Penn Summer Students

Summer Programs FAQ

Summer Programs FAQ

General program

Only students attending the Pre-College Programs earn college credit and a corresponding University of Pennsylvania transcript. Students in Penn Summer Prep and Summer Academies earn a certificate of completion and do not receive an official University transcript.

Admission to Penn SAS High School Programs does not guarantee admission to a Penn undergraduate program. Admission to Penn is highly competitive and based upon a variety of factors. Penn SAS High School Programs are a great addition to any resume and, combined with a strong high school record, will provide undergraduate admissions officers with information regarding your academic potential.

Penn Summer Prep or Summer Academy students can contact the Penn SAS High School Programs office for a digital copy.

Pre-College Programs students earn credit and do not get a certificate of completion. Instead, you can download your unofficial transcript directly from your student account. Use Path@Penn to place orders and pay for transcripts or to view unofficial transcripts. To place an order, log in to Path@Penn and select “Order transcripts” under “Academic records” in the left-hand menu.

If you need help ordering a transcript, contact the Office of the University Registrar directly: or (215) 898-6636. If you need help logging in with your PennKey to Path@Penn, or are an alumni and forget your log-in credentials, direct questions to PennKey support or to the Office of the University Registrar at the same information provided above.

Graduating high school seniors are not eligible for Penn SAS High School Programs but may apply for Penn Summer Sessions. To enroll, students must be able to submit their diploma at the time of application. Note that this will likely happen after the start of Summer 11-Week and Summer Session I classes. As a result, it’s likely that only Summer Sessions II courses will be available to recent high school graduates. These students should also contact the advising office of their prospective undergraduate institution to discuss their decision to enroll in Penn summer classes as their university/college may not accept pre-freshman credit and may have restrictions on coursework taken prior to matriculating. Penn Summer cannot guarantee transfer credit and students must confirm with their college advisors prior to enrollment as a visiting student. If you have been admitted to the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate, please check the Penn Summer Sessions enrollment page for specific information for summer registration.

Penn SAS High School Programs has collaborated with Summer Discovery for over 10 years. Summer Discovery oversees all community-building aspects of the summer programming, including residential supervision, student evening and weekend activities, and ensures the health and safety of all students throughout while participating in Penn’s programs. The University of Pennsylvania manages all academic programming, including the application process, advising, and course enrollment. While the Penn SAS High School Programs office and Summer Discovery are experts in different areas of summer programming, we work together as a cohesive team to provide the best possible summer experience for each student.

No. Due to the intensive, residential nature of our programs, residential students are prohibited from engaging in research, an internship, holding summer employment, or participating in another summer program at the University of Pennsylvania or another university program while you are participating in a summer high School program.

For students in online summer programs, you are encouraged to devote your full attention to the program to make the most of the experience, but you are in charge of your own time management.  

You should reach out to the Penn SAS High School Programs office at if you have questions regarding:

  • General inquiries
  • Admissions
  • Applications
  • Courses
  • Registration
  • Billing

You should reach out to Summer Discovery at if you have questions regarding:

  • General inquiries
  • Billing
  • Residential experience
  • Weekend and evening activities and events
  • Health and well-being
  • Professional residential summer employment opportunities

The deadline to apply to the Pre-College Programs is January 31. The deadline to apply to Penn Summer Prep or Summer Academies is February 15. You can view additional application deadlines on our Application Information page.

Yes! You can apply to as many programs as you would like. Each program requires its own application. Initial applications are $75, and each subsequent application is $10. Applications open for summer 2024 on December 1, 2023.

Confirming your enrollment to your academic program of choice via the application portal AND paying the non-refundable $1,500 financial deposit is the only way to formally reserve your spot within the program. Seats for programs are held on a first-come, first-served basis.

