Summer Programs for High School Students

From cybersecurity camp to filmmaking workshops, check out this list of 20+ summer programs designed for high school students.

Shawna Newman

February 29, 2024

Summer Programs for High School Students
Make your summer break productive and meaningful.
If you haven’t decided how to spend your summer, you may want to think about the possibility of participating in a summer program for high school students. These programs have worked to ensure one-of-a-kind experiences— from traveling to abroad to online learning at Ivy League colleges. Students will have the chance to explore new fields, make friendships with students from around the globe, and even earn college credit while in high school for the courses taken.

2024 Summer Programs for High School Students

No matter where you live or what your interests are, chances are that there's a program offered at a college near you. If summer programs interest you, you should act soon! Application deadlines come early in the year.

Virtual Experience: American University High School Summer Scholars

This multi-week, online program helps high school students pursue their interests in a variety of topics. Each online course is 1-credit hour. Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a 3.0 GPA can choose 1 course from 14 subjects—from Political Action and Public Policy to Oceanography and more.

U.S. Advanced Cyber Academy

U.S. Advanced Cyber Academy is a new STEM program from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center newest STEM program. The program allows students (ages 15-18) to delve into the world of cyber technologies through blended hands-on experiences and challenges developed in cooperation with the FBI.

Academic Connections at the University of California - San Diego

This three-week program helps prepare high-achieving high-school students for success by allowing them to experience college-level academics. Students can immerse themselves in study of a particular academic subject taught by graduate students and/or renowned faculty researchers within the field of study.

American Collegiate Adventures

American Collegiate Adventures offers summer travel programs for high school students in both the United States and abroad. The programs range anywhere from one to five weeks, all of which are detailed on their web site.

Academic Enrichment by Westcoast Connection

Westcoast Connection offers Pre-College Enrichment programs for high school students, featuring interactive courses, engaging instructors combined with exciting day trips and excursions. With programs on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, McGill in Montreal, Barcelona and Florence, students can prepare for college and their future career path in an inclusive learning and social environment. Upon conclusion of summer courses, students will receive either a certificate of completion or college credit, which is available on select programs.

Boston Leadership Institute

The Boston Leadership Institute is an award-winning summer STEM program for high-achieving teens. Students develop high-level research skills and subject matter expertise that strengthen credentials valuable for college admissions, interviews, and essays.

Columbia College of Chicago – Summer at Columbia

This program offers college-level courses to students who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior years of high school. Participants are interested in the fields of art, media and communications. The courses do transfer as electives to Columbia College of Chicago and to some other colleges or universities.

Concordia Language Villages

Concordia Language Villages is a language and culture education program. An innovative approach, the program uses immersion techniques to teach language. Participants may choose from 15 world language programs.

UConn Pre-College Summer

The UConn (University of Connecticut) Pre-College Summer provides rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to live and learn at a nationally ranked public university campus through four challenging and intensive one-week sessions.

Virtual: Cornell Summer College

Cornell Summer College offers both three- and six- week pre-college programs for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Program participants are able to earn anywhere from three to six college credits, work with world renowned Cornell faculty, and experience college-level academics first-hand.

Virtual/In-Person Experience: Early College Program Online Summer Institute - School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a summer online-learning and in-person program in art and design. The program offers the opportunity to learn from faculty who also teach in their acclaimed undergraduate program.

Earthwatch Institute – Teen Expeditions

The Earthwatch Institute, a nonprofit, has been running summer scientific research expeditions for high school students for almost 50 years. Students join academic, researchers with an Earthwatch chaperone and 6 to 12 of their peers for 1-2 weeks to help collect data on everything from endangered sea turtles to climate change in the Arctic.

Experience Christendom Summer Program

The Experience Experience Christendom Summer Program (ECSP), is a program which attracts students from all across the country and various foreign countries. About 40-50 students attend the Front Royal, VA, campus for a week (Sunday through Saturday) and take part in academic, social, recreational, and spiritual activities, led by current students as counselors.

Harvard’s High School Programs

If you’re wondering what college is like, Harvard offers online college programs just for high school students who are curious. Harvard’s high school programs allow you to take real courses and earn college credit. Financial aid is available for qualifying students.

Virtual/In-Person Opportunities: Immerse Education Programs

Immerse Education's summer programs offer in-person and online courses in a variety of subjects and take place throughout the United Kingdom and Austrailia. Students ages 11–18 from around the world get to learn on the campuses of Cambridge, Oxford, London and the University of Sydney.


Mathcamp is an intensive, five-week “Virtual Mathcampus” in which students can explore various principles of mathematics. Students learn about undergraduate and graduate-level topics while connecting with a diverse group of people who share the common love of mathematics. Mathcamp is free to students with qualifying family incomes. Financial aid is also available.

National Youth Science Camp

The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is an intense month-long camp for young scientists the summer after high school graduation. Students must demonstrate academic proficiency in either mathematics or the sciences as well as other documented leadership skills.

Putney Pre-College Summer Programs

These pre-college summer programs have existed for several decades, so you know they provide a productive experience. Putney's Pre-College programs are offered domestically including the Harvard and Colby College campuses. Their abroad camps occur in Oxford, Paris, Siena, Barcelona, and Tokyo.

Virtual/In-Person Opportunities: New York Film Academy's Summer Film and Acting Camps

Both the in-person immersion workshops and online learning options range from four-week programs to full-year programs. Programs are designed to introduce students of all ages to the creative and technical demands of telling stories with moving images. Students have the opportunity to write, direct, shoot, edit and, even, star within short films, depending upon the student’s interest.

Summer Discovery Summer Study Programs

The Summer Study Programs at a variety of schools like, Georgetown, UCLA, and Cambridge, combine academically challenging courses with the fun and excitement of campus and study abroad life. High school students can choose from a variety of both in-person and online programs, ranging from 2 to 6 weeks.

Virtual/In-Person Experience: Summer Science Program (SSP)

For more than fifty years, the Summer Science Program has enlightened selected high school students in advanced college-level topics in astronomy, physics, calculus, and programming. In turn, students are able to develop intellectually while being challenged academically.

Ross Summer

According to the site, Ross Summer is a “world-class program located in safe, idyllic East Hampton, New York." Programs offered for students ages 12-18 are Mandarin Immersion, Cultural History, ESOL, Mathematics, and more.

Virtual/In-Person Opportunities: Tufts Summer Study for High School Students

Tufts attracts top high school students who wish pursuing academic excellence while gaining a head start on their college career. The programs offered to high school students include: Coding 101, Studio Art, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, STEM, and more.

Virtual Experience: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) – Launch Program

In the LAUNCH program for students in 9th and 10th grade, students will leverage state-of-the-art research and technology to find solutions to current problems in a variety of scientific fields alongside WPI’s renowned faculty. Students will be able to step in the shoes of an environmental scientist, lab chemist, computer scientist, and roboticist.

Virtual Experience: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) – Frontiers Program

This online, summer program is designed for high school students entering their junior and senior years. Program participants are challenged to explore the outer limits of their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with current laboratory techniques and exploring unsolved problems across a wide spectrum of disciplines.

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