Outreach Programs

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:

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.

  • 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 request 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.)

Submit Forms

Applicants, counselors and teachers should complete and submit their respective forms electronically. (Please note that the forms work best if accessed directly from this page, rather than sent as a separate link.) Please note that these forms do not allow you to save and return to them later for modifications; they will time out after three hours. Please make sure that the form is complete and accurate before submitting. We recommend that you save a screen shot or hard copy of the completed form before submitting. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt if the form was submitted correctly.

Important: Notification about completion of application and interview scheduling will be sent via email from the director.

2018-2019 Deadlines

Preference is given to applications received and completed by April 1, 2018, for admission to the 2018-2019 academic year. Notification of acceptance will be mailed in early June. No applications for fall semester will be accepted after June 1, 2018. Occasionally there are openings for spring semester enrollment; interested students should complete an application by December 1, 2018 for entrance in mid-January, 2019.

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


For the first time in my life, I was required to not only understand the material myself, but also articulate that understanding to the instructor (sometimes) and fellow classmates (most of the time). This, in my opinion, was the greatest boon to the program as it was (1) a true introduction to seminar-style college learning, and (2) forced me to think out of the box and expand my social and interpersonal skills.
—Rohan Guliani '16
YS in mathematics

The greatest challenge, at first, was the amazing amount of freedom to study as much as I wanted to. It made me have to do all the work my high school chemistry teacher usually did in terms of organization and learning plans. My professors were always available to me. I had meetings with them to discuss my performance, and could always come to them with questions. Chemistry conference was particularly beneficial in that regard.
—Zesean Ali '16 (Reed '20)
YS in chemistry

I really appreciated the independence in my Reed course. There was not a lot of hand holding; I was responsible for my own schedule and relationships with fellow students. However, the Young Scholars community was readily available if I had questions or needed support. The style of dance and the format of my class allowed for participation from dancers of all levels. For example, the choreography rarely required exact repetition, giving us the opportunity to create our own movements and interpretations. At the same time, there were required essays and out of class choreography assignments.
—Jenna Richards, '16
YS in dance

The professors at Reed truly want you to learn and understand the content, and the students are friendly and academically brilliant. Physics at Reed was taught much more in depth and at a faster pace than my high school. The course challenged my mind, forcing me to think outside the box; 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