Row of colored pencils

Middle School Summer Challenge

Build a strong academic foundation

Program Overview

Our Middle School Summer Challenge program is designed to expand students' critical thinking skills in an exciting and innovative environment. Students participate in an arts and humanities themed course, leadership and team building activities, and a STEM course creating a well-rounded summer experience. This program is noncredit.

This program is ideal for students looking to build a strong academic foundation and engage with peers from across the St. Louis area.

Middle School Summer Challenge participants commute to campus. We provide a full daily schedule that includes classes, lunch, and social activities. Students are supervised at all times by our dedicated program staff. 


Each week of Middle School Summer Challenge is divided by grade-level as follows. The grades listed are the grade your child is in during the 2021-2022 academic school year.

  • 5th grade: June 13-17, 2022
  • 6th grade: June 20-24, 2022
  • 7th grade: June 27-July 1, 2022
  • 8th grade: July 11-15, 2022


To be eligible for Middle School Summer Challenge students should:

  • Be a current fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-grade student from the St. Louis area during the 2021-2022 academic school year.

We are looking for mature, academically motivated students. 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 we are unable to host in-person programming, we will shift to remote learning.


Students interested in enrolling should submit an application, copy of their current grade report, and signed parent liability waiver and release to our office by May 2, 2022. Once the application is reviewed, you will receive an email confirmation and directions on submitting your $100 nonrefundable registration fee no later than May 9, 2022. The $100 nonrefundable registration fee is applied to the total balance due. Invoices for the balance due will be emailed on May 13, 2022.

Space is limited, so we encourage students not to wait until the deadline to apply.

Fees and Scholarships

The 2022 program fee for Middle School Summer Challenge is $785. The deadline to submit the program fee in full is June 1, 2022. The program fee includes all activities, course materials, and boxed lunch with snack. 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.


Middle School Summer Challenge is a noncredit program. Grades are not issued for courses. Students are evaluated based on interaction with peers, engagement during activities, fulfillment of assignments, and work produced. Students who have met all expectations of a course will receive a certificate of completion..

Participation in Middle School Summer Challenge does not guarantee acceptance into undergraduate or graduate programs at Washington University.

Courses and Schedule

The Middle School Summer Challenge courses are designed to expand on students' current knowledge and challenge them to explore further topics that interest them.

View Courses

Update: May 2, 2022

All sessions of the 2022 Middle School Summer Challenge are full and we are no longer accepting requests to join the waitlist. Applications for next summer will open November 1, 2022.