High School Honors: Choosing Your Summer College Courses

The first thing you should know is we’re here to help. So, if you have any questions about which summer college courses to choose, or if you are not sure about what you are best prepared to take, contact us. Our experienced academic advisors can recommend a combination that will be interesting, fun, and useful.

Please note that you will be taking courses alongside college undergraduates, and, in some cases, you may be the only high school student in the class.

Tips to help select your summer college courses:

  • This summer, we are offering several online courses, which are an excellent option for independent learners with strong time management skills. The “online” status is noted in the course description.
  • High School Honors course requirements:
    • Residential students are typically required to take two courses.
      • At least one of the courses must meet on campus.
      • Residential students enrolled in a lab-based course may petition to take only one course. Contact our office with any questions.
    • Commuter students can opt to enroll in either one or two courses for a minimum of 4 credits.
    • International students are required to enroll in two in person courses for 8 credits.
  • All of the courses listed on the High School Honors course selection page have been vetted for high school students. Some of these courses (e.g., more advanced science courses) also require departmental approval. Please contact our office if you have any questions about your eligibility to take a course.
  • There are limited spots available in each course, so students will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For the most part, 100- or 200-level courses are your best options. These are the courses that will most likely help you complete your freshman year course requirements or fulfill college major prerequisites. Courses at the 300 level and higher are typically for advanced undergraduates and seniors. A few 300-level or higher courses may be appropriate for you. If you want to take one of these courses, you must contact us and we can discuss your options.
  • Remember that summer courses are intensive, as the session is only six or seven weeks long. We suggest planning a balanced schedule–choose one academically challenging course and another course with which you already have some experience. We will review your courses when you register and contact you if we think you might be headed for an overly stressful summer.
  • All Summer Term courses are assigned a college and departmental code, a three-digit course number, and a section identifier. For example, CAS EC 101S B1 means that the course is offered in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) by the Economics department (EC). The course number 101 indicates it is an introductory course, the S indicates it is a summer course, and section B1 indicates it is offered in Summer 2. OL means that it is an online course. Please see Course Codes for further information on the numbering system. Discussion sections or labs can be numbered B2 or B3. Please note: if a course has multiple sections, such as a lecture and a lab, you must list both sections on the registration form. When a course has an IND descriptor after the section identifier, this indicates that there are no additional course components.
  • Do not sign up for a course if it has prerequisites that you have not taken. This is especially true for science and math courses. For example, Calculus II requires Calculus I. If you think you meet the prerequisites for a course based on AP coursework, you must contact our office to confirm.
  • Do not sign up for a course that you plan to take in high school for AP credit, since you will not be able to transfer credits from two of the same courses to a future college. For example, if you will be taking AP Biology, do not take Biology I.
  • Make sure that your courses do not meet at concurrent times.
  • Students registered for online courses should pay close attention to time zones when registering, as live classroom times meet according to local Boston time (EDT).
  • If possible, avoid taking more than one evening course, as it may conflict with our evening activities.
  • Keep an open mind. If you cannot find exactly what you want, or if you have trouble with scheduling conflicts, think about trying a course that will offer a different experience. Now is the time to try out a subject not offered in high school (or a subject you may think you will never find interesting). You may discover that you love philosophy!
  • Please remember that your final grades go on your official Boston University transcript and count toward your GPA if you attend BU as an undergraduate. These grades are permanent and cannot be removed from your academic transcript.
  • Most colleges and universities accept BU credit for courses in which students have earned a grade of C or higher, but you should consult each individual institution to confirm that this is the case.
  • Courses can be switched during the first week of class. There are set hours during the first week of classes when you can consult the program staff about changing courses. All course changes require approval of the High School Honors Program Manager.


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