General program questions
Only students attending the Pre-College and Young Scholars Program earn college credit and a corresponding University of Pennsylvania transcript.
Penn Summer High School Programs has partnered with Summer Discovery for over 10 years. Summer Discovery oversees all residential aspects of the summer programming, including student supervision, student activities, and ensuring the health and safety of all students throughout their stay on Penn’s campus. The University of Pennsylvania manages all academic programming, including the application process, advising, and course enrollment.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through the application deadline or until programs have reached full capacity. Admissions decisions will be posted to your online application account. You will receive an email notice when your admissions decision is available.
Once you have confirmed enrollment with Penn, you will receive an invoice outlining tuition and fees for your summer program. A financial deposit is the only way to formally reserve your spot within the program, so please follow the instructions included within the invoice to remit payment as soon as possible to guarantee your spot.
At this time, the University only provides scholarships to students from the School District of Philadelphia. All other students requiring financial assistance to attend a Penn summer program are encouraged to seek out external sources of funding from educational agencies or scholarship groups.
The application for international students is April 1 for the Pre-College Program. Most other programs have an application deadline of May 1. All application deadlines are available on our application page.
Non-native English speakers must submit a test score to verify English language proficiency unless they attend an English-medium school, in which case this requirement is waived. For the Pre-College and Young Scholars programs, a student must attend an English-medium school for 2+ years by the time of enrollment for the requirement to be waived. If scores are required, a TOEFL, IELTS, PSAT, SAT, or ACT score is accepted.
An F1 Student Visa is required only for the Pre-College Program. Please be aware that the Penn Summer Prep and Penn Summer Academy programs are taken on a non-credit basis and are therefore ineligible for student visa sponsorship through the University. International students wishing to enroll in these programs will need to secure the necessary tourist visa from their home country.
Once admitted, students work with an academic advisor to select courses. This happens once the student has submitted a course registration form.
Pre-College courses are undergraduate courses taught by University faculty. Program directors for the Summer Academies are faculty members supported by graduate assistants. Penn Summer Prep instructors are graduate teaching assistants in their respective fields.
Students apply to the program, not one specific course. Students are required to choose alternate courses when registering.
Because of COVID-19, the Penn Summer High School Programs were delivered entirely online during the summer of 2020. No decisions regarding delivery (on-campus or online) have been made yet about the summer of 2021.
Students live in one of Penn’s high-rise dormitories. These are centrally located on campus and within walking distance to all classrooms and dining halls.
Student health, safety, and security are our primary focus. All resident counselors are committed to the support and supervision of students. Our residence halls require electronic card access and a Penn ID. Daily sign-ins and room checks are maintained for student safety. Students are free to walk around campus and a ‘home area’ in small groups. If students have questions, resident counselors are on duty to help.
An opportunity to create your individual schedule is offered; however, coursework is the primary focus. Each day, students can choose from multiple activities and local trips. After class, students could visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, have cheesesteaks for dinner, go mini-golfing or play laser tag, experience a Philly bus tour, play trivia in the dorm, and much more. All-group activities include trips to the Ocean City, NJ, boardwalk and beach, a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, Hersheypark amusement park, New York City, and Washington, DC.
Please note: 2- and 3-week students participate in many, but not all, activities.
Penn housing does not permit students to arrive early or stay later in campus housing. You must arrive on arrival day and depart on departure day. (No exceptions.)
Students are permitted to be signed out overnight by individuals who are on their overnight visiting permission form (must be over the age of 28 years old), as long as the visit does not conflict with class and they do not have class the following day.