Young Scholars

Young Scholars Program

Young Scholars

The University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies offers a special opportunity for academically exceptional local high school students to take college courses with Penn students and earn full college credit. Young Scholars can pursue their favorite discipline beyond the level offered in secondary schools, get a head start on their college requirements, or explore a brand new field that interests them.


The Young Scholars program is open to high school juniors and seniors. It is not designed for younger students or for students who have been admitted to Penn through the Early Decision option. Admission to the Young Scholars Program does not constitute admission to a full-time program at the University of Pennsylvania.

A successful applicant should have:

  • Minimum 3.3 high school G.P.A.
  • Scores in the 85th percentile or greater in all sections of their standardized tests (SAT, PSAT, ACT)
  • Writing that shows both technical skill and intellectual depth
  • Strong recommendations
  • A variety of extracurricular interests

Young Scholars


Young Scholars can choose from a variety of courses at the undergraduate level offered by the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Topics offered include anthropology, economics, English, math, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, and many more. We encourage students to select courses based upon their interests rather than upon requirements or anticipated majors. We find that the students who fare best in our program are those who use this opportunity to expand and explore.

For the list of courses available to Young Scholars please view our online course guide. Complete course descriptions and meeting times are available by clicking on individual course titles.

Course enrollment is subject to the approval of the Young Scholars Program advisor and registration in a specific course is not guaranteed. Some courses may have educational prerequisites or require placement testing. 

Student Handbook

Download: Young Scholars Student Handbook

How To Apply

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed online application (link below)
  • Copy of PSAT, SAT, or ACT score report
  • Official copy of high school transcripts
  • Essay responses (questions listed below)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Nonrefundable application fee

Application Deadline: June 1, 2016

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all application materials arrive by the deadline. Applications are not reviewed until all materials are received.

Online Application

Applications for the Summer 2016 Young Scholars Program will open on December 1, 2015. Applications may only be submitted through our online application system. Click the button below to begin:

Apply Now

Application Essays

Please respond to the following questions. Number your essays clearly and upload responses together in one document using the upload button. Responses should not exceed two (2) pages in length for all the questions combined.

  1. Have you ever been placed on probation, dismissed or suspended from any school, college, or university for reasons pertaining to academic integrity? If yes, please include any facts that you believe bear on the significance of this circumstance. If this does not apply, please write N/A in your response.
  2. Describe your recent educational history (past 3-4 years) and background, making sure to address whether your transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability. Feel free to describe any non-academic or extra-curricular experiences that you feel strengthen your application, such as: volunteer work, employment, sports teams, high school clubs, and/or travel.
  3. Briefly describe your academic and personal goals and explain how these will be furthered by study in the Young Scholars Program at Penn. Feel free to discuss a specific academic topic you enjoy studying and explain.


Summer Young Scholars will be assessed traditional undergraduate summer tuition rates. Please see Tuition and Fees page for details.