7 UPenn Summer Programs

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

University of Pennsylvania entrance sign

7 UPenn Summer Programs

UPenn Summer Programs offer high school students a unique chance to experience university life and study at an Ivy League school. These programs cover various subjects, from science to arts, and are designed to challenge and inspire students. They provide a glimpse into college academics and campus life, helping students grow their knowledge and skills in a supportive environment.

This list presents eight diverse UPenn Summer Programs, each with its own focus, allowing students to explore their interests. Whether passionate about technology, art, or anything, these programs offer valuable experiences that can shape their future academic and career paths. The list is in no particular order, ensuring a broad overview of what UPenn offers.

1. UPenn Leadership in the Business World (LBW)

  • Location: Philadelphia, USA (on campus)
  • Cost: $10,999
  • Program Dates: Jun 9 – Jun 29, 2024; Jun 30 – Jul 20, 2024; Jul 21 – Aug 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Priority deadline); April 3, 2024 (Final deadline)
  • Eligibility: High school students currently enrolled in grade 11 with demonstrated leadership experience and academic excellence of a 3.5 unweighted GPA or higher

The UPenn Leadership in the Business World (LBW) program is a distinctive educational opportunity for students interested in business leadership. Part of the esteemed Wharton Global Youth Program, it offers a deep dive into leadership within the modern business world. The program mirrors the challenging and comprehensive curriculum of Wharton, covering subjects like finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. It stays current with the latest in business research and practices.

Portrait of young teacher helping a student during class.

A key aspect of LBW is its focus on real-world leadership skills. Students learn to think critically, approach problems creatively, and lead effectively. The program explores various leadership styles, teaching students to influence and inspire teams. Practical learning is a major component, with students participating in business simulations and case studies to apply what they learn.

Networking is also a vital part of the LBW experience. Students connect with Wharton alumni, industry professionals, and fellow participants, opening doors to future career paths and mentorships.

2. UPenn’s Penn Summer Neuroscience Research Academy

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Dates: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility: One year of high school biology and one year of high school chemistry

The UPenn Summer Neuroscience Research Academy at the University of Pennsylvania is an intensive program focusing on neuroscience. It provides students with a deep understanding of how the brain works, starting from neurons’ basic structure and function to complex cognitive processes like memory and emotion. The program combines classroom learning with practical lab experiences, giving students a real feel for neuroscience research.

What sets this academy apart is its comprehensive approach. It covers a wide range of topics in neuroscience and encourages students to participate actively in discussions and hands-on projects. This enhances their knowledge and develops critical thinking and research skills. The program particularly benefits high school students interested in neuroscience, offering a strong foundation for future academic pursuits.

a female student looking through a microscope

3. UPenn Penn Summer Chemistry Research Academy

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Dates: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility: Should have completed at least one year of high school chemistry before participating in this program

The UPenn Penn Summer Chemistry Research Academy is an intensive three-week program for high school students interested in chemistry hosted at the University of Pennsylvania. It offers a blend of classroom learning and hands-on lab experience. Students start with the basics of chemistry, like understanding atoms and molecules, and gradually move to more complex organic and inorganic chemistry topics.

A significant part of the program involves practical laboratory work. Students can use advanced equipment, conduct experiments, and even join ongoing research projects here. This direct experience in a real lab setting helps solidify the theoretical knowledge they gain in lectures.

a chemical engineer mixing chemical inside a lab

Beyond chemistry, the program prepares students for college life and helps develop important soft skills such as teamwork, analytical thinking, and problem-solving. These skills are essential in science and valuable in any future career path.

Attending this academy can also be beneficial for college applications. It shows a student’s dedication to chemistry and ability to handle advanced academic work. Recommendations from UPenn faculty gained through this program can further strengthen a student’s college application.

