2024 Best Summer Programs

An increasing number of selective colleges now scrutinize how applicants spend their summers during high school. In response to this trend, thousands of providers–including both universities and private companies–offer academically-themed summer programs for teens. These programs vary from free-to-extremely expensive, and highly-selective-to-open enrollment. With such a bevy of options, teens will likely need expert guidance in order to successfully locate an ideal-fit program that will fully support their future academic and career dreams. 

To answer this need, our list of the Best Summer Programs is here to serve as your comprehensive guide. For your convenience, the list is sortable by discipline and location and contains relevant data and information about each recommended program.

  • By Discipline

  • By Region

Rice University Precollege Program

  • Online courses are available year-round to students 13 and older.
  • Dive deeper into topics such as genome engineering, physiology, aerospace, law, and more.
  • Courses culminate in a special capstone project.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: Multi-length courses available year-round
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 13+



Georgetown University Pre-College Online Program

  • Students 13 and up eligible to participate.
  • Multi-length courses are available online throughout the year.
  • Choose from over 15 different course subjects including medicine, leadership, law, psychology, investing, marketing, and more.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week (2, 4-week also available)
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 13+



ELIO Academy of Biomedical Sciences

  • Course offerings include: Cancer Biology, Immunology & Immunotherapy, Genomics Data Science, Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Virology.
  •  Students learn collaboration, navigating scientific literature, and making and presenting scientific presentations.
  • 2-week to semester-long programs for students in middle and high school.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Oxford Summer Courses
Oxford Summer Courses
  • Oxford, United Kingdom

  • Residential programs offered in over 40 academic subjects.
  • Offerings for students aged 9-24.
  • Hosted by esteemed boarding schools and colleges in cities such as Oxford and Cambridge.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks (1 Week for Younger Students)
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Middle, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research

  • Provide advanced classes for high achieving high school students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related fields, such as biomedical research, drug development, pharmacy or nursing.
  • Workshops include Molecular Biology of Cancer, Molecular Neuroscience, Medicinal Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Molecular Immunology, Molecular Biology of Aging, and many more.
  • Summer residential, commuter, and online options for students 14-18 years old.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Ages 14-18



Young Writers Workshop at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

  • Three-week residential multi-genre creative writing program.
  • Small workshops of around 12 students.
  • A 5-day virtual option is also available.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Minimum Session Length: 3 Weeks (1 Week for Virtual)
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Rising 10th, 11th, 12th



Illinois Tech Elevate College Prep Summer Programs

  • Illinois Tech Elevate College Prep offers Residential, Commuter, and Online programs that run in week-long sessions throughout the summer.
  • Residential programs are available in unique areas such as Build Your Own Robot; Fast Cars, Cleaner Energy; Esports Exploration, and much more.
  • Online options include CyberDefenders, Game Design, AI Explorers, Data Science, and Math.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Middle, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Girls Who Code Summer Immersion

  • 2-week synchronous virtual program.
  • No coding experience required.
  • Exposure to tech leaders and careers.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option Yes Online
    • Session Length: 2 or 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th, Girls


High School Honors Science Math and Engineering (Michigan State)

  • Seven-week on-campus, intensive research program.
  • Receive mentorship from a university researcher.
  • Activities include field trips, research presentations, and career discussions.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Cost: $1048
    • Application Deadline: June 16th
    • Eligibility: 10-12th
    • Eligibility: Rising 10th, 11th, 12th


Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

  • Eight-week paid summer internship.
  • Mentorship by a local fisheries and aquatic science professional.
  • Hands-on experience in marine or freshwater setting.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 8 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: January 16th
    • Eligibility: Rising 11th, 12th + Graduates


Jackson Lab Summer Student Program
Jackson Lab Summer Student Program
  • Bar Harbor, ME or Farmington, CT

  • Immersion in genetics and genomic research.
  • Students develop and present an independent research project.
  • Available in two locations: Bar Harbor, ME or Farmington, CT.

