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Our unique post-graduate experience for gifted high school graduates provides the opportunity to connect with peers in an educational environment designed to meet their intellectual, social, and emotional needs. This program is designed to give post-graduates the opportunity to more fully develop the core skills and habits they will need to be successful in college and life in general.

Post-graduate experience

Why consider a post-graduate year at Grayson?

We know that many high school graduates can benefit greatly from an additional year to further mature and prepare for college. Our program is informed by research and best practices in gifted education and offers an opportunity for participants to connect with gifted peers and develop new skills and competencies. Key areas of focus include making connections across disciplines and between ideas, conducting deep inquiry and research, cultivating genuine subject-area expertise, developing innovative solutions to complex problems, and exploring big questions from diverse perspectives. In addition, we place a particular emphasis on practicing openness to opposing viewpoints and fostering a keen sense of empathy. The program is currently open to U.S students only.

Post-Graduate Core Program

Open Studio

All post-graduates will participate in our signature Open Studio program that supports bold, audacious, creative, authentic scholars and makers by challenging them to engage with real problems, use the real tools and language of professional disciplines, and persevere in the face of real failures. The expectation is that you become skilled in the stages of independent research and project management including exploration and proposal, research and mentoring, design and execution, writing and presentation, and oral defense. Each program participant will choose from one of four tracks.

Innovation Tracks
  1. Scientific Research: gain advanced expertise, hone laboratory skills, review cutting edge research, make your own breakthrough 
  2. Entrepreneurship: start your own business, patent your invention, build your brand
  3. Creativity: write your novel, develop your portfolio, launch your fashion line, publish your work
  4. Engaged Citizenship: explore government and public service, expand your communication and media skills, exercise your political power, make a difference in your community and your world

All post-graduates will have a multiple group meetings during the week to learn about the different stages of research and project management processes, to get and give feedback and support about their individual projects, and to have structured time to work towards their goals. In addition, each participant will be assigned a Grayson faculty mentor that will hold a weekly check-in meeting with them, and will work closely with you to identify an external mentor for additional feedback and guidance throughout the process. Each post-graduate will work with their mentor to identify the scope of their particular project and the product they are working towards (academic paper, invention prototype, video, podcast, visual art piece, creative writing, educational campaign, etc.). In addition every student will create a digital portfolio documenting their process and products. This portfolio can also document prior work and projects completed during high school that they want to showcase. 

Leadership Seminar

The Leadership Seminar will meet twice per week. You will have an opportunity to identify and explore your strengths and learn about core skills and competencies of successful leaders through interactive activities.


Each student will select one or two Elective Seminars that will meet twice a week. Options include:

Disasters and Design Thinking

Engineers use scientific principles to design and build machines, tools, and structures which help improve people’s lives.  But what happens when things go wrong?  Was disaster inevitable?  Were there opportunities for intervention?  From shipwrecks, to industrial disasters, to structural failures, this course examines case studies of catastrophic engineering phenomena that arise as the result of failures in the design process.  

The History of Everything

Do you love the study of history, but hate when classes limit you to a single topic or time period?  The History of Everything is a social studies class that covers the entire span of existence.  With insights from many disciplines woven throughout, we will form a historical narrative that helps us better understand people, civilizations, and how we are connected to everything around us.  

Writing like a Historian: Research Paper Intensive

Mastering the art of research and wielding the written word are two of the most important skills for a historian.  Focusing on the process of writing a research paper from topic selection to the final draft, this three-week intensive course allows students to develop a scholarly research paper by exploring an in-depth project based on the student’s interests.

Visual Storytelling

Combine techniques from the digital world (e.g. photography, graphics, video) with hands-on artistic media (e.g. collage, illustration, design) to bring your stories to life. Through mini challenges and individual projects, students will flex their creativity, explore the nature of narrative, and cultivate their own unique sense of style.

Additional Program Opportunities

Post-graduates also have the opportunity to participate in a full day program that would involve taking additional courses in core academic subjects such as Math, Science, Literature, History, Mandarin, Latin, Greek, Spanish, German, Art, and Computer Science to increase their breath and depth of knowledge. Or post-graduates could choose to take additional elective seminars. Course levels and content will be determined based on student interest and individual ability/background knowledge. Full day post-graduate students will also be invited to participate in additional electives, athletics, on site internships, and after school activities.   

Schedule and Fees

Half Day Program

A typical week is comprised of:

  • Open Studio -3 times per week
  • Leadership Seminar – 2 times per week
  • Elective Seminars – 2 times per week 
  • One on one meeting with mentor – minimum every other week 
  • Open work period  (Note: post-graduates may opt to include 1 additional Elective Seminar)

Half Day Program Fees: $10,000 per semester

Full Day Program

A typical week is comprised of:

  • Open Studio Projects – 3 times per week
  • Leadership Seminar – 2 times per week
  • Elective Seminars – 2 times per week each
  • Additional program opportunities based on interests
  • One on one meeting with mentor weekly
  • Open work period  (Note: post-graduates may opt to include additional Elective Seminars)

Full Day Program Fees: $20,000 per semester