Summer Programs For High School Students

by Andrea van Niekerk

There are as many types of summer programs available as there are reasons to attend one. Some are offered by the continuing education units of colleges and universities themselves (like Summer Studies at Brown or Columbia’s  School of Continuing Education) while others are delivered by private organizations making use of the facilities of a college (Explo at Yale, or ASA). Some offer programs of fixed duration, while others offer programs that vary from one week to several (Brown Summer Studies). There are summer programs that focus on sports, on foreign travel, academic subjects, language instruction, or test preparation.

What follows below is very far from exhaustive, but is meant to give parents and students at least a taste of the adventures – intellectual, social and physical – that students can embark on over their summer vacations. The list is culled from many different sources, both online and in published form. A particularly useful guide is Sandra Berger’s The Ultimate Guide to Summer Opportunities for Teens, although as with any published source, links can become outdated very quickly. College Goals does not vouch or advocate for any particular program, but many of our students have spent wonderful summers pursuing some of these opportunities.


Many universities and colleges across the country offer summer programs, either in the liberal arts generally or in specific areas of focus such as the arts or engineering. These are easy to find online, and below is just a small snapshot of what is available.

Barnard Summer in New York
Boston U Summer Programs
Brown Summer Studies
Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Programs
Case Western Reserve University Precollege Scholars Program
Choate Rosemary Hall Summer
Columbia University Summer
Cornell University Summer College
Duke Talent Identification Program (various campuses)
EPGY at Stanford
Emory University
Explo at Yale
Great Books program at Stanford and Amherst
Harvard Summer Studies
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (various campuses)
National Conference of Governor’s Schools
Northfield Mount Hermon Summer Sessions
Northwestern Center for Talent Development
Oxford Study Course – pre IB preparation
Phillips Andover Summer Session
Philips Exeter Summer Programs
Summer Discovery (US and overseas)
Summer Studies for the gifted
Summer Study Programs (CU and Penn State)
U Chicago
U Delaware Summer College
U Miami Summer Scholars
U Penn Summer programs
University of Rochester Summer programs
USC Summer Seminars
Washington University Pre-College

CURIE Academy (Girls in Engineering)
Johns Hopkins U Engineering Innovation
MIT Women’s Technology Program
Missouri U S&T Nuclear Engineering camp
Purdue U Girls in Engineering
Notre Dame U Introduction to Engineering
Santa Clara Summer Engineering
Smith College Summer Science and Engineering for Girls
U Alabama Engineering Summer Camp
Vanderbilt University PAVE program
National listing of engineering camps at

Academy of Art University San Francisco
Bard College at Simon’s Rock Young Writers Workshop
Boston University Summer Theatre Institute
California College of the Arts
Camp Encore (music)
Carleton College Summer Writing Program
Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Programs
Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan
Idyllwild Summer Arts
California State Summer School for the Arts
Interlochen Arts Camp
Kenyon Review Young Writers Summer Workshop
North Carolina School of the Arts Summer
Pratt Pre College
Sarah Lawrence Film Institute
Savannah College of Arts and Design Summer Seminars
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Creative and Performing Arts
U Maine Summer Music–]music–]camp–]msym/

Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo Architecture Summer Camp
Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Programs
Catholic University of America Pre-College
Oregon Design Camp
Summer Academy in Architecture at UT Austin
USC Exploration of Summer

Launch at MIT
Babson College Summer Studies
Georgetown Entrepreneurship Institute
U Penn Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology

Adventures in Veterinary Medicine at Tufts
Brown Environmental Leadership Lab
Environmental Studies Summer Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Project Oceanology at UConn
Sea Semester
Shoal Marine Lab Programs for High School
UC Davis Young Scholars Program
University of Maryland Jump Start
Washington University Pre-medical

Aerospace Institute Summer Camp at University of Illinois
Awesome Math
BU Summer Internship Program internship/
CAEN computer camp at University of Michigan
Canada/USA Math Camp
Clark Scholars Program
Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics
High School Honors Science, Math and Engineering Program
Honors Summer Math Camp
Garcia Summer Scholars
Georgia Tech Science, Math and Computing
High School Summer Science Research Program
Hofstra University Summer Science Research
ID Tech camps
Phillips Andover Academy Math and Science for Minority Students
Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)
Puget Sound Math Camp
Research Science Institute at MIT Mathematics Camp
Science and Engineering Apprenticeship at GWU
Secondary Student Training Program
Smith College Summer Science and Engineering for Girls
Stanford Math Camp
Students Science Training Program
Summer Science Program
Women’s Technology Program

Brown University Summer Studies
Crow Canyon Archaeology Camps
Center for American Archaeology
University of Chicago (Egyptian Studies)

American University School of communications
Ball State University Summer Journalism Workshop
Carolina Journalism Institute
Emerson College Summer Program
National High School Institute at Northwestern

Foundation for Teaching Economics–]programs/
Georgetown Summer Programs
National Institute of American History and Democracy

Bryn Mawr Russian Language Institute
Concordia Language Villages
Middlebury Language School

Academic Study Associates Summer Programs
Asian Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo
Encounter India
Experiment in International Living
Oxford Advanced Studies
Oxbridge Studies Program
Where There Be Dragons

Many colleges offer sports camp on their campuses over the summer. See for example the
University of Michigan’s listing at
For a non-college based listing, see for example the Nike Sports Camps at

Academic Tracks
Action Quest Adventures
Broadreach Summer Adventures
Discovery Student Adventures
Keystone Mountain Adventures

Global Youth Leadership Conference (US, China, Central Europe)
Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership
Junior State of America (JSA) Summer School Georgetown, Stanford, Princeton
National Student Leadership Conference
National Young Leaders Conference
National Youth Leadership Forum
Presidential Classroom
St Alban’s School of Public Service

College Horizons for Native American Students
MITES (Minority Introduction to Math and Science
Phillips Andover Math and Science for Minority Students
Questbridge (various campuses)
Stanford Medical Youth Science
Telluride Association Sophomore Camps

Upward Bound – programs are offered on campuses across the country. Google Upward Bound Summer.

Academic Treks
Do Something
Global Works Travel
Lifeworks International
Student Conservation Association
Texas Brigades Wildlife Leadership
Washington School of World Studies

Intern Exchange International (London)
Julian Krinsky Camps (Philadelphia)
AustraLearn (Australia and NZ)
Projects Abroad
Boston University Science Research Internships

USEFUL ONLINE RESOURCES (includes some reviews of summer programs on college campuses too)

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Educational Options, LLC is a full-service educational consulting practice dedicated to assisting students plan their future. We work with students to identify their strengths and match these qualities with an academic setting that meets their educational, cultural and social aspirations.
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