The Pre-College Program is designed for rising juniors and seniors interested in the intellectual challenge and rigorous pace of a true undergraduate experience. Students enroll in one or two summer courses alongside Penn undergraduates. Our program offers more than thirty undergraduate courses in exciting disciplines taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Successful completion of courses will result in official academic credits and a Penn transcript. Academic advising, access to university learning resources, and college admission workshops are also provided.
Pre-College Students choose one of two challenging curricula:
Summer 2016 course listings will be available in January 2016. In the interim, view summer 2015 course offerings for an example of the types of courses we offer. Please note, some courses may have educational prerequisites or require placement testing.
Students select their college credit courses in consultation with the academic director, though registration in a desired course is not guaranteed. For complete course descriptions, including prerequisites and meeting times, see the Pre-College Course guide. Students must register, add, and drop courses through the Summer High School Programs office.
Students earn one course unit (1 CU, or the equivalent 4 college credit hours) for each course taken. Biology 101 counts as 1.5 CUs due to the rigorous laboratory component. Summer courses are typically smaller in size and taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Most classes assign homework, research papers, midterms, and/or finals. College credit classes meet 2 to 5 times weekly, Monday through Friday. Textbooks and additional course materials may be required for class.
Students in the Pre-College Program enrolled in one college course must also enroll in a non-credit enrichment course designed to complement and enhance undergraduate study. Courses may include public speaking, critical reading and academic writing, online research techniques, digital photography, community leadership, and SAT/ACT preparation. These courses are taught by learning specialists with extensive experience preparing students for Ivy League coursework. (Students enrolled in two college courses are considered fully subscribed to academic work and will not be enrolled in a non-credit course.) Enrichment courses meet four times weekly Monday through Thursday.
Students are evaluated by the same academic standards and procedures as undergraduate students. Completed college credit courses result in an official college grade. Upon completion of the program Pre-College students may request official transcripts from Penn’s Registrar (fee based). Non-credit courses are not subject to credit or grading; nonetheless, regular attendance and work is expected.