Affiliated Universities

SSP is operated by an independent 501c3 nonprofit, in cooperation with:

Host Campuses

Indiana University, Bloomington
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
University of Colorado Boulder
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


California Institute of Technology

Caltech is in Pasadena near Los Angeles, not far from the Jet Propulsion Lab it operates with NASA. Caltech’s affiliation with the Summer Science Program dates all the way back to SSP’s founding in 1958-9. Caltech’s President at the time, Dr. Lee DuBridge, donated astronomical equipment and recruited Caltech faculty to teach at SSP and chair its Executive Committee. Caltech even served as the first legal “parent” of SSP, four decades before it became an independent nonprofit.

And the connection has continued ever since. Numerous Caltech faculty have lectured at SSP, including Astronomer Maarten Schmidt (33 times), Physicist David Politzer (9 times) and the fondly remembered Richard Feynman (9 times).

Caltech is a small school, but over 200 SSP alumni have gone on to enroll there as undergrads, second only to (the much larger) MIT.

"At Caltech, our admissions committee seeks to find and attract candidates who have demonstrated a genuine passion for STEM beyond just great academics and school-based activities. SSP is an amazing program that truly inspires scientific inquiry and exploration in our prospective students!"

Harvey Mudd College

SSP’s ties with Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California go back to the 1960s, when HMC helped to operate and fund SSP in an informal consortium with Caltech, Pomona College, and Thacher School (the original host campus). Over the decades, dozens of SSP alumni have enrolled there, in part because of cultural compatibility; while small for a college, Harvey Mudd is in many ways a larger version of SSP. In 2017 Harvey Mudd returned to a direct relationship as SSP’s “academic partner,” incorporating several areas of cooperation.

"Harvey Mudd College has admired the SSP program from the very beginning. Our relationship with SSP began with the very founding of the college. It can be a wonderful experience filled with new discoveries (about science but perhaps also about oneself) and can lead to life-long friendships. The rigorous but collaborative nature of the program is very similar to the experience our own students find. I recommend it highly."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is a long way from SSP’s original home in Southern California, but SSPers have been enrolling there for decades … and teaching there too. Before Ed Bertschinger headed MIT’s Department of Physics, he was SSP class of ’75 and a Teaching Assistant from ’79 to ’82.

In recent years 10-20% of SSP alumni each fall choose to enroll at MIT for their undergraduate education. Others are there as grad students. Since 1959, MIT is the most frequent undergraduate destination of SSP alumni.

MIT lists SSP on its website as an affiliated summer program.