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 eighth 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.

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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 tailor for their high school newspaper.

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, too, from Starbucks and Subway, to only-in-Boston eateries and cafés.


Session 1: June 25 – July 6, 2018

Session 2: July 9 – July 20, 2018

Session 3: July 23 – August 3, 2018

For all sessions, students move in the Sunday before classes begin. For example, Session 1 move-in is on Sunday, June 24.

Bonus Session at Boston College: July 2 to July 13


Tuition + Fees: $2,600

Room + Board: $900 est.

$400 discount if paid in full by February 28, 2018
$200 discount if paid in full by March 31, 2018
$800 nonrefundable deposit holds seat until May 31, 2018.

Boston College: Pricing TBD.

Scholarships & Aid

NECIR offers a limited number of full-tuition scholarships and partial discounts for U.S. students of color and for students with demonstrated financial need. Apply by January 31, 2017. Scholarships awarded by February 15, 2018. Boston University sessions only.