EXCITING NEWS: Our Application Deadline has been extended to June 1st! Admission is rolling, don't miss out, apply for one of our Summer Pre-College Programs Today!
July 13 - July 31, 2020 | 3 Weeks
Welcome to the SMFA Studio Art Intensive - Virtual! All of Tufts University's world-class academic courses and programs began operating virtually in March 2020 and, as such, we are excited to welcome you to this new world of virtual learning. Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring the exciting and rigorous academic experience of our SMFA Studio Art intensive safely to you in your home.
This summer will be a particularly fascinating time to study art. In times of crisis, we all turn to art for consolation, hope, and solace. With our SMFA Studio Art – Virtual intensive, you will grow as an artist by developing your portfolio, starting with an idea and working directly with SMFA’s teaching artists and admissions team online! This three-week online portfolio development program will include interactive lectures on contemporary, interdisciplinary art; studio art assignments with one-on-one instructor critiques; webinar and Q+A session with the SMFA admissions team, and the opportunity to connect with an online community of fellow artist-students! After just 3 weeks, participants will add up to 6 polished works to their college admissions portfolio; critiqued by their peers, instructor mentors and reviewed by SMFA admissions professionals.
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
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 medium by combining and transforming materials in order to communicate something new and meaningful?
- What ideas are important to me and how can I best communicate them?
- Expand your art practice with the introduction of new artistic disciplines, materials, and ideas, all from your own home
- Develop your portfolio of work through mentor-supported studio sessions and one-on-one virtual critiques from your SMFA at Tufts faculty, peers, and SMFA Admissions professionals
- Refine your approach to making art by working on projects developed by SMFA summer faculty
- Experience some of the world’s greatest art museums through curated virtual tours of museums led by your instructional teams, right from your home
- Collaborate with other young artists from all over the world to make work that is meaningful to you and to begin to experience what life as an art student might be like!
- Growth in a variety of artistic disciplines and media contextualized in art’s social role
- An admissions portfolio including up to 6 polished works
- Experience curating a portfolio for a critique by peers, faculty, and admissions teams
- Enhanced understanding of life as a college-level art student
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
This program provided me with the skills, techniques and advice any young artist needs in order to create their own artistic identity.
In three weeks, I learned how to use different mediums in ways that I normally wouldn’t think of. I learned to expand the types of art I created. I took away valuable information not only about creating art for my personal enjoyment, but also about how to build a strong portfolio for college applications.
I absolutely adored the studio time and I also loved my time in the 2D and 3D classes as the teachers had such an excited attitude towards teaching the us new skills and challenging us.
The program provided an environment for students to create their own work while still challenging them to learn new skills.
The teachers were great. Very supportive and gave a lot of technical information that she found helpful.
Nice combination of coursework, explorations, meeting other students and getting to know Tufts
The program is a great way to be exposed to interdisciplinary art and find different mediums to try in a new environment. I would also say it’s a great way to get to know Tufts and all it has to offer, especially to students who are interested in a wide variety of things.
SMFA Pre-College is an interdisciplinary program that teaches you a whole ton of things in a short amount of time. It can change your way of thinking and of seeing the world.
The people and teachers were great! And I also learned a lot about art and the different forms.
I loved being pushed to explore different art forms while having the option to create what I wanted to. There was enough structure in the program to teach us new things, but there was also an ample amount of free studio time for us to work independently. I think that I left this program with much more passion for art and a curiosity to further develop skills in using other media.
Our program begins with a required orientation and welcome event at 5pm ET on Sunday, July 12 held via Zoom. During this required first whole-group meeting, we will review the overall program schedule, introduce the online learning tools we will be using, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions.
Foundations Classes: Drawing and Painting, Sculpture/3D, and Digital Media
During the three weeks of the program, students will participate in three foundations classes 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. Students will attend online lectures via Zoom and work on projects with support and feedback from their instructors and classmates.
Students will have the chance to work one-on-one with summer program faculty to help develop their portfolios. They will also have individual meetings with members of the SMFA at Tufts admissions team to answer questions about building a portfolio and putting together college applications. To further strengthen their portfolio, students will receive instruction around creating artist statements. These meetings will occur via Zoom and Canvas.
