Best Pre-Med Summer Programs – 2024

May 18, 2023

pre-med summer programs

Given how demanding the medical profession is, it’s essential for students to spend time in a practical setting before committing years of their lives to a pre-med curriculum and medical school preparation. As such, the best pre-med summer programs offer clinical exposure, skills training, academic exploration, and access to current medical professionals who serve as teachers and mentors. While shadowing and volunteering in medical settings are important experiences, the right summer program can provide career-affirming confidence and unparalleled access to the world of medicine.

Additionally, some programs even offer college credit or the opportunity to become certified in CPR, Stop the Bleed, or first aid. Note that many medical summer programs are highly selective with late winter or early spring application deadlines, so be sure to start your research early. When you’re ready, the list below should provide a solid foundation of options.

For a full look at our searchable database of the best 2024 summer programs click the button below. Here, you will be able to sort summer programs by discipline and location and can view important data points such as tuition costs, deadlines, course listings, and more!

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1) Health Career Scholars Academy at the University of Pittsburgh

  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Residential?: Yes
  • Program Length: 4 weeks
  • Cost: $3,200
  • Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors aged 15-18
  • Application Deadline: February

In conjunction with the UPMC Health System, one of the country’s most respected medical centers, the University of Pittsburgh offers intensive and highly selective summer premed programs. Students take five courses: Caring for Health, Thinking about Thinking, Learning Teams, Making a Difference, and a concentration course. As such, they cover important issues regarding healthcare systems and patient-centered care and spend time shadowing physicians.  They also undertake reflective writing activities and collaborate in small groups. Moreover, there are plenty of hands-on workshops and simulations along the way.

Additionally, there are five concentration course options: Behavioral Health, Public Health, Geriatrics Health, and Global Health. Each student will be assigned to one concentration, which they can rank in order of preference on the application. As part of their concentration, they will also participate in shadowing opportunities.

When they’re not in class, students enjoy social and recreational programming on the University of Pittsburgh campus. However, they can expect to spend most evenings completing assignments.

In conjunction with transcripts and test scores, students must submit two teacher recommendations, with one from a science teacher. Also, there are two essays required–one personal statement and one analytical, healthcare-related discussion–as well as an extracurricular resume.

2) World Scholars Academy | Elite Summer Courses

  • Location: Virtual
  • Residential?: All courses are fully online.
  • Program Length: 2 weeks
  • Cost:$1,599-$2,999 per course
  • Eligibility: Students ages 12-18
  • Application Deadline: Rolling

World Scholars Academy offers elite summer courses and research internships taught live online by world-leading instructors from top research universities. Study for success with individual feedback and personalized academic guidance in our exclusive small-group classes (max 6 students), providing high-level instruction in the theory and practice of your chosen discipline. Secure a letter of recommendation from your instructor, and connect with other ambitious peers from around the world. Limited places are available for aspiring scholars ages 12-18.

All programs are taught by world-elite instructors from top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard who are hand-selected for their intellectual leadership and ability to transmit high-level insights to their students.

The Pre-Med program has two options: World Doctors Academy (ages 15-18) and Discover Medicine Academy (ages 12-14). The World Doctors Academy covers topics including Human Anatomy, Pathology & the Immune System, Neuroscience & Medicine, and Medical Case Studies. The Discover Medicine Academy introduces younger students to concepts such as Medical Careers & Study Skills, the Digestive System, and the Immune System.

3) Summer Medical Academy at Rady Children’s Hospital

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Residential?: No
  • Program Length: 2 weeks
  • Cost: $2,800
  • Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and college freshmen aged 15-19
  • Application Deadline: February

SMA’s ultimate goal is to graduate students who will go on to become well-rounded, compassionate healthcare professionals. Consequently, they expose students to a wide range of topics via lectures, clinics, group projects, and career panels. For example, students dive into orthopedics, wound management, brain dissection, genomics, and emergency medicine, among others. They also practice hands-on skills like CPR and IV placement. Moreover, they learn from experts who hail from various community partners, including the UCSD School of Medicine and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

To apply to these summer premed programs, students need to submit essays, transcripts, and teacher recommendations. The selection committee looks for students who are passionate about the healthcare profession and are active members of their communities.

