Boston University Summer Journalism Institute

You have questions.

Click on the question to reveal our answers. If you need more information, email us at

The application comes in two parts. First, a student completes a short form asking for basic contact information and the desired session date, and submits a nonrefundable $25 fee.

After submitting this form and feed, students will receive an email with a link to the second half of the application. It asks for:

  • Additional application information;
  • Parent or guardian information;
  • School information, including names and emails of a journalism adviser and guidance counselor, if applicable; and
  • Supporting information in the form of PDFs or Word documents: a recent grade transcript, a brief recommendation letter from a teacher, and a letter by the student explaining his or her interest in journalism, 400 words maximum.

After submission, we notify all applicants within two weeks.

We will accept applications for Summer 2020 beginning in December 2019. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but applications must be received by June 1, 2020. Sessions can fill up, so we encourage you to start the application process early. 

No. We just need to get a sense of your grades. An unofficial transcript would be fine, including a photo of your recent report cards.

The focus of the journalism institute is on the core skills necessary for any kind of career path: television, radio, print or digital-first. Our instructors cover interview techniques, composing “lede” paragraphs, media ethics and more. We tour the studios of WGBH or WBUR, and schedule presentations by local television and radio producers and reporters.


We understand that it’s summer. Our program offers plenty of opportunity to have some fun, make new friends and explore the city of Boston.

Most extracurricular activities are scheduled in the evening. They include taking in a movie together, viewing exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, strolling the historic Freedom Trail, hanging out at Harvard Square, and shopping on Newbury Street.

We include unstructured time each day for students to complete reporting assignments or, if done, wander campus, exercise at the BU fitness center (for a fee), or grab a smoothie with new friends.

No. We request transcripts to gain a sense of you as a student. We weigh other factors, so we also ask for a recommendation letter from a teacher as well as a letter from the applicants explaining why they’re interested in journalism and writing. In reviewing applicants, we’re looking for students who are curious, self-motivated and eager to learn about what it takes to report the news.

Yes. Past seniors have found the experience prepares them for working on their college newspaper or radio station. The institute also is a great activity for recent high school graduates take a Gap Year before heading off the college.

Yes, we do. We provide scholarships or financial aid to individuals who demonstrate a financial need. In awarding scholarships, NECIR strongly considers students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, or who have overcome substantial educational or economic obstacles or personal adversity and come from diverse communities. Our organization also provides financial aid for U.S. high school students who demonstrate a financial need.

We have limited full-tuition scholarships available to Massachusetts students and students who live in the United States. To be considered for a full-tuition scholarships, students must:

  •  Submit their completed application for admissions (online application and upload their documents) by January 31, 2019. 
  • Request a scholarship application form by emailing Ermolande Jean-Simon at before January 31.

Applications of admissions received after January 31 will not be considered for the full-tuition scholarship round. 

For financial aid, students must:

  • Submit their completed application of admissions (online application and uploaded documents) by April 1, 2019.
  • Request a financial aid application form by emailing Ermolande Jean-Simon at before April 1, 2019.

Applications received after April 1, 2019, will not be considered for financial aid. If you request a financial aid application after April 1, 2019, you will not be considered for financial aid.

Once a student requests a financial aid application, they will have one week to submit:

  • Financial aid application;
  • Copy of your parents’/guardians’ filed and signed 2017 or 2018 federal income tax return (page 1 and 2); and
  • A letter stating your need, what other organizations or resources have you reached out to for assistance, and the amount you are able to pay towards tuition. For students applying for scholarships, please include in your letter how you meet the need for our scholarship requirements. 

No. If you live near Boston University, you can choose our commuter option. You’ll be expected to arrive at class by 9:30 each morning. Meals are not included. Commuter students are encouraged to join those living on campus for all evening and weekend activities but participation is optional.

Due to students arriving at different times from Logan Airport or one of the Boston bus and train stations, we do not provide transportation for students to Boston University.

Most students take a taxi, Uber or Lyft upon arrival, but they also take the T light rail to the Boston University East Campus stop on the green line. Some students coordinate their transportation with other incoming students via the Summer Journalism Institute Facebook page. (Contact us for details:

Please be aware of the airlines policies around unaccompanied minor. If you are a minor and the airline needs an adult present to meet you at the airport, you must contact our student programs manager ( immediately with flight details and to make arrangements.

Boston University staff will not accompany students to the airport or train station at the end of the session.

For more information, please contact us at

In collaboration with Sargent Choice Nutrition Center, Boston University Dining Services offers students with food-related medical conditions a variety of options to accommodate their needs while they are on campus.

For more information please refer to BU’s Sargent Choice Nutrition Center’s website :

Safety is our top priority. Evening and weekend time is filled with supervised activities. There are only a few hours of free time between the end of class and dinner each day (4-6 p.m.). We set strict limits on where students can walk to on or off-campus during that time. The Boston University police as well as Boston and Brookline police departments both regularly patrol the campus and surrounding neighborhoods. The dormitory where your child will be living is divided by gender with security guards stationed at the building entrance and ground floor elevators. Boys are not allowed in girls’ rooms and vice versa. There is a Resident Assistant as well as a counselor from our program on each floor housing our students. We will supply emergency contact information to students when they arrive. For more information please refer to the BU safety site:

  • All cancellation requests must be received in writing no less than 30 days prior to the first day of the workshop. Cancellation requests for the Boston University Summer Journalism Institute should be emailed to: Approved cancellation requests will receive a refund of the registration fee less a $700.00 cancellation fee.
  • We are unable to refund any registration fees fewer than 30 days prior to the institute’s session start date.
  • Failure to attend the institute session will result in forfeiture of the full registration fee.

The College of Communication reserves the right to cancel or reschedule the workshop due to low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the College of Communication. In this case, applicants are entitled to a full refund of the registration fee.

The College of Communication will advise applicants at the earliest opportunity of changes to the scheduled workshop dates. The College of Communication is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred as a result of cancelled programs.

Your extensive personalized edits helped me learn from my mistakes and find my writing style.
Thank you for taking the time to stay after class to talk to me about college and my future projects.
Not only am I interested in pursuing journalism in the future, but I have already emailed my teacher asking to take a much larger role in the newspaper next year.

Ready to make Boston your beat this summer?

Applications Open in December 2019