Penn's Coronavirus COVID-19 Page
As of March 12, 2020, Penn Summer Sessions are scheduled to run as planned. The situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is fluid and being monitored closely. Please check back periodically for updates. Should there be any changes to the policy that impacts our decision to hold courses this summer, we are committed to providing timely updates via email. Should any of these programs be cancelled, students will receive a full refund of program fees at that time.

Our campus task force is monitoring the situation daily and making active decisions as we receive new information. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our campus community. You can stay updated with all developments on Penn’s special coronavirus webpage.

Pre-College Program

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June 30 - August 8, 2020

Dates include move-in and move-out days

Icons - Pre-College Program

The Pre-College Program is designed for academically curious high school students interested in the intellectual challenge and residential freedom of a true undergraduate experience. Pre-College students reside in campus dorms and are enrolled in summer courses alongside Penn undergraduates. Our program offers undergraduate courses in a wide array of disciplines taught by Penn faculty, staff and visiting scholars. Academic advising, access to university learning resources, and college admission workshops are also provided.

International students

The Pre-College Program welcomes international applicants. Any student that is not a US citizen or permanent resident will require an F-1 student visa to study in the US. Once admitted, you will receive an email from the International Student and Scholar Services office with instructions for applying for your I-20. The I-20 is the form you need to apply for an F-1 student visa at your closest US Embassy or Consulate. The F-1 visa requires students to enroll in a full-time course load of two c.u. (undergraduate courses.)

International student application deadline: April 1, 2020
Application deadline: May 1, 2020

Get application information >


Earn college credit from an Ivy League university and take classes with Penn undergraduates!

There’s no shortage of places to eat on campus. From all-you-can-eat cafés to quick and easy markets, Penn dining plans have everything to fit your palate and budget.

Penn Summer offers on-campus housing options for students. Enjoy state-of-the-art facilities perfect for relaxing, studying and making lifelong friends.

As the only American city to be named a World Heritage City, Philadelphia has endless sights to see and is the perfect place to spend your summer. (Photo Credit: Photo by Bob Krist for the PHLCVB)


Explore exciting topics in college-level courses

Once accepted into the Pre-College Program, students work in consultation with a Penn academic advisor to select and enroll in one of four 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.) 
• Biology 101 with lab and a second college credit course (2.5 c.u.) 

Registration in a desired course is not guaranteed, and many courses fill up, so early application is strongly advised. Penn Summer undergraduate 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.  

Pre-College Program students enrolled in one college-level course may also enroll in a non-credit critical reading and academic writing enrichment course designed to complement and enhance undergraduate study. This class is taught by learning specialists with extensive experience preparing students for the Ivy League. Enrichment courses typically meet two to 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.

Summer 2020 course offerings are now available in the Pre-College course guide.

Earn academic credit from the University of Pennsylvania

Pre-College Program students are evaluated by the same academic standards and procedures as Penn undergraduates. 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. Upon successful completion of the program and all coursework within, students may request official transcripts from Penn’s Registrar (fee-based). Enrichment courses are not subject to credit or grading; however regular attendance and work are expected. Students planning to transfer these grades to their future undergraduate record or institution should be aware that transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the institution, including the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Penn’s transfer credit policies for pre-baccalaureate coursework

Enjoy the full residential experience

The Penn Summer High School Pre-College Program is a residential program that offers the following:  

  • Housing: Students live together in the heart of Penn’s campus in fully air-conditioned undergraduate dormitories featuring study and social lounges, laundry facilities, vending machines, and high-speed internet access. Single, double, and triple occupancy rooms typically available.
  • Dining: Program tuition includes a meal plan with two meals included Monday through Friday and two meals on Sundays. Campus dining features a wide selection of dietary choices, including vegetarian and kosher options, and there is an exciting variety of retail food outlets throughout campus.
  • Health and safety: All Pre-College Program students are assigned a Residential Counselor (RC) for mentorship and supervision. Residential Counselors live in the dorms and are available 24/7 if needed. Students also have access to Penn's Student Health Services for non-emergency care.

Make the most of your summer at Penn

In addition to classes, Pre-College Program students enjoy evening and weekend activities that introduce scholars to student life at Penn and 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. College preparatory admissions workshops, study sessions, and campus lecture series are also available.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Pre-College Program



Ready to apply for the

summer of your life?


Summer is the best season

to be at Penn


Penn Summer

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

(215) 898-7326

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