Pre-collegiate programs provide high school students with academic college experiences to teach them advanced topics and concepts not typically found in the high school curriculum. Stanford programs for high school students at Stanford University, one of the top private universities in the US, encourage pre-collegiate studies for academically motivated students.
Advanced study topics, such as advanced mathematics and quantum mechanics, are among the variety of topics you can choose from. In this article is a list of Stanford pre-college programs available for high school students. It includes cost, location, and program duration to help you choose the right higher education for your future.
Why High School Students Should Attend a Stanford Program
Stanford is one of the best research and academic universities worldwide that high school students can benefit from. The quality education, confidence development, and leadership training offered by Stanford pre-college programs provide eligible students with a taste of college life, preparing them for further academic studies.
Stanford makes it a point to be a helpful community of learners to help young individuals consider their career pursuits early and help them become future leaders. Stanford programs for high school students, conducted in an inclusive classroom setting, offer some of the most advanced courses available and academic enrichment programs that will help the brightest students gain even more academic opportunities.
High School Student Requirements for a Stanford Program
When applying to any Stanford pre-college program, you’ll need your academic records and a teacher’s recommendation letter. You also have to present some samples of relevant school work depending on the program you want to attend. Some institutes require either a written or video essay to aid their assessment.
The specific requirements vary depending on the program and the institute you want to attend. However, some requirements are the same across different programs and institutes.
Can High School Students Attend a Stanford Program Online?
Yes, high school students can attend Stanford’s pre-college programs online. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Stanford programs for high schoolers are online. It is important for students to check the program delivery type when applying, though.
How High School Students Can Get into a Stanford Program
- Apply for a Stanford program. The first step in getting into a Stanford program is to create an application account in Stanford’s admissions web portal. Fill out the online application form with the needed information. If you’re opting for financial aid, you’ll also need to provide financial details.
- Provide the required documents. After filling out the form, upload your unofficial transcripts and your teacher’s recommendation letter. You’ll also need to send at least two samples of schoolwork completed within the past two years.
- Present a written or video essay. Submitting a written or video essay is optional. However, presenting one is advisable as it’s an opportunity to share more about yourself. You can tell the admissions committee relevant things you haven’t mentioned elsewhere in the application.
- Pay the application fee. With college applications in general, there is an application fee. In the case of Stanford programs for high school students, you will need to pay a $65 application fee online using a credit card.
- Wait for the decision. After hitting the submit button, go back to the Application Status and Materials Checklist page to ensure that all your application materials are submitted. Now all you have to do is patiently wait for an email notification about the admission decision.
Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute
Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute offers several intensive two-week program choices that are available online during summer for academically talented and high-achieving students in grades eight to 11. The institute has around 30 summer programs to choose from.
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The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
The tuition fee for Stanford’s pre-collegiate program is $2,700. However, some classes may require students to buy additional materials, such as course readers or textbooks, but this typically does not exceed $100.
The small class size, usually averaging 16 students, enables students to engage and interact with one another and the instructors about every aspect of their chosen course through real-time discussions. Classes meet for two hours each day, Monday to Friday, for live online classes.
Students also have to commit to out-of-class, hands-on experience in learning assignments made for each course. After completing the course, the professor will provide a qualitative written evaluation and a certificate of completion.
Popular Pre-College Programs
- Artificial Intelligence
- Biomedical Engineering
- Fundamentals of Augmented Reality (AR)
Stanford Summer Humanities Institute
Stanford Summer Humanities Institute offers a variety of two-week online programs. These courses enable high-achieving high school students to participate in the intensive study of different humanities topics rarely taught at the high school level.
The maximum limit per application for each student is three classes. The tuition fee for Stanford Summer Humanities Institute is $3,000 per program, plus the purchase of additional requirements like textbooks and other course materials not included in the program tuition. These materials should not exceed $100.
Finances should not be an obstacle to world-class, pre-collegiate education. Stanford makes its programs as financially accessible for students worldwide as possible. Stanford pre-collegiate studies programs offer generous need-based financial aid for talented high school students. This financial assistance covers at least part of the program fee, making academic experiences like this even a little bit more affordable.
Popular Pre-College Programs
- Racial Identity in the American Imagination
- The American Enlightenment
Stanford Office of STEM Outreach (OSO)
Stanford Office of STEM Outreach (OSO) connects Stanford faculty, students, and graduate students with youth, school teachers, and nonprofit affiliated organizations to increase engagement, participation, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields.
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Stanford OSO offers K to 12 education supplement programs for elementary school students, science fairs, and workshops. There are Stanford summer programs for high school students, an academic support program, and an eight-week program for science teachers.
The OSO, together with the vice provost and dean of research, aids faculty and undergraduate college students in developing outreach event programs on campus and identifying community engagement components and potential community partners.
