~The Virtual 2020 ~

Pre-Freshman Program (PFP)

July 25 – August 22


Pre-Freshman Program Webinar – June 2020

PENNCAP students often begin Penn by joining the Pre-Freshman Program (PFP).  PFP is an academically rigorous and intensive four-week summer program preceding New Student Orientation (NSO).  Program participants receive comprehensive support services that begin with PFP and continue throughout the students’ undergraduate experience at Penn.  PFP is a chance for participating students to get an academic and social edge, while quickly becoming familiar with campus resources and the Penn community. The program, while academic in nature, encourages students to form lasting bonds of friendships through regular social and cultural activities. Students who have participated in the program report that it has made the difference in their life at Penn. 

Who can participate in the Pre-Freshman Program?
2013 PFP studentsPFP is by invitation:  select incoming freshmen from all over the country, including internationally, are invited to apply to the program.  Many of the over 100 participants each year are students who are the first in their families to attend college; income-eligible students; students underrepresented in their field of study; from large urban high schools and small rural communities; and/or athletes. But, no matter what their backgrounds, the Pre-Freshman Program draws a unique and talented group of students who are interested in getting a head start on their college careers.

How does the selection process work?
College HallAs there is only a limited amount of space in the program, the Admissions Office, together with the four undergraduate schools, make decisions on who is invited based on who they believe can benefit the most from this intensive, four-week experience.

What are the dates of the program?
Calendar imageThe 2020 Pre-Freshman Program begins on Saturday, July 25th and ends on Saturday, August 22.  

Are there any costs associated with PFP?
Admissions brunch 2013There are no costs associated with the program.


How much academic work will be required?
Faculty presentation 2013Once accepted to the Pre-Freshman Program, attendance is mandatory for all academic and co-curricular courses and events. Students can expect to spend approximately five hours per day in classroom activities, plus homework, and co-curricular programs.  Students will receive one course unit upon successfully completing the Program and this credit can be applied as a free elective towards graduation requirements. 

 PFP 2020 Course Descriptions


Will my summer savings expectation be adjusted?
Student Financial ServicesYes, in response to COVID-19, for the 2020-2021 academic year, Penn has waived the summer savings expectation for all students. Students who have specific questions about their financial aid package should contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 215-898-1988.


Participating Students Receive the Following Benefits:

  • Preparation for the academic rigors of a Penn education
  • One-on-one interaction with world-renowned faculty and advanced-level graduate students in both academic and non-academic settings
  • Workshops on topics of interest to first-year students
  • Training in college study strategies and time management
  • Free tutoring
  • Academic, personal, and career counseling by staff professionals who will work individually with participants throughout their undergraduate careers at Penn
  • A Peer Mentor who, for their entire first year, will help familiarize them with college life and University resources, helping to ease their transition to Penn.
  • Knowledge of campus resources
  • Opportunities to form a strong peer support network
  • Familiarity with the cultural and historical environment of greater Philadelphia
  • Community-building activities
  • An opportunity to build new friendships