Center for Talented Youth

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Johns Hopkins Center For Talented Youth (CTY)
CTY Activity1.JPG
A CTY afternoon activity at LMU in Los Angeles
School type gifted education
Founded 1979
Founder Julian Stanley
Authority Johns Hopkins University
Director Elaine Tuttle Hansen
Age 6 to 17
Enrollment 10000+
Classes offered Mathematics, Computer Science, Humanities, and Science
Accreditation grades K-12[1]

The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is a gifted education program for school-age children founded in 1979 by psychologist Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins University. It was established as a research study into how academically advanced children learn, and became the first program to identify academically talented students through above-grade-level testing and provide them with challenging learning opportunities. CTY offers summer, online, and family programs to students from around the world and has nearly 30,000 program enrollments annually. CTY is accredited for students in grades K to 12 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Talent Search[edit]

Each year, CTY's Talent Search recruits elementary and middle school students who have achieved exceptionally high scores on standardized tests. Talent Search applicants then take an above-grade-level standardized test. Students may take such tests as the School and College Ability Test (SCAT), PSAT 8/9, SAT, ACT, or the Spatial Test Battery (STB).

Summer Programs[edit]

Summer Programs are offered to students in grades 2 through 12 and take place on more than two dozen college and independent school campuses in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Sites are located in states including: California, Hong Kong, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Students in grades 2-4 can enroll in one-week or three-week summer day programs at CTY. Students in grades 5-6 can select three-week day or residential summer programs. Three-week residential programs are offered to students in grades 7-12.

CTY classes in CTY are small, usually 12 students, one instructor, and one teaching assistant per class. Students can choose from more than 100 challenging courses, ranging from Ancient Greek and Advanced Fiction to Engineering and Robotics. CTY also offers the Civic Leadership Institute for students in grades 10-12 in conjunction with Northwestern's Civic Education Project.

CTY students receive detailed written evaluations at the end of their course.

A game being played at CTY's Loyola Marymount site

Student life[edit]

During a three-week residential summer session, CTY students attend classes generally from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Outside of class, CTY sponsors numerous recreational activities to promote social interaction and community-building among students. Classes do not meet on weekends. Instead, sites generally hold activities ranging from dances to game shows and carnivals. Sundays are generally left open, with the exception of a study hall session in the evening to replace Friday's study hall. CTY students, who call themselves CTYers, maintain a wiki about campus life called RealCTY.

Online Programs[edit]

Online Programs offers challenging online courses to eligible elementary, middle, and high school students, led by expert instructors who understand the needs of bright students. Courses include mathematics, science, computer science, world languages, critical reading, and writing. They’re designed to deepen knowledge, strengthen critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and prepare students for future learning. Enrichment courses are also offered in such subjects as cryptography, chess, competitive math, music theory, and web design. Students may take CTY online courses in session based and individually paced formats.

Each student works under the guidance of an instructor who gives feedback, encouragement, and evaluation via email, phone, web-based discussion forums, and virtual classrooms. The course offers students homework, assessments, and evaluations to help instructors gauge what and how they are learning and where they might need extra challenge or help.

By taking courses designed around their advanced academic abilities—not their age—students can explore their interests at a pace that fits their abilities.

Family Academic Programs[edit]

Family Academic Programs offers one-day and overnight programs for Talent Search participants and their families at colleges, universities, science centers, and museums around the U.S. Longer educational travel programs are offered at sites around the world.

The Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent[edit]

The Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) is a longitudinal study of Talent Search participants who score 700 or above on the math or verbal section of the SAT before age 13.


Imagine is a subscription magazine that provides educational opportunities and resources and student-written content to middle and high school students. It is published by CTY five times per year.


CTY partners with numerous educational institutions to offer the CTY curriculum to students from around the world.


CTY executive director Elaine Tuttle Hansen is a well-known advocate for educating bright students. She has been interviewed by National Public Radio and published on the Opinion-Editorial pages of The Chronicle of Higher EducationThe New York Times, and The Baltimore Sun.

Prominent education policy and talent development scholar Jonathan Plucker recently joined CTY as the inaugural Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development, a joint appointment between CTY and the Johns Hopkins School of Education. His work focuses on education policy and talent development, specifically the “excellence gap” between low and high income bright students. He has published more than 200 articles, chapters, and reports, and several books and is often featured in prominent publications and media outlets.

CTY was featured in a July 2004 article in The New Yorker magazine entitled "Nerd Camp". CTY was shown in an hour-long CNN special on gifted children in 2006.[2]

Alumni and Students[edit]

Notable CTY alumni include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Accreditation Information for Schools and Parents". The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Presenter: Sanjay Gupta (2006-09-17). "Genius: Quest for Extreme Brain Power". special. CNN. 
  3. ^ "Press Release: Center for Talented Youth Alumni Net Top Academic Honors". 2006. 
  4. ^ "CSP Students are Recognized by JHU". 2012. 
  5. ^ Ramakrishnan, Meera (2009-11-19). "Hopkins alumni gather for Center for Talented Youth reunion". The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. 
  6. ^ McGoldrick, Debbie (2009-06-23). "Lynch a Writing Star". IrishCentral. 
  7. ^ "Cogito Interview". 
  8. ^ "Matt Zimmerman - United Kingdom". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  9. ^ Vozzella, Laura (2009-11-04). "Just like Mom (and Sister) didn't used to make". Baltimore Sun. 
  10. ^ "Terence Tao receives 2014 CTY Distinguished Alumni Award". Center for Talented Youth. 
  11. ^ "Studying sensory systems of fruit flies, worms a stroke of genius". UCLA Newsroom. 
  12. ^ "Former CTY student earns MacArthur 'genius grant'". HUB Johns Hopkins University. 
  13. ^ Aitel, Dave (2015-11-12). "How to crush it.". Dailydave (Mailing list). Archived from the original on 2017-06-21. 

External links[edit]