Best NYC Summer Programs – 2024

May 1, 2023

new york city summer programs NYC

New York City is the reigning capital of countless industries: finance, media, healthcare, publishing…the list goes on. As such, academic and professional opportunities abound at some of the country’s most prestigious colleges and companies. Beyond that, all five boroughs offer incredible diversity, food, music, and art. Some of the best museums in the world can be found here–Met, MoMA, or Guggenheim, anyone?–in addition to numerous galleries, and the theater scene is thriving, to put it lightly.

Renowned for its architecture, New York’s beloved landmarks include the Woolworth Building, New York Public Library, and Brooklyn Bridge. Finally, for those who need green space in their lives, Central Park features everything from jogging trails to a zoo to outdoor concerts. It should go without saying that no matter what career path or major you’re interested in, NYC summer programs will prepare you for anything and everything.

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!

Search 2024 Best Summer Programs

1) Barnard College Pre-College Programs

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Residential?: Residential and commuter options available for all programs.
  • Program Length: Leadership Institute: 3 weeks; Health and Society Institute: 3 weeks; Innovation Institute: 3 weeks; Sustainable Food Institute: 2 weeks.
  • Cost: Leadership Institute/Health and Society Institute/Innovation Institute: $9,058 (residential), $7,772 (commuter); Sustainable Food Institute: $6,040 (residential); $5,182 (commuter).
  • Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, except the Health and Society Institute, which is for rising juniors and seniors only.
  • Application Deadline: April

For high-achieving young women, Barnard has several New York City summer programs available. Firstly, students accepted into The Young Women’s Leadership Institute will develop their problem-solving skills, career readiness, and ability to collaborate. To do so, they’ll choose from one of seven tracks: STEMinist, Writing and Literature, Political Science and Economics, Urban Studies and Architecture, Art History, Sociology and Gender Studies, and Dance. Within each track, there are two session options and multiple topics available. For example, Writing and Literature students can choose from poetry, comedy, and filmmaking, among others.

Additionally, the Health and Society Institute is where students explore the intersection of science, medicine, and health. Topics include healing rituals and the politics of surveillance, among others, and students also take a qualitative research course. Likewise, the Sustainable Food and the City Institute introduces students to how agriculture, health, policy, and climate change overlap. During their exploration of these and other topics, students interact with farmers and local experts.

Finally, Athena Summer Innovation Institute students design a start-up, nonprofit, or advocacy campaign that will impact social change. All students will be individually mentored, and the program culminates with Pitchfest, where students present their ideas.

Applications are required for all programs. In addition to transcripts and recommendations, students must also write an essay and activities list.

2) Columbia Summer Programs

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Residential?: Residential and commuter options available.
  • Program Length: Summer Immersion: 1-3 weeks; SHAPE: 3 weeks; Climate School: 2 weeks.
  • Cost: Summer Immersion: $2,835-12,449; SHAPE: $4,630; Climate School: $6,290.
  • Eligibility: Summer Immersion: current students in grades 8-12, although students must be 16+ for the residential option; SHAPE: rising sophomore, juniors, seniors, and college freshmen; Climate School: rising freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and college freshmen.
  • Application Deadline: Summer Immersion: Rolling; SHAPE: April; Climate School: Rolling.

Columbia’s signature offering, Summer Immersion, is offered in both an in-person and virtual format. Students choose from either three-week or one-week courses, although the one-week courses are commuter-only. There are over 70 options, which include everything from Drawing: Eye and Idea to Intensive Seminars in Modern Chemistry. Moreover, students participate in a wide range of programming options and can opt to live on Columbia’s campus. Note that the online version is either two weeks or one week.

In addition, there are several specialty Columbia summer programs. The Summer High School Academic Program for Engineers (SHAPE) offers courses in robotics, computer science, and innovation, among others. It is very selective. Moreover, all courses are project-based and taught by Columbia Engineering faculty. However, students must procure their own housing.

NYC not your jam? Columbia also offers Climate School in the Green Mountains, which is held in Vermont. Here, students explore topics like consumerism, climate projection and modeling, and decarbonization pathways through seminars, field trips, and projects.

