Your first glimpse of the college experience

Our summer programs offer highly motivated students the opportunity to experience WashU in the classroom and beyond.

College Prep Program

College Prep is a four-year programming commitment that begins the summer after freshman year of high school and continues through the first year of college. The first and 2nd Summer Academy include a two-week day program experience on the Washington University campus; and Scholars return for the third summer for three weeks and live in the residence hall. Academic year programming that includes academic and enrichment activities are also held throughout the school year, typically taking place in person on Saturdays. These activities can range from ACT prep, writing workshops and navigating the college application and financial aid process, to WashU football games, campus concerts, and many social-emotional aspects of college life, such as eating meals in the dining hall, taking part in campus recreation, and bonding with fellow scholars through CPP’s curricular activities.

For complete information, eligibility requirements, and applications, visit the College Prep Program website.

WashU Rural Scholars Academy

The WashU Rural Scholars Academy is a weeklong program for rising high school juniors designed to introduce them to WashU, the college application process, and the greater St. Louis community. The all-expenses-paid program is hosted on WashU’s campus.

College of Arts & Sciences

For complete information, eligibility requirements, and applications, visit the College of Arts & Sciences Pre-College Programs website.

High School Summer Scholars Program

(5 weeks credit)

Our residential High School Summer Scholars Program gives rising high school seniors an opportunity to enroll in one or two undergraduate courses for credit and study alongside undergraduates. Select from a range of stimulating introductory courses in humanities, math, natural sciences, and social sciences. This program is ideal for students who want to earn college credit, challenge themselves academically, and explore courses in a specific major or subject.

High School Summer Institutes

(2 weeks, noncredit)

Our residential High School Summer Institutes allow rising juniors and seniors to discover a new passion, or dive deeper into an existing one, through a noncredit, interdisciplinary environment. These programs are ideal for students who want to experience undergraduate curriculum without the pressure of a letter grade.

High School Summer Launch

(1 week, noncredit)

Through our residential High School Summer Launch rising sophomores and juniors participate in a series of daily lectures, workshops, and seminars designed to build a strong foundation for academic studies and prepare students for the college application process.

Exploration Courses

(2-5 weeks, noncredit)

Exploration Courses provide students the opportunity to experience WashU from home over the summer. Through these online, noncredit courses, students explore a topic or subject through a series of interactive activities, lectures, and discussions with pre-college peers from around the world. 

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts offers two pre-college programs: the Architecture Discovery Program and the Portfolio Plus Program. Studio work for both programs is rounded out by tours and lectures from local architects, artists, and designers, as well as sessions on portfolio development and college admissions.

For complete information, eligibility requirements, and applications, visit the Sam Fox School Pre-College Programs website.

Architecture Discovery Program (ADP)

(2 weeks, credit, for rising juniors and seniors)

The Architecture Discovery Program (ADP) is an exciting introduction to architecture and design for high school students. Our rigorous two-week program offers intensive individualized instruction by Sam Fox School faculty. The Design Studio–the heart of the program–drives creativity and discovery to foster passion and compassion in design. This course is complemented by Architectural Drawing, which teaches students how to better observe the world around them and communicate through drawing and hand drafting. Projects introduce the design thinking process. The explorations carried out provide students with high-quality pieces to add to their design portfolios.

Portfolio Plus Program

(3 weeks, credit, for rising juniors and seniors)

In the Portfolio Plus Program, high school students take college-level art and design courses that highlight the major tracks offered in the Sam Fox School. All students take a Drawing course, where they’ll use a variety of wet and dry media to learn the fundamentals. In addition, they choose one of three studio concentrations: Communication Design, Fashion Design, or Studio Art. With guidance from Sam Fox School faculty, students work throughout the intensive three-week program to build a solid body of work that showcases essential skills for incoming college students.

Olin Business School

The Olin Business School offers two pre-college programs: BOLD@Olin and Gateway to Business. These programs allows students to experience WashU, learn from Olin faculty, network with current WashU students and professionals, and gain skills inside and outside of the classroom.

For complete information, eligibility requirements, and applications, visit Olin’s Pre-Collegiate Programs website.

Gateway to Business

(3 one-day virtual sessions + one-week residential experience, credit, rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors)

This hybrid course introduces students to business, leadership and teamwork skills development and career preparedness. Students have three virtual sessions and a one-week residential experience on Washington University’s campus in St. Louis. For more information and the application, visit the Gateway to Business website.


(5 days, rising high school juniors and seniors)

BOLD@Olin is a five-day residential summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in learning more about business and leadership. Students will be immersed in life-changing opportunities for learning, networking, and personal growth as they gain experience working on case studies and discover the many areas of study available at WashU Olin. For more information and the application, visit the BOLD@Olin website.

Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences

Young Scientist Program

(rising high school seniors)

Summer Focus is an 8-week paid summer research internship opportunity. Students are paired with a scientist from Washington University with whom they will conduct an independent research project as well as participate in courses on science communication and college/career prep. 

Motivated rising high school seniors from the St. Louis area who are interested in biomedical science are encouraged to apply. No research experience is necessary. 

Visit the Young Scientist Program website for more information.

Tyson Research Center

Through the Shaw Institute for Field Training (SIFT) and Tyson Environmental Research Apprenticeship (TERA) programs, St. Louis-area high school students can explore environmental biology careers and work with local researchers and their teams.

The SIFT program trains rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in field safety and scientific exploration of the natural world at Shaw Nature Reserve. The TERA program places SIFT graduates as summer fellows on ecology and environmental biology research teams at Tyson Research Center.

Visit for more information.

WashU Sports Camps & Clinics

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