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#summer programs for high school kids at US universities: Stanford

Stanford’s High School Summer College is an academically selective program that provides access to undergraduate education at one of America’s most respected universities. Summer College is not a camp, but an eight-week college experience that provides academic, social, and intellectual opportunities not found in a high school classroom. Program participants build a schedule comprised of challenging college-level courses, and credit earned is documented on a Stanford University transcript. Stanford credit may be transferable to other educational institutions depending on the transfer policies of the specific college or university. High School Summer College students interact with peers from across the U.S. and around the world, and have ample opportunity to explore the unique recreational activities available on campus and in the culturally rich San Francisco Bay Area. The program’s diverse and interesting academic and extracurricular offerings provide many occasions for personal growth, enjoyment, and the opportunity to develop memorable friendships. We encourage interested students to apply for Summer 2013!

High School Summer College students have three options for attendance:

  • Residential Option: Students from anywhere within the U.S. or abroad who will live on the Stanford Campus as part of an organized residential community.
  • Commuting Option: Students who live near enough to Campus to commute to class or can arrange to stay with family or family friends for the duration of the Summer Quarter.
  • Stanford Horizon Scholars Program: Up to fifteen low-income, high-achieving, local-area high school students will have the opportunity to attend Stanford Summer Session’s High School Summer Session as commuting students at little to no cost.

To learn more about High School Summer College residential or commuting options, please use the links provided in the left margin of this webpage to navigate your way around our website. These links provide detailed information about Program Expenses & Fees, Housing & Dining, How to Apply, and more.

High School Summer College students select their courses after they have been accepted to the program and issued a Stanford ID number. Summer College courses are a subset of all courses offered on campus during the Summer Quarter, and each course has been recommended by its respective department as suitable for the students in our program. All courses are regular Stanford courses and, with very few noted exceptions, provide college credit. The departments offering these courses appear below. Clicking on the name of a particular department will enable the list of courses to appear. Clicking on the name of a course will open its description. It is important to review stated prerequisites to ensure appropriate placement in summer courses. High School Summer College participants will select their courses from the list available at this website. In rare cases, students may be allowed to enroll in courses listed at the site for undergraduates. Students who feel qualified to enroll in a more advanced course must contact the Summer Session Office for assistance.

Class schedules (meeting days and times) may be viewed by using the Explore Courses feature ofAxess – Stanford’s online registration system. Use the “Filter Results” box within Explore Courses to limit course selection to the Summer Quarter. Courses offered during the Summer Quarter are eight weeks in length, unless otherwise noted in the course description or course details. Courses and schedules are subject to change.

Stanford does not have a standard course catalog numbering system, but in general:

  • Courses numbered 1 through 99 are primarily for college freshmen and sophomores.
  • Courses numbered from 100 through 199 are primarily for college juniors and seniors. Some departments, however, offer courses numbered from 200 to 299 for juniors and seniors.
  • Most courses numbered 200 and above are for graduate students.
  • No graduate course is numbered below 200, and all courses above 300 are for graduate students.

Students register for courses via Axess beginning April 14, 2013. Students must have completed the application process, accepted their offer of admission, and been issued a Stanford ID number before they will be eligible to enroll in courses. International students requiring a Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) may enroll in courses after receiving their Stanford ID number, but are required to verify receipt of their F-1 Student Visa by June 1 to remain in good standing for the Summer Quarter (Canadian citizens excluded). Students may verify receipt of their F-1 Student Visa by forwarding a photocopy or scan of their valid F-1 visa stamp to the Summer Session Office. Additional information is available under the International Students webpage or the International Basics tab.

AnthropologyArt & Art HistoryAthletics, Physical Education & RecreationBiology

Center for Teaching & Learning




Comparative Literature

Computational & Mathematical Engineering

Computer Science


Electrical Engineering



English for Foreign Students

Geological & Environmental Science

HistoryInternational RelationsLanguagesManagement Science & Engineering





Political Science

Program in Writing and Rhetoric


Religious Studies

Science, Technology, & Society



Theater and Performance Studies

2013 Summer Session Important Dates

Application Deadlines

Each High School Summer College option has a specific deadline, noted below. Students who qualify for the Stanford Horizon Scholars program are not required to pay an application fee. No other application fee waivers are granted.

