Degree Program

In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Correction, TUPIT provides college courses accredited by Tufts University and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) toward an associate degree in the liberal arts from BHCC. Most courses are offered at MCI-Concord, but all TUPIT courses enable our students inside to earn credits toward the degree at BHCC at no cost to students. Students participating in Tufts programming at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Suffolk County facilities, and the reentry programming offered at Tufts, also earn credits toward the BHCC degree. All courses are part of MassTransfer, which provides guaranteed admission to a state university or UMass to complete the junior and senior years—with no application fees or essays required.

If you are interested in teaching with TUPIT, please submit this form here.

If you are a Tufts student on the Medford or Boston campus, please visit this page here to get involved.

Associate Degree in the Liberal Arts: Bunker Hill Community College issues the associate degree (AA) to those students who successfully complete 61 credits (approximately 20 courses) over the course of 2 1/2 years at MCI-Concord. Courses are taught by Tufts University professors and cover a variety of disciplines. See Our Team for more information on our faculty and courses.

Bachelor’s Degree in Civic Studies: Most courses offered in the associate degree program simultaneously meet the foundation and distribution requirements for the bachelor’s degree (BA) from Tufts University. Students who complete the associate degree are thus prepared to continue to complete the bachelor’s from Tufts University. During the last semester of the AA, students will be invited to apply to Tufts University. Those students who are successful in gaining admission to the Tufts University bachelor’s degree in Civic Studies will go on to complete 2 more years of coursework. The BA requires the completion of 120 credits (approximately 40 courses) over 4.5 years.

Our Students

Students are selected for the degree program in the prison through an admissions process run by a team from Tufts University and Bunker Hill Community College. Applicants with a high school diploma or equivalency wrote letters, sat for diagnostic exams in textual analysis and math, and presented themselves in interviews with members of the faculty and administration. All students met the criteria for entering an associate degree program in the liberal arts, and all students demonstrated the capacity to succeed in Tufts University courses that fulfill the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

“Education has kindled a fire in me and allowed me to see myself in a way I couldn’t before this Tufts program began. I now have hope for my future… I can’t wait to see who I become.”

Nate, TUPIT student at MCI-Concord.

“People often think of prisons as being at the end of society. For me, because of the Tufts college program, prison was the beginning. A whole new world of literature and ideas opened up for me.”

Shane, TUPIT student at MCI-Concord.

Professors from various schools, departments, and disciplines at Tufts University and outside universities make up the faculty for all TUPIT programs. All courses are set up well in advance, and Tufts University and Bunker Hill Community College faculty members interested in teaching in the future are invited to contact TUPIT by filling out the form here.

Courses are selected based on program needs and faculty availability, expertise, and interests. Faculty who teach in this program receive a stipend, are responsible for traveling to and from the prison weekly, and must attend on-going group faculty training sessions before and during the teaching semester. Meet our Tufts faculty members.

All courses are planned at least one year in advance of teaching. Learn more by contacting us:

“I felt re-animated in the mission and vision of why I am a professor — why I engage in learning and teaching.”

Fernando Ona, Clinical Associate Professor, Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University.

“The students were fantastic in the things that each of them brought.”

Heather Nathans, Dean of Academic Affairs & Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, Tufts University.