2021 High School Summer Scholars Program Courses

Program Details


High School Summer Scholars enroll in two courses. Topics include humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Details on course synchronicity including specific meeting times and days of the week will be available beginning March 15.

When not in class, Scholars have time for optional enrichment activities including special lectures from WashU staff and faculty, panel discussions, and informal Q&As. There is also time to work on digital learning badges and participate in academic support activities. All of our enrichment activities are offered through the Pre-College Community Course.

College Readiness

Throughout the five-week session, we provide students a number of enrichment opportunities to support students with the college application process and to prepare them for success, both inside and outside of the classroom. These opportunities include seminars, panel discussions, and informal Q&As. In addition, students can build their resume by earning digital learning badges and a college readiness certificate. 


Academic Success

High School Summer Scholars gain invaluable experience studying for exams, writing papers, and creating presentations. 

Our instructors and program staff are committed to the academic success of our pre-college students. Some of the ways we provide academic support include tutoring, advising, group study sessions, specialized workshops and academic support groups.  


Community Building

We create a positive, collaborative community by implementing educational, cultural and social activities for all students. 

Social activities and weekly group meetings encourage social involvement and community building. Regular one-on-one meetings with a program assistant ensure students are receiving the support they need to succeed and provide time for self-reflection.


Grades and Transcripts

At the conclusion of the High School Summer Scholars Program, participation in the program will be recorded and become part of a student's record at WashU. Students may request an official transcript of grades earned to be sent to any school to which they are applying for undergraduate admission. Requests should be made through the Office of the University Registrar. 

If a student is applying for undergraduate admission to WashU, they will need to send a copy of their transcript to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. 

Pre-Matriculation Credit

Credit earned through the High School Summer Scholars Program is consider pre-matriculation credit. Every university has its own pre-matriculation transfer credit policy and we encourage students to do their research as they make future plans. For current guidelines on pre-matriculation credit at WashU, please review the Pre-Matriculation Credit section of the WashU Bulletin.

If students intend to use credit earned through High School Summer Scholars Program for high school graduation requirements, that must be arranged by the student with their high school. 


Pre-College Community Course

All students participating in our High School Summer Scholars Program are registered for the Pre-College Community Course. This noncredit course is designed to introduce students to our pre-college community and college life as well as to support students as they make the transition to undergraduate course work. The course includes: orientation materials, academic support and advising, ways to connect with peers and wellness resources. Students complete a series of required activities as part of the course and earn a certificate of completion at its conclusion.

Course Options

Courses are taught by WashU instructors from across campus disciplines and research fields including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics. Course offerings rotate every summer. We typically offer between 15-20 course options. These courses are for credit, undergraduate courses offered by the College Arts & Sciences and are open to pre-college, undergraduate, and visiting students.

Introductory-level curriculum provides an opportunity for students to create a strong foundation for future undergraduate studies. Course options include:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Micro and Macroeconomics
  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Intro to American Politics
  • Intro to Statistics

View Full List of 2021 High School Summer Scholars Course Listings

When offered during the regular school year, these courses are given over 16 weeks, so the pace during the summer is quite accelerated. Students should plan on spending 2-3 hours working outside of scheduled class time for every hour spent in class.  Courses may include lecture, discussion and group work. Students should expect any combination of daily assignments and readings, exams, quizzes, papers, and presentations.


After students are admitted to the High School Summer Scholars Program, they will complete a course registration form and send this form along with a deposit and other registration paperwork to our office. Students do not need to indicate course selections on their application.

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