Allegheny College Summer Academy

Allegheny College Summer Academy: for high school students

A Pre-College Experience For High School Students

The Allegheny College Summer Academy offers an enriching pre-college experience for motivated high school students. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn from Allegheny’s expert faculty

  • Earn college credit

  • Enjoy all that our beautiful campus has to offer

  • Get a preview of the excitement and challenge of college life

We’ve designed the Summer Academy to help talented young people explore their academic interests, build connections, and take an important step in their pathways to college — and their futures.

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  • Application deadline: applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis but must be submitted by March 1.

  • Final notification deadline: July 8

  • Deposit due: 2 weeks following notification of acceptance to Summer Academy

As part of their application, students are asked to submit a high school transcript and a brief statement about their interest in the academy. A letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor or teacher should also be submitted.

The Allegheny College Summer Academy welcomes applications from rising juniors and seniors with high school graduation years of 2020 and 2021.


Not sure what you want to study in college? Or already have a major or career in mind? Either way, Allegheny faculty from across academic disciplines will teach and guide you through discussions, projects, and activities focused on helping you explore your future goals.

In the Summer Academy, students have the flexibility to choose a morning and afternoon academic session in different subjects such as Chemistry, Theater, Environmental Studies, History, and Physics. The curriculum is designed so students can explore various interests, discover how they link, and how those connections can help students shape their paths forward. Students earn one college credit for each week of the academy that they complete. These credits should be eligible for transfer to another college.

Here is a sampling of modules, each led by Allegheny faculty, that we have offered during the Summer Academy:

Making “Scents” of Chemistry

This module is an investigation of the molecules and interactions that create odors, both good and bad. Aroma chemistry is a multi-billion dollar industry that leads to perfumes, essential oils, candles, soaps, and a myriad of other household products that have natural and synthetic scent additives. The module will allow students to create scented compounds synthetically in the laboratory, and give them an opportunity to create their own scented bar soap.

The Art and Science of Color

An exploration of color through pigment and light. Students will explore color through a scientific lens — understanding how the human eye sees, the physical properties of light, the engineering of lighting devices, and the chemistry of paint — and through an artistic lens — color theory, how colors interact with each other, and how light color impacts how humans perceive color surfaces. By the end of the module, students will create visual artwork in which color shifts over time.

Hellbenders and Crawdads: The Freshwater Ecology of Northwest Pennsylvania

Flowing through the heart of northwestern Pennsylvania, French Creek is nationally recognized as one of the most ecologically important waterways in the entire country. Hosting an astonishing 27 species of native freshwater mussels and over 80 species of fish, the French Creek Watershed has been called one of America’s “Last Great Places” by the Nature Conservancy. In this module, we will explore the French Creek Watershed, investigating the water chemistry, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and other organisms who depend on the habitat. Students will learn ecological sampling techniques and water quality analysis.

Students interested primarily in ecology also might consider our weeklong Creek Camp program in summer 2019.

Stories and Knowledge

An investigation into the ways that narrative shapes our life and the ways we can use it to communicate. Stories supply us with the building blocks of knowledge and help us make sense of the world. We examine how we create and understand stories through creative, intellectual, and intuitive approaches. We use theatre-based techniques to explore effective communication.

Wonder, Doubt, and Thinking

Socrates famously says that “philosophy begins in wonder,” and most philosophers who come after him tend to agree. In this module, we study what key philosophers have said about the fundamental mood of wonder and doubt and then we investigate for ourselves how getting into that mood opens up perspectives that are oftentimes closed off to us. What issues or problems need a fresh take that wonder and doubt can help us to achieve?

Astronomy and Astrophysics

This module is intended for most anyone curious about the universe. We will study the Sun, Moon, and planets, as well as more distant celestial objects including black holes, stars, and galaxies. Students will learn not only how to find and follow these objects in the sky, but also about the underlying physics that describes them. In the process, students will have the opportunity to operate Allegheny’s Wible Planetarium for themselves and also make use of telescopes during an evening session at the College’s Newton Observatory.

Program Details


July 14–19, 2019
July 21–26, 2019

Students may enroll in either weeklong session or both of them.

Check-in is at 4 p.m. on Sunday. On Friday afternoons, families will have an opportunity to see all that students accomplished during the week. (Extended pickup on Saturday will be available for families unable to arrive on a Friday.)

Students enrolling for both weeks will take part in a weekend trip exploring regional attractions.

Sample Schedule

8:00–9:00 am: Breakfast
9:00–Noon: Academic Session 1
Noon–1:00 pm: Lunch
1:00–4:00 pm: Academic Session 2
4:00–-6:00 pm: Free time for activities/relaxation
6:00–7:00 pm: Dinner
7:00–9:00 pm: Evening activities
9:00–10:00 pm: Wind-down time

Students who have an interest in Allegheny College may schedule an admission interview during the program.


Students stay in an Allegheny College residence hall on one of the most historic and beautiful college campuses in the country. If they prefer, students also may commute from their homes each day to attend the Summer Academy.

Area Information

Allegheny College is perched on a hill overlooking Meadville, a community that offers the history and natural beauty of northwestern Pennsylvania. Allegheny is set in a region that provides a wide range of activities and outdoor opportunities. Explore our Visitor’s Center to learn more.


College can be hard work, but it’s not all hard work. The Summer Academy includes plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind indoors and outside — from movies and guest presentations to hiking, swimming, and activities in Allegheny’s athletic center and game room.


Students earn one college credit for each week of the academy that they complete. These credits should be eligible for transfer to another college. Students accepted to the Summer Academy are awarded a $655 High School Enrichment Grant to support their studies at Allegheny.

Tuition for One College Credit $1,895
Room and Board $360
High School Enrichment Grant -$655
Program Cost Per Week $1,600

Please note: there are no additional fees for books and supplies. They are included in the overall cost.

After acceptance to the Summer Academy, a $200 non-refundable deposit will be required to secure a student’s enrollment.

Deposit and tuition payments may be submitted online through the Summer Academy Payment Portal.

Have Questions?
(800) 521-5293

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