Getting started for admitted summer students

Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to our summer programs!

Should you decide to join us this summer, the following list will guide you through the necessary steps to prepare for your Penn experience. This information is for students accepted to Summer Academies, Penn Summer Prep, and the Pre-College Programs.

To accept our offer of admission, access the Decision Form located within your Penn Application Portal and answer a few short questions. Please enter your US social security number into the Decision Form, as this is a necessary field for the creation of your student record. If you are an international student or do not have a social security number, please leave the SSN field blank. Once you’ve submitted the Decision Form, you will be contacted by a member of our student records team with a Penn assigned number.

In addition to accepting your offer of admission, a non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place in the program. You have five business days from the date you are offered admission to accept and make the deposit. 

If you will not be enrolling with us this summer, access the Decision Form within your Application Portal and decline the offer of admission.

A PennKey is a username and password combination you create to access a variety of Penn online systems, including the University Wi-Fi, library resources, and transcripts, if applicable. You should receive a setup code necessary to create a PennKey within 5-7 days of submitting your Decision Form. The setup code is sent via email from and often ends up in junk or spam folders. A PennKey and password are VERY difficult to retrieve if lost, so please write them down somewhere.

Additional PennKey resources are available on the PennKey Support website.

All Penn summer high school students are required to set up a Penn School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) email address, as this is how instructors/faculty will communicate with you. A PennKey is required to set up an email address. To set up your email address, please visit Getting Started with SAS Student Email.

All students enrolled in the Pre-College Programs or Penn Summer Prep Program will be given instructions once they have accepted, deposited, and completed the enrollment forms with Summer Discovery. Only students who have submitted a deposit are eligible to register for classes or modules. As such, it is imperative students remit their deposit as soon as possible to ensure placement within their desired courses or modules. Registration begins for Pre-College Programs and Penn Summer Prep after April 15.

Summer Discovery Programs

The University of Pennsylvania has contracted Summer Discovery Programs to aid in all community building and engagement portions of our summer high school programs. Additionally, they handle many administrative details, including:

  • Health forms
  • Social activities
  • Mentoring

Getting ready for class

Technology: The Summer Coding Academy may require a certain device, but for other programs, no specific kind of device (laptop, tablet, etc.) is required. Be sure to check the requirements on each program’s page. Students may find devices helpful with note-taking, but it is up to the instructor’s discretion if devices are allowed in the classroom. Residential students can use devices in the evening to stream media during their downtime and to stay in contact with friends and loved ones at home.

Books and materials: For Penn Summer Prep and for all Summer Academies, no materials need to be purchased prior to the start of the program. All course materials are typically included in the tuition price, but students may choose to bring note-taking supplies or a device to take notes with.

For the Pre-College Programs, instructors indicate the required materials in the syllabi for individual courses. Some course materials are made available to students through Canvas, the University’s online learning platform. In addition, Penn Bookstore offers a range of options for purchasing course materials, including new, used, digital, and rental versions, depending on the textbook. It is recommended that students attend the first class before purchasing any materials. Students may also want note-taking supplies or a device to take notes with. Please note that device policies in the classroom may vary by instructor.