Each of these Columbia summer programs has its own application requirements, but know that all are selective and look for highly motivated and academically talented students.

3) Cooper Union Summer STEM Program

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Residential?: No
  • Program Length: 3 or 6 weeks
  • Cost: 3-week: $1,950; 6-week: $3,995 (housing not included for either option)
  • Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Application Deadline: March

At Cooper Union, students engage in rigorous college-level coursework that cover topics typically tackled by college freshmen and sophomores. There are three and six-week options available. Three-week courses include Redesigning Plastics Recycling and Digital Electronics for the Inventor. More options exist for six-week courses, including Mycomaterials and Racecar Research. Each has its own objectives but all are collaborative and include lectures, practice sessions, and field trips. Interested students can check out past portfolios from former Summer STEM students.

Students spend six hours in class-related activities per day, Monday through Thursday. Although all classes take place on Cooper Union’s campus, housing is not included. Finally, to apply to these NYC summer programs, students must submit recommendations, transcripts, and two essays.

NYC Summer Programs – Continued

4) NYU Summer Programs

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Residential?: Residential and commuter options available, depending on program.
  • Program Length: Precollege: 6 weeks; Tandon Programs: 2-6 weeks; Tisch Summer: 4 weeks.
  • Cost: Precollege: $3,860+ (tuition for two credits; students may take up to 8, and housing is additional); Tandon: $2,500-11,000; Tisch Summer: $13,747 (includes housing and meals)
  • Eligibility: Precollege: rising juniors and seniors; Tandon: varies per program; Tisch Summer: rising juniors and seniors.
  • Application Deadline: Precollege: June; Tandon: April; Tisch Summer: January

No surprises here–high school students will find a stunning number of NYU summer programs in both in-person and online formats. Firstly, NYU Precollege students earn college credit while taking courses like Acting for the Camera, Environmental Systems Science, and Classical Mythology, among others. Moreover, students live in residence halls and enjoy on-campus and social programming.

For students interested in STEM, the Tandon School of Engineering offers myriad New York City summer programs. For example, Machine Learning, Computer Engineering for Good, and Design, Invent & Innovate are all two weeks long (with residential options). Those interested in a more intensive option may look toward I-SITE (Immersive Summer Interacting with Technology and Engineering). Over six weeks, students attend lectures, labs, and workshops while honing their engineering and public speaking skills. Then, during the final week, students work in teams to develop an engineering-based solution to a real-world problem.

We can’t wrap without acknowledging the highly competitive Tisch Summer High School Program, which offers both residential and online options. Students attending these NYU summer programs choose from disciplines that include dance, drama, and photography. Then, they engage in academic classes, professional training, and collaborative projects. For example, drama students apply to a specific studio, engage in 28 hours of conservatory training per week, and perform a final showcase at the end of the program.

5) Pratt Institute Pre-College Programs

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Residential?: Yes
  • Program Length: 4 weeks
  • Cost: $4,446, plus housing and fees
  • Eligibility: High school students aged 16-18
  • Application Deadline: May

During these full-time NYC summer programs, students take two rigorous studio courses of their choice. Options include architecture, creative writing, fashion design, and interior design, among a robust host of others. Students then build their creative skills through workshops, seminars, and studio time. Finally, they begin to develop a portfolio under direction of faculty and admissions counselors.

Students can opt to live on campus or commute, and residential students must participate in weekend and evening activities. A limited number of online programs are available as well, including creative writing, graphic design, and art history.

To apply, students must submit an essay, and Pratt looks for students who are passionate about their creative field. In addition, formal or informal experience in one’s creative field–even if minimal–is preferred.

Final Thoughts – NYC Summer Programs

The Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps…no matter what you call it, New York is one of the best places to develop academic and professional skills while engaging in a boundless array of culture and entertainment. Whether you’re interested in NYU summer programs, Cooper Union’s Summer STEM, or the Pratt Institute, the Empire State’s namesake city is waiting.

Looking for more summer program resources? Be sure to check out the following: