Outreach Programs

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How do I apply?

Admission to the program is highly competitive. The admission process requires completion of the application forms by the stated deadlines below. We require the following components, submitted through web-based forms, for completion of an application:

  • Application for participation and personal statements.
  • A graded paper or exam from the field, or related area, that the student wishes to pursue at Reed.
    (The paper may be uploaded on the web application—pdf, tif or doc preferred—or sent separately to the office of special programs.)
  • One high-school counselor recommendation.
  • Two teacher recommendations. (Students should obtain recommendations from teachers who have taught them in a subject related to the course they wish to take at Reed.)
  • Current high-school transcript. (While the transcript request is noted on the counselor recommendation form, it is the student's responsibility to  confirm with the high school that an official sealed or electronic copy directed to Reed's special programs office is submitted.)
  • Transcripts for any college work completed, if relevant.
  • Scores of SAT, ACT, or PSAT tests, if available. (If the test scores are not recorded on the high-school transcript, the college counselor may note the scores on the recommendation form.)

After all forms have been received, the director of special programs will contact the applicant via email to arrange a required interview. Please be sure to record accurately your email address in the requested space on the application form.

2016-2017 Deadlines

Preference is given to applications received and completed by April 1, 2016, for admission to fall, 2016 semester courses. Notification of acceptance will be mailed in early June. No applications for fall semester will be accepted after June 1, 2016. Occasionally there are openings for spring semester enrollment; interested students should complete an application by December 1, 2016 for entrance in mid-January, 2017.

An application will not be evaluated until the special programs office has received all required information.

Scheduling an Interview

All applicants to the Young Scholars program are required to interview with the director of special programs. This informal interview is an opportunity for you to address any outstanding questions from your application, and to learn more about course selection and the college in general.

The director of special programs will notify you via email when your application is complete. At that time, you will receive instructions on accessing the interview appointment schedule.

The office of special programs is in Eliot Hall, room 422. Eliot Hall is the large, Tudor Gothic building that faces Woodstock Blvd. with the flag pole out front.


Office of Special Programs


This program was an incredible experience for me. By my senior year, I knew which areas of study interested me the most, but was stunted in being able to explore these topics at my high school. The opportunity to deeply follow these interests in an academically rigorous and socially welcoming environment was a tremendous growing experience for me. I am now entering college with an even stronger, and newly refocused, perspective on what I want to study and pursue in my life. The connections I made at Reed, with my professors and with other Reed students, helped me grow both intellectually and personally.
—Kaila Johnson '15
YS in political science

The Reed courses I took
were as challenging as I had anticipated them to be—without a doubt, they were more challenging than my high school classes, but they were not so difficult as to be unreasonable. The classes were primarily focused on reading and discussion with occasional writing assignments, which provided a very good mix. I enjoyed being part of a college class and being treated exactly like every other college student. It was a valuable experience to see the way that college classes function and to interact with the teacher and other students in that environment, as well as to participate in the full extent of the homework load.
—Alex Ramiller '14
YS in music

Reed gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in physics. The professors at Reed truly want you to learn and understand the content, and the students are friendly and academically brilliant. Physics was taught much more in depth and at a faster pace at Reed than my high school. The course challenged my mind, forcing me to think outside the box, and labs and conferences were engaging and stimulating, preparing me to succeed in class. I had to work much harder than any class in high school, and it was completely worth it.
—Andy Yu '15
YS in physics