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 12 - July 24, 2020 | 2 Weeks
Welcome to Mini-Med School - 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 the world of virtual learning at Tufts. Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring a new exciting and rigorous academic experience to you in your home.
Think you want to be a doctor? This online summer intensive provides driven students the opportunity to work closely with medical students as they explore crucial facets of the medical school experience at one of the nation's leading medical schools - Tufts University School of Medicine. Through lectures and medical case studies coupled with a hands-on lab, students will begin to experience much of what it takes to study medical sciences. Question and answer sessions with admissions staff, medical doctors, doctors from other health professions, and medical students will help participants get a feel for medical school and the career options they have in medicine and related health sciences.
This summer will be a particularly fascinating time to study the field of medicine. While the pandemic will preclude us from a live look into hospitals and clinics, our 2020 Virtual Mini-Med School will have an emphasis on infectious diseases and immunology, with examples drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, students will learn about the challenges doctors face today in combating multi-drug resistance, and cutting-edge approaches researchers are developing in response.
This program is uniquely interdisciplinary in its One Health approach and is distinctive in its ability to draw on the stunning array of schools beyond the School of Medicine dedicated to the health science and medicine at Tufts University, including: the School of Dental Medicine, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Students will cap their experience by designing a "TED Talk" that connects the science of infectious diseases and immunology to a health topic of personal and societal significance. They will share their capstone projects with their program peers, medical student mentors, and program staff.
Tufts is not only a leading institution of higher education and academic research, but it is leading the nation in terms of higher education's response to our public health crisis by turning its campus into housing for healthcare workers and hospital patient overflow. Where better to study medicine this summer? Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience!
Need more information? Explore our content below, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our recorded video from the Mini-Med School Virtual Open House here!
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.
- Gain experience learning about infectious diseases and immunology from Medical Education specialists at Tufts University School of Medicine
- Career talks with medical professionals, veterinarians, and graduate students which will help you decide the right health profession for you
- Participate in a medical lab-based “case study” that explores the threat of antibiotic resistant infections
- Work closely with current medical students as you take on the challenges in the program, while learning about their paths to becoming a health professional
- Learn what undergraduate and medical school admissions committees are looking for in applicants
- Learn about infectious diseases and immunology - critical health topics important to all medical professionals
- Create a capstone project focused around a health issue of your choice
- Attend talks led by experts in medical, veterinary, and biomedical sciences
I literally have made really good friends from the town right next to mine and other friends from across the world. I feel like that is such a valuable thing because it helps me develop a more wide look at the world.
Courses and professors are great! They are kind, approachable, understanding, and helpful. I also love the lifestyle here. I love the library as there are many nice areas that motivate me to study. I have got many new experiences and perspectives about living and my interests.
It was the best summer I’ve ever had because of Tufts
It was nothing like I ever experienced. I grew so much
I experienced something new and met great people along the way.
I like the freedom and the fact that this felt a lot like college… Additionally, I was really fond of my classes and my professor. The classes were amazing and it was a new and better learning experience for me.
This is a program really treats you as an admitted college student, and if you want to know what's like to be a college student, how it feels to work with college professors, and what your interested area is specifically about, this is the perfect program you've been looking for.
A scintillating academic experience that I'm extremely lucky to have had.
The classes were great and teacher receptive, friendly, and provided excellent classes.
I loved everything. I loved the classes and my peers.
I really appreciated the smaller class sizes, the quality of the teaching staff, and the availability of parking!
I very truly enjoyed the class that I took. The instructor was amazing. My classmates were gifted. Taking the course persuaded me to begin working on my application materials to apply to a graduate certificate in UEP
As my first time taking an online college class, I really had a great time taking the course! [My professor] was understanding and super helpful when I had any questions. Also when I would email her she would always get back to me right away which I really loved… my experience was great!
Our program begins with a virtual orientation and welcome event on Sunday, July 12 at 5:00pm ET. During this required orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, meet your medical student Classroom Assistants (CA), and answer questions.
To address any technical issues in advance you will be given access to the summer program in Canvas (our online learning management platform) on Thursday July 9th along with a description of software to download. Staff will be available to address any issues and questions. By July 9th, you will also have received a set of materials from us in the mail (see details below).
This virtual program, has five major components:
- Mini-Med Course Experience: With an emphasis on infectious diseases (ID) and immunology, you will consider five critical questions, building on our renowned health sciences curriculum called The Great Diseases. Why should we care about ID? What does it mean to have an ID? When does a microbe become pathogenic? How do pathogens make us sick? And How do we get better? You will work closely with Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) faculty and medical students to explore real-time pressing ID topics, including examples drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mini-courses will consist of:
- Independent coursework - students will be able to review material posted to Canvas (a learning management system) on their own schedule
- Small group activities - live zoom sessions, ideally grouped by time zone
- Curriculum designed specifically for the program, based on The Great Diseases
- Lab-Based Medical Case: You will perform a multi-day lab called The Tragic Case of Stan using materials we will send to you (see "materials" below). Over a period of two weeks, you will be introduced to a fictional character, Stan, who will undergo a surgical procedure and face a complication as a result of a bacterial infection. To diagnose the cause of Stan's infection, you will perform various tests similar to those used in clinical settings. You will also tackle the challenge of selecting a treatment for Stan, examining the standard of care, as well as novel approaches to treating infections. Learn more here: The Tragic Case of Stan.
