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General Information

The Summer Institutes offers courses in a wide range of subjects, including Writing and Humanities, Business, Computer Science, Mathematics, Science & Engineering, and Social Science. Please visit the Courses page to view detailed course descriptions and prerequisites.

No course grades or credits are given for completing a Summer Institutes course. After the conclusion of the program, participants are sent a written evaluation from their Instructor and a certificate of completion.

Summer Institutes instructors are primarily Stanford University affiliates selected for expertise in their fields as well as their ability and experience in teaching students in the Summer Institutes age range. Please see the Instructors page for more information.

No. All participants in the Summer Institutes must engage fully in the residential portion of the program. The Summer Institutes places a high value on the integration of the academic and social components of the program, which is accomplished by bringing together participants and mentors who share interest and talent in a particular subject. Students interested in non-residential opportunities should explore other Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies programs.

The Stanford University Office of Undergraduate Admission is familiar with the Summer Institutes programs and the academic rigor required of students participating in Summer Institutes courses. Participation in advanced enrichment courses demonstrates  intellectual curiosity and what participants take from the experience can enhance their intellectual life. However, admission to the Summer Institutes does not guarantee admission to Stanford University. To view the Stanford University Office of Undergraduate Admission's guidance on participation in academic enrichment programs, please visit their Frequently Asked Questions site.

Stanford Summer Institutes distinguishes itself from other programs with our highly individualized curriculum and unique review process.

Many other programs accept students based on a minimum standardized test score.  The Summer Institutes differ in that our application process mirrors the undergraduate admission process with applications being reviewed holistically, meaning that our admissions committee take into account all components of an application to understand the whole student.   We select applicants who we feel can contribute to our program both academically and socially, and then challenge them with an intensive, single-subject course developed around the instructor's unique expertise.

Our financial aid funding is very limited, and we typically experience a higher demand for financial aid than we are able to accommodate. Awards are allocated by need and typically take the form of a partial scholarship. Once an applicant has submitted their academic application, they will gain access to the financial aid application.

The Summer Institutes encourage all families who make less than $60,000 a year to apply for aid. If an applicants family is above this threshold, they may still apply, but should include a supplementary letter clarifying the family's circumstances. Aid can be awarded to both domestic and international participants and does not have an effect on admissions decisions as the financial aid committee only views financial aid applications once admissions decisions have been sent.

International students who have attended our program in the past have been able to enter the country on a visitor’s visa. The number of hours per week in the classroom is 12-15 hours on average. This is below the 18 hours per week typically required for a student visa.

Please visit the US State department’s website ( or local US Embassy or Consulate for official information.

Please note that Summer Institutes is unable to assist participants in obtaining a visa and this is a process that the student and their family must undergo themselves with the US Immigration office.

If applicants need a formal acceptance letter to use in their application for a visa, one can be provided.