Learning at Andover Summer

The opportunities for study at Andover Summer are endless. Embracing your curiosity is the first step toward your success in the classroom, laboratory, or studio. Learning at Andover Summer means choosing from a multitude of courses—whether you devote your summer to a new interest, prepare for a challenging course, or seek inspiration and guidance in your art, you will find faculty committed to supporting you in your course of study.

Andover Summer courses are accessible to students, grade levels seven through twelve, or ages 12 to 17. There are extensive and varied course offerings housed in the Lower School Institute (LSI), and the Upper School, each described in further detail below.

We anticipate that the on-campus Andover Summer program in 2021 will begin on June 29 and run through August 1. Current plans for COVID-19 risk-mitigation plans and safety protocols can be found here.

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Lower School Institute

Appropriate for students entering seventh and eighth grades or ages 12-13. LSI students engage in five-week programs that integrate multiple subjects under the umbrella of a single theme. All LSI students live, study, and play together under the supervision of experienced middle school teachers and house counselors. The LSI program includes:

  • Daily breakfast sign-in
  • 3 hours of morning classes
  • Afternoon Activities
  • Free time or optional SSAT Prep courses
  • 90 minutes of evening classes or supervised study
  • Daily evening dorm sign-in
  • Weekly small- and large-group social activities and field trips*
  • Weekly experiential learning days*
  • Weekly cluster meetings and munches

*dependent upon public health guidelines and best practices in summer 2021

Upper School

Appropriate for students entering ninth through 12th grades or ages 14-17. In a typical summer, Upper School students may select their course of study from over 60 possible options. The subjects available range far and wide, including but not limited to the lab sciences, mathematics, philosophy, writing, studio art, web design, and the list goes on! More details can be found in the course catalog, below. The Upper School program includes:

  • 3-5 hours of daily classes
  • Afternoon Activities
  • Free time or optional SAT/ACT Prep courses, Study Skills courses, or music lessons
  • 90 minutes of evening classes or supervised study
  • Daily evening dorm sign-in
  • Weekly small- and large-group social activities*
  • Weekly cluster meetings and munches

*dependent upon public health guidelines and best practices in summer 2021

Academic Support

The rigor of an Andover Summer experience is not without its challenges! Throughout Summer Session, students have ample access to support from their instructors in a myriad of ways.

Small Classes

With the majority of classes structured to include 8-10 students, and a cap of 16, Andover Summer's small class size enables students to build strong relationships with their instructors. Veteran Phillips Academy and Andover Summer teachers ensure that students have the support and individual attention they need to thrive.

Evening Study

Each evening, Sunday-Friday, students participate in mandatory Study Hours between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Study Hours may include...

  • Evening class sessions
  • Supervised dorm study hours
  • Reservation-based library, computer center, and language lab access
  • Academic Skills support through one of the evening study centers (Math, Writing, and Science)


Each student is assigned an advisor for the duration of the summer, who maintains direct contact home with families and serves as the point person for any academic or residential issues that may arise. Students have formal check-ins with their advisors at the start and mid-term of the summer to set goals and discuss progress.

Optional Programs

Ace Your Tests

Princeton Review courses prepare students for the verbal, quantitative, and reading comprehension sections of the SAT, ACT and SSAT standardized tests. The Princeton Review class will focus on vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and the ability to relate ideas logically, to solve problems involving arithmetic, elementary algebra and geometry and concepts as well the student’s ability to understand what he/she read.

Students will learn efficient test-taking strategies which, alongside the additional full-length practice test, will help relieve test taking anxiety and allow for students to maximize their score.

At the start of the program, each student will take a diagnostic full-length test for evaluation and placement purposes as well as a practice final full-length test to chart score improvements over the duration of the course. Detailed personalized score analyses are given to the student to evaluate their performance and pinpoint individual strengths and weaknesses.

  • Students enrolled in the SAT Prep Course will cover all sections of the exam. Students will take two full-length practice exams, with an optional third test available. They will have complete access to the Princeton Review Online Student Center at the conclusion of the course and can continue to improve their skills after Summer Session ends.
  • Students enrolled in the ACT Prep Course will have an extensive review of all ACT content. Students will learn test-taking strategies and take three full-length practice exams, with an optional, at-home fourth test. They will have complete access to the Princeton Review Online Student Center at the conclusion of the course and can continue to improve their skills.

SSAT Prep Course

Open to Lower School Institute students, provides strategies and testing practice on all sections of the test. Used nationwide.

Learn to Improve

Students take two full-length practice SSATs and receive personalized score reports detailing their strengths and weaknesses.

Building Best Study Practices

Open to Upper School students, Essential Study Skills is an optional course designed to teach students the skills to thrive, both academically and personally, in challenging school environments. Invited to nurture the broader dispositions that lead to academic success, students will emerge from the course with a toolkit of strategies they can use throughout their academic careers and beyond for:

  • finding (and maintaining) curiosity and motivation
  • cultivating optimism and resilience
  • developing essential academic skills
  • applying learning strategies for improved time management and effective study.

Essential Study Skills meets four days a week for 90 minute course periods.

A friendly note: this course is especially recommended for students who believe they have room to improve academically or are anticipating an imminent transition to a markedly more rigorous academic experience than that to which they are accustomed. A student who is currently content with their approach to academic work and finds that their study strategies are successful, while welcome in this course, will likely not benefit to the same extent as a student who sees room for growth.

Practice and Perform

Students are invited to sign up for music lessons to keep their practice going strong throughout the summer. They may choose from four 45-minute or four 60-minute private lessons; practice rooms and instrument rentals are available. Summer Session musicians are also invited to take part in an end-of-session performance.