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Neuroscience Research Academy

July 10 - July 30, 2022

Applications for 2022 summer programs are now open.

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in-person options

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 Neuroscience Research Academy explores the biological foundations of the brain, progressing from the cellular foundations of the neuron to an understanding of the sensory systems, and culminating with higher-order cognitive functions such as memory, emotion, and morality. Taught by members of Penn’s Biological Basis of Behavior program, the Neuroscience Academy introduces students to this cutting-edge field in both research and medicine, which has provided important insights into understanding the mind in both health and disease.

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 twice-daily lectures and conversations with Penn’s distinguished neuroscience faculty. Additionally, participate in a journal club to discuss peer-reviewed neuroscience literature and develop presentations on those papers, and take place in a neuroethics club to debate current ethical dilemmas within the neuroscience field. 

Lab activities: Participate in hands-on laboratory activities to gain an introduction to experimental techniques.

Applications outside the classroom: Further your understanding of the brain in a fun and educational setting with related films, discussions, and readings. Past trips have included visits to the Mütter Museum and the Franklin Institute. 

See this program's 2021 syllabus.

Prerequisites: One year of high school biology and one year of high school chemistry are required for application.


Program Director: Kristen Hipolit, PhD

Program Director: Kristen Hipolit, PhD
Dr. Hipolit is an Advanced Lecturer in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches freshmen writing seminars that are focused on neuroscience topics. For several years, she was also an instructor for Penn’s post-baccalaureate pre-health program, where she taught introduction to biology and cell biology and biochemistry courses. Dr. Hipolit received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and has been teaching at Penn since 2012.