  • Residential Option: Rolling deadline until filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. This program has limited capacity and fills each year with a wait list.
  • Commuting Option: The deadline to start a new application is Monday, June 10, 2013, and the deadline to complete an existing application is Friday, June 14, 2013.
  • Stanford Horizon Scholars Program: Applications open Monday, January 7, 2013. Students must start working on their online applications by no later than Thursday, March 28, 2013 and complete them by Monday, April 1, 2013. Notification of acceptance to the Horizon Scholars Program will be made April 15, 2013.
Saturday, June 22 Move-In Day for residential students.
Monday, June 24 First day of classes.
Monday, June 24 – Saturday, August 17 Session for eight-week courses.
Friday, August 16 and/or
Saturday, August 17
End-Quarter examinations for eight-week courses.
Sunday, August 18 Move-out date for eight-week residential students.
Monday, June 24 – Friday, August 23 Session for nine-week courses (Organic Chemistry and Physics Sequences).
Friday, August 23 End-Quarter examinations for nine-week courses (on last day of class).
Saturday, August 24 Move-out date for nine-week residential students.

Applicant Information

Our selective eight-week program attracts exceptional high school students who are eager to experience academics in a university environment. Students who are current Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors at the time of application must be 16 or 17 years old on the first day of instruction. We will also review applications from high school Sophomores and Juniors who are already 18 years old and will remain that age through August 18, 2013. Students in this latter category will need to contact the Summer Session Office for assistance once they have created an application. There are no exceptions to these guidelines.

Students who have been admitted to Stanford as incoming Freshmen may not attend High School Summer College.

The High School Summer College application is available online. First time applicants should read through the How to Apply information provided to gain an overview of the entire process. Students who have successfully completed the program during a previous summer should contact the Summer Session Office for application details.

We encourage students to read through the website to gain a complete understanding of the program, courses, fees, and calendar prior to initiating an application.

Students may attend High School Summer College as residential or commuting students. Each option provides unique advantages and opportunities to our participants. Students who live at a distance geographically, or who are eager to experience the full benefit of living on campus, should apply to be residential students. Students who live a manageable distance from campus, or who can arrange to stay with local area family or family friends, may attend Summer College as commuting students. Local area commuting students who fit the application criteria may also consider the Stanford Horizon Scholarsprogram. All students are able to take advantage of the resources available to registered Stanford students, including access to athletic facilities, libraries, and more. Program participants may also utilize the academic tutoring and advising services sponsored by the Summer Session Office. All students are invited to attend the Stanford Summer Intensives Speaker Series scheduled throughout the Summer Quarter, as well as the College Admission 101 Workshop which provides insight on the college admission process at Stanford. Regardless of whether a student lives on campus or stays at home, High School Summer College offers a challenging summer of academics, enrichment, and opportunity for personal development.

Residential Option

Summer College residential students reside in a classic undergraduate residence hall. All students have a roommate, and program participants are housed on single-sex floors. The Summer College residence hall has its own laundry facilities and computer clusters. The complex is organized into houses, and each house has its own lounge and common area. Students eat meals together in a nearby dining commons. All Stanford residences feature convenient access to Tresidder Student Union, the Campus Bookstore, and classroom locations.

A carefully chosen and trained staff of Stanford undergraduates live in residence as program Mentors, and each house has a graduate student House Director in residence as well. Summer staff provide guidance and supervision, and plan social and extracurricular activities that round out the summer experience. The Program Fee residential students pay upon accepting their offer of admission covers most of the cost of these co-educational activities. Weekends and evenings are packed with field trips, informal discussions with Stanford faculty, outreach projects, intramural sports, residence hall activities, and more. Popular outings include San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

Residential students are required to enroll in a minimum of 8 units of coursework, 6 of which must be from academic departments. Unit values for each course are found within the course descriptions, listed under Courses, and additional details regarding enrollment and expected workload may be found in theCredit & Evaluation segment of our website.

Program Expenses

The Summer Session Office has created the following tables to assist students in calculating their total summer costs. Fees and charges listed are examples that are meant to be useful for budgeting purposes. When possible, a short explanation accompanies a fee that may be variable or may only apply to some students. It is important to view the Tuition by Units table and the Explanation of Fees descriptions for more information about each of these items and how personal decisions will impact the total amount due.

Students who qualify for the Stanford Horizon Scholars program should refer to the details provided in that section for program cost information.

Residential Students: Our sample budget is based on a student, domestic or international, enrolled in the required minimum of 8 units of coursework and living on campus as part of the High School Summer College residential program. Tuition costs will increase for enrollment over 8 units. Health insurance is automatically charged by the University, but may be waived with proof of coverage.