- You will step though the lab in small interactive sessions led by medical students, ideally grouped by time zone
- We will send you all that you need for the lab – an incubator, microbiology plates and lab books (see below)
- To take part in the lab you will be required to take and pass an online health and safety training. This is the same training that Tufts students must take to work with bacteria in a physical lab setting
- Lectures on Medical Topics: Faculty from Tufts Medical School and from health professions across fields will discuss their research. In most cases these will be large group lectures with a carefully planned opportunity for questions and answers. Although held live, they will be recorded and digital discussion boards will be available for students to post questions in advance if they are unable to attend live.
- Career Awareness: You will hear from real doctors, medical students, admissions staff, and those in other health professions about what it is like to be in their career or in their stage of career development. Ask questions and begin to envision yourself among them!
- Capstone Project: Beginning on the second day of the program, students will work in small groups with current medical students to create a TED style video that connects the science of infectious diseases and immunology to a health topic of personal and societal significance.
Finally, there will also be plenty of time for meeting your peers for networking and fun at informal lunch sessions with other high school students, medical students, and TUSM faculty and through the wide range of social activities we have planned!
Closing Event: TED Talks
At the end of the program, students will share their Capstone projects in a virtual showcase on July 24, 2020 at 10AM ET. Friends and family are welcome to view all presentations, and participate in the digital gala! All students will post their presentations prior to the event. The videos will be screened, and participants will be able to comment on various projects and ask questions in real-time. The top three videos will be selected and posted on the Tufts University School of Medicine Center for Science Education website.
Sample Student Schedule
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 the Tragic Case of Stan Kit. To make sure you have everything you need to complete your project, we will be mailing to you in advance of the program the following (you will attend a required virtual lab safety training to ensure you use these materials safely):
- Experimental reagents
- A mini-Incubator for the experiments
- A color printout of the lab book
You will also need to have the following materials in your home:
- 70% ethanol (available in your local drugstore)
Besides this and the technology 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.
Dr. Berri Jacque is an Associate Professor of Medical Education and teaches in a number of immunology courses at Tufts University School of Medicine. He directs The Great Diseases, which brings biomedical topics to high school classrooms. His current research focuses on designing and evaluating engaging health-science curricula, with the goal of increasing scientific and health literacy.
Dr. Carol Bascom-Slack, is an Assistant Research Professor of Medical Education with many years’ experience teaching general biology and microbiology at the undergraduate level. She directs the PARE project which engages undergraduates and high school students in the U.S. and around the world to crowdsource data on the Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistant microbes in the Environment. She serves on the executive committee for the Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance and her research includes the study of barriers and motivators for adoption of educational innovations by instructors and institutions.
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
Tufts Mini-Med School is expected to be a highly competitive program that fills up quickly. We highly recommend applying to as early as possible.
|Application Opens||Deadline: All Materials||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
- 1 year of biology strongly preferred
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)
- Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf.
- 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: Email or Mail your High School Transcript
After submitting your online application, you must contact your high school and ask them to send a transcript to us. They can send us this information in two ways: by email to email@example.com or by mail to Tufts Pre-College Programs, 108 Packard Ave, Medford, MA 02155.
Step 3: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation 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
- 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: $3,500
- Includes: all program activities, various materials for use in labs and skills-building activities, opening/closing events, 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
- 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.
Mini-Med Course Experience: This program component includes a combination of online lectures and materials that all students will review and complete at their own pace and live small group activities. Students will be placed in small groups based on geographic region and time zone and will schedule their meetings at a mutually-agreeable time (brokered by a CA), to the extent possible, with the goal that activities can be completed in real-time, together.
Lab-Based Medical Case: Students will be working through this lab in small, interactive sessions led by medical students. Students will be placed in small groups based on geographic region and time zone, as described in Mini-Med Course Experience above. Please note that anything you will need as a part of this lab will be sent to you (see the Materials section of the website for more information).
Lectures on Medical Topics and Career Awareness: These larger group lectures and career talks will be recorded and posted for students who are unable to attend live. Students unable to attend live will be able to submit questions and thoughts in advance through a digital discussion board.
Capstone Project: Students will work in small groups based on geographic region and time zone with a Medical Student to complete their capstone project.
Classroom Assistant Support: Classroom Assistants will be available in shifts (exact timing TBD) to assist students with questions in different time zones. We are hoping to hire Classroom Assistants located outside of ET to facilitate this.
Orientation: 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.
TED Talk 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 record their presentation in advance and see questions submitted from viewers.
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.