Pre-Med Summer Programs for High School Students – Continued

4) National Student Leadership Conference: Medicine & Health Care

  • Location: Multiple (American University, Duke University, Northwestern University, UC Berkeley, University of Miami, Yale)
  • Residential?: Yes
  • Program Length: 9 days
  • Cost: $3,795-3,995 (depends on campus location)
  • Eligibility: Rising freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Application Deadline: Rolling

At the Medicine & Health Care National Student Leadership Conference, students immerse themselves into the life of a medical professional. First, they work in teams to identify a public health issue and develop an intervention. Then, they test their skills in a fatal outbreak simulation, which involves clinical rounds, medical examination, and treatment. Surgical skills to be practiced include suturing, dissection, and knot tying. Additionally, students enjoy guest speakers on specialty topics and create a public health media campaign. Tours of local medical facilities and science museums round out the experience. For example, students attending NSLC at Yale might visit Massachusetts General Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine.

In addition to gaining practical medical skills, students also develop their leadership potential. To do so, they participate in lectures and workshops regarding conflict resolution, negotiation, and public speaking, among others. Finally, college credit is available for interested students.

Applications are rolling, and students interested in these summer premed programs will need to supply their GPA as well as teacher/counselor contact information.

5) Achieve in Medicine (AIM) at Nova Southeastern University

  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL or Clearwater, FL
  • Residential?: No
  • Program Length: 5 days
  • Cost: $1,500 (includes meals)
  • Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors
  • Application Deadline: April

Craving hands-on medical experience? Look no further than AIM, held at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition to exploring myriad specialties–such as pediatrics, pharmacy, and occupational therapy–students participate in a number of interactive educational sessions. For example, suturing classes, 3-D modeling technology practice, and cancer detection and research investigations are on the docket. Additionally, all students become certified in first aid and CPR and take a disaster medicine training course.

Beyond medical training, students enjoy a range of social events at these summer premed programs. For example, they’ll be able to chat with current NSU medical students about their experiences and attend a semiformal gala.

Finally, to be eligible, students must have at least a 3.2 GPA. They also must submit an essay, teacher or counselor recommendation, and high school transcript.

Pre-Med Summer Programs for High School Students – Continued

6) Medical Exploration at the University of Rochester

  • Location: Rochester, NY
  • Residential?: Yes (full-day programs)
  • Program Length: 3 weeks
  • Cost: $8,505
  • Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors
  • Application Deadline: April

Here, there are two full-day, residential summer premed programs available: Explorations in Pathology or Mini Medical School. Both are highly selective; the former only accepts ten students while the latter accepts 12. In addition, the courses are taught by University of Rochester Medical Center faculty.

At Explorations of Pathology, students complete an independent project with a faculty mentor. Although one’s focus is dependent on their project, topics to be surveyed will include those related to anatomic pathology, such as cytopathology and neuropathology, or clinical pathology/laboratory medicine, such as hematopathology and molecular diagnostics. Consequently, students engage in hands-on examinations, tours, lectures, and case studies. Moreover, they’ll have ample time in the lab as well as dissection opportunities. At the end of the experience, they’ll create a video and poster presentation that showcases their learning.

Alternatively, Mini Med School is an insider’s peek into both the academic and clinical rigor of medical school. Between anatomy & physiology lectures, neurology-focused dissections, and a public health poster session, students investigate a number of diverse topics. Additionally, there are ample experiential opportunities, including suture sessions, casting, NARCAN training, ambulance rides, shadowing, and an emergency department rotation.

For students who’d rather commit to a shorter experience, half-day programs are available. These include such options as Ethical Dilemmas in Health Care, Careers in Oral Health, and Careers in Nursing, among others.

Final Thoughts – Pre-Med Summer Programs for High School Students

Before applying to summer pre-med programs, students should first assess their goals. Would they like to participate in research? Learn surgical skills like suturing and dissection? Explore a variety of subspecialties? No matter their current interests, they can rest assured that there are a vast number of highly specialized and generalized exploratory options available at locations across the country—options that will build their resumes alongside their practical knowledge and career confidence.

Looking for summer premed programs in your area? Consider checking out the following: