Young Scholars

Young Scholars Program

The University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies offers a special opportunity for academically exceptional local high school students to take college courses with Penn students and earn full college credit. Young Scholars can pursue their favorite discipline beyond the level offered in secondary schools, get a head start on their college requirements, or explore a brand new field that interests them.


The Young Scholars program is open to high school juniors and seniors. It is not designed for younger students or for students who have been admitted to Penn through the Early Decision option.

Our average applicant has:

  • At least a 3.3 G.P.A.
  • Scores in the 85th percentile or greater in all sections of their standardized tests (SAT, PSAT, ACT)
  • Writing that shows both technical skill and intellectual depth
  • Strong recommendations
  • A variety of extracurricular interests


Young Scholars can choose from a variety of courses at the undergraduate level offered by the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Topics offered include anthropology, economics, English, math, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, and many more. We encourage students to select courses based upon their interests rather than upon requirements or anticipated majors. We find that the students who fare best in our program are those who use this opportunity to expand and explore.

Enrollment is subject to the approval of the program director and registration in a desired course is not guaranteed. For the list of courses available to Young Scholars please view our online course guide. Complete course descriptions and meeting times are available by clicking on individual course titles.

Students who do not attend a City of Philadelphia Public High School may be able to take courses during the day through the undergraduate College. Please note that special permissions and increased fees are associated with this option.


Enrollment in the Young Scholars Program is limited. Some courses may have educational prerequisites or require placement testing.

Admission to the Young Scholars Program does not constitute admission to a full-time program at the University of Pennsylvania.

How To Apply

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed online application (link below)
  • A copy of your PSAT, SAT, or ACT score report
  • An official copy of your high school transcripts
  • Essay responses (questions listed below)
  • Two letters of recommendation

All documents may be mailed to:

Young Scholars Program
University of Pennsylvania
3440 Market Street
Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission: August 15
  • Spring Admission: December 15 
  • Summer Admission: May 1 

The Young Scholars Program is selective and limited in size. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all application materials arrive by the deadline. Applications are not considered until all materials have been received.

Online Application

Applications may only be submitted through our online application system. Click the button below to begin:

Apply Online

Application Essays

Please respond to the following questions. Number your essays clearly and upload responses together in one document using the upload button. Responses should not exceed two (2) pages in length for all the questions combined.;

  1. Have you ever been placed on probation, dismissed or suspended from any school, college, or university for reasons pertaining to academic integrity? If yes, please include any facts that you believe bear on the significance of this circumstance. If this does not apply, please write N/A in your response.
  2. Describe your recent educational history (past 3-4 years) and background, making sure to address whether your transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability. Feel free to describe any non-academic or extra-curricular experiences that you feel strengthen your application, such as: volunteer work, employment, sports teams, high school clubs, and/or travel.
  3. Briefly describe your academic and personal goals and explain how these will be furthered by study in the Young Scholars Program at Penn. Feel free to discuss a specific academic topic you enjoy studying and explain why it is of interest to you.


Fall and Spring tuition will not be charged for students who attend a City of Philadelphia Public High School or Charter High School. This offer is limited to one undergraduate level College of Liberal and Professional Studies course per semester. Summer tuition will be charged of all students.

Students who are home-schooled, enrolled in private schools, or enrolled in public schools other than those officially under the jurisdiction of the School District of Philadelphia will be billed for tuition in the same manner as all other Non-Degree Undergraduate Students at the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The rate of tuition is based upon the number of course units taken and the division of the University in which they are taken. Please click here for up-to-date information on tuition and fees.

All students (regardless of school district) are responsible for any other fees associated with attending the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. These fees may include books, laboratory fees, course materials, etc.

Request More Info

Please fill out the High School Student Information Form to receive more information on this program.

Contact Us

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Telephone: 215.898.7326
Fax: 215.573.2053
Visitors: Directions

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