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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Getting started for admitted high school students

Welcome to Penn Summer High School Programs, and congratulations on your acceptance!

Should you decide to join us this summer, the following list will guide you through the necessary steps to prepare for your Penn experience.

To accept our offer of admission, access the Decision Form located within your Penn Application Portal and answer a few short questions. Please enter your US social security number into the Decision Form, as this is a necessary field for the creation of your student record. If you are an international student or do not have a social security number, please leave the SSN field blank. Once you’ve submitted the Decision Form, you will be contacted by a member of our Student Records team with a Penn assigned number.

If you will not be enrolling with us this summer, access the Decision Form within your Application Portal and decline the offer of admission.

A PennKey is a username and password combination you create to access a variety of Penn online systems, including the University Wi-Fi, library resources, and transcripts, if applicable. You should receive a setup code necessary to create a PennKey within 5-7 days of submitting your Decision Form. The setup code is sent via email from and often ends up in junk or spam folders. A PennKey and password are VERY difficult to retrieve if lost, so please write them down somewhere.

Additional PennKey resources are available on the PennKey Support website.

All Penn summer high school students are required to set up a Penn School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) email address, as this is how instructors/faculty will communicate with you. A PennKey is required to set up an email address. To set up your email address, please visit: Getting Started with SAS Student Email

Once you have confirmed enrollment with Penn and Summer Discovery, you will receive an invoice outlining tuition and fees for your summer program. The initial invoice is issued by Summer Discovery. 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.

Credit Card payments may be submitted through our Secure Payment Portal.

Please be sure to choose the corresponding program and residential/commuter option. You can then choose to pay the deposit, remainder, or pay in full.

All students enrolled in the PreCollege Program or Penn Summer Prep Program will be contacted by an academic advisor to begin the process of registering for summer courses or modules. Only students who have submitted a deposit are eligible to register for classes or modules. As such, it is imperative students remit payment as soon as possible to ensure placement within their desired courses or modules.

  • Summer Academy program descriptions and sample syllabi are available on our website.
  • Pre-College Program courses may be found in the Pre College Course Guide. Summer course registration opens in late March. Shortly thereafter, you may confirm your course registration by logging into Penn InTouch, the University’s registration system, with your PennKey and password. Penn InTouch accounts should be updated within 7-10 days, so please be patient as content refreshes.
  • Penn Summer Prep Modules may be found in the Penn Summer Prep Module Guide. We continue to add to the roster throughout the spring, so please check the listings periodically for updates.

Campus residence details

Because of COVID-19, 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.

The University of Pennsylvania has contracted Summer Discovery Programs to aid in all residential and extracurricular portions of our summer high school programs. Summer Discovery provides residential staff for student supervision, schedules evening and weekend trips and activities, and ensures the health and safety of all students throughout their stay on Penn’s campus. Additionally, they handle many administrative details, including:

  • Invoicing
  • Housing
  • Health forms
  • Travel planning to and from campus
  • Activities and weekend day trips
  • Move-in/move out details

Partnering with Summer Discovery Programs ensures that Penn faculty and staff have full resources available to perfect the academic curricula of each program and to provide the most in-depth collegiate experience possible for our summer high school population. Penn maintains full control of program content and oversees the residential components by working closely with Summer Discovery staff throughout the year.

Summer Discovery will be in contact with families via email and phone to ensure timely submission of pre-arrival forms. They send pre-arrival information and onsite contact information to families. Their staff of fully screened counselors and directors reside in and supervise the dormitories at all times during the program dates.

Summer Discovery Programs can be reached at (516) 621-3939 or for any of the program topics mentioned above.


Students reside in one of our residence halls on Penn’s campus. The residence hall rooms are suite-style apartments that offer single and double room options with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and 24/7 security.


The student meal plan includes two meals a day while on campus. Breakfast and dinner are included Sunday to Friday with no meals provided on Saturday. Students typically eat lunch at one of the surrounding restaurants or food trucks on campus, and several grocery stores are located close to the residence halls.


Safety and supervision are the number one priority for our residential staff. Residential staff is available 8 a.m.-12 a.m. EST daily for any phone calls or emails. Staff is available 24/7 on campus for any questions, comments, or concerns.


Penn Summer High School Program has a no-tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, bullying or harassment, or shoplifting. If a student breaks one of the rules outlined in the Parent/Student Handbook, they will be removed from the program with no refund. All student dismal decisions are final.

Activities and events

Several extracurricular activities are offered to students in the late afternoon, evenings, and weekends. During the week, this includes local sightseeing, games, sports activities, and use of the student gym. Over the weekend, day trips are offered to sites like the New Jersey shore, New York City, Washington, DC, or local shopping. Students select the activities they wish to attend so they can prioritize their course work.

Student sign-in

Students are required to sign in to the residence hall each evening between 9-10:30 p.m. They are not allowed to leave the building after 10:30 p.m. but can order food to be delivered. Students may be signed out of the program for the weekend by a parent or guardian but must return on Sunday evening.

Arrival and departure

Summer Discovery provides airport transportation to and from Philadelphia International Airport or Amtrak’s 30th Street Station on arrival and departure days. Students receive a walking tour of campus, introduction to our staff, and icebreaker activities on arrival day.

Packing list

Students receive a full packing list in the spring with all necessary items listed for the summer ahead. Course instructors are in touch with students if there are any required course materials. Laptops or tablets are not required but recommended.