When you think of the University of Pennsylvania, what are some words that come to mind? Ours are prestige, success, and the perfect summer. We know that last “word” is technically three words, but it’s true. Penn offers three different options for students looking for an enriching pre-college summer experience, each bringing its own level of distinction and academic variety. In this post, we’re taking you behind closed doors and giving you an inside look at the summer programs at one of the nation’s top Ivy League schools.
The Penn Summer Prep Program allows students to explore college-level academics without the pressure of earning college credit. The highlight of the Prep Program is its courses. Students enroll in modules where they take one course in the morning and one in the afternoon for two weeks. Students can explore Penn’s broad liberal arts and sciences curriculum within these courses while applying their learning to current events. In the morning, you might discuss education and inequality, then in the afternoon, discover music of the Arabs in their historical, political, and cultural contexts. Combining thought-evoking courses with living on Penn’s vibrant campus prepares students to be better global citizens when they pack up to return home. Students in grades 9-11 are eligible for this on-campus summer program.Learn More about Summer Prep
Penn’s Summer Academies are intensive, three-week programs that bring together sophisticated scientific or social theory with relevant, real-world applications. Focusing on specific topics or areas of interest, students can be free to immerse themselves within their desired curriculum and gain applicable experience. Academies are offered on-campus, apart from one that is offered online, and are open to students in grades 9-11.
Here are just a few of our academies that students love:
The only academy offered online this summer introduces students to ASL and provides an overview of topics integral to the experiences of members of the deaf community. Like immersing yourself in a new culture and language, students are taught entirely in ASL and by the end of the program, they can communicate relevant information about themselves and their surroundings. Where Penn differentiates this program from others like it, however, is incorporating relevant topics of members of the deaf community into the curriculum. Students will examine current events and will also participate in interactive panels with Philadelphia deaf community professionals. By having another lens through which to examine the world around them, students will sharpen their practical skills as well as their empathy and understanding.Discover ASL Academy
Offered as a residential only academy that is exclusively open to current 10th and 11th graders, students will build a foundation for understanding the intricate relationships between language, culture, and how we communicate. Have you ever shared your thoughts on your favorite song to have someone else criticize your opinion or offer a different perspective you didn’t agree with? Aimed at providing students the skills they need to be better global citizens, this academy will promote active learning, self-reflection, and teamwork to push students to understand the biases and nuances they bring to a global society and learn to communicate in ways that are respectful and offer mutual understanding. You’ll also take multiple trips around Philadelphia each week for cultural immersion and practical applications.Discover More
Another residential only academy, students from around the world are brought together to dive deep into the past, present, and future of social justice. Designed to encourage discussion and critical thinking about the political, historical, and cultural context of inequality and resistance, the program welcomes students with a variety of academic interests across the social sciences, humanities, and arts to bring their unique perspectives and approaches to a multitude of topics and issues. Students will explore significant historical struggles as well as those that define our recent past and present, and develop leadership and research skills along the way. Along with large and small group discussions, students will also have service learning opportunities and truly grow through a program of discussion, learning, and changing lenses through which they see the world.Learn More
The Pre-College Program at Penn is designed for students looking for a true undergraduate college experience. Current 10th or 11th grade students participating in this Penn summer program reside in campus residence halls and are enrolled in summer courses alongside Penn undergraduates. The program offers undergraduate courses in a variety of disciplines and are taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Students can either take a course on campus as a residential participant, or they can take these courses completely online from the comfort of home. During the experience, students will work with Penn’s academic advisors to select and enroll in their courses, just like a real college student, and can earn up to 2-course units, which equates to EIGHT college credit hours on an official Penn transcript. The courses offered through the Pre-College Program are all essential core curriculum courses needed for undergraduate students, including Intro to Microeconomics, Calculus, and Art History, helping make the transition to college even easier.Learn More about Pre-College
While many students applying to the University of Pennsylvania summer programs are looking to be challenged in the classroom, these programs haven’t lost sight of what summer is all about. Partnering with Summer Discovery for over 10 years, fun activities and social interactions will be another cornerstone of these programs to help students succeed this summer. Student safety and supervision is also at top of mind as students navigate Penn’s campus and residence life, so there are dedicated staff along the way to help students grow and develop socially and emotionally.
Whether you’re looking for a challenge in undergraduate college classrooms, fully immersing yourself in your academic interests, or expanding your perspectives within a modern and relevant liberal arts and sciences curriculum: on the esteemed grounds of America’s first university, an enriching summer awaits.
Seats in many of the summer programs at Penn are full or are close to no longer accepting new applications!
If you want an Ivy-League summer, click the button below and Apply Today!Apply Now!