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“I learned something new everyday. It was engaging and challenging. ”

Online High School Summer Program

Summer 2023: July 24 - August 10, 2023
Application Deadline:
March 17, 2023 for Early Registration
May 19, 2023 for Regular Registration
Sorry, we are full for this summer!

The Summer High School Math Circle consists of two components - in-person and virtual classes: In-person classes will be held at Columbia University from 10am to 3pm each weekday and will include lunch from 12pm to 1pm. Virtual classes run from 10am to 12pm and from 1pm to 3pm (with a break from 12pm to 1pm).

Instructors and teaching assistants are amiable and helpful, and the atmosphere is open and collaborative.

Students are expected to work hard in the program and have fun. For unusual activities, mathematical games, team-building, and more, Fridays are set aside.

Our summer program is in its sixteenth year: the first one ran in 2008. The American Mathematical Society has recognized our program with their Epsilon Award for eight years. You can read some of the lovely comments from past students here.

To subscribe to announcements about student programs, see our subscription page.

Summer High School Math Circle (Registration Closed)

When: July 24, 2023 - August 10, 2023
Where: Columbia University, 2990 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 (map). Room Knox Hall.
Early Admission Exam Dates: March 18 & 19, 2023 (exam due on March 19)
Regular Admission Exam Dates: May 20 & 21, 2023 (exam due on May 21)
Application Requirements: Completed application and qualifying exam.
See Application Process below.
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Attendance Policy

Because we have a limited number of places in our program and need consideration for students on our waiting list, students should attend for the entire three weeks.


All students must take the qualifying exam.

The program consists of three levels - Green, Blue, and Black in order of increasing difficulty. All students will receive the same exam divided into sections, Green, Blue, and Black, on the exam day itself. You will then decide to answer questions on one, two, or all three sections (we recommend two). You will be admitted to the highest level you qualify for.


Students should have a command of at least first-year high school Algebra. Participation in honor or enrichment courses is desirable. There will be one in-person and one virtual Green section.


Students should have a command of Algebra I, Geometry I, and some elementary number theory such as that covered in Green. Prior math enrichment experience, such as NYMC coursework or math team involvement is expected, as well as strong problem solving skills. There will be one in-person and one virtual Blue section.


Students should have a deep knowledge of algebra, geometry, some combinatorics, and pre-calculus. Students must have experience with mathematical problem solving and proof writing, such as through prior NYMC courses, math team participation, or a similar level of preparation. This section is virtual only.

College Bridge

This course covers topics normally found in college-level courses. Topics to be covered are polynomials, topological degree, Sturm's Theorem, and the geometry of infinite sums and products for Pi. There is a separate placement test to qualify for this class. This section is virtual only.

Note that priority is given to students entering grades 9-12 in the Fall. For younger students, we have a two-week weekday program (July 10 - July 21) which will be listed on our Students page by the end of April.

Past Qualifying Exams

Please examine this past qualifying exam to understand what is expected of students entering a given level. In recent years, points were awarded according to the following formula: Multiple Choice - 1; Short Answer - 2; Long Answer - 4. Scores of approximately 20 were enough to be admitted in previous years.

If you feel that HSA (now level Green) is too advanced for you, please consider applying to our High School Problem-Solving course offered at the same time as our Middle School Summer Program (July 10 - July 21).

Online Tools (for our virtual classes)

Google Classroom will be used to manage classroom materials, and Zoom will be used for remote sessions. Students are recommended to have a laptop or desktop for these sessions, although a smartphone can be used with limited functionality for the live sessions.

Application Process

Click on "Register" above to start your application. The application process consists of 3 steps:

Step 1:

Registration form with contact information. The bottom portion must be completed by your parent or guardian. You will receive an automated email confirmation upon completing this step, including a link to your Status Page.

Step 2:

Complete the online Application Form. The form is available on your Status Page. If these steps are done, you will receive an email to confirm that you’ve completed the application and to remind you of the date and time of the exam.

Step 3:

Qualifying Exams:

  • Early exam: March 18-19. You will take a 2-hour exam in a window of your choosing. The submission deadline is midnight on March 19.
  • Regular exam: May 20-21. You will take a 2-hour exam in a window of your choosing. The submission deadline is midnight on May 21.

You may take either or both exams, indicating your choice(s) on the Application Form in Step 2.

Admission Process

Up to 20% of our HS Summer Program places will be given to Early Admission students (March 18-19). Students not offered a place will automatically join the pool for students applying for regular admission (May 20-21).

You can expect to hear from us within four weeks of taking the qualifying exam. If invited into the program, you will be placed into one of the levels based primarily on the qualifying exam. Our determination of placement is final.

We anticipate complete enrollment for the program and a waiting list to form. Any remaining seats will be filled on a rolling basis.

Program Cost

The cost of the in-person program at Columbia University is $900. The cost of the remote program is $775. We require a 20% deposit within a week to secure your spot if invited. If the deposit is not received, your registration will be canceled. Full payment of the program fee is due by June 8.

We are able to reduce the fee significantly for families to whom it presents a financial hardship. Invited students may request a fee reduction during the payment process. Financial aid does not factor into our admissions decisions.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel by June 8 and receive a refund except for a 20% deposit. After June 8, you may cancel for a 50% refund. After June 30, the entire program fee is non-refundable. If you find out that you need to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible out of consideration for students who may be waiting for a spot.