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Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes 2021

Application Deadline: March 10, 2021

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes offers two-week, online summer courses, providing academically talented and intellectually curious students currently in grades 8–11 with intensive study in a single course. We invite high school students from around the world to discover, study and explore in small classes with instructors who are scholars in their fields and passionate about teaching.

The program emphasizes building skills along with acquiring knowledge and is designed to create environments that foster creativity and collaboration where students learn from each other as well as from their instructors.

Courses meet for two hours each day (Monday–Friday) for live online classroom discussion with their instructor and peers. In addition to the live meeting times, students will engage in out-of-class learning assignments tailored to each course. Please visit our course catalog for details about each course’s unique meeting time.

Active participation in class discussion is key to creating an online community of engaged learners. Outside of the academic components, students will also find opportunities to engage and build community with their peers through a variety of student life seminars, workshops, and activities.

Upon completion of the course, instructors provide a qualitative written evaluation and participants receive a Certificate of Completion.

Summer 2021 Courses

Find the Course that Excites You

  • Surgical Technology and Entrepreneurship

  • The Nature of Evil

  • Number Theory

  • Topics in Psychology

Course offerings are designed to meet the interests of our students. Our instructors highlight new areas of research and findings to create an exciting learning opportunity for students. With 30 courses to choose from for Summer 2021, students will participate in just one course for advanced study. Similar to what they would experience in a college course, students can expect a heavy workload of assignments to work on outside of the daily live class meeting times. Coursework may include assigned readings, group work, pre-recorded online lectures, and more.

Explore the Course Catalog


  • Single-Subject Study: Their 30 summer courses provide in-depth and interactive exploration of academic material. Courses are ungraded and are not awarded credit. Courses are available in subjects including computer science, math, creative writing, philosophy, engineering, and more.

  • Global Focus and Real Connections: Bright peers from around the world create a truly special and unforgettable experience. Study and discuss academic topics alongside peers that share the same talents, interests, and curiosity.

  • Live Online Classes: With small class sizes, the online classes allow students to engage in every aspect of a course through real-time discussions in which instructors and students see, hear, and interact with one another.

  • Learn from Scholarly Instructors: Attend courses designed, created, and taught by instructors who are knowledgeable in their fields and passionate about teaching. Many courses highlight new areas of research and professional practice.


  • Students in grades 8–11 at the time of application submission are eligible.

  • For specific grade ranges that each course is open to, please see the course descriptions on the official website.

Application Process

1. Start an Application Create a Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes application account. The application account should be made with the student applicant's legal name, but a parent email address may be used to receive application communications.

2. Review of Application Checklist In addition to the online application form, a complete application includes:

  • Academic Records

  • We require unofficial transcripts for each school or academic program you took graded courses at from Fall 2018 through Fall 2020. If you have multiple grade reports from one school, rather than one transcript from that school, please combine that into a single file for upload. Homeschooled applicants should submit a document similar to a transcript with their coursework from the years listed above. Homeschooled students should also submit transcripts from any graded courses they took with a school or program during this period.

  • Work Sample(s)

  • At least one sample of student work will be required. Two may be required based on the courses the applicant indicates interest in. Work samples must have been completed as a school assignment within the past year and must demonstrate a student’s best effort. If possible, your sample should show graded work and the prompt or directions, but graded work is not required. No work sample older than two years will be accepted. Please see the Online Application for more detail about the subject your work sample should be from.

  • Teacher Recommendation(s)

  • We require at least one recommendation letter. Two recommendations from different subject areas may be required based on the courses the applicant indicates interest in.

  • Video Essay (Optional)

  • This video essay is an opportunity to share more about yourself. You can consider it a conversation between you and our Admissions Committee, or you may also choose to tell us something you haven't mentioned elsewhere in the application. If you attend a school in which the primary language of instruction is a language other than English, we strongly encourage you to complete the video essay.

  • $65 Application Fee

  • You may submit the $65 application fee online using a credit card. Please see instructions for payment at the end of the Online Application.

Apply Now

Official Website

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