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.
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.