preparing for College

English Conversation

This course will focus on developing strong English conversation skills including speaking, listening and reading. Although primarily a conversation course, this course will also focus on listening, reading, and informal writing. Discussion based courses will be supplemented with listening dictation, and text exercises. Students will work in groups and pairs to perfect their speaking ability.

Writing the Personal Statement

This course is intended to introduce students to writing for the personal statement also known as the college admissions essay. Using personal reflection, writing prompts and peer critiques each student will develop a working outline of a personal statement based on a prompt from a college or university of choice. Students who continue work outside of class will develop their piece further but all students should expect to continue to rework their writing in the fall.

Workshop offerings


Leadership and Team Building

Participate in ropes courses and other adventure activities to promote increased self-awareness, enhanced self-confidence, trust, cooperation, team building and group problem solving skills.

Sports and Fitness

Do you love to play sports and get in a good afternoon workout? Spend your workshop afternoons engaging in different athletic challenges and competitions. We'll survey student interest and include various sporting activities to engage in. Likely to include basketball, tennis, soccer, running and use of the Tufts Campus fitness center.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Community Service

Learn more about the greater Tufts community by participating in area service projects. Hours spent will be recorded and all students will receive a certificate of service completed. Extremely limited enrollment due to limited summer service openings.


Spend your afternoons exploring campus and learning the art of photography with friends. Discover Medford through street portraits, self portraits, tableaux vivants and more. Bring your camera and your desire to discover. All levels welcome.

Public Speaking

Speaking in public is a valued and valuable skill in all professions. In this workshop, students will develop the ability to express themselves confidently and clearly through both extemporaneous speech, speech writing and performance. A fun, active workshop appropriate for everyone.

Dance Academy

What better way to get your body moving and let loose than with music and dancing? Explore a variety of dance styles and movement disciplines with easy-to-follow routines and choreography taught by an experienced and talented instructor. All levels are welcome.

Culture and Cuisine

Take a virtual trip around the world as you discover the vast array of gastronomical culture right in downtown Somerville. Visit various cafes and restaurants highlighting different cuisines, all while learning about the culture behind them. Come hungry and open-minded. Supplemental fee required.








Once classes are over, students enjoy a full and varied schedule of extracurricular activities to choose from. All trips and activities are included in the program fee, so students will never be at a loss for something to do.


Included Trips

Every weekend, we will take full advantage of all that greater New England has to offer and visit some of its most exciting destinations and attractions. All weekend excursions are included in the program fee.



Boston is a smaller city and is easily covered by foot.  The city wears its history quite proudly and walking old cobblestones streets reliving early stories of the US is an unforgettable experience.  Add varied and interesting museums (Isabella Gardner, the Science Museum and New England Aquarium) and it’s hard to find a richer experience. 

Six Flags New England

Experience the fun and thrills of New England's premier amusement park. Home to the best rollercoasters in New England, this site also includes a water park great for relief from the summer heat.

Improv Boston 

For over 30 years, ImprovBoston has been New England's leading theater and school dedicated to the art of comedy. Voted "Best of Boston" ImprovBoston alumni are featured on The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.

Beach Day

Summer is not complete without a trip to the beach. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire is not too far and offers a nice combination of sun, sand and the classic American boardwalk.

Red Sox Game

A visit to Fenway Park is fascinating even when the Red Sox aren’t playing.  When they are at home, the atmosphere at the game is dynamic and exhilarating.



Daily Activities

Summerfuel offers a wide range of activities each and every day at Tufts and around Medford/Somerville, all of which are included in the program fee.


Past favorites include:

Casino Night
The Summerfuel Olympics
Museum of Natural History
Design a Card
Bubble Soccer
Quad Kick-Ball
Lip Sync Battles
Ultimate Frisbee
Capture the Flag
Jewelry Making
Talent Night Coffee House
Murder Mystery Night
Water Balloon Fights





The safety and well being of our students is of paramount importance to us.  Each program will have two distinct specialist teams – one to manage residence life and one to manage academic success. 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 fifteen 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 Summerfuel students. 

This summer's team will be lead 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



Summerfuel 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.


Safety & Security

Tufts campus is considered very safe amongst US college campuses.  Located just five miles outside Boston, students will need to take normal precautions of people living near a large city but crime on campus is unusual.  Tufts University maintains its own police department and Tufts Emergency Medical Services provides medical aid to the university community 24 hours a day.   Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light system and dormitories require a fob for entry and a key for access to bathrooms and bedrooms.

Read our full code of conduct here