Artist Talks and Virtual Museum Tours
In tandem with their core foundations classes, students will have the opportunity to attend virtual artist talks by members of the SMFA community. They will also get to explore local art institutions through virtual museum tours and online exhibits! While the talks and trips will be held live, they will be recorded for students who cannot attend in real time. These students will have the opportunity to ask questions via a digital discussion board before-hand so they can participate in full!
While students will be participating in the program from all over the world, there will be many opportunities for students to connect! Work time will occur alongside virtual small group ‘studio space’ that will allow students to engage with one another and their mentors and staff as they work. There will be several other scheduled digital events, such as virtual group lunches, for students to participate in so that they can develop their connection with one another and support each other’s art making.
Closing Event: Final Exhibition
On the last day of the program, students will participate in a virtual final exhibition that will give them the chance to share their finished work with fellow students. Family and friends will be invited to join the online experience as well!
Sample Student Schedule (Weekly)
Please note: the below is a sample schedule based on information at this time, considering an individual student attending the program scheduling independent work / recorded sessions in particular time slots. The schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list to be as meaningful as possible for our students and will look different for students choosing to attend live or independent work / recorded sessions differently. All times are in EASTERN TIME (please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" section below for concerns regarding those not in ET).Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students even if a meal is stated on the schedule - this is for demonstration only. Activities may occur during meal times.
A critical part of this experience is material experimentation. To make sure you have everything you need to complete your projects and participate actively in class, you will be receiving a detailed materials shopping list prior to the start of the program. All materials needed will be listed with links to online ordering. Please note that normally, we would provide these materials for you and we have eliminated the materials fee we previously charge to acknowledge this. The cost of all materials will not exceed the previous materials fee of $200.
In addition to purchased materials, you will have the chance to work with materials that you already have or with which you have been hoping to experiment. We want your work to be personal. You will have the chance to connect with instructors if questions about materials arise.
Besides this and the technical requirements listed under “Technical Needs & Support” below, no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs materials and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Note: if you live internationally, we are not responsible if the materials we mail are delayed (which we will try to avoid) or held in customs.
Ashley Wood is an artist and educator who has worked as a visual arts instructor, art education advocate, and arts program coordinator. As a writer and photographer, she is interested in making work that addresses the inadequacy of words and images to tangibly represent feelings, people, and places. Ashley earned her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston and Tufts University, and currently works full-time as a high school visual arts and humanities teacher at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA.
Janet Sartor has a background and years of experience in arts and higher education administration. She earned a BFA, with a specialization in metals, and a MA in Italian Literature at the University of Oregon, as well as spending a year in Florence, Italy, studying art conservation at Palazzo Spinelli. As a compulsive maker, she continues to work with metals, gems and fibers whenever she can find time outside of work to create; she also enjoys reading and creative writing as time allows. Having worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard Art Museums and Lesley University College of Art and Design, before coming to the SMFA, she has put her education and passions to good use as an administrator in support of the arts.
Sarah Biggers is a higher education professional with expertise in non-traditional and continuing education programming. Sarah joined the SMFA team at Tufts in February 2020, previously representing Wentworth Institute of Technology’s evening, online and hybrid programs for non-traditional learners. Sarah is passionate about college access and is energized by the opportunity the SMFA Pre-College program provides to aspiring artists and future art majors alike. Sarah earned her BA in Psychology from Stonehill College and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University.
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Application Materials & Deadlines
|Application Opens||Deadline: Application||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
|December 1||June 1||May 15||June 15|
*Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
- Entering high school grades 10-12 *or* a Spring 2020 high school graduate
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- Program preferences (e.g., whether you would like to be a residential or commuter student)
- List of any art classes taken (none necessary)
- Short interest statement (max 200 words) - What are your goals for attending a Pre-College Studio Art Intensive this summer?
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Parental Consent
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for a parent/guardian. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 business days of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: 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 reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat; this program requires a deposit within 10 business days of the date on which the admissions decision was posted
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Tuition & Fees
Virtual Program Fee: $4,200
- Includes: all program activities, opening/closing events, and daily activities.
