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’s 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 re-entry 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.

Associate’s Degree in the Liberal Arts: Bunker Hill Community College issues the degree to those students who successfully complete the 23-course program over the course of 3 years at MCI-Concord.

Bachelor’s Degree: All courses offered in the associates degree programming at MCI-Concord simultaneously meet all but one of the foundation and distribution requirements for the bachelor’s degree from Tufts University. Students who complete the associate’s degree are thus prepared to continue to complete the bachelor’s from Tufts, though currently admission to Tufts is only offered to formerly incarcerated students who go through a successful application process.

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

Learn more about our program from the below 2019 video that features the voices of program participants and partners.

Our Students

Twenty-six students were selected for the program at MCI-Concord through an admissions process run by a team from Tufts and Bunker Hill Community College. Applicants with a high school diploma or equivalency wrote letters, sat for diagnostic exams in textual analysis and math, presented themselves in interviews with members of the faculty and administration. All students met the criteria for entering an associate’s 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

Our Faculty

Professors from various schools, departments, and disciplines at Tufts currently make up the faculty for all TUPIT programs. All courses are set up well in advance, and Tufts and Bunker Hill Community College faculty members interested in possibly teaching in the future are invited to contact TUPIT well in advance of any particular teaching semester. Faculty members from Tufts’ professional schools are especially encouraged to propose courses that may be adapted in consultation with TUPIT for the undergraduate incarcerated population.

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, during and right after 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: tupit@tufts.edu

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.

10/04/2019 – Medford/Somerville, Mass. – The Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College (TUPIT) held its second symposium, titled “Engaging Justice: Inside/Outside Prison.” on October 4, 2019. (Matthew Healey for Tufts University)

The students were fantastic in the things that each of them brought. Heather Nathans, Chair, Department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, Tufts University.