SMASH Academy

SMASH will be virtual in 2021.

SMASH Academy 2021

Learn more about our pivot to virtual learning. SMASH Academy will be accepting applications from current 9th graders soon.

SMASH Academy:

Our intensive & holistic STEM focused college prep program

SMASH Academy, our flagship program, is a FREE, 3 year, intensive STEM focused college prep program that empowers students to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers. For 4 – 5 weeks every summer, scholars are immersed in tuition-free studies in partnership with leading universities throughout the country.  During the academic year, scholars participate in monthly programming.

They are coached by instructors that represent the future they can have. Because of their common background, students connect more deeply with instructors and gain true mentorship from these STEM professors and industry professionals. As they go through the program, scholars not only develop their skills and network – they also find their voice and build the confidence to become who they want to be.


Work for SMASH

See why our Academy Instructors love working with our scholars. The Programs Team at SMASH is seeking passionate educators, facilitators, mentors and high-energy professionals to join our instructional and residential teams at SMASH Academy.

Apply Now

How SMASH Academy works

Starting the summer after their 9th grade year of high school and beyond, scholars will:

  • Study CS, Design Thinking, and STEM Networking for 4-5 weeks during the summer
  • Build core technical skills, including computing needed to participate and succeed in the future workforce.
  • Build a robust community of peers and support that will last a lifetime.
  • Focus on building the academic and life skills essential to succeed in STEM
  • Connect with STEM professionals
  • Have access to college and work readiness opportunities including paid internships with leading companies in tech and other industries.

University Partners

Our university partners are an integral part of the SMASH Academy program. The first SMASH Academy was founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004.
Since then, it expanded across California to Stanford University, UCLA and UC Davis.
In 2016, SMASH began its expansion across the country.
2016: Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia
2018: The Wharton School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan
2019: Our first state-wide initiative, SMASH Illinois, with university partners Illinois Institute of Technology and Southern Illinois University and foundation partner, CPASS Foundation. SMASH Illinois will serve students in Chicago, Carbondale, and East St. Louis Metro Areas in Illinois.
2020: Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements listed below in order to be considered for SMASH (no exceptions).
  1. GPA: Must have minimum 8th grade 3.0 GPA or equivalent. 
  2. Grade Level: Be in the 9th grade at the time of application.
  3. Math Skills: Have strong mathematics skills appropriate for your grade level, as determined by your state standardized math test scores.
  4. Attend a public high school or private high school via scholarship.
  5. Location: Reside in the United States within 50 miles of a SMASH site as determined by your zip code. Students applying to the IIT site must be an Illinois resident and 25 miles of the Chicago, Carbondale, and East St. Louis Metro Areas. SMASH Michigan and SMASH Wayne State will be accepting students from certain target schools. 
  6. Applicants to SMASH Morehouse must be male.

Target Applicants

The criteria below describes who we aim to serve, however, applicants do not need to fulfill any or all of the criteria to apply to SMASH.
From groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: African American, Chicano/Latinx, Native American, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian (i.e. Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese) or mixed race/multiracial groups with at least one parent from the above ethnicities.
First-generation college students: This means that neither one of your parents received a bachelor’s or 4-year degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in the United States. If you have a sibling in college you are still first generation. If your parents took some courses, but did not complete a degree you are still considered first generation
From a low-income family: (e.g. qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunch program).

2021 Academy Dates

SMASH Morehouse: July 5 – August 4
SMASH Berkeley: July 5 – August 4
SMASH UC Davis: July 5 – August 4
SMASH Northeastern: July 5 – August 4
SMASH Wayne State: July 5 – August 4
SMASH Illinois: July 5 – August 4
SMASH Michigan: July 5 – August 4


The 2021 SMASH Academy applications are now closed.
We understand that all members of the SMASH community -scholars, families, staff, and other stakeholders- have ideas, expertise, and life experiences that enable each of us to make valuable contributions. Diverse representation by, but not limited to, people of color, women of all backgrounds, and people from our LGBTQ+ community is the rule at SMASH, not the exception.

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