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Governor's Schools

Summer Residential Governor's Schools

Summer Residential Governor's Schools provide gifted high school juniors and seniors with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; or through mentorships in marine science, medicine and health sciences, or engineering.  Students that are considering applying should have a very solid academic record, interest in the subject, the ability to obtain strong teacher recommendations, and a high level of maturity.  The competitive application and selection process requires the student to manage their time and meet multiple deadlines.

Each Summer Residential Governor's School focuses on one special area of interest. Students live on a college or university campus for up to four weeks each summer. During this time, students are involved in classroom and laboratory work, field studies, research, individual and group projects and performances, and seminars with noted scholars, visiting artists, and other professionals. In the three mentorships, students are selected to work side-by-side with research scientists, physicians, and a variety of other professionals. A director and a student-life staff provide supervision of students 24 hours a day, throughout the program.

Nominations may be made by teachers, school counselors, peers, or by the students themselves. A school or division selection committee chooses the nominees from each school or division and forwards the nominees to a state committee. Consideration is given to students' academic records, test scores, extra-curricular activities, honors, and awards, creativity, original essays, and teacher recommendations. Students applying for the Visual and Performing Arts Summer Residential Governor's School participate in a statewide adjudication where they audition or present portfolios for review before a pair of professionals in the specific arts field. Because of the limited number of residential placements available, not all students who are nominated by their schools can be accepted for participation.

Academic programs include:

  • Agriculture
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Science & Technology
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Mentorships in Engineering and Marine Science
  • Visual and performing arts (VPA) programs include:
  • Dance
  • Instrumental Music
  • Vocal Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

Summer Governor’s Foreign Language Academies

All Foreign Language Academies are a three week long residential experience at a Virginia College or University.  The foreign language academy experience greatly intensifies the students' interest in and appreciation of foreign language study.  It significantly develops their language skills in the immersion language, and helps students build self-confidence.  Attendance of an academy accelerates maturity and changes attitudes positively toward languages.

Full Immersion Academies include:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Partial Immersion Academies include:

  • Japanese
  • Latin

Students must be nominated by a public high school from a Virginia public school division. Home-school students may apply through the public school they are eligible to attend tuition free. A state selection process will determine who is accepted to participate.

Each secondary school may nominate one student for each of the French, German, Latin, Japanese, and Spanish Academies.

All nominees must meet the eligibility requirements below. Eligible students:

  • must be juniors or mature sophomores during the current school year
  • must be eligible to attend public school in Virginia tuition-free (i.e., be residents of Virginia)
  • must be nominated by a public high school from a Virginia public school division
  • may apply to only one Governor’s summer residential program or foreign language academy per year
  • may attend only one Governor’s summer residential program or foreign language academy during their high school career
  • must be genuinely interested in attending the Foreign Language Academies and have the stamina, emotional maturity, stability, and self-discipline to live away from home for an extended period

Students of the French, German, and Spanish Academies must meet the additional criteria below. Eligible students:

  • must have completed at least level three of the language prior to the beginning of the academy
  • must have developed good proficiency in using this language
  • must be willing to use the target language for all social and academic interactions

Students applying to the Latin Academy must have completed at least level two of the language prior to the beginning of the academy.

Students applying to the Japanese Academy must have completed at least level two of ANY language prior to the beginning of the academy, but are not required to have previously studied Japanese. Students currently studying Japanese are also encouraged to apply.