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.

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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 more.
* = 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
Special courses and hands-on projects.  6-week program, students must be at least 15 years old.

CENS High School Scholars Program
8-week paid research program at UCLA with hands-on computer science or electrical engineering. Possibly defunct, the program was not offered in 2012 or 2013, but no info is yet available about 2014.

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

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

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

Possibly defunct program where students conduct paid research internships at JPL. Budget cuts have killed the program in the last few years, but there is not yet info available about 2014.

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

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

National Youth Science Camp
Special courses and seminars.  Students who have just graduated from 12th grade only, free.  2 students are nominated from each state, so it’s rough to be from California.

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

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

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)
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. Free (you are paid a small stipend, but must cover your own room/board).

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

**UCLA High School Summer Research Program (HSSEAS)
Conduct original engineering research in an 8-week program under faculty members at UCLA. This is better than free – you are paid a stipend. 

UCSB Summer Pre-College Programs
UCSB runs both the Early Start Program, in which high school students can take college courses, and the Research Mentorship Program, in which they work in a research laboratory. Both are six-week programs. Students must be entering 11th or 12th grade or graduating.

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

*University of Pennsylvania Engineering – Summer Academy in Applied Science and Technology (SAAST)
Lecture and lab experience in biotechnology, computer graphics, computer science, nanotechnology, or robotics. 3-week program, students must be entering 10th, 11th, or 12th grades.

USC Summer Courses
Assorted summer college courses at USC. All high school students may apply.

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

USC Young Researchers Program
Students conduct independent research under the supervision of USC professors. 6-week program, students must be entering the 12th grade. Free.

Woods Hole Oceanography Programs
Two separate oceanography programs, one based out of Woods Hole in MA and another based out of Southern California. 3 weeks, half of which is spent at sea. Students must be entering 11th or 12th grades or college.

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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 - immersion with or without travel

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

Stanford National Forensics Institute
Speech & debate



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


More Free / Inexpensive / Paying 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

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

American Legion Auxiliary's Girls State and Girls Nation

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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