10 Science Summer Programs for High School Students

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biochemistry program

Summer pre-college programs let students explore topics related to everything from physical sciences to evolutionary biology. But with so many summer science programs for high school students, how do you know which ones are the best?

Pioneer Academics, known for our rigorous standards, created this list of the best science summer programs.

The following programs are great ways for students to spend their summers learning on-campus and online.

Brett Fuller 1
Advice from a Former Admissions Officer

Brett Fuller

Academic Development Manager | Pioneer Academics
Former Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Wake Forest University
Former Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Important note: The “best” program is always going to be the program that best fits your needs, goals, and interests. Check out my thoughts on things to consider when selecting a summer program here: College Application: Tips on Selecting a Summer Program Meeting Admission Officers’ Standards.

T
he study of science is often the field most closely associated with intensive, original research. While I would always advocate for prioritizing curiosity and intellectual pursuits regardless of a student’s field of interest, students interested in science seem to more naturally make this choice. There may be opportunities to examine your interests more closely within your high school curriculum, but summer programs can certainly be that chance. One of the primary differences between the study of science in high school and as an undergraduate is the depth to which students explore questions and specific concepts. In many ways, the coursework lays the foundation, while the project and research-based work make you a scientist.

Pioneer Academics

Pioneer Academics offers a rigorous curriculum designed to challenge high school students worldwide. This summer program prepares students for everything involved in performing undergraduate-level research. Each student in this online program learns the skills necessary to conduct independent research in a program designed to provide solutions for students’ academic needs. Students selected to join this research program can choose from various science-related disciplines, including neuroscience, biological sciences, computer science, and many others. This fully-accredited program culminates with each student developing the idea and work needed to fully develop a central research project.

FormatOnline
Cost$6,650 US dollars.
Program DatesJune-August (Some Students May Extend to September)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 9, 2023
FormatOnline
Cost$6,650 US dollars.
Program DatesJune-August (Some Students May Extend to September)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 9, 2023

RISE Internship / Practicum

Boston University offers six-week commuter and residential summer programs for high school juniors interested in science, with financial aid options available. Called the Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) program, this program is available in an Internship or Practicum offering. The Internship program lets participants spend 40-hour weeks working alongside mentors who help students prepare research projects. This program teaches students the analytical and technical skills required to conduct scientific research. The Practicum program is excellent for students who prefer group research in a highly structured learning environment. Practicum courses blend lectures and group research, culminating with students presenting their finished projects in a poster presentation. Both programs are great options for students wanting to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

FormatIn-person
Cost$8,246 for residential students
$5,370 for commuter students
Program DatesResidential camp July 2, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Commuter camp July 3, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 14, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$8,246 for residential students
$5,370 for commuter students
Program DatesResidential camp July 2, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Commuter camp July 3, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: February 14, 2023

U.S Naval Academy Summer STEM Program – U.S Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) hosts summer programs for rising high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Each high school student attending this program learns how to improve their creative and problem-solving skills with like-minded peers. This week-long science, math, and engineering program lets students interact with and learn from USNA midshipmen and faculty. Students attending this summer science program spend a busy week participating in classroom and lab learning. There’s even an opportunity for fun activities, such as student field trips to Fort McHenry or Smithsonian Museums. The hands-on aspect of these courses involves taking apart and reassembling lawn mower engines. Students also STEM-based concepts taught in this program to design structures and test if they can withstand 150 MPH wind tunnels in the USNA’s Hydro Lab.

FormatIn-person
Cost$900
Program DatesJune 19, 2023 - June 23, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 15, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$900
Program DatesJune 19, 2023 - June 23, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: April 15, 2023

Research Science Institute (RSI) – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Research Science Institute (RSI) brings together 100 highly accomplished high school students from around the world at MIT each summer. It is a unique cost-free program that combines on-campus scientific coursework with off-campus research opportunities. Participants engage in the complete research process, including literature review, developing and executing research plans, and presenting their findings through written and oral reports. The program begins with an intensive week of STEM classes taught by accomplished professors. The core of RSI is a five-week research internship, where students work individually on projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. The program concludes with students delivering presentations on their research projects.

FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJune 25 to August 5, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Closed
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJune 25 to August 5, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Closed

Simons Summer Research Program – Stony Brook University

The Simons Summer Research Program, initially created in 1984 for local high school students, has grown to attract applicants nationwide to Stony Brook University. Successful applicants, known as Simons Fellows, are paired with faculty mentors, join research groups, and take on project responsibilities. The program culminates with Fellows producing a written research abstract and a research poster. In addition to gaining valuable techniques and experiencing university life, Fellows attend faculty research talks, participate in workshops and tours, and receive a stipend award at the closing poster symposium. The program is supported by the Simons Foundation. Eligible applicants must currently be in 11th grade, demonstrate independence, creativity, aptitude for hands-on work, and be US citizens or permanent residents aged 16 or above.

