High School students outside on campus.

Pre-college programs allow high school students an opportunity to explore the University of Illinois campus, get a taste of college life, and learn about ACES programs. Students can attend talks by ACES faculty and students to learn how we tackle real-world problems, and how they can join us in finding solutions to global issues.




Discovering STEM in ACES Program (DSAP)

Students in Discovering STEM in ACES Program work together in teams based on their areas of interest. They attend two weeks of lectures with hands-on activities and demonstrations conducted by ACES staff and students.

Explore 2023 Discovering STEM in ACES

USDA Ag Discovery Program

The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service sponsors a special two-week experience focused on biosecurity. During the two weeks, students will participate in a series of activities involving government veterinarians, plant and animal biologists, biotechnologists, and wildlife science professionals. By the end of the session, students have a basic understanding of how the federal government works to protect plants and animals.

NOTE: Both weeks will be in person at the University of Illinois campus pending COVID-19 guidelines.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is a USDA agency with a mission to protect and promote U.S. agricultural health, regulate genetically engineered organisms, administer the Animal Welfare Act, and carry out wildlife damage management activities. APHIS is on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week working to defend America's animal and plant resources from agricultural pests and diseases. 

More information on USDA AgDiscovery Summer 2023 Program.

Applications for the 2023 AgDiscovery Program are OPEN and must be submitted online. The deadline to submit an application is March 31, 2023, at midnight Eastern Time Zone.

Applications for AgDiscovery 2023 have closed.

You will be notified by the week of May 2, 2023 if you have been selected to participate.  Non-selected applicants will receive a letter in the mail at the end of May. 

How do I apply? 

For more information contact: Diana Rodriguez at or (773) 540-1990.



United States Department of Agriculture


Saving FACE (Food, Agriculture, Construction & Environment) Around the World

The Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering hosts a one-week summer camp for rising 10th- through 12th-graders in conjunction with the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program. Campers will explore food, energy, and water systems through hands-on labs and demonstrations. They will also participate in activities and competitions, go on field trips, and attend lab and lecture sessions. The week culminates with a team project focused on sustainability.

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Illini Summer Academies

We work with Illinois 4-H to offer a college exploratory experience. Students enjoy a variety of activities that provide a taste of just how cool college life can be. They get to work alongside university professors and hang out on our college campus. Space for each academy is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Many academies reach capacity before the registration closes. 

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Group Visits

Teachers, counselors, and group leaders can arrange virtual visits with our students and faculty so their students to learn more about opportunities in food, agriculture, the environment, families, and communities.

Request a Visit