COVID-19 Update: Penn Summer staff are available online or by phone at (215) 898-7326. More Info & Resources >
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Pre-College Program

Pre-College Program

Summer Session I: May 24 - June 30, 2021
Summer Session II: July 1 - August 6, 2021

Applications are now open.

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Courses offered online

Courses offered online

Credit offered

Undergraduate credit offered

Eligibility 10-11th grade

Eligibility: Current 10th-11th grade students

International students

International students welcome

To keep our students safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Penn Arts and Sciences staff is dedicated to making our high-quality programs available this summer—completely online.

The Pre-College Program is designed for academically curious high school students interested in the intellectual challenge and residential freedom of a true undergraduate experience. Pre-College students reside in campus dorms and are enrolled in summer courses alongside Penn undergraduates. Our program offers undergraduate courses in a wide array of disciplines taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Academic advising, access to university learning resources, and college admission workshops are also provided.

Application deadline: May 1, 2021

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Earn college credit from an Ivy League university and take classes with Penn undergraduates!

Earn college credit from an Ivy League university and take classes with Penn undergraduates!


Explore exciting topics in college-level courses

Once accepted into the Pre-College Program, students work in consultation with a Penn academic advisor to select and enroll in one of four challenging curricula: 

  • One college-credit course (1 c.u.)* 
  • Biology 101 with lab (1.5 c.u.) 
  • Two college-credit courses (2 c.u.) 
  • Biology 101 with lab and a second college credit course (2.5 c.u.) 

Registration in a desired course is not guaranteed, and many courses fill up, so early application is strongly advised. Penn Summer undergraduate courses are typically smaller in size and taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Most classes meet two to five times weekly, Monday through Friday, and assign homework, research papers, midterms, and/or finals. Textbooks and additional course materials may be required for a class.  

View summer 2021 courses in the Pre-College Program course guide.

Earn academic credit from the University of Pennsylvania

Pre-College Program students are evaluated by the same academic standards and procedures as Penn undergraduates. Students earn one course unit (1 c.u., the equivalent of 4 college credit hours) for each course taken. Biology 101 counts as 1.5 c.u. due to the rigorous laboratory component. Upon successful completion of the program and all coursework within, students may request official transcripts from Penn’s Registrar (fee-based). Students planning to transfer these grades to their future undergraduate record or institution should be aware that transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the institution, including the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Penn’s transfer credit policies for pre-baccalaureate coursework

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.