14 Computer Science Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a computer science professor demonstrating

14 Computer Science Internships for High School Students

Computer science internships for high school students are stepping stones toward a successful career in the dynamic field of technology. This invaluable experience enhances your technical skills and provides a clear edge in college applications and future job opportunities. Suppose you’re a high school student passionate about computer science, seeking to dive into real-world projects and learn from industry experts. In that case, this blog is your gateway to unlocking those opportunities.

14 Computer Science Internships for High School Students

The world of technology offers many internship opportunities for high school students eager to explore computer science.

These internships provide hands-on experience and a glimpse into the professional environment of the tech industry. Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started:

1. Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Summer Internship Program

  • Location: Virginia
  • Cost: Paid (Stipend, subject to tax)
  • Internship Dates: June 3 – July 25, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 22, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school graduates planning to attend college in fall 2024, undergraduate or graduate level college students, or recent college graduates within the last 12 months.

The IALR Summer Internship Program offers high school graduates, college students, and recent graduates a unique chance to gain hands-on experience across various career fields, including AgTech research, coding and robotics, and information technology. This program is a paid, eight-week internship where participants engage in real projects, enhancing their technical and soft skills under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Interns at IALR actively contribute to their assigned projects, applying their knowledge to solve complex problems and innovate. This exposure to real-world challenges helps interns develop critical thinking and analytical skills, preparing them for future academic and career pursuits. The mentorship provided by IALR professionals plays a crucial role in this learning process, offering personalized guidance and insights into the industry.

The program requires a commitment of 224 hours, ensuring that interns have a comprehensive and meaningful experience. This structure allows participants to deeply engage with their work, fostering a thorough understanding of their field. The stipend offered to interns underscores the program’s professional nature, offering them experience and financial support.

2. Anson L. Clark Scholars Program

  • Location: Texas Tech University
  • Cost: Free (Includes on-campus meals, room, and board)
  • Internship Dates: June 16 – August 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Must be at least 17 years old by the program start date, should graduate in 2024 or 2025, U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.

The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program at Texas Tech University is a seven-week summer research initiative for high-achieving high school juniors and seniors. It allows scholars to engage in hands-on research alongside university faculty, providing a preview of college-level academic and research activities.

Scholars work directly on research projects, gaining experience conducting research from start to finish. The program offers projects across various disciplines, allowing students to explore their interests. Through this immersive research experience, scholars enhance their understanding of scientific processes and academic writing, essential skills for future studies and careers.

The program also focuses on the personal development of its participants, incorporating social activities and seminars to build a supportive community among the scholars. These activities aim to improve communication skills and ease the transition to college life, offering a well-rounded educational experience.

Through its focus on research and personal growth, the Clark Scholars Program offers a valuable opportunity for students interested in advancing their education in science and engineering.

3. AEOP Internships

  • Location: Various U.S. Army Research Laboratories and Centers
  • Cost: Paid (Educational stipend)
  • Internship Dates: Dates vary, the summer program
  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility: Current high school students who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.

As one of the best computer science internships for high school students, AEOP Internships grant students firsthand experience with cutting-edge research and technologies. Working in labs alongside professionals, students use sophisticated equipment and learn about the day-to-day realities of STEM careers. This practical exposure demystifies the research environment, showcasing it as an attainable and exciting career choice. It also introduces students to the culture and pace of professional research settings, offering a comprehensive view of STEM professions.

Mentorship forms a core part of the AEOP program, with interns receiving guidance from experienced engineers and scientists. This mentorship extends beyond project advice to include career guidance and industry insights. Interns gain knowledge about various research methodologies, the importance of perseverance, and the impact of their projects, enhancing their skills and understanding of STEM fields.

AEOP interns contribute to projects addressing the nation’s most pressing challenges, leaving the program with a sense of accomplishment and recognition for their work. The educational stipend provided to interns acknowledges their contributions and hard work, further highlighting the value of their participation in the program.

Technology in the hands of a man in suit.

