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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.

Check-in and Orientation

Check-in will begin in Medford at 9 AM on Sunday, July 7th. Students are welcome to arrive on campus and check in anytime between 9 AM and 5 PM. 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.

Residential students are required to attend Orientation, which will take place from 5-6 PM on July 7, at SMFA. 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.

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 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.

Residential Life

Residential Students will get the full Tufts University experience by spending three weeks living on the Tufts Medford campus in one of our undergraduate dorms. 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 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 in Medford. All meals on the Medford 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 gluten-free options, and an organic salad bar. While attending 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.

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.

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, and the computer lab.

Learn more about our studios resources

Health & Wellness

SMFA at 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 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. Commuter students are responsible for their own healthcare.

Safety & Security

The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance to us. Each staff member is carefully vetted through a written application, personal interview, professional reference check and mandatory 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 the Summerfuel Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts. Meet George

Supervision While on Medford/SMFA Campuses

Students are required to attend all classes in their program each day at SMFA and 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 in Medford, 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.


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.

For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

The Tufts dorms are 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.