SSP is operated by an independent nonprofit, in cooperation with:
- California Institute of Technology
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Harvey Mudd College
California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena near Los Angeles, is one of the premier research universities in the world. Caltech’s affiliation with the Summer Science Program dates to SSP’s founding in 1958-9, with the enthusiastic support of Caltech’s President at the time, Dr. Lee DuBridge. He donated astronomical equipment and recruited Caltech faculty to teach at SSP and chair its Executive Committee. Caltech served as the first legal “parent” of SSP.
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).
More SSP alumni have gone on to enroll at Caltech than at any college besides MIT – over 200 so far. See Caltech’s list of “Summer programs that many of our admitted students have attended.”
MIT is one of the premier research universities in the world. Although Cambridge is a long way from SSP’s original home in Southern California, 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.
Our 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, 63 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.