Why would high school students attend an academic program during the summer?

  • Home
  • /
  • Why would high school students attend an academic program during the summer?

By Anita Weiss, Assistant Director of Recruitment, Columbia University

People sometimes ask why would high school students attend an academic program during the summer? Although there are myriad reasons, our students generally fall into two categories.

The first is a category of students who know exactly what subject areas they are interested in and want to dig deeper. They loved studying biology in high school, so they sign up for the Neuroscience of Psychiatric Disorders class. The second category of students is the exact opposite. These students are academic explorers. While they think they might be interested in a subject, they haven’t yet had the chance to pursue that interest. Something that might fall under this category would be a subject like architecture. For this type of student, our Introduction to Architectural Design and Theory would be a siren call.

Both of these types of students have something in common. They’re interested in pursuing subjects that are not conventionally taught in secondary school. The Columbia University Pre-College Summer Immersion Program offers high school students an expansive selection of study options to both dig deeper and explore: more than seventy courses in a dozen subject areas, with in-person and online options. At Columbia, high schoolers study in an organized classroom setting, and learn from leaders in their field as they sit alongside other passionate students from around the world.

I loved the discussions, guest speakers, and projects. Every day felt like it had a purpose and I felt like I learned so much in such a short period of time. Even better, I developed an interest that I will take beyond this class.
-- Scarlett F.

Columbia’s rigorous Summer and Academic Year Immersion programs give students in Grades 9 to12 a taste of academic life at an Ivy League institution, the chance to hone their talents, and the opportunity to meet other academically curious young minds. The programs offer students curricular options in a wide variety of fields, including business; the sciences; the arts and humanities and more. In addition, students may attend special faculty lectures; partake in multiple social and co-curricular activities on and off campus; attend workshops on the college application process; and join clubs, at no additional cost. See our website for more information. The 2022 Summer Immersion Pre-College program includes online study, and commuter and residential options.