College credit courses
Once accepted into the Pre-College Program, students work in consultation with a Penn academic advisor to select one of three challenging curricula:
- One college-credit and one non-credit course (1 c.u.)*
- Biology 101 with lab (1.5 c.u.)
- Two college-credit courses (2 c.u.)
View 2017 course offerings in the Pre-College course guide.
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. Summer 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.
Registration in a desired course is not guaranteed, and many courses fill up, so early application is strongly advised.
Students enrolled in one college credit course must also enroll in a non-credit enrichment course designed to complement and enhance undergraduate study. Subjects of study may include critical reading and academic writing, online research techniques, community leadership, and SAT/ACT preparation. These courses are taught by learning specialists with extensive experience preparing students for the Ivy League. Enrichment courses typically meet four times weekly, Monday through Thursday. Students enrolled in two college courses are considered fully subscribed to academic work and will not be enrolled in a non-credit course.
Grades and evaluations
Students are evaluated by the same academic standards and procedures as Penn undergraduates. Upon successful completion of the program and all coursework within, students may request official transcripts from Penn’s Registrar (fee-based). Non-credit courses are not subject to credit or grading; however regular attendance and work is expected.
Students planning to transfer these credits to their future undergraduate record or institution should be aware that transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the institution. Learn more about Penn’s transfer and external credit policies.
The residential experience
The Pre-College Program offers a complete residential experience.
- Students live together in the heart of Penn’s campus in undergraduate dormitories
- Fully air-conditioned dorms feature study and social lounges, laundry facilities, vending machines and hi-speed internet access
- Single, double and triple occupancy rooms typically available
- Meal plan included
- Three meals Monday through Friday; two meals on Sundays
- Wide selection of dietary choices, including vegetarian and kosher options
|Health and safety
- Full-time support staff within the dorms
- All students assigned a Residential Counselor (RC) for mentorship and supervision
- Residential Counselors live in the dorms and are available 24/7 if needed
- Students provided access to Penn's Student Health Services for non-emergency care
- Evening and weekend activities that introduce scholars to student life at Penn and in the City of Philadelphia
- Weekend day trips have included: Washington, D.C., New York City, Hershey Park, King of Prussia Mall and the Jersey Shore
- Admissions workshops, study sessions and campus lecture series available
Get application information >