The mission of the Halbert and Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington is to provide challenging and accelerated educational experiences for academically talented and highly capable students. It is a site for discovery and excellence in teaching and learning, research, and service, maintaining its position as an internationally renowned center and leader of gifted and talented education.


The Robinson Center is ever-evolving to maintain excellence in its provision of differentiated enrichment, college-preparatory learning, and academic advising and coaching. Through Saturday and Summer Enrichment programming (K-10), Transition School programming, and Early Entrance college enrollment (typical ages, 14-19), the Robinson Center facilitates pathways for student-scholars’ successful preparation, transition and college enrollment by nurturing their intellectual and social-emotional development. The RC promotes challenging and accelerated learning opportunities that complement and/or extend beyond the traditional school settings. Furthermore, we cultivate a corps of academic researchers, educators and other practitioners who strive to support students in identifying and enhancing skills that promote critical thinking, resilience and sense of belonging.


The Early Entrance Program (EEP) was created in 1977 by the late Dr. Halbert Robinson, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Washington. The goal of the EEP from its inception was to enable a small and carefully selected group of academically advanced middle school students to accelerate into post-secondary education at a pace equal to their intellectual development. Dr. Nancy Robinson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, assumed directorship of the Center following Dr. Hal Robinson’s death in 1981, stewarding the Center until her retirement in 2000.

In 2001, the Robinson Center and the University of Washington Honors Program partnered to create the UW Academy for Young Scholars. The first class of Academy students enrolled at the University of Washington in 2002.

The Washington Search for Young Scholars was created in 2003 to identify and work with Washington’s most capable students, their families, and schools to develop more opportunities for academically gifted young people.

Summer programs were first offered at the Robinson Center in the 1980’s. The Robinson Center’s summer programs have expanded to include classes for students in grades 5-10, and serve as a model for summer academic commuter programs.

The Robinson Center is a growing and evolving organization committed to the development of Washington’s brightest students.

Race & Equity

Who We Are

The Robinson Center Race & Equity Committee is made up of members from our community. We define our community broadly to include current staff, students, parents, alumni, advisory board members and community partners. Because race and equity work impacts our entire community, we believe the community should be central to the work that we do to advance race and equity in the Robinson Center, at UW and in the gifted education community.

What We Do

The Robinson Center Race & Equity Committee provides guidance on the RC’s Race & Equity goals by offering expertise, resources and ideas to help advance our mission. RC teams can bring questions, topics and requests for support to the committee and the committee’s work is then reported back to RC teams.

Interested community members are welcome to attend our meetings. Please contact rcys@uw.edu for more information.

Honoring Place

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.