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Penn Summer High School Programs FAQ

General program questions

Only students attending the Pre-College and Young Scholars Program earn college credit and a corresponding University of Pennsylvania transcript.

For information on applications, courses, and payments, please contact the Penn Summer team at or Summer Discovery at

Penn Summer High School Programs has partnered with Summer Discovery for over 10 years. Summer Discovery oversees all community-building aspects of the summer programming, including student supervision, student activities, and ensuring the health and safety of all students throughout while participating in Penn’s online programs. 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.

International students

The application for international students is April 1 for the Pre-College Program. 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, Duolingo English Test (DET), PSAT, SAT, or ACT score is accepted. Copies of score reports may be uploaded to the application system or emailed to as attachments. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT), or 600 (PBT). The IELTS score required for admissions consideration is a 7. The minimum Duolingo English Test (DET) score required for admission is 120.

An F1 Student Visa is required only for the Pre-College Program if the program is happening on campus. 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. No Visa is needed for any program if the program is running virtually.


Once admitted, students work with an academic advisor to select courses. This happens once the student has submitted a course registration form. Course registration starts on April 1st.

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.