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High School Summer Academy

Hone your critical thinking

Program Overview

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 course leading to the development of an original research project proposal.

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 college readiness, community, and academic success enrichment activities.

Learn more about our enrichment activities


The High School Summer Academy is a five-week program from June 11-July 15, 2023.


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

  • Be a current junior in high school (graduating in 2024).
  • As an international student, have a TOEFL iBT composite score of at least 90 and have a current F-1 student visa. Additional guidelines for international students are available here.

We are looking for mature, academically motivated students enrolled in challenging curriculum which may include honors, advanced placement, and International Baccalaureate courses, if offered by their high schools. Students who are collaborative, intellectually curious, and creative thinkers thrive in our program.

Fees and Scholarships

The 2023 program fee for the High School Summer Academy is $7,595. Need-based scholarship assistance is available. Children of Washington University employees and returning students are eligible for a 10% discount. Additional details on fees, need-based scholarships, and discounts are available here.

Grades and Transcripts

At the conclusion of course work, participation in the High School Summer Academy will be recorded and grades earned become part of a student's record at Washington University. Students may request an official transcript of grades earned. Requests should be made through the Office of the University Registrar.  

Credit courses award a traditional letter grade (A, B, C, D, F). The noncredit research development course does not issue a traditional letter grade, but instead students will receive an "L" for successful completion/audit or a "Z" for unsuccessful completion/audit.

Pre-Matriculation Credit

Credit courses enrolled through the High School Summer Academy are considered 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 Washington University, please review the Pre-Matriculation Units section of the Washington University Bulletin.

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

Acceptance and participation in High School Summer Academy course work and activities does not imply or guarantee acceptance into a degree program at Washington University. For questions about the undergraduate admission process, please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

Courses and Schedule

Courses are taught by Washington University instructors from across campus disciplines and research fields including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Course offerings rotate every summer.

View 2023 Courses

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:

  • $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • Transcript
  • Teacher recommendation
  • International applicants must send an official TOEFL iBT score report.

The deadline to submit an application and all supplemental information is April 3, 2023 at 11:59pm CT.

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

Begin 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

Wondering about life on campus in the summer?

Explore Residential Life