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Attendee Information

Summer Session is held annually in June on the Principia College campus in Elsah, IL. Registration typically opens in January. If you are considering attending, the following information may be helpful in your preparation. We'd love to welcome you!

A Typical Day

There is a lot to do at Summer Session! A pocket-size booklet with each day’s activities will be waiting for you when you arrive. You will also see notices in Howard Center and around campus publicizing the day’s events.

We will begin Summer Session on Saturday, June 15 with an opening dinner at 5:00 p.m. followed by get-acquainted parties in the dorms. Sunday begins with Sunday service in the Chapel at 10:30 am. followed by tours, activities and a 7:00 p.m. opening assembly and hymn sing.

Classes are held Monday through Friday. Each day begins with an inspirational talk in the Chapel at 8:15 a.m., but we have early morning activities for your enjoyment beginning at 6:30 a.m. You may want to participate in trail walking, tennis, or an early bike ride, for example. A continental breakfast in the Dining Room is available after 6:15 a.m., or you can enjoy a full breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. 

Morning classes begin at 9:05 a.m. and end at 12:05 p.m. Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Fred van Eck Speaker & Concert Series will be offered each day after lunch at 1:15 p.m. in Wanamaker Hall. Classes will continue throughout the afternoon beginning at 2:15 p.m. and ending at 5:15 p.m. Extra curricular activities such as aqua aerobics, choir, and pickleball practice are offered until 5:15 p.m.

There will also be special evening programs and activities that you won’t want to miss.  

Saturday, June 22 is an optional off-campus excursion day for those attending Summer Session. See the excursion page for more information. Sunday will conclude with 10:30 a.m. Chapel followed by lunch. All guests need to check out of their rooms by 12 p.m. and depart campus by 3 p.m.

Your dorm host and our Info Center staff will always be happy to assist you.


Classes meet every weekday. Generally there is no homework, but you may be encouraged to do some light reading. You will not have to purchase textbooks, although teachers may suggest reading material. Most art classes require art supplies. You are welcome to bring your own supplies if you have them, or you will have the option of purchasing a basic kit when you arrive. 

Once Summer Session is underway, class changes will only be accommodated if space permits. Please see the Info Center if you want to change a class.

Transportation by golf cart is available for anyone needing assistance getting to/from classes and activities. 

Dormitory Accommodations

Each room has a bed, dresser, desk with a lamp, and wastebasket for each individual. In the non-air conditioned dorm, fans will be provided. Each dorm has a nicely furnished living room with a piano. There is also a kitchen, a computer room, a Christian Science study room, and in most cases, a recreation room. Each dorm comes equipped with a washer, dryer, detergent, dryer sheets, and ironing board for your use. The College Store carries a small selection of laundry supplies.

Sheets, towels, blankets, and pillows will be provided. There are separate men’s and women’s bathrooms, usually on different floors. All have shower stalls, and some dorms also have bathtubs.

Guest House Accommodations

If you will be staying in our campus Guest House, we’ll escort you there and help you settle in when you arrive.


Each Sunday and Wednesday, a church service is held in the Chapel, and Sunday evening includes a hymn sing, a time-honored tradition at the College. The Sunday service begins at 10:30 a.m. and the Wednesday service at 7:00 p.m.


Three meals a day are included in the program price for boarding students. All meals offer a wide range of hot and cold items, including salad and choices of fruits and breads. Vegetarian entrees are always available in addition to meatless items from the soup and salad bar. Food is served cafeteria style in the “Scramble Room” with a wait staff ready to assist you. 

Coffee will be available daily. When open, the Piasa Pub offers casual food (hamburgers and sandwiches). The Pub is famous for its shakes, ice cream, and more. Food in the Pub is not included in the program cost and can be purchased with credit card.


Casual dress is the norm and can take you comfortably through day and evening activities. You will see many people in shorts. Nearly all our public buildings are air-conditioned, however, so you may appreciate a sweater or light jacket. We recommend bringing these items:

  • alarm clock*
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • tote or book bag
  • notebook
  • swimsuit
  • bathrobe and slippers
  • umbrella
  • camera
  • flashlight
  • toiletries
  • hair dryer*
  • jacket or sweater

*Summer Sessioners staying in the Guest House will be provided with this item.

The College Store carries many personal care items as well as some books and gifts.  

Athletic Facilities

Enjoy full use of the College’s two athletic centers—Crafton Center and Hay Field House. We have an indoor track, basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts, and a state-of-the-art pool complete with a diving area, lap lanes, and a hot tub. We also have weight rooms, exercise machines, and a climbing wall.  

On-Campus Transportation

A tram service provides transportation around campus from 6:20 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guests with limited mobility may want to reserve a private golf cart for a fee. To inquire about or reserve a private golf cart, please call our office at 314.514.3153. While we do our best to accommodate all needs, please consider bringing a companion if you will need extra assistance.

Special Needs

Christian Science nursing care is available should a need arise during Summer Session, but guests requiring special assistance with personal care of mobility in order to participate in classes and activities will need to bring a companion at their own expense.

Off-Campus Excursion Day

Saturday, June 22 is an optional off-campus excursion day for those attending Summer Session. See the excursion page for more information. 

Summer Session Bazaar

We're excited to provide the opportunity for Summer Session artisans and authors to exhibit their wares for viewing or purchase. The 2024 Summer Session Bazaar will be held following an evening activity. If you are interested in participating, please email and a member of the PLL office will be in touch with you.  

Money Needs

A few things will require extra cash or a credit card: food at the Pub, gifts from the College Store, shopping the Summer Session Bazaar, and excursions on the weekend.

There is an ATM machine located in Howard Center. Please note: the College Store, Pub, and Dining Room are cashless operations. 

Telephone Service

The College has an AT&T cell phone tower near campus. If your cell phone service provider is not AT&T, you will likely find the strongest signal along the bluff trail near the Chapel. There are no phones in the dorm rooms, but one is available on each hall, and you are welcome to use the campus telephones in any of our academic buildings, the athletic centers, or our dormitories.

Computer Connections

In addition to the computer labs in the academic buildings, each dorm has a small computer lab. These computers are equipped with the standard Microsoft Office programs, and they are connected to the Internet.

WiFi is also available on campus if you are bringing a wireless device. Connection instructions will be in your welcome packet. If you are bringing your laptop, you can connect to a wired port in your dorm room or to our wireless network in any of the buildings on campus.


Fax service, UPS, and postal services are all available in the College mail room.

Your dorm host will deliver any mail to your room each day. Please make a note of your Summer Session address below. If someone calls for you, we will make sure you receive the message.

This is your Summer Session address:

Your name
Principia College Summer Session
1 Maybeck Place
Elsah, IL 62028-9799

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions may be found on the Summer Session FAQ page