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550, applied to the Program Fee
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program within 10 business days of admission to the program
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
If you have been admitted to the program, we will be updating the fees posted to your student account over the next several days. The Program Fee balance associated with your Residential or Commuter tuition will be removed and your new Virtual Program Fee balance will be added. Please do not be alarmed if you see any anomalies, they will be resolved.
If you have already paid program fees in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, the balance will be available to you as a refund. Please see the "Refund Policies" page for more details.
If you received a financial aid award, in excess of the new Virtual Program Fee, your award will be adjusted downward such that your total payments and waivers do not exceed the total new Virtual Program Fee and will not be available to you as a refund. This will allow us to make financial aid awards to more students.
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.
Each of the programs offering financial aid in this way offers a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need.
- Fall: we will distribute any available aid in August
- Spring: we will distribute any available aid in December
- Summer: we will typically distribute two awards in February and will continue to issue awards once a month in March and April, until all available funds have been distributed
- International students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc.
- This program is not available for Tuition Remission or Reimbursement
- Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
- Upon admission into the program, you will be prompted to submit the Admission Agreement Form in your student portal. Indicate that you are interested in being considered for financial aid.
- After submission, you will have the option of completing a financial aid application in your student portal
- We will review your financial aid application. Your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
- If you receive an award,
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award Form and submitting your deposit
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
- If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle for the program term in which you are applying, unless funds are no longer available.
- Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
- Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
- Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
As we are learning from this period of quarantine, virtual interaction can approximate, but rarely replaces in-person interaction. With that said, technology offers us with tremendous opportunities to facilitate various kinds of social interaction that allow us to instantly connect students from around the world in the environments in which they thrive. We will be hosting a variety of virtual social experiences for students to interact with each other within their program and across programs! We firmly believe your ability to make new friends from around the world will not be hindered by the virtual environment!
Technical Needs & Support
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software: programs capable of
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software will include Zoom and Canvas.
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Here is our tentative schedule to-date:
- Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast! Tentatively scheduled for M / W / F 8-8:45am ET
- Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion every Tuesday 12-12:45pm ET. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
- Trivia Night: Thursday nights at 9PM ET are for trivia! Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition. Students who cannot play live will be able to form teams and submit their answers (timed!) digitally in advance. We will be keeping a running scoreboard across teams throughout the summer!
- Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes, offered Saturdays at 9AM ET. These will be recorded so you can attend them later as well.
- Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer.
And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!
Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Attending Outside the Eastern Time Zone
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in this program. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in the program will be able to attend - whether in live or recorded sessions. We have done our best to note places where we feel there is an incremental benefit to live attendance and will be focusing our efforts on these parts of the schedule. All of the below is tentative and subject to change as we seek improved ways of our students needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students.
Students should always feel free to get in touch with program staff at any point to let us know how we can best accommodate the challenges of distance learning and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate where possible.
Orientation: The SMFA pre-college team will host two orientations to suit the time-zones of our students. These will be held live via Zoom and recorded and posted to Canvas. We do strongly encourage all students to try to attend live. Students will be required to watch the orientation even if they do not attend live and will need to complete a short quiz about covered contents.
Studio Art Lectures: Lectures for each of the three studio art classes will be conducted live from *10:00 am-12:00 pm ET. These lectures will also be recorded and accessible to those who were not able to attend live.
Instructor Q+A sessions: Instructors will be available for questions and individual conferencing after lectures from *1:00 pm-5:00 pm ET. This will allow students to schedule check-ins for times that best suit their needs. There is also always the opportunity to reach instructors through the online learning system messaging function.
Independent studio work time: Schedule your work time on projects around your day! Depending on your location, you may want to work before or after check-ins with your instructors and mentors. You will also have the chance to login to a "Studio Space" video chat to work alongside your fellow artist classmates at any time of the day!
Mentor Meetings: Mentor meetings will be individually scheduled with each students to suit their time-zone needs.
Final Showcase: Will be held live via Zoom and recorded and posted to Canvas. We do strongly encourage all students to try to attend live. For students that are unable to attend live, they will be able to upload their gallery in advance and see questions submitted from viewers to a digital discussion board.
Social Activities: We will be offering virtual social activities at different times throughout the day or night (to the extent possible) so that students from across time zones will be able to participate! Some activities, like our virtual board games, will be played throughout the program - with moves made by players and teams when they can check in.