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Best Summer Programs for Law, Political Science and International Relations

For future lawyers, political operators, and diplomats, high school is not always an easy time to find meaningful opportunities to gain experience in the field. Sure, during the school year, one can access activities like the debate team, Model UN, student government, and plethora of other relevant clubs, but the summer is not as conductive to such meaningful endeavors. As a solution, we recommend applying to a competitive summer program in one of these disciplines.

Our list of Best Summer Programs in Law, Political Science, and International Relations is comprised of 33 stellar programs that range in duration, cost, and eligibility criteria but all share the common trait of being respected by the academic community. Each of the aforementioned data points are provided for each school along with the location of the program, whether they offer a residential experience, and when the application window opens and closes. We also include the dates that applications become available, the deadlines, whether residential housing is offered, and the geographic location where the program takes place. Hopefully this list will help you locate the program that will lead to a meaningful summer experience and improved college admissions prospects down the road.

Programs highlighted in red are especially competitive. To view additional data columns, click the + icon to the left of the program's name.

ProgramLocationResidentialFocusLengthCostsApp. OpensDeadlineEligibility
Boston University High School HonorsBoston, MAYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)6 weeks~$9,000 (2 courses)15-Dec29-MayRising 11th, 12th
Boston University High School Honors OnlineOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)1-6 weeksTBD (12/15)15-DecTBDRising 11th, 12th
Brandeis University Summer School OnlineOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)10 weeks~$3,000SpringRollingRising 12th
Columbia Summer ProgramsNew York, NYYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)3 week$11,566Available19-MarRising 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th
Community of Scholars – American UniversityWashington, D.C.YesInternational Relations3 weeks~$5,000Available1-MayRising 11th and 12th
Cornell University International Debate CampIthaca, NYYesSpeech & Debate1 week~$4000Available30-MarAges 13-18
Cornell University Online Courses for High School StudentsOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)6 weeks$3,040-$12,160AvailableRollingRising 11th, 12th
Cornell University Summer CollegeIthaca, NYYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)3-6 weeks~$6,750-$13,500mid-JanuaryRollingRising 11th and 12th
Davidson College July ExperienceDavidson, NCYesLiberal arts3 weeks~$4,000mid-December1-AprRising 11th, 12th
Emory National Debate Institute Summer ProgramsAtlanta, GAYesDebate1-2 weeks~$850-$1,7001-Apr15-MayRising 10th, 11th, 12th
George Washington University Summer Pre-CollegeWashington, D.C.YesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)1-6 weeks~$2,000-$11,629December15-MayRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Georgetown International Relations AcademyWashington DCYesInternational Relations1 week~$3,025Available15-MayRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Harvard Secondary School ProgramCambridge, MAYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)2-7 weeks~$4,750-$12,810December15-MarRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Johns Hopkins Summer University ProgramBaltimore, MDYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)4-5 weeks~$3,600-$11,000mid-DecemberRollingMust be 16 st start of program
Miami University Summer ScholarsOxford, OHYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)2 weeks~$1,45015-AprRollingRising 11th, 12th
Notre Dame Leadership SeminarsNotre Dame, INYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)2 weeksFreeAvailable27-JanRising 12th
Notre Dame Summer ScholarsNotre Dame, INYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)2 weeks~$3,750Available18-Feb16 years old by 8/1
Oregon State University Online Courses for High School StudentsOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)12 weeks~$1,8501-MayRollingAll high school students
Purdue University Online Courses for High School StudentsOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)4-12 weeks~$1,050-$2,850AvailableRollingAge 16 and above
Summer at GeorgetownWashington, DCYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)1-5 weeks~$3,000-$8,000AvailableFills by mid-FebRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Summer Language Immersion – Middlebury CollegeMultipleYesForeign Language4 weeks~$6,595-$7,995AvailableRolling (May)Rising 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Summer@BrownProvidence, RIYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)1-4 weeks$2,849-$7,154DecemberRollingRising 10th, 11th, and 12th
Summer@Brown OnlineOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)3-4 weeks$709-$998AvailableRollingRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Terp Young ScholarsCollege Park, MDYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)3 weeks$4,00019-Feb19-JunRising 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th
UCLA Summer InstitutesLos Angeles, CAYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)VariesVariesVariesVariesVaries
University of Chicago Summer CollegeChicago, ILYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)3-5 weeks$10,305-$12,065January26-FebRising 12th
University of Washington Summer Quarter OnlineOnlineNoMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)5 weeks~$1,180-$3,700SpringRollingRising 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th
Debate and Public Advocacy Institute – Wake Forest UniversityWinston-Salem, NCYesDebate1 week$2,350AvailableRollingRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Washington University in St. Louis Summer ProgramsSt. Louis, MOYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)5-8 weeks$8,385-$10,885Available1-AprRising 10th, 11th, 12th
Wellesley Pre-College Honors ImmersionWellesley, MAYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)4 weeks~$8,500December27-MayRising 11th, 12th (female only)
William & Mary Summer Program in Early American HistoryWiliamsburg, VAYesAmerican History3 weeks$4,400TBDRollingRising 11th, 12th
Yale Young Global ScholarsNew Haven, CTYesMultiple (including Poli-Sci/IR)2 weeks$6,300Available15-JanAges 15-17
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