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High School Summer Academy

Hone your critical thinking

Through the High School Summer Academy students enroll in one undergraduate course for credit and study alongside undergraduates. Students choose from introductory courses in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics. In addition to the traditional undergraduate classroom experience, students participate in a noncredit research skills course leading to the development of an original research project. This program is ideal for students who want to develop their critical thinking and research skills, earn college credit, and explore deeper a specific academic interest or field of study.

High School Summer Academy students live on campus in one of our top-ranked, air-conditioned residence halls. In addition to course work, students participate in specialized seminars, workshops, academic support groups, weekend outings, and evening social events.

2021 Dates

The High School Summer Academy is a five-week program offered from June 13-July 17, 2021.


WashU is taking significant measures to protect the community from COVID-19. Visit WashU Together for more information on WashU's COVID-19 response. 

If we are unable to offer in-person (commuter or residential) pre-college programs, we will shift to remote programming. We will communicate with students and parents regarding new program fees and details before admission decisions are sent.


To be eligible for a High School Summer Academy students should:

  • Be a current junior in high school (graduating in 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.
Student in museum

2021 Courses and Program Structure

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. Students choose a morning course to complement their research interests.

Learn more

Program Fee

The program fee for High School Summer Academy is $6,330 which includes all residential and most academic expenses. Need-based scholarship assistance is available.

Learn more about fees and scholarships

Pre-College Community Course

Students participating in our High School Summer Academy 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 Certificate. These 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 the High School Summer Academy, 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 trees on WashU campus

Something I have learned is to always be open to new ideas. I like how critical thinking is encouraged in the classroom.

―Anastasiarising senior from China