Rochester Pre-College Online Program for High School Students

Explore your interests before college

If you have a passion for a certain subject and would like to explore it before college, here is your chance to do so—with one of the world's leading research universities. The Rochester Pre-College Online Program offers courses designed for high school students ages 13 and up. Each course features engaging video by Rochester faculty and access to mentors. The program is available year-round, and the online format lets you study anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

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Program Dates

Multiple 2- and 4-week sessions


For students ages 13+



Current courses available

DNA double helix representing genes and genetic mapping


Learn to read your genes

Personalized Medicine: Customizing Care Through Genetics

Genetic mapping is making treatment more individualized than ever. Step into the brave new world in which genetic science can identify, and in many cases treat, diseases such as addiction, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, even acne. If you are interested in pre-med or STEM, this course is a must.

Orthopedic surgeons in an operating room

Orthopedic Medicine

A firsthand look at treating bones

Orthopedic Medicine: Treatments & Surgery

Did you know that orthopedic surgery ranks among the *top medical specialties for both competitiveness and compensation? If you’re a highly motivated student interested in medicine, surgery, or orthopedics, then we have the course for you. You’ll study tumors; trauma; and total joint replacement. Learn common orthopedic conditions, how they present in the body, and the broad range of operative and non-operative treatments available.

*Source: Med School Insiders

Doctor holding an artificial foot in a lab


Discover our bionic future

Biomedical Engineering: Solving the Body’s Problems Through Technology

Can biotechnology increase our lifespan? Can it make our bodies more functional? Can it heal previously untreatable conditions? Delve into the exciting world of biomedical engineering. Learn about current advances and future potentials—everything from artificial limbs to implantable devices. Think like an engineer for the body.

Video game controller and keyboard

Digital Technology

From storytelling to design

Intro to Video Game Design

Study the art and technology aspects of video game design, from Atari to XBox and Mobile Gaming. Get hands-on experience with the theories, tech frameworks, and storytelling  that are used to design Meaningful Play. Learn how to use GameMaker Studio 2 to customize a templated video game.

Prescription drugs and money representing the U.S. Healthcare system


Why is healthcare a political hot button?

U.S. Healthcare: Politics, Problems and Possibilities

Is healthcare a right or a privilege? Why are attempts to reform the U.S. system so controversial? Dive into the politics. Learn the history, types of plans and even take a stab at designing a healthcare program yourself. If you’re interested in pre-med or careers in healthcare, this course is for you.

Advantages you gain from our courses:

  • Online courses are available throughout the year — pick a subject that fits your passion and your schedule
  • Suitable for high school students ages 13 and up — so you can start exploring your interests early on
  • Experience what it’s like to take a course designed by University of Rochester faculty while you’re still in high school
  • Asynchronous: lessons by professors are delivered through videos so that you can tune in whenever your schedule allows — the ultimate in flexibility
  • Receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from the University of Rochester

High school student taking a pre-college online course from Rochester

3 Learning Advantages Designed for You

1. Flexible Learning

  • 100% online, works with your schedule
  • Asynchronous: you’ll learn through engaging videos. Tune in anytime that works for you.
  • 20-30 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support from mentors
  • Engage with fellow students online from around the world

2. Mentoring

You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
  • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you excel in your studies
  • Brainstorming to help as you prepare for your final Capstone project

3. Final Capstone Project

All online courses culminate in a final project that allows you to:

  • Demonstrate what you've learned in a presentation
  • Get feedback from your mentors on your work
  • Choose from a variety of topics covered in your course to show what you’ve learned
  • Use any media you prefer— text, video, photography, PowerPoint

How to Apply

Student applying to Rochester's pre-college online program

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application will ask you to provide the following in English:

  1. Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
  2. Why you wish to take this course, and a bit of your story. You can tell us about yourself through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer. NOTE: Please submit all application materials in English.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

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Apply now for online pre-college courses

Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you find out if you're accepted?

Find answers to your questions

On campus summer programs

Stay on a beautiful campus. Work with real professors. Dig in to your favorite subjects in science, the humanities, and the arts, and discover what truly fascinates you. You'll come away ready to apply to college and thrive when you get there.

Learn more about the on campus program


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential who need assistance affording the associated cost. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven't applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn't fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.