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About the Program

Summer Academy

Summer Academy students working on a chair project in the BAC studios

Summer Academy has been part of the BAC curriculum since 1973; this year, we celebrated our 40th summer!  Our design exploration program is open to all high school students entering grades 10 and above. High school students attending Summer Academy during the month of July work in small studio teams building design skills in freehand sketching, perspective drawing and collage, model-making, mapping and diagramming as they explore creative solutions to architectural problems at the scale of the body, the building and the city. Summer Academy studio leaders and lead faculty are emerging design professionals and advanced graduate students from Boston area design schools including Boston Architectural College, Harvard Graduate School of Design, MIT, Northeastern University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. They bring a broad range of experience, skill and enthusiasm for design teaching and learning to our program. The program director is a design practitioner and educator with over fifteen years of university and design college teaching and program management experience, including work on many community design projects with high school students.

Our staff is highly collaborative and inventive. We all love to make things, observe and question the quirky and inspiring details that make Boston such a wonderful city and to work with student designers to build critical thinking and design skills. We encourage students to talk to each other, think, draw, experiment and assemble a wide range of materials to create new and compelling visions for the future of our built environment. Everyone is challenged to think critically and communicate their creative design ideas to others. Basic design principles and design thinking are used to come up with solutions to architectural and environmental design problems. By making physical models, ideas are tested and teamwork is encouraged. During the course of the month, Summer Academy students expand their understanding of the impact of design around them and build a body of knowledge about the ways design can change communities and improve lives. As a student in the program, you will leave Summer Academy with a clearer sense of the design professions, projects that can strengthen a portfolio of creative work that may be a required or supplementary part of your college applications and new skills in design thinking that are applicable to many problems and types of work you may encounter whether you choose to concentrate in a design field or another area of study. 

2014 Summer Academy Program  

Dates: 4 Week Program, June 30th - July 25th 

Program Hours:  9:00am to 1:00pm, Monday - Friday with an extended day option on Wednesdays until 4:00pm. (The BAC is closed Friday, July 4th, for the holiday.)

Students planning to stay for the optional Wednesday extended day will have a one hour lunch break and are welcome to bring lunch or buy lunch at one of the many Newbury and Boylston Street eateries. Wednesday extended day projects include photography, digital modeling and free-hand drawing workshops as well on-site installation projects and field trips. 

Admission & Registration: Current high school students entering grades 10 and above are welcome to apply to Summer Academy. (Current 9th graders through current seniors ) Summer Academy  students are accepted through a rolling admission process; enrollment is first-come, first-served. To apply, you must submit the BAC Summer Academy Registration Form and a letter of recommendation on school letterhead from a teacher or guidance counselor at your high school. Please click on the Registration Form link at the top of this page for a copy of the program application.  2014 Summer Academy registration forms can be found here and through the BAC's Professional+Continuing Education office. Please call 617-585-0101 or e-mail: summer @the-bac.edu

Tuition: $1,950.  All materials and supplies included. 

Scholarship Opportunities: A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available based on financial need as well as through the Robert Houseman and the Richard Kirkham Fund, a gift to the BAC, established to promote diversity in the design professions. Students who qualify are encouraged to apply. Please click on the Scholarship Application link for scholarship applications and more information about scholarship opportunities. Applicants for either or both scholarships must respond to the essay question on the application, include a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor and complete both the BAC Summer Academy Registration Form and a Scholarship Application. Students applying for scholarships do not need to submit tuition payment with their registration.  Once scholarships are awarded in late March, the tuition balance, if you receive a partial scholarship, will be due.

Scholarship Deadline: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Design Studio 2: Students who have completed BAC Summer Academy during a past summer and are looking to build upon their previous experiences are welcome to join Studio 2 to explore new design processes and concepts. Please use the Summer Academy Registration Form and designate the Design Studio 2 program.

International Students and Residency for Students: BAC Summer Academy does not offer residency or meal plan options. Families of international students and other students from beyond the greater Boston area are responsible for student living arrangements. Please contact us via e-mail at summer@the-bac.edu or by phone at +1-617-585-0101 with questions or to receive an International Student application.

Information Sessions: The BAC hosts Summer Academy Information Sessions in November, February, March and later in the spring. Students and their families are invited to join us to learn more about Summer Academy and also to take part in design workshops and informal discussions about paths to design school and pre-college planning. The next Summer Academy Information Session will be held on April 17. Check this site for more information on upcoming dates and topics.

Local Transportation: Field trip transportation via the T during program hours is provided, but transportation to and from the BAC is the responsibility of the student. Student-rate T passes are available to students enrolled in Summer Academy. The BAC is easily accessible to the T subway, commuter rail and bus lines. We are located in Boston's Back Bay on the corner of Hereford and Newbury, near the Hynes, Prudential and Back Bay T stations. Public transportation information can be found by visiting the MBTA website.

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