Pre-College Programs that Offer College Courses to High School Students
Introductory Information: Pre-College Program Summer Courses
There are a number of different kinds of pre-college summer programs that are available for high school students. For example, a summer program may include seminars, hands-on activities, projects, presentations, field trips, guest speakers, career exploration and more. However, there are some pre-college programs that are designed to enable high school students to take college level coursework. These programs often provide the opportunity for students to experience the academic rigor of undergraduate college classes and learn about topics at an in-depth level. In many cases, high school students actually have the chance to be in introductory undergraduate courses along with current college students and they get to learn from faculty members on the campus. Depending on the specific program, the courses may be credit bearing or non-credit bearing. Additionally, depending on the program, students may earn a grade in a course or they may receive feedback from an instructor without a grade. Either way, it is important for students to feel ready for the academic expectations of a college level course.
Summer pre-college programs designed for students to take actual undergraduate level courses typically have an application and requirements for admission/participation. To be admitted to many of these pre-college programs, students often are required to submit materials such as a current high school transcript. Students are also encouraged to speak with their school counselor and teachers to determine if they are ready for the demands of a college-level class.
The purpose of this article is to provide some examples of pre-college programs that provide high school students with the opportunity to take college level courses. There are a number of specific pre-college programs that are included in this article, but the article is not meant to contain an exhaustive or comprehensive list of the pre-college programs with college level courses. As a note, it is always the responsibility of a student to check with institutions (such as another college) to determine if any credits that earned in a pre-college program will be accepted for transfer.
Brown offers different summer pre-college programs and some these are designed to enable students to take college-level courses. Summer@Brown provides the opportunity for students to take non-credit courses on the campus and to choose from a large variety of topics. The courses allow students to study and explore a topic at an in-depth level and to get a sense of the academic environment at the university. Participating students can choose from courses within areas such as health studies, the arts, social sciences, communications, engineering, and more. Typically, students take one course per session. However, there are a number of sessions and qualified students can enroll in multiple sessions to explore courses in different areas or to go further in depth in one area. The program offers both a residential option and a commuter option. In addition to the courses, Summer@Brown is a full pre-college program which provides participants with the chance to engage in seminars, activities, opportunities to meet new peers, and entertainment. There is an application process for students who would like to participate in this program.
The Pre-Baccalaureate Program at Brown is designed for students who are prepared to take full undergraduate classes. This program is selective, requires an application and enables participants to take courses with current college students. The courses in this program are credit-bearing and students are encouraged to work with a high school counselor and teacher to help determine if they are ready to take a credit-bearing undergraduate course. Students participating in this program have a chance to take undergraduate courses that are typically open to first year college students enrolled at the university. The courses are typically seven weeks long and cover the full content of an undergraduate course. The program offers both a residential and commuter option. Most residential students take two courses and commuters take either one or two. This is a pre-college summer program and, in addition to taking courses, students have the chance to engage in social, educational, and extracurricular activities on the campus.
There is also a Summer@Brown Online Pre-college Summer Program, which provides students with the opportunity to take high interest college-level courses in an online setting. Students participating in this program interact with instructors, receive feedback, and learn about topics at an in-depth level. There are a variety of courses that can be taken. In 2019, students had the chance to take courses in areas such as DNA science, biomedical engineering, renewable energy engineering, writing, humanities, and more. The courses in the Summer@Brown Online Program are not taken for college credit, but students can receive a certificate and a performance report.
Note: Brown offers other pre-college programs in addition to those included in this article. Brown’s Summer Pre-College is included on the Rhode Island Summer Programs page of the Student Education Programs directory
Georgetown offers a College Prep Summer Pre-College Program that provide students with an opportunity to take college level courses. These courses are designed to be for credit and students can take a maximum of six credits during the summer. There are a wide variety of courses that are offered in areas such as the arts, computer science, psychology, writing, theater, math, and more. In this program, students take courses with college students and learn from instructors from Georgetown. In addition to the courses, high school students have a chance to learn about preparing for college, taking standardized tests, and receiving information about the college admission process. Additionally, students participating in this program stay on the campus with peers from around the country and around the world. The College Prep Program is selective and requires an application for admission.
Note: Georgetown also offers other pre-college programs in addition to those included in this article. There is information about the College Prep Program on the Washington D.C. Summer Programs page of this directory.
The University of Virginia
UVA has a pre-college summer program known as Advance which is designed for motivated high school 11th and 12th graders. This program provides students with an opportunity to take college level undergraduate classes. Through the program, participants take one core course and one elective course. The core course is designed specifically for a pre-college students in the Advance program. The are core courses offered in several different academic subject areas and give students a chance to be with their peers and learn about a subject area at an in-depth level. The elective provides high school students with the chance to take a course alongside current undergraduate students who are participating in the Summer Session at UVA. Elective courses are offered in a wide variety of areas and students can select a course in an area of interest. The Advance program is residential and it includes a variety of pre-college activities. For example, students learn about life on a college campus, participate in seminars, and engage in extracurricular and social activities. The Advance program for high school students is selective and requires an application.
Note: Virginia also offers other pre-college programs in addition to those included in this article. There is information about other programs in the state on the Virginia Summer Programs page of this directory.
New York University
NYU has a pre-college summer program that is designed for high school students in the 11th or 12th grade and that involves taking college level courses. The courses at NYU are credit-bearing and participants are in the classes along with current undergraduate students. Participating high school students have a large variety of courses to choose from. For example, the courses are offered in areas such as art history, creative writing, biology, journalism, psychology, economics, computer science, and much more. The NYU summer pre-college program also provides students with the opportunity to engage in social and extracurricular activities. These can include activities on the campus as well as in New York City. There is a residential and commuter option for this pre-college program. The pre-college program is selective and requires an application to be completed by high school students.
Note: New York University also offers additional pre-college programs that are different from the pre-college courses. There is more information about pre-college programs in the state of New York on the New York Summer Programs page of this directory.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University offers a summer pre-college program that is designed to enable high school students to take college level courses on the campus. The courses in this program are credit-bearing. Participating high students have the opportunity to learn from instructors from the university and interact with other students. Participants have many course options, as they can select from areas such as film, computer coding, writing, business, engineering, biology, and many other subjects. The pre-college program offers a residential and a commuter option. Residential students are expected to take two undergraduate college-level classes and commuters can take one or two.
Note: Johns Hopkins University has other pre-college programs for students. There is more information about summer pre-college progams in Maryland on the Maryland Summer Programs page.