Pre-College Programs

Pre-College Programs

Our Pre-College programs are designed for motivated and intellectually curious students who seek a bridge to the freedom of college in a structured and supportive campus or study-abroad environment. Pursue a passion or discover new interests in an exciting atmosphere that encourages active involvement, creativity, a sense of community, exploration, adventure, and fun.

Oxford Academia

High School 

June 26–July 9
July 10–July 23

Oxford Academia welcomes intellectually driven high school and middle school students to learn from the finest teachers, scholars, and industry professionals at Oxford University, one of the world’s oldest and most esteemed universities. This summer program offers students the full Oxford experience as you choose an academic major and minor, pursue your subjects in the company of motivated peers, and engage with course material under the guidance of distinguished academics.

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High School & Middle School

June 27–July 9, 2021
July 11–July 23, 2021

Join a community of motivated and intellectually curious students for one or both sessions of our Pre-College Vermont program at Castleton University. Choose one seminar per session and take part in engaging discussions and hands-on projects that allow you to explore new interests or dig deeper into existing passions. Get a taste of college life as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of Putney Pre-College faculty and students.

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Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Climate

High School

July 18–24, 2021

Join like-minded students, engaging educators, and inspiring mentors this summer for a climate change program with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Choose an Action Focus and delve into climate issues related to your interests, strengths, and passions. Gain perspective from world leaders and politicians. Meet inspiring activists, scientists, renewable energy innovators, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis. Engage with themes such as health, energy, water, transportation, and agriculture, and, over the course of the program, develop a capstone project focused on transforming your ideas into action.

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Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Public Health

High School

July 25–July 31, 2021

Dive into issues of public health alongside peers, educators, and leading professionals from the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE) on this high school summer program. Choose an Action Focus based on your interests and explore how public health is intertwined with racial and social justice, economics, and climate change. Gain perspective from scientists, world leaders, and politicians about the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges and opportunities for navigating global public health issues. Engage with themes such as climate, pandemics, public policy, and air and water quality over the course of the program and develop a capstone project to transform your ideas into action.

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“We can’t say enough wonderful things about the program! It was life changing for our daughter. She came back so much more confident and eager to pursue her passions!”

— James & Michele Bonner, East Greenwich, RI


Our seminars are specially designed to challenge you intellectually and help you focus your interests as you look ahead toward college. They are purposefully small and immersive, and are taught in and out of the classroom for a learning experience that rivals anything you have experienced before. Choose a seminar and dive into your coursework through engaging discussions and hands-on projects. Frame your seminar concepts and key issues, then take the learning beyond the classroom as you dig deeper through fieldwork, site visits, and meetings with local experts. In the process, gain a better understanding of the subject matter, as well as the research, interview, and analytical tools to tackle any academic challenge. To cap your program, prepare a final presentation or project to share with your instructors and peers, and celebrate your accomplishments together.


In the afternoons and evenings, enjoy sports, excursions, and other activities led by our instructors, staff, and local contacts. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you visit museums, go on a hike, join in a soccer or volleyball game, or rehearse a song for our popular talent show. Afternoon and evening activities are not just pre-planned by our staff but are also initiated and led by our own students. In the process, learn valuable leadership skills as you share your passions with your peers.

Outstanding Instructors

We select our distinguished instructors not only for their impressive academic credentials—many hold advanced degrees from institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale—but also for their enthusiasm, passion, and proven capacity to connect with and inspire students. They are dedicated, warm, dynamic, experienced, and caring individuals who in most cases also live in dormitories with students, sharing in their lives and fully participating in extracurricular activities.

Campus Life

Live in dormitories in a campus setting in the U.S. or go abroad to use Barcelona or Tokyo as your classroom, with dorm-style hotels and residences as your home base. Take advantage of unparalleled access to world-class facilities, residential instructor teams, and renowned cultural sites. Get a taste of college life as you learn to manage your time between stimulating, college-level seminars and a wide range of extracurricular activities.


Join a community of curious, like-minded peers and instructors who share your enthusiasm and commitment to personal and intellectual growth. Our students hail from all 50 U.S. states and countries around the world to create a vibrant and dynamic community. Every evening we come together for community meeting to share our ideas, successes, and goals, and plan for the coming day. Become part of a community where your interests are supported and nurtured and make lasting friendships in the process.