Activities and College Prep in the Secondary School Program

The SSP offers various activities and social events for students throughout the summer. Information for 2015 will be available in December.


Harvard Summer School offers a rich schedule of free films and concerts, events, volunteer opportunities, and sports competitions, as well as short trips (for a modest fee) around New England.

Just for Secondary School Program students

The SSP offers several activities specifically for high school students:

  • The trivia bowl involves three-member teams competing for several weeks until one team wins in an amusing and impressive final round.
  • The talent show is the most popular summer event. SSP students perform for, and cheer on, their talented peers (and proctors) in musical, theatrical, and dance performances.
  • Two dances draw more than 500 SSP students.

College prep

College preparatory activities are an important aspect of the SSP. We sponsor many events designed to help you prepare for your academic future. Events are scheduled on a recurring basis so you won’t miss out because of class or exam conflicts.

A schedule of all SSP college prep activities will be available once the summer term begins.

College fair

More than 60 colleges from around the country send representatives to meet students and provide information about their schools. Represented schools include Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Brandeis, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, George Washington University, MIT, Middlebury, Rice, Smith, Stanford, Swarthmore, Tufts, the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania, Wellesley, Williams, Yale, and other universities.

College visits

Organized trips to New England colleges—typically Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale—provide an opportunity to tour campuses and speak with students and admissions personnel.

College advice

SSP proctors and assistant deans are eager to help you explore options for choosing the college that will be right for you. They offer college counseling, by appointment, and organize several question-and-answer panels on college admissions.

Harvard College admissions

Although attending the Secondary School Program does not guarantee or imply admission to Harvard College, you can take advantage of being on campus by visiting the Admissions Office and attending a talk given by a Harvard admissions officer. Additionally, qualified SSP students who live far from Cambridge are often granted application interviews.

College prep workshops

Many SSP students take advantage of the noncredit college preparation workshops on topics like writing a college application essay and preparing for test-taking in college.

A schedule of workshop times and locations will be available by Opening Weekend.