Residential Option Expenses & Fees:

Fees Billed by Summer Session Office All Rates (USD)
Application Fee $75
Program Fee $250
Visa Processing Fee (International Students Only)* $75
Fees Billed by Stanford University All Rates (USD)
Tuition (8-Unit Minimum Charge)* $7,667
Housing (8-Week Housing Assignment)* $1,761
Meal Plan (14 meals/week)* $1,363
Document Fee $100
Telecom Fee $60
Campus Health Services Fee $179
Personal/Optional Costs:
Books/Supplies (Estimated) $400
Post Office Box Fee* $20
TOTAL (Without Cardinal Care Health Insurance) $11,900
Health Insurance Fee (Requires Proof of Coverage to Waive)
Cardinal Care Health Insurance Fee (See Details Below)* $900
TOTAL (With Cardinal Care Health Insurance) $12,800

Living at Stanford

High School Summer College students come to Stanford from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, bringing with them a wealth of cultural and ethnic diversity. Residential life introduces an invaluable opportunity for learning about people’s differences and similarities.

All residential students in the High School Summer College program live and eat together in a single undergraduate residence hall on the Stanford campus. The residence hall consists of a cluster of smaller “houses” and each house typically has its own lounge, computer cluster, laundry facility, and common area.

Summer College students are assigned to double rooms and share with another student from the program. A trained staff of Stanford undergraduate students live in residence and serve as Mentors, with the mission of supporting a safe, warm, and inviting residential community. Graduate students also live in residence as House Directors, providing additional overview and support for High School Summer College students.

All rooms are equipped with window coverings and furnished with an extra-long twin bed, desk and chair, bookcase, dresser, and wardrobe for each roommate. In addition, each room has a private telephone and access to the internet. Wireless connectivity is available on campus for registered students.

Pillows, bed linens, and towels are not provided for residential students. Students may bring these items with them, or may purchase them in the local community.

What is High School Summer College?

Stanford’s High School Summer College is a college level program for high school students. It is not a camp, or a casual summer activity. The University has offered bright, motivated high school students the opportunity to enroll in college-level courses since the late 1960s. The Summer Session Office works hard to ensure that all the students we admit are ready to handle the challenges of the program, both socially and academically. We appreciate the confidence each family places in us to provide their son or daughter with a safe and enriching experience.

High School Summer College is designed to closely replicate the college experience while giving students the extra guidance they need to be self-reliant and master their college-level courses. This starts with the application process, which is tailored to mirror the Common Application. Because our ultimate relationship is with the student, we require that they complete their own application online. Parent and guardian contact details are provided as part of the application, and our office strives to keep our adult population up-to-date with a parallel online checklist and copies of critical email messages. The Summer Session Office cannot stress enough the importance of reading correspondence regarding attendance in our program. We strongly encourage parents and guardians to add, and to email address books to avoid missing important updates.

Academic Support

Academic support for our students is provided in several different ways, both before and during the Summer Quarter. For admitted students who would like to talk through their course selections prior to arriving on campus, academic advising is available by contacting the Summer Session Office. Once the Summer Quarter is underway, academic advising is available on a drop-in or by-appointment basis. Tutoring is also provided during evening hours for core academic courses. Instructors and Teaching Assistants hold regular office hours on a weekly basis. University students learn early on the importance of seeking assistance when needed, and the Summer Session Office encourages our program participants to be in control of their educational experience.

Program Support for Residential Students

Summer College hires Mentors – carefully selected and trained Stanford undergraduates – to live in residence with the students in our program. The Mentors are chosen for their maturity, warmth, and ability to be outstanding role models. They are accomplished young scholars who are eager to provide the guidance and tools that high school students need to succeed. In addition to our Mentors, there are graduate students living in residence as House Directors who are available to provide program oversight and additional supervision. Adult staff is also readily available during normal business hours.

If a student in our program requires medical treatment during their time on campus, the Vaden Health Center is conveniently located on campus and provides excellent, caring service. Stanford Hospital is only minutes away in the event of a medical emergency.

Stanford has a long and successful history of helping students thrive in their college environment. Students in the Summer College program will acquire lifelong memories, amazing friendships, and enhanced self-confidence. Parents and guardians should feel free to contact us directly with questions or concerns.

Housing Information

High School Summer College residential students who have completed the acceptance process and received their Stanford ID number are guaranteed housing on the Stanford Campus; however, the Housing Office maintains a separate application process that Summer College students are required to complete online. Detailed information describing the housing application is included in each student’s acceptance materials. Parents or guardians of students who accept a housing assignment must sign a Stanford University Residence Agreement, a legal contract that governs occupancy and conduct in University housing.