4. Engineering Summer Academy at Penn

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $8500
  • Program Dates: July 7th – 27th, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 1st, 2024 (Priority Application Deadline); April 5th, 2024 (General Application Deadline)
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have completed their freshman year in high school (ninth grade) and be at least 15 years of age by the program’s start

The Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP) is a dynamic, three-week program for high school students interested in engineering. Hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, it offers a blend of theoretical learning and practical experience in various engineering disciplines. The program is designed for motivated students, allowing them to learn from experienced faculty members and earn college credits.

two engineering student working on a school project

ESAP’s curriculum covers various topics, including Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Complex Networks, Computer Graphics, Computer Science, Nanotechnology, and Robotics. These hands-on and interactive courses allow students to delve deeply into their chosen area of interest. Beyond classroom learning, the program also offers a taste of college life, helping students develop independence and network with peers from diverse backgrounds.

5. UPenn Biomedical Research Academy

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Dates: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility: One year of high school chemistry is strongly advised

The UPenn Biomedical Research Academy is an enriching three-week summer program at the University of Pennsylvania, designed for high school students interested in biology and medicine. The Academy immerses students in cellular, molecular, and genetic biology, focusing on how these areas relate to diseases. It combines lectures by UPenn’s experts with hands-on lab work, giving students a real taste of biomedical research.

View of a woman using a microscope.

In this program, students attend lectures on genome sequencing, CRISPR technology, and vaccine development, presented by accomplished scientists and faculty. This broadens their understanding of key biomedical concepts and current issues in the field. The ‘Journal Club’ is a special part of the program where students analyze scientific articles in small groups, guided by Penn’s researchers. This activity sharpens their analytical skills and ability to understand complex scientific research.

6. UPenn Experimental Physics Research Academy

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Dates: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Eligibility: Previous physics experience is encouraged, though not required

The UPenn Experimental Physics Research Academy is a unique program for high school and university students interested in physics. Unlike regular classes, this academy offers hands-on experience in experimental physics, allowing students to do real experiments with advanced lab equipment. This practical approach gives a deeper understanding of physics and a taste of real scientific research.

Students at the academy balance learning theories in the morning with applying them in lab experiments in the afternoon. This method helps them think and work like physicists, engaging in data analysis and problem-solving activities. The projects cover various physics areas, such as particle physics and quantum mechanics, and align with current research, connecting students to the wider scientific community.

Female student looking into a microscope in a laboratory.

Joining the UPenn Experimental Physics Research Academy is more than just learning; it’s an active contribution to the field of physics. It prepares students for diverse career paths, equipping them with essential skills for future success. The program is an excellent opportunity for those passionate about physics to grow intellectually, gain hands-on experience, and advance their professional development.

7. Penn Summer Science Initiative

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates:  July 8 – August 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 1st, 2024
  • Eligibility: Have taken chemistry and/or physics courses, must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents

The Penn Summer Science Initiative (PSSI) is a thorough program for high school students interested in materials science and engineering. Sponsored by the Penn Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the National Science Foundation, PSSI combines academic learning with practical experience.

PSSI’s curriculum covers materials science comprehensively, including topics like atomic structures and nanotechnology. Students learn from experts and practice scientific writing, a skill crucial for college. The program goes beyond theory, emphasizing hands-on labs and computer simulations to apply what’s learned in class. Field trips to industrial and research sites connect classroom lessons to real-world applications.

Close up view of students looking into a microscope.

PSSI also prepares students for college, introducing them to advanced topics and the college application process. The program’s activities help build essential skills like time management and collaboration, which are important for college success.


The UPenn Summer Programs offer high school students diverse and enriching experiences in various fields. These programs, ranging from business to science and engineering, combine classroom learning with practical experience. They help students better understand their chosen subjects and provide a preview of university life.

Participating in these programs can enhance a student’s college applications, demonstrating their commitment to learning and ability to handle challenging academic work. The programs also offer opportunities to develop important skills like critical thinking and problem-solving, which are valuable in academic and professional settings.

In summary, the UPenn Summer Programs are excellent opportunities for students to explore their academic interests, develop new skills, and get a feel for college life. These programs can be a stepping stone to future academic and career success.


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