Summer at Columbia

Artwork: Kevin Valentine MFA ’12

Applications for the 2024 Summer at Columbia program are now closed. If you're interested in receiving updates about the 2025 program and other information on Columbia College Chicago, please fill out this form.

Summer at Columbia is an intensive four-week program for high school students interested in exploring the arts, media, and communications fields.

This experience gives you the chance to take a college-level course with Columbia College Chicago faculty while learning about the creative industries. The best part? If you enroll as a student at Columbia, the credits you earn during Summer at Columbia count toward your degree.

Collaborate with students from all over the U.S. and world as you cultivate your talent in areas like:

  • Cinema and Television Production
  • Game Development
  • Illustration
  • Photography

Program Tuition

$3,450 USD
Includes academic courses, weekday lunch in the Student Center, and access to Columbia facilities and resources.

$5,620 USD
Includes the same elements as Commuter tuition + a shared suite in University Center, an additional 15 meals per week, and dorm amenities. (Dedicated RA team, 24-hour staffed security desk, fitness center, game rooms, practice spaces, rooftop garden, and more.)


“It absolutely changed my life... I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me because of this experience.”    -Mya, SAC 2018 Alumni


Summer at Columbia Program Components

1. Chosen Discipline Course

Explore your creativity in a freshmen-level college course taught by Columbia faculty. Courses are open to all experience levels.

2. Entrepreneurship for Creative Course

Prepare for your career no matter what discipline you pursue. All Summer at Columbia students complete a seminar in Business and Entrepreneurship that focuses on practical entrepreneurial skills.

3. Unique Access to Columbia College Chicago

Engage with the Columbia community during on-campus events and learn about the various resources at Columbia College Chicago like the Career Center, Student Financial Services, Admissions, Student Employment, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


“Before this course, I knew close to nothing on the subject. Now, I am confident in my work and in my career path that I’ve chosen.”  -Alina, SAC 2020 Alumni


Why participate in a pre-college program at Columbia?

If you’re a high school student interested in exploring your creativity and career paths this summer, the Summer at Columbia program may be for you. As a Summer at Columbia student, you will:

  • Participate in a program designed by our award-winning faculty and staff;

  • Have the opportunity to earn college credit and get a head start on your freshmen year of college;

  • Be mentored by leading professionals in the creative industries;

  • Interact and collaborate with peers from around the world;

  • Learn about unique student resources and support available at Columbia College Chicago;

  • Gain classroom experience at the college level and better prepare yourself for academics after high school.


Do you have more questions about Summer at Columbia?

Drop us an email at, and an Admissions Representative will be happy to assist you.