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Young Scholars High School Program

High School Program: Young Scholars

The Young Scholars High School Program allows outstanding juniors and seniors attending a local high school to take college courses in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. In the Young Scholars Program, you can pursue your discipline beyond the level offered in secondary schools, get a head start on your college requirements, or explore a brand-new field that interests you. It’s an exciting chance to explore new ideas and experience life in a college classroom.

Young Scholars Program students can choose from a variety of courses at the undergraduate level offered by the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Topics offered include anthropology, economics, English, math, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, and many more.

Students must apply according to our admissions and eligibility guidelines. Enrollment is subject to the approval of the program director, and registration in a desired course is not guaranteed.

Explore exciting topics in college-level courses

Penn undergraduate courses are taught by Penn faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. Most classes meet two to five times weekly, Monday through Friday, and assign homework, research papers, midterms, and/or finals. Textbooks and additional course materials may be required for a class.

Take advantage of the University’s world-class resources

In addition to Penn’s remarkable libraries and expert faculty instructors, Young Scholars Program students can access academic support at the Marks Family Writing Center, the Mathematics Department, and the Weingarten Learning Resources Center.

Earn academic credit from the University of Pennsylvania

Young Scholars Program students are evaluated by the same academic standards and procedures as Penn undergraduates. Students earn one course unit* (1 c.u., the equivalent of 4 college credit hours) for each course taken. Upon successful completion of the program and all coursework within, students may request official transcripts from Penn’s Registrar (fee-based).

Students planning to transfer these grades to their future undergraduate record or institution should be aware that transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the institution, including the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Penn’s transfer credit policies for pre-baccalaureate coursework.

Young Scholars Program tuition

During the fall and spring semesters, students attending City of Philadelphia public and charter schools are eligible for tuition-free participation in the program. Once admitted to the program, students take one course in the fall and spring semesters tuition-free. Students outside of the School District of Philadelphia pay full tuition rates for courses.

During the summer semester, all students pay full summer tuition rates and enroll in one or two undergraduate courses within one of our summer sessions.

Download: Young Scholars Program Student Handbook (PDF)


*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Upcoming application deadline

The application deadline for spring 2021 is December 1, 2020.

Get ready for the semester!

Find the classes you need and start getting ahead for the semester.

Culture, community, and city living

Explore everything Penn has to offer, including the vibrant city life of Philadelphia.

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