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Exploration Courses

Experience WashU from home this summer

Our Exploration Courses provide students the opportunity to experience WashU from home over the summer. Through these online, noncredit courses, students explore a topic or subject through a series of interactive activities, lectures and discussions with pre-college peers from around the world. This program is ideal for students who are looking for the flexibility of an online summer experience and want to build college readiness skills.

In addition to course work, students in our Exploration Courses participate in specialized seminars, workshops, and academic support groups.


To be eligible for an Exploration Course students should:

  • Be a current freshman, sophomore, or junior in high school (graduating in 2024, 2023, or 2022).
  • Have an academic average of B+ (3.3/4.0) or better.
  • As an international student, have a TOEFL score of at least 90, IELTS score of at least 6.5 or Duolingo score of at least 115.
Stack of textbooks

2021 Courses and Program Structure

Courses are taught by WashU instructors from across disciplines and research fields. Offerings rotate every summer.

Learn More

Program Fees

The program fee per Exploration Course is $985. Students may enroll in more than one course. Need-based scholarship assistance is available.

Learn more about fees and scholarships

Pre-College Community Course

Students participating in our Exploration Courses are also enrolled in our Pre-College Community Course through Canvas. This 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.

Through this course students also have the opportunity to earn a series of Learning Badges and a College Readiness CertificateThese optional enrichment activities are a great way for a student to build their resume over the summer and prepare for college success.

How to Apply

In order to apply to an Exploration Course, students must complete an online application, including short essays, and submit the following supplemental information:

  • $40 nonrefundable application fee
  • Transcript
  • Teacher recommendation
  • International applicants must send a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score report.

The deadline to submit an application and all supplemental information is April 1, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Questions about applying? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Start Your application

Student in front of WashU library

The biggest takeaway from this program has definitely been time management skills. I have taken AP classes in school, but this program has taken my learning and skills to a different level.

―Ellenrising junior from Memphis, TN