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High School Summer Institutes

Discover your passion

Program Overview

High School Summer Institutes allow students to discover a new passion, or dive deeper into an existing one, through a noncredit, interdisciplinary environment. Each institute has a specific theme or focus and includes traditional undergraduate classroom activities like lectures, discussions, small group collaboration and final projects. Students interact with WashU instructors from across a variety of disciplines and examine the connections between these different fields of study and research. Institutes range in length from one to two weeks. 

These programs are ideal for students who want to experience undergraduate curriculum without the pressure of a grade and network with a variety of departments and instructors.

High School Summer Institute students live on campus in one of our top-ranked, air-conditioned residence halls. In addition to course work, High School Summer Institute students participate in specialized college readiness, community building, and academic support activities.

Learn more about our enrichment activities


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

  • Be a current sophomore or junior in high school (graduating in 2024 or 2023).
  • As an international student, have a TOEFL score of at least 90. Additional guidelines for international students are available here.
  • Meet any prerequisites listed for the institute to which they are applying.

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.

COVID-19 Information

Washington University is taking significant measures to protect the community from COVID-19. Visit WashU Together for more information on WashU's COVID-19 response. We are planning to host in-person programming for the 2022 summer based on current University guidelines. If you are interested in an online experience, please see our online Exploration Courses.

As a condition of employment, enrollment, and/or access to Washington University and affiliated facilities, all University employees, students, and trainees must be immunized by vaccination against COVID-19 unless granted a medical or religious exemption from the University. 

Fees and Scholarships

2022 program fees are $2,585 for two-week institutes and $1,285 for one-week institutes. 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 Institutes 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.  

High School Summer Institutes are noncredit programs. Noncredit programs do not issue a traditional letter grade (A, B, C, D, F). Instead, students will receive an "L" for successful completion/audit or a "Z" for unsuccessful completion/audit. Students are evaluated based on attendance in classes, completion of assignments by deadlines, quality of work produced, participation in discussions, as well as their ability to adhere to academic integrity standards and program policies. 

Because High School Summer Institutes are noncredit, no transferable credit is earned.

Participation in a High School Summer Institute does not guarantee acceptance into undergraduate or graduate programs at Washington University.


Institutes and Schedule

Institutes are taught by Washington University instructors from across disciplines and research fields. Institute offerings rotate every summer.

View 2022 Institutes and Dates

How to Apply

In order to apply to the High School Summer Institute, 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 score report.

The deadline to submit an application and all supplemental information is April 1, 2022 at 11:59pm CT.

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

The application process for the 2022 High School Summer Institutes has closed. Applications for the 2023 High School Summer Institutes will open November 1.