High School

Penn Summer Scholars Program

Penn Summer Scholars Program

The Penn Summer Scholars Program is a tuition-free opportunity for academically exceptional Philadelphia public and charter high school students to perform study beyond the level offered in high school and to gain a college experience through participation in a Penn Summer Academy.

Current academy offerings are the Biomedical Research Academy, the Experimental Physics Academy, the Chemistry Research Academy, the Mathematics Academy, the Neuroscience Research Academy, and the Social Justice Research Academy. Academies meet Monday through Friday, 9am – 4:30pm, and include guided laboratory or research work, guest lectures, discussion groups, and relevant field trips. Qualified students may participate free of charge and will be issued official PennCards, with benefits including access to campus libraries, computer labs, research facilities and resources typical of undergraduate students. In addition, lunch stipends will be provided.

Penn Summer Scholars Program


  • Current 9th, 10th, or 11th grade student
  • Philadelphia resident
  • Attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school
  • Receive Title I funding, as verified by school principal or administrator
  • Minimum 3.3 high school GPA
  • Well-written essays
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrated interest in an academic challenge
  • Biomedical applicants ONLY - Completed high school Biology
  • Chemistry applicants ONLY - Completed high school Chemistry
  • Mathematics applicants ONLY - Completed high school Agebra II
  • Neuroscience applicants ONLY - Completed high school Biology
  • Experimental Physics applicants ONLY – Completed high school Physics

Application Process

  • Submit an online application for the Penn Summer Academy of your choice. Follow the application instructions and requirements outlined on our Application Page.
    • When asked if you attend a School District of Philadelphia school, select 'Yes' to be considered for the scholarship.
    • To waive the application fee, email hsprogs@sas.upenn.edu (to the attention of Lauren More) before submitting your application. Please include a copy of your high school transcript, your full name, and the Summer Academy to which you are applying. We will respond with an application fee waiver code you may use to bypass the fee.
  • Applications will be reviewed in May; rolling admission does not apply for scholarship applicants.
  • Selected finalists will be invited to campus for an interview with program faculty and staff.
  • If admitted, you will receive a full tuition scholarship to attend a Penn Summer Academy as a commuting student.