Penn Summer COVID-19 Update
Penn Summer staff are not onsite, but we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.
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Biomedical Research Academy

July 1 - July 23, 2021

Dates include move-in and move-out days (if needed).
Applications open on December 1, 2020.

Residential Commuter

Residential and commuter options (if in-person)

Non-credit program

Non-credit program


Eligibility: Current 9th-11th grade students

International students

International students welcome

Financial Aid

Financial aid for select Philadelphia students

The Biomedical Research Academy introduces the experimental basis of cellular, molecular, and genetic aspects of biology, focusing on relevance to diseases. Fusing live daily lectures, faculty research talks, and small group investigation into current research topics, students gain insight into the core of biomedical research—including experimental design, cutting-edge technologies, and recent advances in high-interest fields of research.

The Biomedical Research Academy has traditionally been an on-campus, in-person experience. Because of COVID-19, the program was delivered entirely online during the summer of 2020, with great success! No decisions regarding delivery (on-campus or online) have been made yet about the summer of 2021.

If you attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school, you may be eligible to attend a Penn Summer Academy free of charge with a Penn Summer Scholarship.

Get application information »


Lectures and discussions: Attend virtual classes that will meet via zoom from 12-1:30 p.m. EST where class discussions include conversations with scientists, clinicians, and faculty from the Department of Biology and Penn’s School of Medicine to learn about the research experts are performing at the bench and the solutions they’re seeking to apply at the bedside.

Experimental club: Discuss peer-reviewed research articles in critical depth in small group journal clubs, where lessons from lectures and discussions are applied to current biomedical research.  In addition, students will be led through an exploration of crucial research techniques that allow conclusions to be drawn about molecules we can't see (e.g., DNA).


  • One year of high school biology is required for application
  • One year of high school chemistry is strongly advised

Penn Summer online system requirements

We recommend that all operating systems, browsers, Flash, and other software be up to date before the start of each online class. Most courses use Canvas for assignments, discussion, and watching video, and synchronous sessions can happen in a variety of platforms. Students will receive all important information before the beginning of class. 

See more system requirements >


Program Director: Linda Robinson, PhD

Program Director: Linda Robinson, PhD
Dr. Robinson is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology and an Instructional Laboratory Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, where she designs teaching labs for and teaches some of the undergraduate biology courses. Dr. Robinson received her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis and has been teaching at Penn since 2000.