The Best Summer Programs for High Schoolers
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The Best Summer Programs for High Schoolers

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Mentoring
  • Published on 25 Jan 2020

Best Summer programs

Summer programs offer a great opportunity for high schoolers to get a look at what life in college is like. They get exposure to topics of their choice, college culture, and life-on-campus. Students can explore fields that they intend to pursue in college and also their careers. Interacting with a great peer community allows them to connect with people with the same deep interests, exposing them to new ways of thinking. 

Through a great summer program, students get to be involved in programs at the forefront of their fields. They can also see what life is like inside a leading-edge program of their choice. Have a look at what some of the world’s topmost universities have on offer for summer programs:


Yale University is known for its excellent drama and music programs. It opens its doors for high-schoolers every summer with the Yale Summer Session that provides academically rigorous and innovative undergraduate programs and courses. Students come to Yale Summer Session to take Yale College courses in New Haven, online, or abroad or to hone their craft at the Yale Writers’ Workshop or in the Summer Drama Program. International students can also study law, business, or English in one of their certificate programs.

Tuition and costs:

Stanford is known for its entrepreneurial character. Some of its most popular majors include: Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Engineering,  Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Sciences, and Physical Sciences.

SUMaC, short for Stanford University Mathematics Camp, is the summer program offered to 

a select group of mathematically talented rising high school juniors and seniors from around the world for intensive study in advanced mathematics.

  • SUMaC will engage you in deep exploration of mathematics and help you develop as a mathematician. 
  • You will be immersed in a community of others who share your mathematical talent and curiosity. 
  • For four weeks you will live on campus, make new friends, and be challenged intellectually. 

Summer 2020 Dates & Tuition

  • SUMaC's four-week residential program is held on Stanford University’s campus from: Sunday, July 12–Saturday, August 8, 2020
  • Tuition fees: Stanford University Mathematics Camp's tuition for the summer is $7,000.

Financial aid is offered in the form of partial and full scholarships for domestic and international applicants. 


University of Pennsylvania or UPenn stands out for its highly ranked graduate programs including its Wharton School, School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Law School and School of Medicine. Penn's other notable graduate programs include its School of Design and School of Dental Medicine. The university offers many summer programs

Tuition fees details for all programs and application detail along with deadlines can be found here. 

The two-week program offers non-credit, immersive study in disciplines across the sciences, arts, and humanities. Applications for summer 2020 programs opened on December 1, 2019!

MIT has a highly selective prestigious summer program at the  the Research Science Institute (RSI). It is not for high schoolers, but it is the first cost-free to students, summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. Participants experience the entire research cycle from start to finish. They read the most current literature in their field, draft and execute a detailed research plan, and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their findings.

The heart of RSI is the five week research internship where students conduct individual projects under the tutelage of mentors who are experienced scientists and researchers. During the final week of RSI, students prepare written and oral presentations on their research projects.


For selection, recommended scores are:

  • PSAT Math Scores at least 740 or higher
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score be 700 or higher
  • ACT math scores should be at least 33
  • Verbal scores at least 34

Lower scores must be offset by strong indicators of mathematical, scientific, and academic potential exemplified in recommendations, high school grades, and science activities.

Deadline: February 15, 2020

Apply here

UCLA is best known for its diverse and progressive academics and sports programs. 

There is a wide array of summer programs to choose from which have been designed for exceptionally high-achieving high school students to provide a real-world introduction to an academic life at UCLA, one of the world's greatest research universities. The selection is highly competitive and applicants will be required to meet specific academic thresholds.

  • Academic Courses
  • Summer College Immersion Program
  • Precollege Summer Institutes


Admitted students have the option to commute or live on campus in one of UCLA's residence halls.

Registration Starts February 15, 2020


The University of Michigan is considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States. It offers summer programs at many of its campuses. The Ann Arbor campus has special classes in Business, Sport Management, Architecture, and Music.

  • Choose from 2, 3, or 5 Week Programs.
  • Tuition ranging from $5,199 - $9,399
  • For students completing grades 9, 10, 11, 12 (ages 14-18)

Each year, the ICPSR Summer Program offers two four-week sessions. The dates of the 2020 sessions are:

  • First Session: Monday, June 22 - Friday, July 17, 2020
  • Second Session: Monday, July 20 - Friday, August 14, 2020
  • Registration for all courses will open on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. 
  • ICPSR and other organizations offer many scholarships to support attendance in the 2020 Summer Program.

In conclusion

One of the main benefits of summer program is that they allow high school students to specialize in an area of interest without the distraction of other schoolwork or school drama. Students can experience life on campus, deepen their interests and broaden their horizons. 

Further reading:

Maximise your summer

How to prepare for overseas education

When should go I abroad for my education