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About the Program

The Summer Science Institute is an eight-week summer program hosted at San Francisco State University designed to strengthen undergraduate students' abilities in basic science techniques and concepts. The goal of SSI is to introduce students to topics in chemistry, mathematics, technology, and biology by focusing on knowledge integration and problem solving. Students will hone their skills in laboratory and data analysis workshops, and will integrate the techniques they develop in a creative group project at the end of a program. SSI supplements scientific learning with dedicated development of scholarly practices: study skills, academic planning, and application workshops.

Field Trip to Headlunds, 2008


Everything you need to know about SSI:

How to Apply
Who Should Take the Summer Science Institute?
Fees, Expenses, and Financial Aid
Housing and Transportation

Download all this information in a printable PDF file here.


The goal of SSI is to inspire promising students from a variety of backgrounds to achieve in the sciences and provide participants the tools they need to be successful in the next phase of their education. Specifically, SSI seeks to prepare its participants to excel in first year majors-level science courses (Chemistry I, Biology I, Physics I, etc.), and transition them into success in more advanced coursework.

The long-term goal of the program is to attract California undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds into the health and science professions, with the aim of reducing disparities in health care provision in California.

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How to Apply

Sign up for SSI in three easy steps:

  1. Apply to SSI on the program website
  2. Register to attend summer classes at SFSU
  3. Wait to receive your welcome packet and registration materials from the SSI team

  1. Applying to the program
    Application to SSI is free and completed entirely online at the SSI website, Admissions are not intensely selective based on competitive grades, but rather we try to enroll students who show on their applications that they are genuinely invested in their own success in sciences. Admittances will be made on an ongoing basis until the program is full. Interested students are encouraged to apply early to reserve a spot, as it is expected to fill up.


  1. Registering for summer classes at SFSU
    Once students have been accepted to the Summer Science Institute by applying on the website they must register for classes with the SFSU Registrar. While the online application to SSI is the same for everyone no matter which school you might attend during the year, one of two different SFSU registration options will be more applicable once you are ready to register for the class the course:
  • Matriculated SFSU Students who plan to take classes full-time in addition to SSI.
    Students currently enrolled at San Francisco State University and who plan to take a full-time load of classes in addition to SSI during the summer session must pay the full-time fee. More information for full-time SFSU students can be found at The last day to register for summer session classes is in June. Check the SFSU Registrar website for details.

  • Part-time students from other schools and SFSU students who do not plan to take other courses in addition to SSI during the summer.
    Students who are not currently enrolled in San Francisco State, or those who do not intend to take additional classes during the summer session, can register part-time by enrolling in the SFSU Open University program. Registering in Open University is easy and allows you to pay only for the units you are taking. As SSI is a two-unit course, the fee for Extended Learning students will be approximately $520.00 for the summer session. If you are interested in this option, register at

  1. Welcome packet and registration materials
    You will receive an email welcome from the SSI team as soon as you have been accepted to the SSI program. The packet will include details about the program schedule, and where to meet on the first day of class.

The SSI admissions team is happy to assist you with course registration and payment of university fees. Contact us for more information.

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Who Should Join the Summer Science Institute?

SSI is applicable to all undergraduate students currently enrolled in California public schools: UC and CSU universities as well as junior colleges. Although most SSI students come from San Francisco State University, it is not required that applicants be registered at SFSU at the time of application.Students in Lab

The program seeks to enroll dedicated students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and those seeking to strengthen their proficiency in science before beginning majors-level courses. SSI is appropriate for anyone considering a scientific career; however, it is especially directed to pre-health students. The Summer Science Institute supports the American Medical Student Association and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Achieving Diversity in Dentistry and Medicine.

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Fees, Expenses, and Financial Aid

As SSI is a CSU University course worth two semester units, you must to register with the SFSU Registrar in order take classes (which includes SSI) during the summer. The normal course registration fee charged by the University is the only cost associated with the program. See the Registrar website for more information on university fees.

Students admitted to SSI for the summer session are eligible to receive a financial aid package that will be determined once you are accepted. This sum is intended to help cover the cost of registration, books, transportation, or other related expenses. The award will be given regardless of any other financial aid you may be receiving, and will be distributed in two or more disbursements beginning during the second week of the course. We hope that cost will not be a factor in your decision to attend SSI. Please contact us to discuss additional financial aid options if you need additional assistance.

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Housing and Transportation

The Summer Science Institute is not a residential program. You will be expected to secure your own housing and daily transportation to San Francisco State University. On-campus housing offered by SFSU is available for a fee (; however, this option may not be the most economical.

We understand that the San Francisco Bay Area is an expensive place to live and travel. Additional financial assistance is available to students with particular financial needs surrounding housing and transportation. We encourage you to contact the SSI admissions team with questions regarding specific expenses not covered by the standard financial aid package during the program.

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