    • Option Yes Residential:
    • Option No Online:
    • Session Length: 10 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: January 29th
    • Eligibility: 18


Research Science Institute (MIT)

  • Cost-free science and engineering program.
  • Features a five-week research internship.
  • Students are mentored by experienced researchers.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 5 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: October
    • Eligibility: 12th


The Ross Mathematics Program
The Ross Mathematics Program
  • Columbus, OH + more

  • Primary focus on number theory.
  • Students spend ten hours per day in class and small-group discussions.
  • Build capacity for abstract thought and critical thinking.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March
    • Eligibility: 15-18


JCamp

  • National multicultural journalism program.
  • Students produce multiplatform news packages for the program’s news site.
  • Includes workshops, hands-on training, and field trips.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: March 1st
    • Eligibility: 10-12th


Notre Dame Leadership Seminars

  • 10-day, on-campus program.
  • Students confront complex global issues in class.
  • Service-learning opportunities are part of the experience.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 10 Days
    • Application Deadline: January 22nd
    • Eligibility: 12th


Science Internship Program (SIP)

  • Students are inserted into real, existing UCSC research projects.
  • Receive one-on-one mentorship.
  • Past projects have been completed in areas from biomolecular engineering to literature.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 10 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March 31st
    • Eligibility Rising 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Scripps College Student Research Internship

  • Focused on translational medical research.
  • Students become proficient in presenting scientific concepts.
  • Work with a primary mentor on an area of interest.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 10 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March 30th
    • Eligibility: 16
    • Eligiblility: At least 16 years old by start of internship


Simons Summer Research Program (Stony Brook)

  • Students are matched with a faculty member and join a research team.
  • Attend special workshops, tours, and events.
  • Culminates with research abstract and poster.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Nominations by mid January
    • Eligibility: 12th


Summer Leaders Experience (U.S. Military Academy)

  • Immersion into academic, military, and social life.
  • Receive mentorship from current West Point cadets.
  • Explore a variety of academic disciplines.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: March 15th
    • Eligibility: 12th


Summer Seminar (U.S. Air Force Academy)

  • Experience life as an Air Force Academy cadet.
  • Explore academic offerings and facilities.
  • Participate in application-related workshops.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: January 15th
    • Eligibility: 12th


Summer Seminar (U.S. Naval Academy)

  • Immersed into Naval Academy life.
  • Students attend academic and leadership workshops.
  • Participate in athletics and extracurricular activities.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: April 15th
    • Eligibility: 12th


The Summer Science Program

  • Students work in teams on a real research project.
  • Astrophysics, biochemistry, and genomics projects available.
  • Extensive collaboration with peers and faculty members.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February 16th
    • Eligibility: 12th


Telluride Association Summer Seminar

  • Students build an inclusive community and practice democratic decision-making.
  • Strengthen community through transformative justice.
  • Two programs: Critical Black Studies and Anti-Oppressive Studies.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online
    • Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Dec 1st (Nominations), Jan 3rd App
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th


University of Wisconsin Engineering Summer Program

  • Faculty-mentored residential program.
  • Academics include math, physics, chemistry, and engineering design.
  • Students participate in workshops, site visits, and field trips.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online
    • Session Length: 3 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March 11th
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th
    • Eligibility: Rising 11th & 12th


Young Women’s Institute (Indiana University)

  • Exposes women to business career opportunities.
  • Students create a real-world business case project.
  • Build leadership, communication, and networking skills.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online
    • Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: April 4th
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th
    • Eligbility: Females, Rising 11th & 12th


Garcia Scholars (Stony Brook University)

  • Students design original research projects.
  • Past students consistently win recognition for their research.
  • Can continue during the academic year.

