Close Menu

Join our community of artists and makers and spend your summer building a portfolio of new and exciting artwork!

In line with SMFA at Tufts' approach to interdisciplinary art making, the goal of the Pre-College Intensive in Studio Art 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.

The information below reflects summer 2019 programming. For updates on tuition, deadlines, curriculum, housing and policies for the 2020 pre-college program, please continue to monitor this website.


2019 Pre-College Program Application Information

Program runs July 7-26, 2019
Residential and commuter options available

School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
Boston SMFA Campus

Eligible Students
Entering grades 10-12; residential students must be at least 15 by program start

Application Requirements

  • Art courses taken
  • Goal in attending
  • Optional: portfolio

Applications Close
April 1, 2019

Program Fee
Commuter Students - $4,800
Residential Students - $6,000
More details about the program fee and deposit can be found here.

Non-refundable Program Deposit
This deposit will be applied towards 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

Financial Aid
Limited scholarship funding is available.

Tufts Pre-College Programs

    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

    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 in 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 programming 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.

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

    • How do artists examine, critique, and better the world around us?
    • How can art transcend mediums by combining and transforming materials in order to communicate something new and meaningful?

    The program will take place at SMFA at Tufts, 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 – with a 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 other 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!

    2019 Curriculum & Schedule

    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 the 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.

    Sample Schedule

    (Subject to change)



    7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast Breakfast
    9:30 - 11:15 Foundations A Open Studios
    11:20 - 1:05 Foundations B Open Studios
    1:05 - 11:55 Lunch/Open Studio Lunch/Open Studio
    11:55 - 3:40 Critical Studies Field Trip
    3:45 - 5:30 Foundations C Field Trip
    6:30 Dinner Dinner

    Saturday and Sunday are free days.

    Note that breakfast and dinner are for residential students and will be served in the dining hall on the Medford campus. Lunch and snacks will be served at the SMFA campus for both residential and commuter students. Tufts will provide residential students shuttle transportation to/from the SMFA each day.

    Student Experiences

    Residential Student Experience

    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 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 Residential Student Experience

    Commuter Student Experience

    We know that for some students, living on campus is not the best option. We still welcome you to our program! For all students including commuter students, there will be an orientation from 5 to 6 pm July 7 at SMFA, 230 Fenway, Boston. The pre-college program ends at 8 pm on Friday, August 2 with a closing dinner at the 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 at SMFA campus at 8:45 am. Students must depart from campus by 6 pm. Students will have the option to sign up to stay working in their studios on several different days during the second and third weeks.

    Learn more about Commuter Student Experience


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