Terp Young Scholars Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

students posing for a picture

Terp Young Scholars Program

This summer, high school students have a golden chance to step into the college world with the University of Maryland’s Terp Young Scholars program. It’s a special three-week adventure where smart students dive into a subject they love, meet teachers who are excited about their topics, and even earn three credits for college ahead of time. This blog post will tell you all about this amazing program, why it’s so respected, and how it opens up great chances for students.

We’re also going to talk about why doing things outside of regular school, like this program, is so important for your future. Learning outside the classroom helps you in many ways, like teaching you how to manage your time, think critically, and work with others. These skills are super valuable, not just in college, but in life after school too. So, let’s dive into what makes the Terp Young Scholars program a must-do for high school students looking to get ahead and make the most of their summers.

What is the Terp Young Scholars Program?

The Terp Young Scholars Program is a unique summer opportunity for high school students to immerse themselves in the college experience at the University of Maryland. Over three weeks, students who are academically talented get to dive deep into a subject they’re passionate about, learn from dedicated faculty, and even earn three university credits before they’ve officially started their college journey. This program isn’t just about taking a course; it’s about getting a real taste of college life, understanding what academic rigor looks like, and learning how to balance studies with personal responsibility in a more adult environment.

Asian teacher leader and multiethnic diverse young professional creative team students brainstorming discussing project at desk with in office classroom using laptop computer.

What makes the Terp Young Scholars stand out is its flexible learning options. Students can choose between in-person classes, where they commute to UMD’s campus daily, or a fully online format that brings the university experience right to their homes. The in-person option not only allows students to explore UMD’s impressive facilities and amenities but also helps them get accustomed to navigating a college campus. On the other hand, the online option offers interactive virtual activities designed to simulate the campus experience and engage students in meaningful learning. This dual approach ensures that regardless of their situation, students can benefit from the program.

Designed specifically for high school students from rising 10th graders to those who’ve just graduated 12th grade, Terp Young Scholars caters to a wide age range. Participants enroll in a three-credit course, which can be either in-person or online, where they’ll attend classes, participate in study sessions, work on projects, prepare for exams, and interact not just with their peers but also with regular UMD undergraduates.

This setting provides a blend of academic challenges and social interaction, preparing students for the multifaceted nature of college life. Classes are held Monday through Friday, typically between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and some may have an afternoon session as well.

For 2024, the program offers the following courses:

In Person:

  1. Heroes and Villains in American Film: Learn about heroes and villains in American movies. Discover how these characters have changed over time and what they say about society’s beliefs on race, gender, and more.
  2. Discovering Architecture: Dream of designing buildings? This course teaches you about architecture careers, lets you create design projects, and shows what it’s like to be an architecture student.
  3. World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies: Understand why, despite more food production, hunger still exists. Explore solutions to distribute food better and tackle environmental challenges to food production.
  4. Scriptwriting for Theater, Film, and Television: Dive into writing for stage and screen. Learn from examples and practice writing to improve your scriptwriting skills.
  5. The Enterprising Leader: Develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Work on projects to solve problems and plan a business venture.
  6. Environmental Biology: Learn about environmental issues like global warming and biodiversity. Understand the science behind them and how you can make a difference.
  7. Introduction to Computing: Get an overview of the computing field. Learn about different careers in technology and the skills needed for them.
  8. Disability in Community: Explore how communities accommodate disabilities. Learn about creating inclusive environments through readings, discussions, and volunteering.
  9. Why Do Things Fail?: Investigate why structures like bridges and airplanes fail. Understand the importance of stress and strain in engineering to prevent disasters.
  10. Introduction to Immersive Media: Learn about creating immersive media projects. Work in teams on practical projects to combine technology with art.
  11. Foundations of Food, Physical Activity, and Health: Discover the basics of nutrition and exercise. Learn how lifestyle choices affect health and wellbeing.
  12. Social Psychology: Explore how society influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Learn about group behavior, social influence, and more.


  1. Creative Writing Workshop: Improve your fiction and poetry writing skills. Read, write, and critique in a supportive online environment.
  2. Accounting: The Key to Business Decisions: Learn accounting basics and how to make informed business decisions using financial statements.
  3. Introduction to Criminology: Discover what drives criminal behavior, how to study it, and ways to prevent crime.
  4. Persuasion and Cleverness in Social Media: Analyze and create social media content. Learn how to influence and engage online audiences.
  5. Family Law: Discuss and analyze legal issues affecting families. Work on proposing new laws related to parent/child relationships.
  6. Earth from Space: Understand how satellite observations help monitor Earth’s changing environment. Learn about global environmental issues.
  7. International Political Relations: Explore the workings of international relations. Learn about war, peace, and how countries react to global challenges.
  8. Jewish Languages in America: Study the languages and dialects of the Jewish community in the U.S. Understand how language relates to identity and culture.
  9. Introduction to Philosophy: Tackle big questions about knowledge, existence, and morality. Learn how philosophers have approached these questions.
  10. Multicultural Psychology in the US: Examine the psychological impact of inequality in the U.S. Focus on self-reflection, mental health, and strategies for social change.

