The Pre-College Program is designed for academically curious students interested in the intellectual challenge and residential freedom of a true undergraduate experience. Pre-College students reside in campus dorms, enroll in summer courses alongside Penn undergraduates, and receive college credit for coursework completed. Our program offers more than thirty undergraduate courses in exciting disciplines taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Academic advising, access to university learning resources, and college admission workshops are also provided.
Once accepted into the Pre-College Program, students work in consultation with a Penn academic advisor to select one of three challenging curricula:
For complete course descriptions see the Pre-College Course guide.
Students earn one course unit (1 CU, or the equivalent of 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 meet 2 to 5 times weekly, Monday through Friday, and assign homework, research papers, midterms, and/or finals. Textbooks and additional course materials may be required for class.
Registration in a desired course is not guaranteed and many courses fill; 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. 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 typically 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.
The Pre-College Program offers a complete residential experience.