Popular Pre-College Programs
- Advanced Science Exploratory Program
- Stanford Earth Young Investigators
- Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)
Popular Stanford Programs for High School Students
|Advanced Science Exploratory Program||Maximum of $290||Online||January toJune|
|Pediatrics Internship Program at Stanford (PIPS)||Free||On campus||Six weeks|
|Stanford Earth Young Investigators||Free||On campus||Eight to nine weeks|
|Stanford Summer Session||$3,699-$18,491||On campus||Eight to nine weeks|
|Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)||Free||TBA||Eight weeks|
|Stanford Medical Youth Science Program||Free||Online||Five weeks|
|Stanford Pre-Collegiate University-Level Online Math & Physics||$1,500||Online||15 weeks|
|Stanford Program for Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in Physics (SPINWIP)||Free||Online||Three weeks|
|Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)||$3,250||Online||Three weeks|
|Stanford Valleycare Clinical Academy Program||$3,500||On campus||Two weeks|
The Best Stanford Pre-College Programs
Advanced Science Exploratory Program
- Discipline: Science
- Learning Method: Seminars, workshops
The Advanced Science Exploratory Program encourages students to engage in opportunities to learn about science and scientific career pursuits available to high school students. Attendees learn through faculty-level mentorship, university-style lectures, seminars, workshops, and hands-on classes.
This exploratory program fosters professional development and skills, such as in-depth understanding, logic, and critical thinking, both for students’ upcoming academic life and their future professional careers. This program provides students with experience that can help them gain entry into residential programs and academic science positions such as lab managers.
Pediatrics Internship Program at Stanford (PIPS)
- Discipline: Medicine
- Learning Method: Research, workshops
The Pediatrics Internship Program at Stanford (PIPS) is a six-week internship open to all high school-aged students living in Northern California, within an hour commute from the Stanford campus.
They learn about medical science, research, and careers in medicine from Stanford medicine faculty, their own graduate student mentor, undergraduate students, and researchers. Program participation is free, and admitted students who can prove financial need are qualified for a $3,000 stipend.
Students will spend 30 hours per week in the program, broken into 20 to 25 hours on a research project and five hours in workshops. Workshops include sessions on professional development, networking, research practices, and college applications. The summer 2022 program will run from June 20, 2022, to July 29, 2022.
Stanford Earth Young Investigators
- Discipline: Science
- Learning Method: Internship
Stanford Earth Young Investigators is an annual summer internship program by the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences for high school students living within the San Francisco Bay Area.
Under the supervision of graduate students, post-docs, and lab managers, students work in research laboratories engaged in existing research projects and learn about the process of science firsthand.
There are regular talks, lab tours, and field trips where interns learn about the broad field of Earth and environmental sciences. The program offers four options with varying areas of focus such as biodiversity, environment, geology, and energy.
In biodiversity, interns work with the paleobiology research group to understand past and current trends in evolution and extinction. In the environment area of focus, interns concentrate on one project on subjects such as soil chemistry, ocean chemistry, ocean life, terrestrial bacteria, arsenic cycling, or GIS analysis.
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With geology, interns work in one of the geology or geophysics laboratories, working with a research group on subjects like earthquake history, seismology, and digitizing maps. In the energy field, interns work in one of the energy resources groups, concentrating on one project subject ranging from battery efficiency to crude oil interfaces.
Stanford Summer Session
- Discipline: General
- Learning Method: Classroom
Stanford Summer Session is an eight-week term where high-achieving and talented high school students can choose courses from more than 30 departments and earn Stanford University credits.
Each unit is equivalent to three hours per week, varying for each student. Their specific course selection and circumstances affect workload. The advising and academic support team help students with the estimated workload for their preferred courses, including prerequisite discussions. The tuition fee also varies, depending on the student’s workload. The cost for students living off-campus and taking the minimum three units starts at $3,699, plus application fees and a few other fees.
In comparison, the cost for campus residential students taking the resident’s minimum eight credit-bearing units starts at $9,864, plus $4,500 in living expenses, plus the standard application fees and other miscellaneous fees. Stanford Summer Session’s website has a tuition calculator to help get a tuition estimate.
Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)
- Discipline: Medicine
- Learning Method: Research
The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) is an eight-week academic program for high school students interested in hands-on research in immunology, neuroscience, and other medical subjects.
The program enables students to participate in a research study and attend introductory lectures with Stanford faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and researchers on a medically-oriented project. The program is free, and interns can earn a minimum stipend of $500.
Stanford Medical Youth Science Program
- Discipline: Medicine
- Learning Method: Hybrid workshop, classroom, and research
The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) offers five weeks of intensive science and health training to low-income and underrepresented high school students living in Northern and Central California. Students will attend scientific lectures and complete anatomy laboratory practicum as interns. SMYSP is a tuition-free program that relies on donations to provide aspiring first-generation college students with medical opportunities.