Penn Summer High School Programs applicants must have excellent writing skills and a minimum 3.3 GPA. To apply, you must complete the online application, which includes one or more essays and a letter of recommendation. Standardized test scores are not required for any program but are strongly encouraged for Pre-College Programs applicants. Non-native English speakers must submit a test score to verify English language proficiency unless they attend an English medium school, in which case the requirement is waived. Pre-College Programs students must have attended an English-medium school for two+ years by the time of enrollment for the requirement to be waived. There is a non-refundable application fee of $75. For more details and program-specific requirements, visit the Application Information page.

Applications received by their program’s respective deadlines will be reviewed and released between April 1 – April 15. Admissions decisions will be posted to your online application account. You will receive an email when your admissions decision is available. Visit our Application Information page for more details about admissions decisions.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fee information for each program is available on our Tuition and Fees page. Tuition is inclusive of full academic and term fees, use of Penn academic facilities, on-campus housing, three meals a day Monday-Friday, two meals on Sunday (no meals Saturday due to excursions/activities), extracurricular activities and trips, and student supervision. Tuition does not include spending money, meals during evening and weekend trips, printing, linens, or a membership to the campus gym.

Tuition benefits do not apply to high school summer programs, but there are some scholarships available to students who attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school.

Financial aid is not available for our programs. You can use 529 college savings plan accounts to pay for the programs, but high school students participating in our programs are non-degree seeking and do not qualify for traditional financial aid through FAFSA.

At this time, the University provides a limited number of scholarships to students from the School District of Philadelphia for Penn Summer Prep and Summer Academies. All other students requiring financial assistance to attend a summer program are encouraged to seek out external sources of funding from educational agencies or scholarship groups. No scholarships are available for the Pre-College Programs.

Tuition and fee bills will come out starting in mid- to late spring.

International students

No visa is needed for any program if the program is running entirely online. The University advises against a B-1/B-2 visa or visa waiver (ESTA) for online Pre-College Programs students. An F-1 student visa is required only for residential Pre-College Programs. Penn Summer Prep and Summer Academies are taken on a non-credit basis and are therefore ineligible for student visa sponsorship through the University. International students wishing to enroll in these programs must secure the necessary tourist or B-2 visa from their home country. Pre-College Programs students can contact the Penn International Student and Scholar Services office (ISSS) with specific visa-related questions.

Non-native English speakers must submit a test score to verify English language proficiency unless they attend an English-medium school, in which case this requirement is waived. For the Pre-College Programs, a student must attend an English-medium school for 2+ years by the time of enrollment for the requirement to be waived. If scores are required, TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test (DET), PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores are accepted. See the Application Information page for more details.

Penn Summer Prep

You will receive information about course registration for Penn Summer Prep once you have accepted, deposited, and completed your enrollment forms with Summer Discovery. You will fill out a form for your first-choice module preferences as well as alternatives in case those modules are at capacity or canceled. Get more details about Penn Summer Prep modules.

A closed Prep module may re-open if other students cancel, but a waitlist is NOT maintained for Penn Summer Prep modules. Please contact the Penn SAS High School Programs office at for the most up-to-date information on module enrollment.

Pre-College Programs

New Pre-College Programs courses may open during the add/drop period, but additional space cannot be created in a closed course. A waitlist is NOT maintained for Pre-College Programs courses as registration is based on a first-come, first-served system and undergraduates as visiting students are also registering for these same courses. Please contact the Penn SAS High School Programs office at for the most up-to-date information about course status.

Students apply to the program, not to one specific course. You are required to choose alternate courses when registering as courses may be at capacity or be canceled.

Summer Academies

There is no course selection process for Summer Academy students. Once you have accepted your admissions decision and submitted your non-refundable deposit, you are considered enrolled in your academy.

Waitlists are maintained for Summer Academies. If a space opens in an academy, it will go to the next student on the waitlist. We do not release a student's position on the waitlist.

The American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Academy is taught as a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Synchronous meetings are based on Eastern Time (ET). Students in this academy do not need a visa if they are internationally based. They have no vaccine requirements and have an online community provided by Summer Discovery. Please visit the American Sign Language and Deaf Culture page for information regarding the program outline, which is listed in the syllabus.