Virginia Summer Residential Governor's Schools are programs for current 10th and 11th grade students. The programs are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and draw students from across the Commonwealth. Each program lasts approximately one month and is held at a Virginia college/university. The programs are free for students (except for a nominal student activities fee that can be waived based on need). The following programs are available:


Held at Radford University, the Humanities program gives the students the opportunity to further their understanding of topics such as anthropology, economics, history, literature, media, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. The program accepts approximately 200 students per year.

Visit the HGS site for more information.


The Agriculture program at Virginia Tech is ideal for students interested in biological sciences. Majors include Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Food Science, and Plant Science. The program accepts approximately 100 students per year.

Visit the AGS for more information.

Math, Science, and Technology

Lynchburg College hosts the MST program, provides students with the opportunity to explore topics in anatomy and physiology, astronomy, computer programming, geology, hydrology, hypermedia, physics, and upper-level mathematics. Approximately 160 students are accepted each year.

Visit the MST site for more information.

Medicine and Health Sciences

Virginia Commonwealth University sponsors the MHS program, where students have the opportunity to explore topics in biology, chemistry, computer science applications, environmental science, forensics, medicine, and physics. This program only accepts 26 students each year. Students should only consider applying for this program if they have prior experience in working, volunteering, and/or studying in a medical setting. (Students who do not have this experience but are interested in medicine and health should consider applying for Agriculture to focus on biological sciences.)

Visit the MHS site for more information.

Visual and Performing Arts

Students in the VPA program study alongside Humanities Students at Radford University. Students may audition for the program to study in the art areas of instrumental music (55-60 students), vocal music (20-25 students), visual art (45-50 students), dance (20-25 students), or theater (45-50 students).

Students will have their opportunity to expand their artistic skills and technical knowledge of their art form. Students applying for VPA must audition at a local PWCS audition in order to be considered for the state audition in January.

Visit the Radford VPA site.

Marine Sciences

The VIMS (Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences) mentorship program is hosted by Christopher Newport University. Students investigate coastal law, fisheries, marine resources management, and wetlands ecology. The program accepts 6 students per year. Students should have prior experience studying marine sciences outside of school curriculum and should be able to demonstrate use of a research design such as the one required by the Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) or the International Science and Engineering (ISEF) competitions.

Visit the VIMS site for more information.


The engineering mentorship program in the summer of 2020 will be hosted at the Jefferson Lab particle accelerator. More information will be provided when released by the VDOE.

Visit the Jefferson Lab website for facility information.


The number of students accepted to each program are statewide. More information about specific programs and the application process can be accessed through the links to the left of this page.



Please choose the application for your school. GS@IP students will apply through their base schools. If you are applying for an academic program or mentorship, you should complete the Early College Scholar's agreement (if you have not already done so) in order to earn maximum points in the "Course Challenge" score.

Applications must be typed. Signatures are required by the student on the first page and initials and signatures are required on the 4th page (3rd page for arts applications).

Academic Applications

The application must be typed. All parent and student signatures must be "live" (not photocopied) and are on pages 1 and 4. Virginia requires gifted identification for academic applicants nominated to the state. Students who are not identified as gifted must complete the identification process if their application is sent to the state. They are not required to participate in the PWCS gifted program, but will be identified as gifted.

Page 1: Personal and Demographic Information

Page 2: Activities, Research, and Honors - Consult the Page 2 Scoring Rubric (Word) or Attachment H (Word) from the State Administrator's Guide. All acronyms must be written out. Include detailed information about each item. Items must be linked to application area in order to receive points. Only 3 items can be used in each category. (18 points total)

Page 3: Essay - The essay is limited to 500 words. The county committee will consider an essay up to two pages of 12 pt font, double spaced, 1" margins. The scoring rubric is in the application and in Attachment H (Word). (24 points total)

Page 4: Student and parent signatures/initials

Teacher Recommendations - Teacher A must be a current teacher in a subject area directly related to area of application. Teacher B can be any adult (non-parent) that can attest to your academic capabilities in your application area. Teachers must complete a rating scale and narrative (letter). Consult Attachment H (Word) for scoring details. (26 points total)

Grades - Current year GPA in core classes is considered. (8 points)

Course Challenge - Level of course challenge is considered. Students completing an Early College Scholars Agreement earn the full 8 points. (8 points)

Test Score 1 - Aptitude or achievement test used in gifted identification. (8 points)

Test Score 2 - Test score within the past 3 years. SOL and AP tests are not considered. PSAT, SAT, ACT and other nationally normed achievement or aptitude tests are considered. (8 points)

If either test score is not available, the Gifted Education Resource Teacher for the school will administer tests to the student with parent permission.