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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Neuroscience 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 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.

The Neuroscience Research Academy has traditionally been an on-campus, in-person experience. 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 classes and conversations with Penn’s distinguished neuroscience faculty and participate in a journal club to discuss and develop presentations on peer-reviewed neuroscience literature. 

Lab access: 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 and field trips. Past trips have included visits to the Mütter Museum and the Franklin Institute. 

See this program's 2019 syllabus (PDF).

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.