FormatIn-person
Cost$3,046.75 (Estimated)
Program DatesJune 26, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Application Deadline(s)February 1st, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$3,046.75 (Estimated)
Program DatesJune 26, 2023 - August 11, 2023
Application Deadline(s)February 1st, 2023

Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) – Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University hosts a blended virtual and residential program each summer for students interested in science. Students learn about computer science, engineering, and other STEM subject alongside other students with a passion for education. These annual summer programs kick off with a virtual jumpstart, teaching students the skills they need to prepare them for this course’s upcoming curriculum. The second portion of this program is a five-week in-person course combining classroom learning with hands-on exercises. Students also get to speak with and learn from Carnegie Mellon’s renowned instructors. This program wraps up with a day of student presentations and a Closing Awards Ceremony. Interested applicants don’t need to worry about financial aid—this course is free for qualifying participants.

FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 1, 2023 - August 5, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 1, 2023 - August 5, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023

Fred Hutch Summer High School Internship Program– Fred Hutch Cancer Center

Students interested in medicine and science might want to attend summer programs at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center. This program is available to students entering the 12th grade, ideally from communities underrepresented in the biomedical science world. This program’s courses begin with two weeks of lab time spent working in the Fred Hutch Training Labs. Then, this center pairs students with peers and mentors as part of a research group. During this time, participants also take part in weekly presentations called “Meet the Scientist.” Each presentation tackles a different biomedical science-related topic, including how to present research findings, visualize “Big Data,” and research health disparities. Each student also gets to facilitate their interest in college with campus tours, including residence halls, labs, and other areas.

FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJune 26, 2023 - August 18, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 31, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJune 26, 2023 - August 18, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 31, 2023

Coriell Institute For Medical Research Summer Experience – Coriell Institute for Medical Research

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research hosts a month-long summer science experience for a select group of students. This program allows students to participate in developing research, working in production laboratories, or research project management. After choosing their discipline, this institute pairs groups of eager students with a team of mentors. Students also get to use cutting-edge technology and equipment available to Coriell researchers. Depending on which program students choose, they can work in stem cell or molecular biology labs, learn how to perform lab assistance tasks, or shadow a sample submission. These summer programs also teach students about college life, including career paths offered in college, interviewing, and building resumes.

FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 6, 2023 to August 3, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 15, 2023
FormatIn-person
CostFree
Program DatesJuly 6, 2023 to August 3, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 15, 2023

Veterinary Medicine Programs – Cornell University

Cornell University offers many pre-college courses for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. One of the courses offered by Cornell University covers veterinary medicine. In this program, students learn from teaching assistants and instructors about physiology and anatomy. Program participants discover how to perform aspects of physical exams on animals. Students also get support to start their own veterinary practice through introductory business courses. Throughout this weeks-long on-campus program, Cornell faculty also show students the diverse range of career paths in the veterinary field. While typically offered as a residential program, all courses offered in summer 2023 will be online only.

FormatOnline
Cost$6,310
Program DatesMay 30, 2023–June 16, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 7, 2023
FormatOnline
Cost$6,310
Program DatesMay 30, 2023–June 16, 2023
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: May 7, 2023

Yale Young Global Scholars – Yale University

Yale Young Global Scholars is the name for a well-known summer program that welcomes over 2,000 students worldwide each year. Students interested in science will want to check out Innovations in Science & Technology. This course explores applied, physical, and environmental science topics. Once classes begin, each student spends two weeks enjoying a combination of breakout sessions, impact panels, speaker events, lectures, lab time, social activities, and interacting with Yale college students and faculty. Throughout this program, students spend time exploring Yale University’s prestigious campus while learning about the potential future of attending college.

FormatIn-person
Cost$6,500
Program DatesSession I (June 18 - June 30)
Session II (July 2 - July 14)
Session III (July 16 - July 28)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023
FormatIn-person
Cost$6,500
Program DatesSession I (June 18 - June 30)
Session II (July 2 - July 14)
Session III (July 16 - July 28)
Application Deadline(s)Regular Admission Deadline: March 15, 2023

Learn More

If you’re in high school and want to learn about summer science research programs, Pioneer Academics encourages you to attend one of our free online information sessions.

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