Specific room and roommate assignments are made by the Summer Session Office after students have accepted their place in the residential program and submitted their individual profiles and Residence Agreement forms. Room and roommate assignments are not made public until the opening day of the program.

Students are billed for their housing expenses on the University Bill. The eight-week housing rate for Summer 2013 is $1,761. Housing rates quoted are subject to change.

Terms of Occupancy

The Summer College residence hall will open for occupancy on Saturday, June 22, and will close on Sunday, August 18. Once a residential student moves in to their assigned room, they are required to live in residence for the length of time specified by their Housing Contract.

Additional details regarding the schedule for Welcome Weekend will be provided in the program materials students receive upon admission. Without exception, no student may move into the residence hall before June 22 or remain in their room after August 18.

All students are expected to arrive on June 22. Any exceptions must be approved by the Summer College Office.

Dining Information

All High School Summer College students are automatically assigned to a 14 meals/week dining plan, but may modify their selection within the Axess system. Information regarding Stanford dining plans is available online at the Stanford Residential & Dining Services website.

Stanford dining features “all-you-care-to-eat” cafeteria style dining, with options available at each meal to accommodate a wide-variety of dietary needs. The following chart provides a summary of dining options for residential students:

Summer Session 2013 Meal Plans:

Meals/Week Eight-Week Term
19 $1,422
14  $1,363
12 $1,422 (+86 MPD*)
7 $1,268 (+254 MPD*)

* MPD = Meal Plan Dollars. Plans including Meal Plan Dollars are provided to allow for flexibility with on campus dining. During the Summer Quarter, a limited number of dining facilities are available to accept these “dollars.” We encourage students to consider dining options carefully, since refunds for unused Meal Plan Dollars are not available.

Students are billed for their meal plan on the University Bill. Dining Plan rates quoted are subject to change.

Activities and Campus Life

Weekends and evenings are packed with local area excursions, intramural sports, informal discussions with Stanford faculty, outreach projects, residence hall activities, and adventures on and off campus. Some sample activities from previous summers include:

Summer College students also have access to swimming pools, tennis courts, handball and squash courts, a fully equipped gym, basketball and sand volleyball courts, a golf course, and other facilities devoted to track and field, softball, soccer, and field hockey.

Rolling hills adjacent to campus provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country running.

High School Summer College students may not miss class for any reason. Residential students are required to remain on campus through July 5, 2013, unless they are participating in a planned program activity. Additional information about trips off campus and weekends away will be included in the program materials students receive when offered admission to the program.

International Students

English Language Proficiency

It is a stated requirement of the Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) that students studying in the U.S. be fluent in spoken and written English. Stanford Summer Session requires the submission of TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores as part of the application process. Exam scores are valid for 2 years, and the Summer Session Office requires that test scores be valid as of the application deadline for each program. The following score requirements are provided for students who have taken these tests. The minimum scores listed should help students assess their readiness to spend a summer at Stanford.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Minimum score of 233 for the computer-based TOEFL test (CBT)
  • Minimum score of 90 for the internet-based TOEFL test (IBT)
  • Minimum score of 577 for the paper-based TOEFL test (PBT)


International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Minimum overall band score of 7.0


Cambridge Exams

  • Minimum score of 60 on the Cambridge Advanced English Test
  • Certificate in Advanced English
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English

International students may not be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge Exam scores if the primary language of instruction at their educational institution is English, or if the student is a native English speaker. When applying online, international students will be able to explain their individual situation. The Summer Session Office reserves the right to request additional information to verify proof of fluency.

Student Visa Information

International students (non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents) must obtain an F-1 Student Visa to enter the United States to study at Stanford for the Summer Quarter (Canadian citizens receive their F-1 Student Visa at port-of-entry). To obtain an F-1 visa, students must be sponsored for an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status). Stanford University will sponsor the I-20 for students who are admitted to a Summer Session program. International applicants should read through the complete explanation of the visa process provided under the International Basics section. Required I-20 documents include:

  • Declaration of Finance: An online form completed as part of the Summer Session acceptance process.
  • Proof of Funding document: A letter or statement from a student’s or student’s family’s financial institution, verifying funds on deposit sufficient to cover the full cost of the program as stated on the Declaration of Finance. It is recommended that the student request two originals of this document:  one to submit to Stanford, and one to bring with them to their appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Current Passport Photocopy: A copy of the identification page(s) of the student’s passport.