Admission to the Terp Young Scholars Program is competitive, emphasizing its prestige and the high quality of education provided. Students are admitted as non-degree seeking individuals for the summer session and are registered for a single three-credit course. Importantly, these courses are for credit, meaning the grades earned will appear on the UMD transcript and become a part of the student’s academic record. This aspect underscores the program’s focus on providing an authentic and immersive learning experience, setting students up for success in their future academic endeavors.

Where is the Terp Young Scholars Program Being Held?

The Terp Young Scholars Program takes place at the University of Maryland, a vibrant campus known for its academic excellence and state-of-the-art facilities. Students who join the program in person get to explore this dynamic environment, which includes modern classrooms, extensive libraries, and various spaces for study and relaxation. The campus is designed to support all aspects of student life and learning, providing access to cutting-edge technology and resources that enhance the educational experience.

University of Maryland front entrance

In response to the global changes brought on by recent events, the Terp Young Scholars Program also offers a virtual component. This means students who are unable to come to the campus or prefer to learn from home can still take part in this enriching academic experience. The online option is not just a workaround; it’s a fully developed program that uses interactive technology to bring the best of the University of Maryland to students, no matter where they are. This ensures that all participants, whether on campus or online, receive a high-quality education and enjoy a meaningful and engaging learning experience.

When Does the Terp Young Scholars Program Take Place?

The Terp Young Scholars Program is scheduled to run from July 8 to July 26, 2024. This three-week period is packed with intensive learning and activities, designed to give students a deep dive into their chosen academic fields. During this time, participants will attend classes, work on projects, and engage with both faculty and peers in a vibrant educational setting.

Before the program officially starts, there will be preparatory sessions or an orientation. This is an important part of the experience, as it helps students get ready for the upcoming weeks. The orientation covers everything from an overview of the program to details about the daily schedule. It’s also a great opportunity for students to meet their instructors and classmates, ask questions, and familiarize themselves with the program’s expectations.

Whether you’re attending in person or joining virtually, these preparatory sessions ensure that every student feels prepared and confident as they embark on the Terp Young Scholars Program. Keep an eye out for the specific dates and details of these sessions, which are usually announced closer to the program start date.

Why Should You Join the Terp Young Scholars Program?

Joining the Terp Young Scholars Program offers a wide range of benefits that go beyond the typical high school experience, preparing you for college and beyond. Here’s a detailed look at why this program is a valuable opportunity for high school students.

1. Academic Enrichment

As a participant in this program, you have the unique opportunity to enroll in college-level courses typically reserved for university students. This presents an incredible chance to push your academic boundaries and deeply explore various subjects that capture your interest, from science and arts to technology and beyond. With the full array of university resources at your disposal, you can immerse yourself in any field you are passionate about.

One of the most significant benefits of this program is the ability to earn university credits before you even finish high school. This early advantage can not only lighten your academic workload in the future but also potentially reduce the overall costs of your college education.

2. University Experience

Through this program, you’ll get a firsthand experience of living and studying on a university campus, which can help make the move from high school to college smoother and more comfortable when you begin your college journey for real.

You’ll learn how to juggle your schedule, including classes, homework, and extracurricular activities, skills crucial for succeeding in college. Getting an early taste of college life also means you’ll be better prepared for what’s ahead, understanding how to deal with both the challenges and opportunities that higher education brings.

3. Networking Opportunities

You’ll have the chance to learn from and build connections with instructors who are passionate about their subjects. These instructors can turn into valuable mentors, offering you guidance and support as you work towards your academic and career aspirations.

You’ll also meet other students who come from a variety of backgrounds but share a common passion for learning. These peers could become lifelong friends, collaborators on future projects, or key parts of your professional network. The relationships you forge during this time are not just for now; they can lead to internships, job opportunities, and collaborations well into the future, opening many doors along your path.

4. Personal Growth

Living and studying in a university setting, even for a brief period, nurtures your independence and enhances your ability to manage your time effectively. These skills are essential not just for college but for life in general. The program’s challenging coursework pushes you to think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems, abilities that are highly valued in every academic and professional area.

