High School Summer Institutes

Explore careers and majors in medicine, engineering, leadership, writing, and more

2020 Program Update: After careful and thoughtful discussion, and with the health and safety of our instructors, staff, and students in mind, we have made the decision to cancel all in-person pre-college programs for the 2020 summer. Students can still experience WashU online this summer with our Early College Scholars Program.


High School Summer Institutes combine traditional undergraduate class and lab curriculum with organized field trips, guest lectures, and small group activities in order for students to gain valuable academic and career experience. High School Summer Institutes are noncredit, academic programs. 

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


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

  • Be a current freshman, sophomore, or junior in high school (graduating in 2023, 2022 or 2021).
  • Have an academic average of B+ (3.3/4.0) or better.
  • As an international student, provide documentation of your ability to complete coursework in English (equivalent of a TOEFL score of 90).

2020 Institutes

Our institutes range in length from one to three weeks and are offered throughout the summer. Themes include medicine, engineering, environmental studies, creative writing, leadership, and philosophy.

Learn more about our 2020 institutes

Program Fees

Program fees vary by institute and include all academic and residential expenses. Need-based scholarship assistance is available.

Learn more about fees and scholarships

How to Apply

In order to apply to a High School Summer Institute, students must complete an online application, including two short essays, and submit the following supplemental information:

  • $35 nonrefundable application fee
  • Transcript
  • Teacher recommendation
  • International applicants must send proof of English ability

Once a student submits their application, they will receive information on submitting supplemental information. We review applications on a rolling basis. Once we receive all of the required supplemental information to complete an application, students are notified by email of the admission decision within 10-12 business days. 

Qualified applicants are admitted until all spaces in the program are filled. We strongly encourage students to apply early!

Applications for 2020 summer have closed. Applications for 2021 will open October 1, 2020.

Engineering in general is a takeaway for me. I have found my passion in life. This is my dream and I feel supported here to be on the right path to success.

―Marcelarising senior from Curitiba, Brazil

Admitted Students

Congratulations on your admission to a High School Summer Institute! 

Learn about the next steps in the registration process