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Northwestern University: The National High School Institute

Established in 1931, the National High School Institute (NHSI) is the nation's oldest and largest university-based program for outstanding high school students. The program introduces students to intensive college-level study in specialized areas of interest and participants gain practical experience as they develop intellectually in their chosen areas. NHSI students leave the Institute better able to make decisions about their future, and many go on to study at the finest college and universities.

Our goals for all of our students are, to gain practical college-level experience in their chosen field, to interact closely with faculty, to experience new social and intellectual challenges, and to experience campus life with other exceptional high school students.

Students in the Institute are affectionately called "Cherubs," a tradition that began in the 1930s with the founder of the Institute, Ralph Dennis. Cherubs come from every walk of life, from each of the 50 states, and from numerous international countries. Dr. Dennis' mission "to bring together gifted young people and superior teachers in an atmosphere of affection, knowledge and trust" is still followed today. The “Cherub” experience is a life-altering event for our students. It gives purpose and focus to teenagers who are at a pivotal point in their lives. It creates a social and professional network that lasts a lifetime. We can and do “change the world” for many of our students.

For about a month every summer, Northwestern University's Evanston campus serves as a background for students to taste college life while receiving an intense education. Classes, workshops, field trips, projects and lectures fill a rigorous academic schedule while group outings and social events complete a memorable summer. All programs are residential--students must live at Northwestern for the entire time of the program--and are non-credit and designed for enrichment.

The NHSI faculty includes members of the Northwestern academic community, faculty from other major teaching institutions and working professionals in each field. Faculties interact closely with students individually and in group projects and often live in the dormitories with the students to create a potential for 24/7 learning.

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  • Country: United States


  • Telephone: 800.662.NHSI
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