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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

The information on this site pertains to the Summer College 2018 program. If you would like to be notified when 2019 information and applications are available, please join the Summer College announcement list. We also invite you to become a fan of our Summer College Facebook Page.

Cornell University's award-winning Summer College, in keeping with Cornell's founding principles, is dedicated to providing excellent educational opportunities for young people, regardless of their socio-economic or ethnic status.

Started more than fifty years ago, Summer College is now one of the nation's longest running programs of its kind. Each summer, more than 1,200 talented high school students from around the world come to Cornell for three- and six-week programs. The students:

  • take regular college classes with leading Cornell faculty,
  • earn 3 to 6 credits and an official Cornell transcript,
  • prep for college applications with a college fair and one-on-one admissions counseling,
  • explore careers and academic majors, and
  • live on Cornell's extraordinary campus at the most beautiful time of the year.

Summer College is a unique opportunity for students of all backgrounds to experience college life, test their interest in and aptitude for a rigorous higher education, and make some great friends. Students often say it was the best summer of their life.

For all students, but especially for disadvantaged students, the supportive yet challenging Summer College environment can make the difference between minimal academic preparation and being successful in both school and future careers.

Current Summer College efforts in support of this mission include:

A proven program offered during the six-week session, Strategies for College Success: Critical Thinking and Effective Learning, which is especially useful for students who want to develop the study skills, strategies, and attitudes that will help them succeed at a college or university. Students in this program can earn 6 to 8 college credits.

In addition, Summer College is dedicated to providing a wide range of:

Summer College welcomes additional support from individuals and organizations interested in furthering its mission. For more information, please review the links above or contact us directly.

Helping high school students achieve their dreams

"I feel privileged to have attended Cornell's Summer College. It provided me with the unique opportunity to challenge my critical and creative thinking in full-level university courses. From faculty to students to maintenance, everyone was very dedicated, supportive of one another, and globally minded. For me, that is what made Cornell such an intimate community, where I never felt like just another face on campus. I remember the excitement I felt to interact with diverse groups of people who showed as much enthusiasm and conviction for learning and culture as I did; however, what most impressed me about Cornell was its gripping landscapes and ivy-adorned classical buildings (that reminded me of Hogwarts). Although my stay at Summer College was a brief four weeks, it left me with a lifetime of amazing memories and friends. Now, as an undergraduate at Cornell, I have made new friends and explored to the fullest the rich opportunities offered in Cornell's classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and dorms, including its "instruction in any study." Cornell has broadened my understanding of the world and motivated me to move on to the next level of academic accomplishment. I feel that, because of Cornell's effect on me, I have truly taken a quantum leap in my independence, intelligence, and maturity. Thanks."

Amber Lee James
Cornell Summer College 2006
Cornell's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Class of 2011


"For me, Cornell Summer College provided a striking glimpse of Cornell life in many ways. I received personal attention throughout the entire application and matriculation process. I was offered and embraced a selection of diverse and rigorous academic coursework. My peers, team leaders/resident advisors, and professors represented cultures and countries both near and afar and everyone was admirably intelligent and determined. Moreover, I was consistently warmed and awed by the beauty of the place "far above (yet close enough to reach) Cayuga's Waters." Such welcomed inspiration existed as I completed Cornell's undergraduate application as a high school senior and it continued throughout my four years as an active Cornellian. Although a large and selective international university, Cornell has a remarkable ability and opportunity to make a very personal impact on each individual life that enters its world. I am thankful for the Summer College experience for allowing a convincing enough peek at this reality."

Tamara Webb
Cornell Summer College 1990
Cornell College of Arts & Sciences, Bachelor of Arts 1995