Recommended Summer Programs


Summer Program Ideas

This page is intended to help students and parents identify exciting and enriching summer programs.  Please check the deadlines and be aware that these programs fill up quickly!  Recommend a program you have participated in or report a dead/outdated link.

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Science Programs

Special thanks to Mr. Maine for compiling most of this list.  You can read his comments. Also, ask him which other students/alumni have been in these programs so you can ask them about their experiences and get tips on selection.
* = programs that have had recent HGM attendees
** = particularly popular programs with many HGM students

Boston University High School Honors Program
College courses or research with a faculty supervisor.  6-week program, students must be entering 12th grade.

Carnegie Mellon Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science
Free. For students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds. Special courses and hands-on projects.  6-week program, students must be at least 15 years old.

Clark Scholars Program
7-week paid research program at Texas Tech. Lots of alumni have gone on to win Siemens and Intel STS awards. Current 11th- and 12th-graders only.

**COSMOS – California State Summer School for Math and Science
Special courses at UC Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz, or San Diego.  4-week program, all grades may apply.

**Earthwatch IGNITE
Free. Research expeditions where students conduct field work in environmental science.

Girls on Ice
Free. Girls only. Two weeks doing glaciology research on an alpine glacier. Admission preference given to people with few prior opportunities for field work or educational enrichment.

Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) - Free. For graduating seniors heading to college.

*Harvard Secondary School Program (SSP)
College courses at Harvard.  4- or 8-week program, students must be entering 11th or 12th grades or college.

JPL Summer High School Internship
When there is a budget for HS, students conduct paid research internships at JPL. They announce in December/January whether the following summer will include high schoolers.

MIT's MITES Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program
Free. 6-week program.  Students must be minorities, preference given to lower income applicants.

*MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP)
Girls only. Special courses in electrical, computer, or mechanical engineering.  4-week program.

National Youth Science Camp
Free. Recent 12th grade graduates only. Special courses and seminars.  2 students are nominated from each state, so it’s rough to be from California.

*Perimeter Institute ISSYP
Free except for transportation costs to Ontario, Canada. Very prestigious two-week theoretical physics program. Students must be at least 17 years old by the program’s beginning.

*Research Science Institute (RSI)
Free. Research program sponsored by Caltech and MIT.  6-week program.  Extremely prestigious, very selective.

Smith College Summer Science & Engineering Program
Special classes at Smith College.  4-week program, girls only entering the 9th-12th grades.

**SSP – Summer Science Program
Special science courses at one of two camps, affiliated with both Caltech and MIT.  6-week program, students must be entering 11th or 12th (12th preferred) grades.  Well-established (since 1959) and prestigious program, alumni include several Nobel laureates. 

Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)
You get a small stipend but you must pay room and board. 8-week program in which students conduct biomedical research under an individual faculty supervisor. Students must be entering the 12th grade or have just graduated high school.

UC Berkeley Summer Focus
One college course and two special courses.  6-week program, students must be entering 11th or 12th grades.

*UCLA Summer Sessions
Regular university courses, either residential or commuter program.

UCLA Engineering Summer Research (Not offered 2018)

**UCLA High School Summer Research Program (HSSEAS) (Not offered 2018)
Paid stipend. Conduct original engineering research in an 8-week program under faculty members at UCLA.

UCSB Summer Pre-College Programs
Several options, including: Early Start Program (take college courses); Research Mentorship Program (work in a research laboratory); and Science & Engineering Research Academy (capstone seminar with directed research project).

*University of Pennsylvania Summer High School Programs
College courses or special programs at U. Penn – there are several options (not all in science). 

*University of Pennsylvania - Engineering Summer Academy @ Penn (ESAP)
Lecture and lab experience in biotechnology, complex networks, computer graphics, computer science, nanotechnology, or robotics. 3-week program.

USC Summer Courses
Assorted summer college courses at USC. 2 or 4 weeks. Pricey but high quality and local.

USC/Chevron Frontiers of Energy Resources
Free. Course focusing on energy sources and engineering applications. Students must be entering the 12th grade.

USC Young Researchers Program
Free. For students who live near USC and are from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds. Students conduct independent research under the supervision of USC professors. 6-week program.

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Leadership, Humanities

UCLA Summer Institutes
for high schoolers, either residential or commuter. Includes Model UN, Mock Trial, college writing, many others.

Yale Global Scholars

Wharton Leadership in the Business World

Wharton Leadership Education

Iowa Young Writers' Studio - iconic, highly selective

Middlebury Summer Language Academy - foreign language immersion with or without travel

Georgetown Summer Program is well-connected for subjects relating to politics and international relations

Stanford National Forensics Institute
Pricey, high-quality speech & debate program.


Music & Other Arts

Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra

Interlochen Arts Camp -  Half the students receive some financial assistance

Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival - in Los Angeles

Music@Menlo - financial aid available

Tanglewood Institute for Music

Otis Summer of Art - art & design intensive for ages 15+. Need-based scholarships.


More Free / Inexpensive / Paid Programs

Many, but not all, are highly selective

U of Notre Dame Leadership Seminars

Bank of America Student Leaders - paid internships with local non-profits + 1 week leadership summit in DC

Girls Who Code summer immersion - free. Learn in professional settings with co-ed mentors. Rising 11th & 12th. Article

National Security Language Initiative for Youth - scholarships to study languages abroad

American Legion Auxiliary's Girls State and Girls Nation

Simons Research Fellowship at Stony Brook Uni - Many STEM field options, including labs that are not easily available to minors in California, e.g. micro/molecular biology. Paid internship though room & board costs more than than earnings.

MIT Lincoln Lab Intro for Student Engineers (LLRISE)

CDC Disease Detective Camp - free day camp in Atlanta

Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)  for juniors

Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS)  for sophomores

Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) - for low-income under-represented minorities

UCLA Language Classes for Heritage speakers - currently Armenian, Korean, Persian or Russian but may change

US Naval Academy STEM Summer (rising 9th-11th graders)

US Naval Academy Summer Seminar

US Naval Academy Girls Tech Camp

Student Conservation Association National Crew (community service)

FBI Future Agents in Training - daytime in DC



General Scholarships for Summer Programs

MANY camps offer some financial aid, especially those offered by public institutions. Scholarships are usually need-based, sometimes merit-based.  The following offer financial support for the summer program of your choice:

*Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program - scholarships for high-ability under-represented minorities, to any summer program

Visit for internship/scholarship information for LA and West Coast, as well as Washington DC.

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