Specific instructions on how to submit each document will be provided to international students at the time of admission.

Students should not enter the United States on a B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa or a WT/WB Waiver prior to starting school if their intention is to enroll in courses for credit. Immigration law prohibits students from attending school on a B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa or a WT/WB Waiver.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials required for their I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) as soon as they receive an offer of admission from Stanford Summer Session. Some countries require more time than others to schedule appointments and process visa paperwork. The Summer Session Office sends I-20s to students via Federal Express, so it’s important to provide accurate mailing information when completing the online application. We are not responsible for delays in receiving visa documents or difficulties in scheduling Embassy appointments.

International students must arrive on campus by June 22, 2013 to be in compliance with Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) requirements.

Enrollment Requirements

International students requiring a Stanford sponsored I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) may enroll in courses after receiving their Stanford ID number, but are required to verify receipt of their F-1 Student Visa by June 1 to remain in good standing for the Summer Quarter (Canadian citizens excluded). Students may verify their F-1 visa status by forwarding a scan or photocopy of their valid F-1 visa stamp to the Summer Session Office via email or fax:

Fax:   650-725-6080

International students obtaining an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status) from Stanford are required to enroll in a minimum of 8 units, regardless of whether they live on campus as part of the residential program, or off campus as part of the commuting program. The Summer Session Office will monitor enrollment throughout the Summer Quarter to ensure compliance.

* This fee may not apply to all students, or is dependent upon personal choices made within a finite set of options. Please refer to the appropriate section under Explanation of Fees for more details.

Stanford Summer Intensive Studies

Stanford Summer Intensive Studies is an initiative by Stanford Summer Session that offers students the opportunity to use Summer Quarter to engage deeply with one area of study. These courses are a part of the regular Summer Quarter curriculum and are open to all students who have completed any necessary prerequisites. Stanford Summer Intensive Studies invites students to focus their academic interests, coursework, and intellectual pursuits in one of the following areas:

  • Human Rights
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Water & The Environment
  • Physics
  • Computer Science

Stanford Summer Intensive Studies offer students the opportunity to:

  • Explore and gain competency in an area of personal interest
  • Deepen understanding of important social issues
  • Enhance their portfolios before applying to colleges and universities

Participants will join a cohort of students and faculty with shared academic interests. Each Intensive will be enhanced by a faculty speaker.

Successful completion of a Summer Intensive will be documented by a Certificate of Completion from the Summer Session Office. Please refer to the Summer Session Courses webpage for full descriptions of each of the courses listed below. Keynote speakers for each intensive will be announced later in the year.

Human Rights

The Summer Intensive in Human Rights is built around a core course taught by Helen Stacy, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford and a leader in human rights law. Students will choose one or two additional courses focused on Human Rights from the perspective of history, psychology, philosophy, or medicine. Human Rights courses will be complemented by speakers, field trips, public service opportunities, and cultural events. To receive a Certificate of Completion in Human Rights, six or more units of coursework must be selected from the following course options:

Organic Chemistry

The nine-week Summer Intensive in Organic Chemistry will fulfill the one-year college organic chemistry requirement for most medical schools. The program consists of three, three-week segments during which students enroll in both a lecture and a lab course. Students may enroll in the entire sequence or choose from individual segments to complement coursework already completed. This intensive will offer small class sizes and dedicated teachers. To receive a Certificate of Completion in Organic Chemistry, students must complete the following courses:

Special note for High School Summer College students: To enroll in these courses a student must have completed AP Chemistry (or equivalent) and must feel extremely comfortable with their performance in the course. The entire Organic Chemistry sequence requires nine weeks to complete.

General Chemistry

Students who are not ready to take Organic Chemistry should enroll in General Chemistry, as it is appropriate for students with moderate or no background in chemistry. The eight-week Summer Intensive in General Chemistry is equivalent to one-year of college general chemistry, and is taught as sequential four-week courses. To receive a Certificate of Completion in General Chemistry, students must complete the following courses:

Stanford Environmental & Water Studies Summer Program

Extraordinary leadership and expertise is needed to address the world’s critical environmental conditions – in the present and into the future. The Stanford Environmental & Water Studies Summer Program is an eight-week expansive enrichment experience for students and professionals to be attuned to cutting-edge knowledge and shifting paradigms in environmental science and engineering. The Summer curriculum comprises both introductory and advanced courses that challenge critical thinking and encourage interactive discussion to explore complex water and environmental problems, technologies, processes, and solutions. Students registered in the program may receive the SEWSS Certificate by completing at least three of the courses listed below with a grade of C- or higher. In addition to admission to Summer Session, a SEWSS Registration Form is required to enroll in these courses. For further information, students should visit the Stanford Environmental & Water Studies Summer Program website or email:

