Expand your skills. Experience college life. Explore Boston.

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting presents a once-in-a-lifetime experience for high school students interested in journalism, communications or writing: the Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute at Boston University.


Now in its ninth summer, the Institute gives students ages 15 to 18 the opportunity to expand their skills, experience college life and explore Boston.

Each two-week session expands student skills through hands-on, real-life learning. Uniquely, we make the entire city of Boston the reporting beat. Guided by award-winning working journalists, students report and write on what’s happening in real time: government, business, sports, crime, courts, the arts and more. We expose students to techniques for hard core investigations, too.

The Institute also serves as an exploration of campus life. Students not commuting from home live in Boston University residence halls and eat at the student dining hall. Instructors use the same textbook from BU’s journalism fundamentals course, and give students the freedom to pursue their own stories.

We’ve made time for students to explore the city of Boston, its museums, its shopping and its history. Many students tour Boston University as well as nearby schools such as Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Tufts, Emerson, Northeastern and University of Massachusetts at Boston.

What to expect: Each day, five blocks.


Classroom starts each day with a review of journalism fundamentals in a collegiate format. Boston University’s core journalism textbook provides daily readings and writing assignments. Instructors cover: story ideas; sources and research; interviewing; writing leads; story structure; writing for broadcast and web; accuracy; libel; ethics; and more.

Newsroom divides students into reporter teams, each led by a professional journalist serving as their editor, to apply what they learn in the Classroom by covering real news events in the city of Boston. Students fan out in small groups for city council meetings, political rallies, sporting events, features or police reports. With guidance from their editor, students share interviews and research to each write their own stories for personal portfolios. In addition, editors start students on in-depth investigations suitable to be tailored to their high school newspapers.

Special block presents learning opportunities beyond the Classroom and Newsroom: screening of the Academy Award-winning movie, Spotlight; tour of the Boston Globe and local NPR affiliates; guest lecture from experts on the Freedom of Information Act and media law; college tours of Boston University and other nearby schools; visit to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston Common and baseball’s Fenway Park; group opportunities for community service; and more.

Free block gives students unstructured time to conduct interviews, write and revise story drafts, and catch up on their reading assignments for the next morning. It also gives students the chance to hit the university gym (fee applies), explore Boston (during day hours), wander campus with new friends, or simply relax.

Meals are served at the Boston University dining hall. Students residing on campus each receive a dining pass for 14 meals. Campus offers numerous other options, from Starbucks and Subway to only-in-Boston eateries and cafés.

Schedule (tentative)

Session 1: June 24 – July 5, 2019

Session 2: July 8 – 19, 2019

Session 3: July 22 – August 2, 2019

For all sessions, students move in the Sunday before classes begin. For example, Session 1 move-in is on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Bonus Session at Boston College: TBA 


Tuition + Fees: TBA

Room + Board: TBA


Application deadline – To find out more information about our program, click here to be redirected to our new website.



We are more than happy to discuss with you alternative ways to help you cover the cost for our program. Please contact our student program manager, Ermolande Jean-Simon by emailing her at studentprograms@necir.org.

Scholarships & Aid

Through The Thomas J. and Irene H. Giampietro Journalism Scholarship, NECIR offers a limited number of full-tuition and partial discounts for U.S. high school students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and/or who have overcome substantial educational or economic obstacles or personal adversity and for students with demonstrated financial need. The scholarship and financial aid are for Boston University sessions only.

For students interested in applying for financial aid/scholarship, please be aware that you will need to fill out a financial aid/scholarship application and the following information to be eligible for financial aid:

  • Copy of your parents’/guardians’ most recent federal income tax return, page 1 and 2 (with social security and bank account information blacked out);
  • A letter explaining your financial need and circumstances, how much you and your family will contribute towards tuition, and other organizations that you have contacted to assist you. Please also describe in detail how you meet the financial aid/scholarship requirements.

Financial aid and scholarship applications must be received by February 8, 2019. Once all applications for financial aid is received, we will email students within two weeks to inform our decision. Once a student/family accepts financial aid/scholarship, they must make a deposit within a week. Financial aid and scholarships only apply to tuition.


Your Questions

Find more information and answers to common questions about the program with our  frequently asked questions.




Hear what other students have said about their experience at the NECIR Pre-College Summer Journalism Institute.

Student Stories

Meet the Faculty

Read about our award-winning instructors and their impressive experience in the field of investigative journalism.

Instructor Bios