Your first glimpse of the college experience

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

Please note a few of our programs will be offered virtually this summer while others are being planned to take place on campus. As the university continues to monitor and respond to the pandemic, the health and safety of our community remains the highest priority. Any changes in programming, including a transition to a virtual environment, will be made with careful consideration and will be communicated to students and families.

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)

The High School Summer Scholars Program gives current juniors in high school an opportunity to enroll in undergraduate courses for credit. Select from a range of stimulating introductory courses in humanities, math, 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

(1 to 2 weeks, noncredit)

High School Summer Institutes allow students to discover a new passion, or dive deeper into an existing one, through a noncredit, interdisciplinary environment. Students interact with WashU instructors from across a variety of disciplines and examine the connections between these different fields of study and research. These programs are open to current sophomores, and juniors in high school.

High School Summer Academy

(5 weeks, credit)

Through our High School Summer Academy, current juniors enroll in one undergraduate course for credit. In addition to the traditional classroom experience, students participate in a noncredit research skills course leading to the development of an original research project.

High School Summer Launch

(1 week, noncredit)

Through our residential High School Summer Launch current freshmen and sophomores participate in a series of lectures, workshops, and seminars designed to build a strong foundation for academic studies and prepare students for college life.

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 and Visual Arts offers two pre-college programs, the Architecture Discovery Program and the Portfolio Plus Program.

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. 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 observe the world around them and communicate through drawing. Projects introduce the design thinking process and sustainability in architecture. The explorations carried out provide students with high quality pieces to add to your 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. Students will spend mornings learning the fundamentals of drawing and afternoons pursuing a studio concentration of choice: communication design, fashion design, or studio art. With guidance from Sam Fox School faculty, students will work throughout our intensive three-week program to develop strong portfolios for college admission. Studio work is rounded out by virtual tours and lectures from local artists and designers, as well as sessions on portfolio development and college admissions.

Olin Business School

The Olin Business School offers two pre-college programs, BOLD@Olin and the Olin Fleischer Scholars Program.

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


BOLD@Olin is WashU’s summer program for rising junior and senior high school students who and are interested in learning more about business. During the week-long program students will be immersed in life-changing opportunities for personal growth. Students will gain mentorship from Olin Business School faculty; build professional relationships with accomplished female leaders; and uncover their leadership potential. For more information and the application, visit the BOLD@Olin website.

Olin Fleischer Scholars Program

The Olin Fleischer Scholars Program provides a unique, week-long educational experience for rising junior and senior high school students. This program is designed to help first-in-family college students, underrepresented students of color, and students from low-income households prepare for the college admission process, learn about business and entrepreneurship, and experience college life. For more information and the application, visit the Olin Fleischer Scholars Program website.

Gateway to Business

The Gateway to Business is geared to rising high school sophomores to seniors who want to gain a fundamental understanding of business and enhance professional communications. The three-credit course provides a general understanding of business and helps develop leadership and teamwork skills. Students will also work on developing their personal brand and a personal statement for a college essay. The hybrid program includes four virtual sessions and a one-week residency on WashU’s campus in St. Louis. 

Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences

Young Scientist Program

The Young Scientist Program (YSP) is designed to attract high school students from underrepresented backgrounds into scientific careers through activities emphasizing hands-on research and individualized contact between young people and active scientists. Summer Focus provides outstanding high school students with funded research internships at the Washington University Medical Center. Students from St. Louis area schools may apply when they are in 11th grade. The students are selected by a competitive application and interview process. Visit the Young Scientist Program website for 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.

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WashU Sports Camps & Clinics

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Heartland Rural Scholars Academy

The Heartland Rural Scholars Academy is a weeklong pre-college 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 will be hosted on WashU’s campus. All food, housing, and activities will be provided free of charge.