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Prospective Students

High school students in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties are eligible to apply to the Bridge Academy once they have completed their first year of high school. Priority will be given to academically gifted high school students from Philadelphia, students from vulnerable and underserved communities, and first-generation college students. Read through this page to learn more about eligibility and how to apply.

If you have already applied and been admitted to the Bridge Academy, please see the Current Students section of our website for more information.


Students must have completed 9th grade prior to applying to the Bridge Academy.

Note: Students may have to commute to the University one–three times per week for classes.

Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Bridge Academy will give priority to applicants who fit into one of the following targeted demographic groups:

  • First-generation college students
  • Students of color, historically underrepresented in higher education
  • Students eligible for free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs
  • Students eligible for the College Board fee waiver

Priority will be given to students from one of the targeted demographic groups and all eligible students must understand the benefits of college-level coursework in their personal, academic, and professional development; be initiative-taking in addition to:

  • Be, at minimum, a sophomore in high school.
  • Have a minimum 3.5 cumulative high school GPA on a 4.0 scale in core academic courses
  • Have a minimum PSAT or SAT test score of 550-ERW/530-M Standardized or the ACT equivalent
  • Be ranked in the top 10% of their class.
  • Receive a high school counselor nomination.

Application Materials

An application for Drexel University’s Bridge Academy is complete when all the required documents are received, and an interview has concluded. The required materials are:

  • Bridge Academy Application
  • Official High School Transcript: Have your school submit this to
  • Application essay (responses should be between 500–750 words)
    • Prompt: Drexel University's selective Bridge Academy is designed to allow academically talented high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to have an authentic college experience by taking prescribed courses alongside current Drexel students. Please discuss your college goals and how you foresee Drexel's High School Scholars Program moving you closer to your goals.
  • Copy of PSAT/SAT/ACT official score sheet. If students do not have test scores, they must answer the following two essay questions as an alternative:
    • Academic strengths are those innate abilities, talents, character traits, and experiences that allows one to excel in a learning environment. What are your academic strengths and how do you capitalize on them to do and be your best in school and beyond?
    • Conversely, academic weaknesses are challenges or disadvantages one may face in a learning environment. What are your academic weaknesses and how have you learned to overcome the challenges they may present?
  • Two Teacher (2) Recommendation Letters: Recommenders will receive a link to submit via their email. They can also submit recommendations directly to if they encounter any issues.
  • $75 non-refundable application fee OR an Application Fee Waiver [PDF]

The next Bridge Academy application cycle opens March 18, 2024 to begin taking classes in the summer or fall, if admitted. Please apply using only one application depending on when you want to begin taking classes, if admitted.  

Summer Application 

Fall Application 

The application deadline for students is April 28, 2024.

Note: Only CURRENT high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to apply at this deadline.

For more questions about our application process, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.