Residential FAQs

Who can apply?

Any rising 7th through 12th grader (student who is currently in 6th through 11th grades as of the current  school year) with an excellent academic record and a keen interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is encouraged to apply. For courses with requirements, students must first meet those requirements before applying.

Students entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade at the conclusion of the summer may apply to Accelerator courses (7th-9th) . Students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade at the conclusion of the summer may apply to Accelerator courses (10th – 12th).

If I apply for the Accelerator program, am I also accepted into the NCSSM Online or NCSSM Residential program?

No. You are accepted only into the Accelerator summer course for which you apply. Application for the NCSSM Online and NCSSM Residential programs is a separate process. Visit for more information on these programs.

What happens during the evening?

Students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of enrichment activities while in residence during Accelerator. These may include visits to local museums, information and demo sessions on cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing and virtual reality, Durham Bulls baseball games, guest speakers, outdoor movie nights (often featuring films with content related to course concepts), and organized and informal athletic events, picnic at Catawba Meadows, Hiking around Lake James, Night Swim and the local Rec Center, Arts and Crafts. We pride ourselves on offering a variety of activities to choose from every evening and provide a structure where students are free to create their own schedule.

Can I have my car on campus?

Students are not permitted to have access to a personal automobile (or any motorized vehicle) or have a personal automobile on campus while under the jurisdiction of NCSSM. This includes the immediate area of both the Durham and Morganton campuses and the surrounding neighborhoods. Even under the jurisdiction of parents, students still are not permitted access to an automobile during the program. If a student drives themself to the program site, they must turn in their car keys to campus security or Accelerator staff upon arrival.

What about safety?

At both program sites, Campus Safety proactively manages the safety and security of our students and campus 24/7 with dedicated campus safety officers and local police officers. Staff monitor security throughout campus and emergency call boxes are located throughout campus and in classrooms. Emergency speakers reach the entire campus. NCSSM’s emergency procedures for the Durham campus are detailed HERE. Information and details of on-campus security and procedures for the Morganton campus are detailed HERE

What if I have to cancel?

Cancellations prior to April 1 will receive full tuition refund. Cancellations made on or after April 1 are not eligible for a refund.

In the case that the minimum requirements for running the program are not met, we reserve the right to cancel a course at any time and will provide registered participants a full refund, including the deposit amount.

Does participating in Summer Accelerator help me get in to NCSSM Online or Residential?

Though participation in Accelerator signals a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Accelerator participants do not receive preferential treatment when being considered for the NCSSM Online and NCSSM Residential programs. 

What if I am on vacation / still at school / at another camp during a portion of the online weeks?

Online content typically requires students to complete 15 hours of work during the two weeks before the on-campus portion of the course. This time includes: time for students to introduce themselves and share common interests (which can help build the cohort before they arrive on campus), and time for readings, discussions, video content, reflection questions, inquiry and/or data collection. Exact requirements vary by course, but in general, students complete the work at their own pace and are able to be on vacation or still in school and do the work required.

Who are the instructors?

The lead instructor for each course is typically a year round NCSSM faculty member, or a local content expert educator. Additional classroom instruction may be provided by other experts in the field. See individual course descriptions for more details on each instructor.

Should I bring my laptop?

Yes. A laptop is required during the on-campus portion of the program. If you do not have a laptop, notify us in advance via the parent comments form in CampInTouch, and you may “check out” an NCSSM-issued laptop for the duration of your on-campus stay. NCSSM offers wireless Internet access at most points on campus, and additional computer access in the library. During the online portion of the course, students must have regular access to a computer with an Internet connection.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Yes. One value of our Summer Accelerator program is to provide participants with tools and skills that they can use throughout their life. Technology at our fingertips is a reality that is not going anywhere. Learning to integrate that into our lives is a skill. Our instructors skillfully manage their classrooms and decide on an individual basis if and when cell phones are to be used in the classroom. We are committed to providing students with an intriguing enough experience through their participation that will pull them away from phones. Meanwhile, we will be intentional about providing students with tools, through conversations and activities, to consider their use of technology and the ways in which they want to participate in life.

How do I get there?

Accelerator programs run both in Durham and Morganton, NC. The campus in Durham is located at 1219 Broad Street in Durham, NC. Directions to the campus can be found HERE.  Morganton campus is located at 901 Burkemont Ave in Morganton, NC. Directions to the campus can be found HERE. Transportation to and from the program site is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Where will I live?

In both Durham and Morganton, students live in the dorm rooms that are used on campus by students during the academic year. In Durham. NCSSM’s campus has dormitory space for up to 680 students. For more information about dorm room layout and dimensions, including photographs of rooms and common areas in all six dormitories, see HERE. In Morganton, students will live in the brand new five-story Residence Hall, see HERE

When are payments/deposits due?

Full payments will be due by April 1. If enrolled after April 1, payments are due within 2 weeks of enrollment or before the start of the course, whichever is sooner.