In 1976, an idea took hold in the halls of MIT: a powerful reimagining of the summer experience for high school students. That idea became EXPLO, a pioneering and world-class summer enrichment program where students pursue their interests unconstrained by grades and tests. The result? A collaborative, interdisciplinary learning environment, where students drive their own learning through exploration. Today, more than 85,000 students and 45 years later, EXPLO is once again reinventing pre-college summer programming.

After hundreds of interviews with college presidents, provosts, professors, deans of admission, career counselors, HR leaders, industry experts, and successful EXPLO alums — two years of intense reimagining, prototyping, and building — we’re thrilled to announce our newest program: EXPLO Pre-College + Career.

A New Approach 

The new Pre-College summer program preserves the hallmarks that have always set EXPLO apart: high engagement and participation, student choice, community and connection, and the strong belief that curiosity fueled learning can be fun both in and outside of class. However, the world has changed a lot since 1976. We’re living in an age of acceleration and uncertainty, clouded with COVID and the challenges it’s brought. College and careers have been disrupted. Old playbooks are outdated, and they don’t provide the roadmaps they used to. It’s time to approach the future differently, and that means approaching learning differently.

At EXPLO’s Pre-College + Career program, join intellectually curious students from around the world for summer learning that combines industry-inspired projects with coaching from experts who are shaping the future of their professions — and can guide you on the path to your own. Here, you can explore the frontiers of industry and academia with those shaping the future of their fields. Immerse yourself in a fully active learning environment: labs, studios, simulations, site visits, powerful discussions, and interactive presentations. Dive into industry-inspired projects that allow you to engage in the authentic work of the field and collaborate as part of a diverse team — think a “mini” internship. Get personalized feedback and mentoring from the experts. Experience the joy of living with smart fun-loving friends in a community crackling with ideas, energy and enthusiasm. Build a social and professional network that will serve you for years to come.

You’ll do it all on one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world. Picture incredible historic academic, residential, and recreational facilities nestled on hundreds of wooded acres overlooking rolling hills and waterfalls.

Download the 2021 Pre-College + Career Program Guide

Concentration Offerings

What lights you up? Whether you want to pursue a career in STEM, law, or business, chances are, we’ve got a concentration for you. Join us this summer for robust concentrations in:

As an EXPLO Pre-College + Career student, you’ll build a functional self-driving car; prepare functional biosynthetic cardiac tissue (like that used in life-saving heart surgery); investigate and solve a real-life cold case with a nationally renowned forensic expert; dive into the American justice system alongside a state supreme court justice; get coached by leading business consultants to address problems plaguing actual businesses; design and build an implantable medical device — and so much more. 

Certain concentrations are eligible for college credit. Please contact the Admission Office for additional details. 

Live + Learn on an Award-Winning Campus

Heralded as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world, the College is nestled in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. The 750-acre campus is dotted with trees and extraordinary vistas and is home to exceptional facilities. The Science Center — spanning five buildings — has been named amongst the best science facilities in the country by the Princeton Review. The College’s award-winning community center and dining commons overlook the campus lakes, are both built to LEED Certification Silver Standards and are Green Restaurant certified. A short walk from the Dining Commons takes you to Skinner Green, an expansive lawn encircled by grand residence halls that the Princeton Review has described as being “like palaces.” The residence halls around the Green are EXPLO’s home base during the summer.


Mount Holyoke is part of the Five College Consortium that includes nearby Amherst, Smith, and Hampshire Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts. Directly across the street from campus is the Village Commons and town square featuring restaurants, a movie theater, retail shops, a bank, hair salon, yoga studio, bookstore, post office, and more.

Learning, the Way it Should Be

You’ll leave EXPLO Pre-College + Career with a deeper understanding of a wide array of academic and career options, but you’ll take away so much more. After developing new skills and finding increased confidence — the kind of confidence that gives you the courage to take more risks in life — you’ll gain clarity not only about your strengths and interests, but who you are. As a result, you’ll move closer to identifying what a meaningful life and career might mean for you.

Want to learn more about what this summer at EXPLO has in store for you? Read our 2021 Pre-College + Career Program Guide for more details about concentrations, our campus, and student life.

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