Moreover, navigating college-level courses and adapting to the campus environment can greatly increase your confidence in both your academic capabilities and your social skills.

5. Preparation for College

Lastly, throughout the program, you gain firsthand experience with the intensity of college coursework, giving you a clear picture of future expectations. It also teaches you the crucial skill of balancing academic duties with social activities, a key component of college life. The Terp Young Scholars Program offers a supportive environment for honing these abilities.

Additionally, you become familiar with the wide range of resources a college campus provides, including libraries, study centers, student organizations, and career services. This knowledge ensures you’re well-prepared and can make the most of your college experience from the start.

Overall, the Terp Young Scholars Program is more than just a summer activity. It’s an investment in your future, offering a rich blend of academic challenges, personal growth opportunities, and a preview of college life that can set you on the path to success.

How to Join the Terp Young Scholars Program

Joining the Terp Young Scholars Program is an exciting opportunity for high school students to gain early university experience and academic credits. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to become part of this enriching program, including the eligibility criteria and any preparatory work or prerequisites needed.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must be a rising high school sophomore, junior, senior, or a graduating senior.
  • You need to have an unweighted academic average of 3.0 or better.

Select Your Learning Option:

  • If you choose a course that is taught in person, you’ll need to go with the Commuter Option. It’s important to note that the program doesn’t provide housing on campus.
  • If you opt for a course that’s offered fully online, then you’ll participate through the Online Option.

Application Fee:

  • New applicants must pay a $75 application fee. However, if you’ve joined the program before, you’re considered a returning student and can ask for an application fee waiver code.
  • Students who were dismissed from the program in previous years cannot reapply.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Submit Your Application: Start by filling out the application form. Make sure to check all the information you provide is accurate and complete.
  2. Submit Your Transcript: You’ll need to send in a transcript (or report card) that shows your grades and cumulative GPA for all your high school work up to now, including your current classes. An unofficial transcript is okay. You should send your transcripts directly to the TerpEngage-EXST Forms Portal.

Program Cost:

  • The cost for the Commuter Option is $2,500, while the Online Option costs $1,500. These fees cover your course tuition, summer mandatory fees, and the program fee itself.

Remember, the Terp Young Scholars Program doesn’t offer housing, so if you’re choosing the in-person route, you’ll need to arrange your own accommodations or commute. By following these steps and meeting the eligibility criteria, you’ll be on your way to an unforgettable summer of learning and growth at the University of Maryland.

When is the Deadline to Apply for the Terp Young Scholars Program?

The deadline to apply for the Terp Young Scholars Program is May 1, 2024. This date is your last chance to submit all the necessary documents and complete your application to be considered for this exciting summer opportunity. There are no rolling deadlines, so it’s important to mark this date on your calendar and get everything ready before then.

Side view at multi-ethnic group of students using laptop while studying in college

Applying early is a great idea for several reasons. First, it gives you peace of mind knowing your application is in and you’ve done everything needed on your part. Second, it might give you a better chance at securing a spot in your preferred course, as some courses might fill up quickly. Lastly, if you run into any issues or have questions, applying early gives you plenty of time to get help.

How Hard is it to Get Into the Terp Young Scholars Program?

Getting into the Terp Young Scholars Program can be competitive, but it’s definitely within reach if you’ve been doing well in school. The program looks for students who are eager to learn and ready to take on the challenge of college-level courses while still in high school. To figure out if you’re a good fit, the selection committee looks at a few key things.

First, your grades matter. You need to have at least a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale, which shows that you’re serious about your studies. But it’s not just about grades. The committee also wants to see that you’re interested in learning and growing. They look at the courses you’ve taken, especially if you’ve pushed yourself with advanced or honors classes that relate to the course you want to take in the program.

Group of cheerful happy students holding world globe and looking at camera leaning on white wall at campus.

Another important part is your application itself. It needs to be complete and well put together. This is your chance to show off who you are and why you’re excited about the opportunity. Make sure to fill out every part carefully and thoughtfully.

While it’s competitive, don’t let that scare you off. If you’re passionate about learning and have a good academic record, you stand a good chance. Just make sure to put your best foot forward in your application, and show them why you’d be a great addition to the Terp Young Scholars Program.

Final Thoughts

The Terp Young Scholars Program is a special chance for high school students to dive into college life early, earn credits, and learn about subjects they love. It’s more than just classes; it’s a chance to grow, meet new friends, and get ready for the future. This program can help you get ahead and make the most of your high school years. If you’re excited about learning and ready for a challenge, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Apply now and see how much you can grow, both in school and as a person. It’s a step towards your future that you won’t regret taking.


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