Summer & Pre-College Programs for High School Students @ Harvard, Pomona College, Stanford, UCLA & USC.

We know you’re aware about pre-college summer programs for high school students, and we’ve highlighted some of them below.  UCLA’s pre-college institutes are particularly impressive. There are 14 of them that covers subjects in the arts, sciences, and humanities, such as nanoscience, mock trials and writing.

The deadline to apply for most of these programs have now passed; usually, the deadlines are in February or March. But you certainly have enough time to prepare for the 2017 sessions. Take your time to browse through these sites.  However, visit these sites, and double-check the deadlines.

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Harvard University Summer School

Are you a high school student age 15 to 18? Then consider spending your summer at Harvard, where you can explore a variety of college-level courses, and live and learn alongside a diverse set of peers.

The Harvard Summer Programs for high school students are designed to prepare students for that all-important next step—both academically and socially—paving the way for a successful college experience.

Here, you will expand your worldview, meet new people from all over the globe, test-drive potential majors, gain valuable knowledge and skills, and explore Boston—one of America’s most vibrant and historic cities—amid a community of supportive peers and advisors.

Two options to choose from:

Pre-College Program

A two-week residential experience featuring noncredit courses

Join other intellectually curious high school students on campus at Harvard, where you can explore topics as wide ranging as American law, philosophy, computer programming, and public speaking. The program features:

  • A choice of over 50 noncredit courses designed to give pre-college students a preview of college academics.
  • On-campus housing with fellow pre-college students and residential staff.
  • Structured days, with weekday class meetings and pre-college activities.

During your two weeks at Harvard, you attend class for three hours a day and participate in college readiness workshops or team-building events. In the evenings, you eat in the dining hall, finish homework in your dorm, and attend social activities.

You leave the pre-college summer program more capable of thinking critically and communicating confidently—skills that will lead to success at school, in college, and in your career.

Secondary School Program  

College courses for credit in a seven-week session

This is your test-drive of college. At Harvard, you are fully immersed in college life—balancing time between classes, homework, and extracurricular activities. The program features:

  • College courses (over 200 to choose from), which you attend alongside current college students, other high school students, and professionals from around the world.
  • Credit you can transfer to a college in the future.
  • The choice to live on campus, commute, or study online.
  • The freedom to schedule your days.

You may choose to enroll in one or two courses. Outside the classroom, you can attend workshops, take trips to nearby colleges, and unwind through activities like intramural sports and musical pursuits. You find a healthy balance of organized events and free time, allowing you the independence you will find in college.


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POMONA COLLEGE – Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS)

Pomona College Academy for Youth Success was created to increase the pool of students prepared to enter selective and highly selective colleges and universities who are from historically underrepresented backgrounds, including first generation college students, those from low-income backgrounds, AND/OR those who are African American, Latina/o, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or Southeast Asian.

PAYS offers a multifaceted approach to prepare and support ninety high achieving high school students for admission to and success in college.  Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors participate in a yearlong array of programs geared to affect their perceptions of the college experience, to challenge them academically, and to develop a peer group striving for success in four year institutions. Each scholar is part of PAYS for three consecutive years, from acceptance at the end of their first year of high school until graduation. The program is committed to supporting each in matriculation to competitive institutions.


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Stanford High School Summer College

What Makes Stanford Distinct

Why are we different from other summer programs that offer college credit? Summer College students enjoy an extraordinary array of social, cultural, and educational programming, events, speakers, and trips, all uniquely situated in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, with its perfect summer days. Here are five main reasons why Stanford’s High School Summer College is extraordinary:

It’s Stanford

Stanford’s leadership in global education, research, and innovation is unmatched.


Students can choose among 145 different classes across 30 departments within the University. Students can take up to 5 courses in the summer, gaining more exposure to the subjects that interest and challenge them.

A Commitment to Academic Support Services

Stanford’s Office of Collegiate Programs is committed to robust academic support. In addition to Stanford’s world-renowned faculty and libraries, Summer College students have access to free tutors in most academic areas, academic skills coaches, and academic advisors. Additionally, residential students have access to Stanford undergraduate mentors and live-in adult staff. These expert staff members make it their primary responsibility to teach, develop, and support the skills necessary to succeed inside and outside the classroom.

Preparing Students for College, Wherever They Choose

We offer an array of programming, workshops, speakers, panels, and events. This is all aimed to help students lay the groundwork that will serve them not only in their summer at Stanford, but also wherever they choose to go to college—and, more immediately, when they return to high school in the fall.

Stanford is Situated in a Vibrant Hub of Industry & Innovation

This includes Silicon Valley, the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, and the wider Bay Area. High School Summer College students have access to a steady stream of industry and academic world leaders, including numerous speakers during the Summer for Stanford University students, and often featuring Nobel laureates, global leaders, voices that have shaped history, and those that will shape the future.



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UCLA Summer Sessions

During the summer, UCLA opens its door to high school students as well, and we invite you to come and study in a welcoming environment that appreciates diversity and global perspectives.

UCLA Summer Sessions offers high school students two ways to engage in a college experience that will challenge and inspire them:

  • Individual UCLA Academic Courses; or
  • Specialized Precollege Summer Institutes

If you can answer yes to any of the questions below, you are considered a U.S. high school student for our registration purposes:

  • Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, i.e., a Green Card holder?
  • Are you an international student currently studying in the US and returning to the same school after the summer?
  • Do you intend to register only in the short-term Precollege Summer Institutes that are not F-1 visa eligible?

The thousands of high school students who have joined UCLA in the past report that UCLA Summer Sessions is an invigorating and unforgettable experience academically, culturally, and socially, and we hope to see you this summer.

UCLA Pre-College Summer Institutes

Precollege Summer Institutes are designed for advanced high school students who wish to gain academically challenging college-level experience. Most of our programs offer mandatory or optional housing with full supervision.

Listed below are the 2016 precollege programs:














(The STEM CELL SCIENCE SUMMER INSTITUTE is now offered as an academic course: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 50)


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USC Summer Programs

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities and home to an outstanding liberal arts college, an integrated academic medical center, and some of the best professional and arts schools in the country.

USC Summer Programs extends a tradition of excellence to outstanding high school students through unique 4 and 2 week summer courses. Accepted students to the USC Summer Programs will balance academic and campus life as they prepare for college in the nation’s entertainment center – Los Angeles, California.

USC Summer Programs’ courses are taught by USC faculty and experienced professionals of the USC academic community. Summer Programs’ faculty create an engaging academic experience by combining lectures, hands-on workshops and labs, guest speakers, and academic field trips to locations throughout Los Angeles. Each course is designed to be more interactive, engaging, and challenging than accelerated high school classes or the broad introductory courses offered by other summer pre-collegiate programs.