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Best Colleges to Take Summer Classes

a beach with golden sand an a high rise in the distance


For high school students who want to earn some academic credit before college, taking summer classes at an established university is a great way to learn and experience life as a college student. These schools offer excellent courses and programs and they’re located in fantastic cities and towns. You can earn credit, study valuable subjects and enjoy your summer.

Georgetown University

Summer at Georgetown is a five-week program split into two sessions, which can earn participants between six and 12 credits. The program offers a broad range of subjects, from traditional classes such as French and calculus to less conventional courses like gender, race, and feminism and intro to biblical literature.

Their Summer Honors Intensive is worth 12 credits, allowing students to stay for 10 weeks and enroll in two classes per session. Furthermore, as a student in the nation’s capital, you’ll have endless options for active immersion, including museums and performances.

Stanford University

Stanford’s High School Summer College is rigorous, since all program attendees are graded on the same scale as any Stanford undergraduate class. Students have the option of residential, commuting or online courses, with an average of eight to 10 units during the eight-week term.

There are more than 145 classes available, with additional intensive courses and a Silicon Valley Innovation Academy offered at the program. As residential students, high schoolers also can take full advantage of Stanford's campus and the surrounding area, with access to San Francisco and the beautiful California coast during their stay at the university.

University of Chicago

To earn college credit as a high school student at the University of Chicago, you’ll have to enroll directly into one of their undergraduate summer classes. You can choose from a number of class and housing options before your pre-session orientation. The campus is located close to Chicago’s center, so students will have access to the city as well as the lakefront.

Cornell University

Cornell’s summer session runs for either three or six weeks, granting students three or six to eight credits, respectively. Students can choose from more than 100 different courses, but you also can enroll online by emailing the program director directly.

The Summer College will review your request and evaluate your high school transcript, and then will notify you of the university’s decision. If accepted, you'll pay in May and then begin the three-week or six-week course on schedule.

Oregon State University

Oregon State is another great online option, with more than 40 classes available through their ECampus. You can register online to access online seminars, lectures and readings, or you can order the textbooks. Classes are graded according to the OSU scale and you can order a transcript afterward to send to schools.

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