Middle School Summer Challenge

Expand critical thinking skills in an exciting and innovating environment with hands-on learning

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. Applications for next summer will be available beginning October 1.

Our Middle School Summer Challenge program is designed to expand students' critical thinking skills in an exciting and innovative environment. During this two-week program, students enroll in one morning arts or humanities course and one afternoon STEM course specifically designed to build on their strong academic foundation. In addition to course work, students participate in a series of leadership and team building activities creating a well-rounded summer experience. All courses are noncredit. 

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

2020 Program Dates

We offer one session of Middle School Summer Challenge from June 15-26, 2020. Please note that this commuter program meets Monday-Friday only. 


To be eligible for Middle School Summer Challenge students should:

  • Be a current sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-grade student during the 2019-2020 academic school year.
  • Have an academic average of B+ (3.3/4.0) or better.
  • As an international student, provide documentation of their ability to complete coursework in English.

2020 Courses and Schedule

The Middle School Summer Challenge schedule is a busy one! Courses are designed to build on students' current knowledge and challenge them to explore further topics that interest them.

Learn more about 2020 courses and schedule

Program Fees

The 2020 program fee is $1,985. Need-based scholarship assistance is available.

Learn more about fees and scholarships

How to Apply

In order to apply to Middle School Summer Challenge, students must complete an online application, including one short essay, and submit the following supplemental information:

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

We review applications on a rolling basis, and individual courses are closed once we have admitted the maximum number of students to the course. Qualified applicants are admitted until all spaces in courses are filled or until April 1. We strongly encourage students to apply early!

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 or until April 1. We strongly encourage students to apply early!

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

I love meeting new people who share similar interests as myself. I also enjoy learning things that are not taught in my school.

―Lilyanarising 8th grader from Eureka, MO

Admitted Students

Congratulations on your admission to Middle School Summer Challenge!

Learn about the next steps in the registration process