Academic Year Bridge

Program Overview

As a participant in the Academic Year Bridge program, you will enroll alongside UChicago undergraduates in one course each quarter at the University of Chicago. You will select a  course from the College’s undergraduate curriculum, in close consultation with the College Bridge Advisor. Tuition, fees and textbooks are paid for by the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, and the program is managed by an experienced academic advisor in the College’s Summer Session Office.

Academic Courses

Areas of study may include:

  • Biological Sciences (requires AP Bio),
  • Humanities (requires AP English),
  • Foreign Languages (placement test may be required, beginning language can be taken if the language is not offered at your high school),
  • Civilization Studies (requires AP History),
  • Honors Calculus (requires AP Calc BC and an on-campus placement exam),
  • Intro to Economics (requires AP Econ) and
  • Social Sciences (requirements dependent upon course – some can only be taken in the second year of participation in Bridge).

In some cases, other subject areas are available, however courses that are restricted to undergraduate students majoring in chemistry, physics and math (other than the above) do not allow Bridge student enrollment.

Our undergraduate courses cannot be counted toward requirements for high school graduation and each student must 1) have completed their high school graduation requirements in the subject of interest, and 2) have completed the most advanced course in that subject area (typically, an AP course) with a minimum grade of B. 

Eligibility/Selection Process

Rising seniors in CPS high schools with an unweighted GPA of 3.6 or higher and a school attendance rate of 95% or higher are eligible to apply for Academic Year Bridge. Students are chosen based on a combination of factors, including their essays, a graded writing or project sample, and an interview with the College Bridge Advisor.

Coordination With CPS

Participation in College Bridge must also be approved by your high school counselor or principal. Generally, for each course taken at the University of Chicago, you will be excused from two courses at your high school. After you have obtained permission, the College Bridge Advisor will work with your high school counselor to confirm that your participation is possible and doesn’t interfere with your high school academic or co-curricular requirements.

Requirements Once Admitted


A grade of B- or higher must be achieved in order to move on to the next quarter. Grades are listed on high school transcripts and weighted as an AP class.

Academic Calendar

The University of Chicago is on the quarter system and the regular academic year includes Autumn (September-December), Winter (January-March), and Spring (April-June). Each quarter  is 10 weeks long, followed by a finals week. These quarters do not coincide neatly with the CPS calendar and you will be expected to attend classes at the University of Chicago even when there is no school at your high school.  You can review the exact dates on our Academic Calendar page.  You will not be required to take a course during Spring Quarter, as there is often a great deal of work during that time period in high school (AP tests, ACT, etc.).You must consult with your high school counselor if, for any reason, you are no longer taking courses at the University of Chicago. They will most likely re-enroll you in two high school classes at that time.

Advising and Mentorship Meetings

During the academic year, the College Bridge Advisor will arrange required, standing advising meetings with you and help you succeed at coursework at the university.