2013 SEWSS courses:


The nine-week Summer Intensive in Physics will fulfill the one-year college physics requirement with lab of most medical schools. Each individual offering is three-weeks in duration, and students may enroll in the entire sequence or choose from individual courses to complement coursework already completed. This sequence is appropriate for biology, social science, and premedical students. To receive a Certificate of Completion in Physics, students must complete the following courses:

Special note for High School Summer College students: The official course descriptions for these offerings list high school algebra and trigonometry. Although not required, past Summer College participants have indicated that a background in high school physics (not AP) is recommended. The entire Physics sequence requires nine weeks to complete.

Computer Science

The Summer Intensive in Computer Science offers five courses designed for students with moderate to advanced knowledge. To earn a Certificate of Completion in Computer Science, seven or more units of coursework must be selected from the following course options:

Special note for High School Summer College students: To enroll in these courses a student must have completed AP Computer Science (or equivalent) and must feel extremely comfortable with their performance in the course.

Special Programs

Stanford-Peking University Program

For High School Summer College students, the Stanford-Peking University Program is an intensive five-week language program at Stanford (June 24 – July 26). Intensive Chinese is offered at the first, second, and third-year levels. Each course is equivalent to one year of instruction. Classes meet for four hours of instruction daily, Monday through Friday. For further information, please call 650-723-6355 or

Intensive Language Study Program

During the summer, Stanford’s Language Center offers a wide range of intensive language courses. Each course covers a full year of university-level language instruction in eight weeks. The ratio of students to teachers is low, ensuring personalized instruction. The following languages are typically offered during the summer: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Classic Latin. Chinese is offered as part of the Stanford-Peking University Program (see above for program description). Language offerings for the upcoming summer will be listed in Axess in early January. Schedules and courses are subject to change.

Why High School Summer College at Stanford? 10 Reasons:

Attending High School Summer College at Stanford University has many rewards and the experiences will be unique from one student to another. Not sure if this program is right for your top students? Here are ten great reasons why students should consider High School Summer College at Stanford this Summer Quarter:

  1. Take courses that interest and challenge them. High School Summer College students will take Stanford courses for college credit – ranging from computer science and bioethics to creative writing and art history. There are over 125 courses to choose from.
  2. Earn college credits, earn a Stanford transcript. Demonstrate to college admission committees their ability to excel in college courses at a world-class university.
  3. Expand their horizons. Try something new! Extra-curricular opportunities in human rights, entrepreneurship, acting, improv comedy workshops, intramural basketball, soccer, and golf, to name a few.
  4. Achieve academic excellence. Engage with professors in their classes and study subjects that are beyond what is typically available in high school. Watch how an HSSC alum benefited from this during our live coverage with NBC Bay Area.
  5. Gain clarity about their future plans. Think critically about their studies and develop a stronger sense of where they will focus their future coursework – in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, business, or somewhere else.
  6. Access to Stanford’s elegant world-class campus and its resources. From the library collections and the high tech study spaces, to the first-rate athletic facilities and the beauty of the architecture and landscaping on campus, students will access its endless beauty and encounter endless possibilities.
  7. Be part of a community. They’ll meet, study, and live with other motivated and high-achieving students from all over the United States and the world. Watch the story of how three friends met and forged a friendship. Watch the story of how three friends met and forged a friendship.
  8. Experience the Bay Area’s treasures. As part of the program, they’ll visit Santa Cruz’s beaches, redwood forests, the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s museums, attend baseball games, and more.
  9. Learn responsible independence that comes with college life. Effectively manage time between academic and personal commitments. Receive support from Summer College Mentors and House Directors who serve as Stanford ambassadors and guides for college living. Watch two former House Directors speak about their leadership roles. Watch two former House Directors speak about their leadership roles.
  10. Receive a transformative experience. Our students are often surprised by how quickly they connect and click with peers from every corner of the globe – and maintain those connections through the years. Watch how studying at a leading American university made an impact on Clara Wei from China.

Here the link to their web site and here to download the pdf brochure


A strong summer program in one of the most prestigious academic institution in the world. Consequently it does not come cheap, especially considering travelling from Europe. 8 weeks may be too long for students coming from demanding high school programs (e.g. a strong Liceo Classico in Italy) that deserve and need to recharge batteries during the summer.

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