UMass Boston

Upward Bound

Upward Bound

Upward Bound is an intensive, year-round college-preparatory program. 

Our mission is to assist low-income, first-generation college bound high school students in the successful completion of secondary education and prepare them academically and socially for enrollment and completion of higher education. This is accomplished by providing participants with rigorous and nurturing academic courses; tutoring services; college-preparatory workshops; academic, college, and financial aid advising; career exploration; leadership opportunities; and cultural enrichment. Upward Bound offers services to students through an after-school program and monthly cohort meetings at UMass Boston during the school year and a six-week residential academic program at a different college or university campus during the summer.

About the Program

Since 1966, the UMass Boston Upward Bound Program has enjoyed continuous funding, making it one of the oldest existing Upward Bound programs in the country. We work with over 120 high school students each year enrolled at four high schools in the Boston Public Schools system: Jeremiah E. Burke, Excel, Madison Park, and Dearborn STEM Academy. Understanding the financial needs of our target population, Upward Bound provides students with a small monthly stipend during the academic year and the summer session. On average, 98 percent of the program's graduates are accepted to at least one postsecondary educational institution annually.

Our students attend our residential academic program during the summer and engage in programming after-school and monthly cohort meetings during the school year.

Summer Program

The Upward Bound academic residential summer program is an intensive six week endeavor which gives all Upward Bound students a chance to experience college life while learning relevant, hands-on material in their daily courses. All students take four academic classes in English, Math, Science, and an elective course in world language or skill-building (Financial or Media Literacy). After classes, students have a chance to finish all their homework with the help of tutors during our supervised study hall period. In the afternoon, students participate in a variety of physical activities. We have access to basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, soccer fields, and a dance studio and students engage in many activities including yoga, football, basketball, soccer, frisbee, improvisation, and playground games. In the evenings, students participate in cultural/creative arts workshops. Workshop options include:  cooking, digital yearbook, socially conscious hip hop, nature activities, dance, theater, journalism, community activism and more. We offer a series of fun and educational field trips throughout the summer. We also offer a variety of social activities each week, including Field Day, Spirit Week, Trivia Competitions, Dances, Karaoke, Open Mic, Kickball Games, Cookouts, and Talent Shows. All students live with a roommate of their choice and eat their meals in a dining hall.

Six Reasons to Attend Upward Bound Six Week Residential Summer Program:

  1.     Relevant, Hands-on Learning
  2.     Experience "Dorm Life"
  3.     College Counselling
  4.     Academic Edge over Your Peers
  5.     Workshops, Sports, & Field Trips
  6.     Independence!

Academic Year

During the academic year students participate in a minimum of four hours of tutoring per week. Our tutors are current college students or recent grads, who support the high school youth both academically and through social mentorship. Students also participate in a monthly cohort meeting, during which they are able to form close bonds with peers at their grade level and engage with content relevant to youth at their age. Additionally students have the opportunity participate in day field trips like ice skating and laser tag, attend overnight tours like the New England Student Leadership Conference, and visit colleges both in state and out of state. In the students' junior and senior years, they work closely with the college counselor to plan their postsecondary future.

If you have a question or want to make a comment, email the Upward Bound Program

Office Location

Upward Bound Program
McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 704
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125-3393
Phone: 617-287-5845