When and where will the camp be held?
SPARC typically takes place at California State University, East Bay for two weeks in late July. Dates and location for SPARC 2022 are still being finalized.
How much does the camp cost?
In order to attract the best students possible, SPARC is completely free. Boarding and food are also provided.
Need-based scholarships to cover the cost of travel are available. You’ll have the chance to apply for one if you are admitted to SPARC.
What is a typical day at SPARC like?
We have four to five hours of classes or activities each day, and an invited speaker many evenings. The rest of the time students generally relax, talk with each other and the instructors, or participate in optional activities.
What does SPARC stand for?
Summer Program for Applied Rationality and Cognition
What is "applied rationality"?
Applied rationality is the practice of using techniques from decision theory, behavioral economics and statistics to form beliefs about the world as accurately as possible and improve mental habits.
I'm not a high school student. Where can I learn more about the content that SPARC teaches?
SPARC is loosely affiliated with the Center for Applied Rationality, which leads workshops for people of all ages.
Have a different question? E-mail us at
How do I apply?
Applications will be open mid-January.
What is the application process like?
We create our own custom written application, which is followed by a short candidate interview if necessary.
We aim to notify everyone of their acceptance status by April 2nd at the latest.
Who is eligible?
You are welcome to apply if you are currently in high school or have not finished your first year as an undergraduate.
In general, we expect to mostly accept students who are in at least 11th grade of high school. Younger students are welcome to apply, but if you are not accepted this year, we encourage you to apply in future years.
If you do not meet these criteria but would still like to come, please e-mail us at email@example.com to discuss exceptions.
I don't live in the United States. Can I still apply?
International students are welcome.
Optionally, our sister camp ESPR is also open for applications.
Should I apply to SPARC if I don’t know [X]?
Yes. The SPARC curriculum mostly requires curiosity, thoughtfulness, and a sharp mind. The mathematical requirement can be challenging but is not the basis for the entire application. Some classes are taught in several tracks to accommodate students’ varying backgrounds.
How many people will be accepted?
SPARC will admit about 30 students, of an average applicant pool of 250 students.
What grade reports, test scores, or recommendation letters will I need to apply for SPARC?
None! We look for accomplishments, projects or awards you are proud of, but don't require any specific tests.