Stanford University auditorium

Stanford University’s High School Summer College is one of the most expansive programs of its kind. The prestigious West Coast university, which currently boasts the most selective acceptance rate of any school in the US, accepts high school students between the ages of 16 and 19 to join Stanford students for the 8-week summer term, where they may take up to twelve units of courses for Stanford University credit. This credit is transferable to most universities in the United States, should the student gain admission to another school.

Like many summer programs, this program is not meant to “groom” students to become Stanford students. In fact, students who have already been accepted to Stanford for the fall term following may not apply to the program. Only high school sophomores, juniors or seniors, or students taking a gap year may attend. Whether or not your student plans to apply to Stanford, this program is an excellent opportunity to interact with some of the top minds in their fields and get to know the high-tech, fast-paced culture of Silicon Valley.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When does instruction begin?
    Summer term begins in mid- to late June. Eligible students will be no younger than 16 years old by this point, and no older than 19 on the last day of the term.
  • Around what time is the application deadline?
    International students should complete the application process in early spring.
  • What kinds of courses are offered?
    Students can choose from nearly 150 courses out of Stanford’s course catalog each summer. Courses offerings include everything from introductory genetics, to computer science, to art and more. Students also have the opportunity to work closely with esteemed faculty, whose numbers include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and National Medal of Technology recipients. Summer institutes are also offered separately from the summer college program.

In addition to the Summer High School, Stanford also hosts three other world-class institutes:

  • Stanford Arts Institute: Students in grades 9 through 11 who are interested in developing their talents in visual art, music and design get hands-on experience.
  • Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s Outreach Summer: This program is for girls in grade 9, and focuses on the development and study of artificial intelligence and computer science.
  • Summer Humanities Institute: This institute is geared toward sophomores and juniors who have an interest in history and philosophy.

To complete the online application, you will need:

  • Teacher/Counselor Recommendation (All recommendations must be in English.)
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Financial Aid Application (Optional)
  • High School Transcript
  • Standardized Test Scores (Optional)
  • English Proficiency Requirements: includes TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge exams, unless the student attends a school that teaches mostly in English.
  • Essay
  • $85 application fee

Applicants will receive an admission decision approximately three weeks after receiving the confirmation email. Once this is done, all that’s left is accepting the offer and completing your visa information.