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Urban Fellowship Students look at a scale module of skyscrapers while on a field trip to a firm.

Urban Design and Planning Pre-College Fellowship

Urban Design and Planning Pre-College Fellowship

Are you excited about how cities are created?

The Urban Design and Planning Pre-College Fellowship is for motivated high school-aged students interested in exploring careers in urban design and planning.

This summer Pre-College Fellowship provides students with a rigorous, in-depth introduction to these fields with leading professionals in the Boston area and beyond. Students examine how design and planning can contribute to addressing larger societal issues such as climate change, social justice, and human health through the Fellowship’s two components: the Summer Academy Program and the Urban Design & Planning Curriculum, including pre-professional and civic learning training.

The Fellowship Program is a fantastic opportunity for dedicated students to learn about:

  • Hands-on design skills
  • Applying design skills to the creation of neighborhoods and cities
  • How buildings and neighborhoods get built and how to influence their formation
  • How design can help address larger systems issues such as climate, justice, sustainability, and human health

Virtual Open House

Join us & learn more at the upcoming virtual open house:

Tuesday, February 13:  6PM EST
Wednesday, March 13: 6PM EDT
Tuesday, April 9:  6PM EDT

Program Details

Urban Fellowship Students working together on a large-scale block-building project.

Fellows enroll jointly in the Summer Academy Program plus the Urban Design and Planning Curriculum, which together support and enhance their learning and development. The Fellowship Program consists of two components:

  • Summer Academy Program:  This hands-on design program is designed for high school students who are curious about architecture, interior design, and landscape design.
  • Urban Design & Planning Pre-College Curriculum: This pre-professional training prepares students for urban planning and urban design professional practice. It is offered as additional ‘wrap around’ programming to the Summer Academy Program.

In addition to receiving all that Summer Academy Program offers, the Fellowship Program includes:

  • In-depth explorations of relevant design-planning foundations and topics
  • Lunch speaker series with leading practitioners in Boston and around the world
  • Field trips to firms, non-profits, and government entities
  • Civic service learning and leadership engagement within the City of Boston and beyond
  • Professional and career development exploration and preparation
  • Hands-on urban design project that includes creating virtual and digitally fabricated cityscape models
  • A final showcase where students present their urban design ideas to city representatives, Boston area design and planning professionals, along with BAC faculty during the last week of the program

During the Urban Design and Planning Curriculum, Fellows learn about:

  • Planning Foundations:
    • Urban design and planning foundations
    • City as a system
    • Housing, land use/real estate, transportation, economic development, and policy
  • Related themes/topics:
    • Climate change and resilience
    • Community-based planning and social justice
    • Green, ecological, and sustainable planning and design
    • Human health and wellbeing
    • Urban development processes and professions
  • Skills:
    • Professional development and career pathways
    • Digital mapping and GIS
    • Digital fabrication
    • Physical and virtual model building

Program Dates: June 24-August 9, 2024* 

Program Times: Monday-Friday from 10AM-4PM EDT 

Format: Students can only participate on-campus* for this module!

Tuition for Both Programs:
Base Price, credit bearing (6 college credits): $4,000 - Early bird discount: $3,600 (if students register by March 1, 2024)
Base Price, not for credit: $3,600 – Early bird discount: $3,200 (if students regsister by March 1, 2024)

Registration Deadline: June 3, 2024


*Due to the holiday, the BAC is closed July 4-5, 2024.

Who Is Eligible?

Urban Fellowship Students sit on the grass while listening to a lecture on a field trip.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural pilot program, which was created for City of Boston high school aged residents*, we are expanding the program and opening it to all eligible high school-aged students. This year the Urban Design & Planning Fellowship is open to any student* who:

  • Can attend daily in-person at the BAC (this program is not offered online or in a hybrid format)
  • Enrolls in both the Urban Design & Planning Fellowship and Summer Academy Programs
  • Is entering 9th -12th grade
  • Is excited about learning urban design and planning foundations and topics Can commit to attending the entire summer
    • Attendance is mandatory during the first week of the program. This is when students are introduced to the foundational material essential for the rest of the summer.
  • Returning City of Boston High School-aged 2022 Fellows are strongly encouraged to enroll in the program again!


*The BAC does not issue I-20s for a student visa for our summer program. Therefore, international students are not eligible for the Urban Design and Planning module.