Young Scholars SUMMER Program


The Young Scholars Program (YSP) at the University of Chicago offers enthusiastic and talented math students from seventh through twelfth grades an opportunity to strengthen their mathematical powers through a deep experience in mathematical thought and effort. Our intention is to broaden and enrich the Chicago-area students' understanding of mathematics rather than to accelerate them through the standard high school curriculum.

Our summer program is a four-week day-camp that requires an application and is significantly selective. Chicago area students who will be in grades seven through twelve next school year are welcome to apply. We are looking for students who have scored well in school, enjoy participating in math competitions, or simply find mathematics to be an interesting and challenging subject.

The mathematical content of the program for Summer 2020 will be topics in number theory. The 7th-8th Grade Component will include topics in number theory and supplemented with an introduction to computer programming with Java, emphasizing the applications of computer science to number theory. We are still finalizing the curriculum for the 9th-10th and 11th-12th grade components. In the past, they have included such courses as a course in number theory and cryptography and a course in advanced problem solving, covering the ideas in algebra, geometry, number theory, and combinatorics for the 9th-10th component. The 11th-12th component has included such topics as advanced number theory and finite fields. All components use active learning techniques and ask students to work through challenging problems with the guidance of faculty instructors and undergraduate counselors. The final curriculum will be updated soon.

Summer Schedule Details

July 6 - July 31, 2020

The Summer 2020 Young Scholars program will take place online Monday through Friday from 10 A.M. to 12 noon. During a day's session, a young scholar's day is broken into two components: one lecture section led by faculty and one break-out problem session in small groups led by undergraduate math majors.

YSP is open to students in Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and Northwest Indiana. Applicants outside this area are welcome to apply, however, parents or guardians are responsible for all lodging, transportation to and from campus, and meals. The University of Chicago does not provide housing for YSP participants.

Application Information

To apply, we require the following documents: (1) an Application Form for the appropriate grade level, (2) a short essay, (3) a completed teacher questionnaire, (4) a recommendation letter from the current math teacher, and (5) a transcript or grade report. Links to the forms can be found below. Click on the application that correlates with the grade level that your child will enter in Fall 2020. For example, if your child is currently a 10th grader, but in the Fall they will enter 11th grade, then you would select the 11th-12th Component.

YSP is generously supported from various sources, but these do not cover the full cost of the program. Please see the application forms below for a full description of the fee schedule. The link for the Optional Application for Additional Support form is located below the Teacher Recommendation Form.

Because of the highly competitive nature of the program, if you are offered admission into the program and accept, you must attend all sessions for the four weeks of the program. If there is any reason for a possible absence, we must be informed of such anticipated absences with the acceptance of admission.

Application Links

Decisions for the summer 2020 session have already been made. Please try applying for the 2021 summer session. Applications will be available in February 2021.

The Young Scholars Program
5734 S. University Avenue · Chicago, IL 60637 · Phone: (773) 702-7389 · Fax: (773) 702-9787