    • Option Yes Residential Options
    • Option No Online Option
    • Session Length: 7 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: January
    • Eligbility: At least 16


COSMOS (University of California)
COSMOS (University of California)
  • Various Locations, CA

  • Exposure to advanced topics.
  • Each student chooses a “cluster” of science and math courses.
  • Available on 5 UC campuses.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Session Length: 4 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February 9th
    • Eligibility: CA Res, 9th-12th


The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program at Texas Tech

  • Intensive seven-week summer research program.
  • Offers weekly seminars, discussions, and field trips.
  • Research areas include natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and fine arts.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Session Length: 7 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: January 2nd
    • Eligibility: Rising 12th + Graduates; must by 17


Boston University RISE

  • Students conduct laboratory research alongside BU faculty.
  • Two tracks offered: Internship and Practicum.
  • Research areas include many science and engineering disciplines.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February 14th
    • Eligibility: 12th


Johns Hopkins Psychology & Brain Sciences Summer Programs

  • This program is fully remote. 
  • There are 9 two-week courses available. 
  • Participants earn one college credit for completing the course.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Clinical Neuroscience Immersion Experience @ Stanford University

  • The experience is fast-paced, rigorous, and highly collaborative.
  • Topics vary each year.
  • All students complete and present a capstone project.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Penn Carey Law Pre-College Academy

  • Get a glimpse of the first-year law experience.
  • Intro to the American legal system as well as complex legal issues.
  • Visits to law firms and courtrooms are part of the experience.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 3 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Age 15-18



Emory National Debate Institute Summer Programs

  • Two options: The Fundamentals of Debate, Deliberation, and Dialogue or the Policy Debate Institute.
  • No prior debate experience required. 
  • Prepares students to join high school debate teams in the future.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1–2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: April/May
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Boston Leadership Institute Summer Programs

  • The chance to explore leadership through a variety of discipline-specific programs. 
  • Hands-on experience, guest lecturers, and field trips.
  • A STEM entrepreneurship option meets online.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1–3 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



ASU Summer Programs
ASU Summer Programs
  • Phoenix, AZ

  • Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills program is one of many curricular options. 
  • Residential, commuter, and online options available. 
  • Programs vary in admissions difficulty.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 3–10 Days
    • Application Deadline: March/April
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Summer Game Studio at Clark University

  • Students learn game art and animation, motion capture, testing, and production.
  • Structured lectures and discussions as well as studio time. 
  • Collaborate with team to create an original game.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Game, Cinema, and Animation Summer Academy at DePaul University

  • Taught by full-time faculty from the School of Cinematic Arts and the School of Design
  • Students collaborate to create a computer game.
  • Students must be from the Chicago area or secure their own housing.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: June
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



USC Cinematic Arts Summer Program

  • Residential, commuter, and online options available. 
  • 30 courses in filmmaking, screenwriting, computer graphics, animation, and gaming.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: Age 16+



Northwestern University National High School Institute

  • Students can choose from Acting on Camera, Screenwriting, or Production.
  • Core and elective courses are art of the program. 
  • Most accepted students hail from the top 30% of their high school class.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4–6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March/Rolling
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)

  • Residential and online options. 
  • Abstract Algebra and Number Theory or Algebraic Topology tracks available. 
  • Strong grades, recommendations, and essays a must for admission.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weeks (residential); 3 Weeks (online)
    • Application Deadline: February
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



MathILy at Bryn Mawr College

  • Students engage in high school and college-level discrete mathematics. 
  • Topics often include combinatorics, knot theory, and topological graph theories.
  • Runs 7 hours per day, 6 days per week.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 5 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: April
    • Eligibility: Age 14-17



Washington Youth Summit on the Environment

  • Hosted by George Mason University and the Smithsonian National Zoo.
  • Visit endangered species and learn about conservation. 
  • Students earn one college credit.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: December
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Teen Research and Education in Environmental Science (TREES)

  • Offered through the University of Pennsylvania. 
  • Develop independent research project based on an environmental problem. 
  • Culminates with a research report and public presentation.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Februrary
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Georgia Tech Pre-College Design Program

  • Complete an architectural project that can be used in future portfolios. 
  • Architecture, Industrial Design, and Building Construction pathways available. 
  • Transcript and essay required for admission.

    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Wonderworks Pre-College Summer Programs

  • One option is the From the Ground Up architecture program. 
  • Combination of lectures, field trips, and daily building projects. 
  • Also offers history, art, philosophy, and film tracks.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 5 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: May
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Broadreach Summer Programs
Broadreach Summer Programs
  • Caribbean; Bali; Fiji; Curaçao; Costa Rica; Amazon & Galapagos; Red Sea; Bahamas; Bonaire

  • Learn and build skills in a hands-on environment. 
  • Groups of kept small – the average is around 12 students. 
  • Some programs offer college credits. 

