Program for Students

PROMYS is a six-week summer program at Boston University designed to encourage strongly motivated high school students to explore in depth the creative world of mathematics in a supportive community of peers, counselors, research mathematicians, and visiting scientists.

Each year, PROMYS and the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) offer advanced seminars for returning PROMYS students. Returning students also engage in original research under the mentorship of professional mathematicians. Counselors and returning students will also organize their own seminars.

Quick Facts about PROMYS

PROMYS is a six-week residential summer math program at Boston University for mathematically gifted high school students who are carefully selected from across the U.S. and around the world.  PROMYS was founded in 1989 by Professor Glenn Stevens and three other current faculty members.

2020 Dates: July 5 - August 15, 2020

2020 Cost: The cost for the in-person 2020 program would have been $5,150 as a contribution towards the actual per-student cost to PROMYS of over $7,000. There was a lower cost for the virtual PROMYS 2020 Bridge Program.

Financial Aid: There is full and partial need-based financial aid. Please visit the financial aid page for details. The program is FREE for students whose families make under $60,000 per year (this includes the full cost of tuition as well as room and board).

Scholarships: Please see the Financial Aid and Scholarships page to learn about the following full scholarships which are generally offered: the Breakout Fellowship, the AMS Epsilon Fund Scholarship (this is a substantial or full scholarship), and the Yongren Fellowships (for low-income students in China). In some years, full Trustee Scholarships have been awarded. There are also some merit awards.

Application: Please see the Applications page.

Admission Process: A challenging problem set, recommendation from mathematics teacher, transcript, and application form.

Students: (pre and post 2020) Approximately 80 high school students aged 14 – 19: 60 first-year students and 20 returning students.

To be eligible, students need, by the first day of the program, to be at least 14 years old and to have completed 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade.  

Counselors: About 25 undergraduate students from top mathematics programs.  Counselors, often alumni, support and grade the work of their 4 students, do their own research, and give/attend advanced seminars and lectures.

Faculty and Mentors: Faculty of six, three of whom are math professors at Boston University. Additionally, there are research mentors, who are professional mathematicians, and there are visiting guest lecturers, who are mathematicians and scientists in academia and/or industry.  Professor Glenn Stevens is the Director of PROMYS.

Mathematics at PROMYS (pre and post 2020):

(1) All first-year students attend a daily lecture but spend the bulk of their time, almost all of which is unstructured, working on their own or collaboratively on carefully crafted and very challenging Number Theory problem sets.

(2)  First-year students also engage in open-ended exploratory labs, and write up and share their work with the PROMYS community. 

(3)  Advanced and returning students take more advanced seminars and engage in research projects, mentored by professional mathematicians. Students present their results to the PROMYS community at the end of the summer.  The students write up their results in research papers.

(4)  There are numerous additional math-related lectures, seminars, and mini-courses by participants and by invited visitors, many of whom are alumni of the program.

Guiding Principles of the Program:

(1) A belief that mathematics is a deeply human activity best experienced within a richly interacting and mutually supportive community of learners including high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, and research mathematicians.

(2) An emphasis on mathematical habits of mind that support independence and creativity in facing unfamiliar mathematical challenges.

(3) Students at PROMYS are presented with fundamental mathematical problems for which they have to struggle long and hard to find solutions. The students are given mathematical tools to find the solutions for themselves. They are not at any point given or led to the solutions.  For the six weeks of PROMYS, the students are mathematicians.

(4) No student should be unable to attend PROMYS due to financial need.

Funding: PROMYS is made possible in part by the generosity of its partners and sponsors: Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI), the Linde Family Foundation, National Security Agency (NSA), American Mathematical Society (AMS), Nicholas Nash, Indira Foundation,, private donors, and the PROMYS Foundation (created and run by alums). PROMYS is also grateful for the support of Boston University. 


Please click HERE to visit the Testimonials page

Please click HERE to visit the PROMYS Video page: Students, faculty, and alums of the program were filmed and interviewed during PROMYS 2013 and at the 25th Summer of PROMYS Celebration July 5-7, 2013 

Group with Professor Marjory Baruch

Counselors with Professor Marjory Baruch

Students ask Po-Shen Loh questions after his guest lecture
Students ask Professor Po-Shen Loh questions after his guest lecture

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