Wharton Summer High School Programs

Wharton Data Science Academy

The Wharton Data Science Academy will bring state-of-the-art machine learning and data science tools to high school students. We aim to stimulate students’ curiosity in the fast-moving field of machine learning through this rigorous yet approachable program. Building up statistical foundations together with empirical and critical thinking skills will be the main theme throughout. By the end of the program, students will not only be equipped with essential data science techniques such as data visualization and data wrangling but will also be exposed to modern machine learning methodologies which are all building blocks for today’s AI field. Along the way, students will develop a working proficiency with the R language, which is among the most widely used by professional data scientists in both academia and industry.
We believe data science is not just a collection of techniques; it is foremost motivated by real world problems. The data scientist of the 21st century must be able to identify relevant problems, provide sensible analyses, and ultimately communicate their findings in meaningful ways. All learning modules are based on real life case studies.

Program Dates:    July 19 – August 8, 2020

Application Opens: November 2019

Priority Application Deadline: January 22, 2020
International Application Close: April 1, 2020
Domestic Application Close: May 1, 2020

Applications will be accepted until all sessions are full.

Location: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Eligibility: 10th through 12th grade high school students with strong interests in data analytics who are willing to be challenged by a rigorous curriculum similar to that of an intermediate Wharton undergraduate course. Students should be at least comfortable with the mathematics and statistics delivered at the high school AP/IB level or equivalent.Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply.

About Data Science Academy

Headed by machine learning expert and Wharton professor of statistics, Linda Zhao, the Wharton Data Science Academy will premiere in Summer 2020.
What students can expect:
  • Wharton professors who are data science experts will lead the lectures and will also be available to students outside of class.
  • Students will advance their skills with data from real world cases and will be challenged to articulate their findings with a final project.
  • Wharton undergraduate TAs will engage with students and share their experiences in studying data science.
  • Guest speakers who will share their wisdom of data science as a career.
  • Students will work in teams to complete a final project and present to their peers at the end of the program.

Application Policies and Procedures

Wharton will select 75 students for the 2020 Wharton Data Science Academy. The program fee covers tuition, housing, most meals, activities, and weekend trips.

Admission to Data Science is selective. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence and a demonstrated background in mathematics and/or statistics.

Application for the program requires:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Essay and short answer questions
  • Standardized test scores (if applicable*)
  • TOEFL/IELTS results (if applicable**)
  • Financial aid application (if applicable)
  • $100 application fee

**If standardized test scores are not available, applicants should submit a letter of recommendation letter (in PDF format) in lieu of score report documentation in the application.

**If English is not an applicant’s first language and the applicant’s school does not provide instruction in English, the admissions committee requires TOEFL scores. Competitive applicants tend to have a composite score of 100 and above. SAT or ACT tests maybe submitted in lieu of the TOEFL.


For more information, please contact Wharton@summerdiscovery.com or call 516-621-3939.

Please note that participation in Wharton Data Science Academy does not guarantee admission into Penn.