This program aims to help students begin their path to college and medical careers with mentoring and academic advice on medical school requirements, application procedures, and financial aid. Medical professionals and faculty lead the training. Participants can approach any student-mentors for help.
Stanford Pre-Collegiate University-Level Online Math & Physics
- Discipline: Math & Physics
- Learning Method: Hybrid self-paced and online classroom discussions
The Stanford Pre-Collegiate University-Level Online Math & Physics courses are self-paced online classes offered throughout the year. University-Level Online (ULO) allows students to take advanced math and physics courses not typically offered in high school. All offered courses carry three units of Stanford University Continuing Studies credit, with the transcript available upon request. The tuition is $1,500 plus an application fee of $35.
Students can study the learning materials and ungraded practice problems available on the learning platform at their own pace. However, they have to take the midterm and final exams on the scheduled window dates. Students generally spend six to nine hours per week on schoolwork or nine to 12 hours during the summer term. Scheduled live online sessions support the self-paced learning part of the program.
There are nine math courses available. The physics program offers four advanced courses, including a class about light and heat. These classes have prerequisites both in physics and mathematics. Students must take advanced placement (AP) physics to be eligible for all the other physics courses and precalculus to qualify for the different math classes. Students with units in other physics courses, such as honors and international baccalaureate (IB) classes, may apply for the advanced courses without taking AP physics.
Stanford Program for Inspiring the Next Generation of Women In Physics (SPINWIP)
- Discipline: Physics
- Learning Method: Online
The Stanford Program for Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in Physics (SPINWIP) is a free three-week virtual summer outreach program hosted by the Stanford Physics Department and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology for high-school girls interested in physics. This program, primarily offered to women interested in physics, encourages students of all genders and gender identities to apply. Domestic and international students with no prior knowledge of physics or coding are also accepted.
In this program, students study cutting-edge research in different physics fields like quantum physics, quantum computing, astrophysics, and cosmology. They will also learn Python and use their newly-acquired coding skills for physics-based projects. Lectures are led by Stanford professors and researchers, with small groups led by Stanford undergraduates. There are college planning and career development workshops offered too.
Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)
- Discipline: Mathematics
- Learning Method: Classroom
Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC) is a three-week intensive online mathematical enrichment program for high school students with exceptional interest and ability in mathematics. The SUMaC courses focus on mathematics with an introduction to essential and practical applications. The classes are not for credit or a grade.
SUMaC has two courses, Program I and Program II. Students attend one of the two courses, which build on topics central to mathematics through their historical significance and relevance to current mathematical research lines. They will engage in daily problem sets and attend virtual lectures led by guest mathematicians and professionals who use mathematics in their fields.
Stanford Valleycare Clinical Academy Program
- Discipline: Medicine
- Learning Method: On-campus classes, on-hand clinical experience
The Stanford Valleycare Clinical Academy Program is a two-week program for high school students interested in a medical career. The program consists of hands-on activities, interactive lectures, and simulation experiences on various medical topics such as cardiology and nephrology. Students will learn basic medical skills like taking vitals, noting medical history, conducting a physical exam, splinting, and suturing.
Next Steps After Your Stanford Program for High School Students
Attending pre-collegiate Stanford programs is one of the ways to prepare for pursuing an academic life at Stanford University and other prestigious universities. Aspiring students are encouraged to participate in any summer activity, class, program, or work in the field they are interested in. Doing this can help broaden their understanding of their chosen subject area’s future career opportunities.
Stanford has developed a reputation as one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions of higher education. By attending one of its pre-collegiate programs, students gain academic advantages from its quality education and top-notch leadership development programs. With their experience in the Stanford campus way of life and academia, high-achieving high school students can get into any college or university they want to attend.
Stanford Programs for High School Students FAQ
Financial aid is available to domestic and international students who attend Stanford pre-college programs. However, it is limited and granted on a need-based basis. Students can apply for partial and full scholarships by submitting a completed online financial assistance application and all the required income documentation.
Stanford doesn’t give out admissions decisions before the designated notification date due to the volume of applications received. Their admission committee reviews all applications before making final admission decisions. All applicants will receive notification of their admissions decision on the designated notification date.
Stanford doesn’t provide course grades or credits for completing a Stanford pre-collegiate studies program. Most of the summer courses are for academic enrichment purposes only. However, after the program’s conclusion, participants are sent a written evaluation from their instructor and a certificate of completion.
Attending a Stanford pre-collegiate program does not guarantee admission to Stanford University. However, Stanford University’s undergraduate admissions procedure is different and independent and any extracurricular activity and participation in Stanford programs for high school students is a great activity to add to college applications and can help present them as strong candidates.
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