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 12 Days
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Eligibility: Current 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Putney Student Travel
Putney Student Travel
  • 25+ countries, 6 continents

  • Cultural immersion and independent creative projects.
  • Give back to the local community you are staying in. 
  • Language-focused programs available.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Tisch Summer High School Drama Programs

  • Students complete 28 hours of conservatory training each week. 
  • Learn from professional actors, designers, and stage managers. 
  • Program culminates with a showcase.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: January
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Summer@Cornish
Summer@Cornish
  • Seattle, WA

  • Held at Cornish College of the Arts. 
  • Options in Theater as well as art & design, film, or music.
  • Culminates in a gallery exhibition or showcase.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Pratt Institute Pre-College Programs

  • Combination of workshops, seminars, and studio time. 
  • Options in creative writing, graphic design, and art history. 
  • Can live on campus or commute.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option Yes Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weks
    • Application Deadline: May
    • Eligibility: Age 16-18



Nasher Sculpture Center Summer Institute

  • Learn about careers in art.
  • Only 30 students accepted each year. 
  • Create your own projects under the guidance of professional artists.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: May
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Colorado School of Mines Engineering Design Summer Program

  • Students become a SolidWorks Associate (industry recognized). 
  • Taught by former Mines professors. 
  • 3-D design in a hands-on format.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 1 Week
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Laboratory Learning Program at Princeton University

  • Work with Princeton professors on research projects. 
  • Full-time research opportunities in engineering with no end date. 
  • Students author a two-page report at the conclusion of the experience.

    • Option No Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length 5 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March
    • Eligbility: Age 16–18



Carnegie Mellon National High School Game Academy

  • Learn 2D and 3D art, music composition, and team management. 
  • Blend of technology and creativity. 
  • Build actual games that can be used as college portfolio pieces.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: March
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Frontiers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Students select a CS course as well as a humanities course. 
  • Covers areas like JavaScript, HTML, and networking. 
  • Also offers a number of fun social activities in the evenings.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 3 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: April
    • Eligibility: 10th, 11th, 12th



Secondary Student Training Program

  • 22 course options in-person and 7 online.
  • Highly-competitive program–need recommendations. 
  • Students spend 7 hours per day in research groups.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 6 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Smith Science and Engineering Program (SSEP)

  • Students conduct experiments and field work. 
  • Only female students are eligible to apply.
  • Six distinct course choices are available.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: May
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



National Student Leadership Conference: Medicine & Health Care
National Student Leadership Conference: Medicine & Health Care
  • Washington, D.C.; Evanston, IL; Berkeley, CA; Miami, FL; New Haven, CT

  • Work in teams to develop an intervention to a public health issue. 
  • Practice surgical skills in hands-on labs. 
  • Tours of local medical facilities and museums.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 9 Days
    • Application Deadline: Rolling
    • Eligibility: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Health Career Scholars Academy at the University of Pittsburgh

  • Work in teams to develop an intervention to a public health issue. 
  • Practice surgical skills in hands-on labs. 
  • Tours of local medical facilities and museums.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 4 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th; ages 15-18



Business Bootcamp at The University of Rochester

  • Learn more about what makes a “good” concept, corporate marketing, product development, and design thinking.
  • Driven by the “Development of New Ideas” curriculum
  • Students prototype, demo, and present their ideas while collaborating in small teams.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 3 Weeks
    • Application Deadline: February
    • Eligibility: 11th, 12th



Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy

  • Learn at the University of Michigan’s top-ranked business school.
  • Experience group workshops, field trips, and guest speakers.
  • Meet with local companies and make presentations.

    • Option Yes Residential
    • Option No Online Option
    • Min. Session Length: 2 weeks
    • Application Deadline: January
    • Eligibility: 12th



Are you a provider?

Apply today to be featured on one of our lists.