4. Ladder Internships

  • Location: Various companies
  • Cost: Financial aid available for eligible students
  • Internship Dates: 8 weeks (Summer and Spring cohorts)
  • Application Deadline: February 18 (Early Admission for Summer cohort), April 14 (Regular Admission 1 for Summer cohort)
  • Eligibility: Self-motivated students with great communication skills and a growth mindset.

Ladder Internships connect students with startups and NGOs, aiming to match talented interns with innovative companies. This initiative allows students to work on meaningful projects, offering a glimpse into the entrepreneurial world and fostering innovation and creativity.

Ladder Internships emphasize personal growth, problem-solving, and professional development within innovative environments. The program is designed to push students beyond their comfort zones, encouraging creativity and a proactive approach to startup-setting challenges.

Ladder’s selective process identifies students with a blend of skill and enthusiasm for technology and entrepreneurship. Through preparation and training, interns are equipped to contribute effectively to their host companies, ensuring a mutually beneficial experience.

Ladder Internships provide financial aid to ensure all interested students can participate, regardless of their financial situation. This commitment to inclusivity ensures broad access to these enriching experiences, fostering a diverse and skilled future workforce in technology and entrepreneurship.

5. NASA Internships

  • Location: Various NASA locations
  • Cost: Unpaid
  • Internship Dates: Fall, spring, or summer
  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Eligibility: At least 16 years old, minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, U.S. citizen.

NASA internships, one of the best computer science internships for high school students, offer high school students a unique chance to be part of space exploration efforts. The selection process is rigorous, aiming to find students who are academically strong and passionate about space science. For those who make it through, it means working on projects that could shape the future of space travel and learning from some of the brightest minds in the field.

A strong recommendation letter is crucial to the application, highlighting the student’s abilities and potential. These internships are available in the fall, spring, and summer but only at certain NASA locations. This exclusivity makes each spot highly sought after.

Interns at NASA get to tackle real scientific challenges, applying classroom knowledge in a professional setting and gaining insights that only come from hands-on experience. This exposure to real-world problem-solving is invaluable, offering a glimpse into the daily work of space exploration and the opportunity to contribute to significant projects.

6. Meta Summer Academy

  • Location: Various locations within Meta facilities
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: June 17 – July 26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Sophomores in high school during the 2023-2024 academic school year, full-year residents of specific areas.

The Meta Summer Academy provides an immersive experience of the workings of a major social media company. Participants learn to code, explore tech careers, and develop soft skills over six weeks. The aim is to inspire students to pursue tech careers by providing a solid foundation in computer science and an understanding of the tech industry.

The program is open to students from specific areas, with no prior work experience required. A key part of the application is a recommendation from a teacher or community leader and a current transcript. The application deadline is strict, emphasizing the need for timely and complete submissions.

During the program, students spend 30 hours a week learning and working on projects that offer real insight into Meta’s operations. This hands-on experience is designed to motivate young people to explore technology and computer science careers, providing them with the skills and knowledge needed for future success.

A student with his teacher

7. Boston University’s RISE Internships

  • Location: Boston University
  • Cost: $5,350 (Tuition); additional fees apply
  • Internship Dates: June 30 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 14, 2024
  • Eligibility: Domestic students in junior high school, U.S. citizens, or legal permanent residents.

Boston University’s RISE program offers high school juniors a unique chance to engage in advanced laboratory research. Over six weeks, participants work under the guidance of top scientists to enhance their STEM knowledge, preparing them for future careers in science and engineering.

The program splits into two tracks: Internship and Practicum, each designed to cater to research interests. The Internship track allows direct involvement in research projects, while the Practicum track focuses on collaborative projects and learning. Both residential and commuter options make the program flexible for all students.

Admission to RISE is competitive, focusing on academic achievements, course rigor, and essays, among other criteria. Open to students moving into their senior year who are either US citizens or permanent residents, the program encourages a diverse group of participants.

The cost of RISE includes a $50 application fee and $5,350 in tuition, with additional service fees. Room and board options further support students’ needs. Financial aid is available on a need basis, ensuring the program is accessible to a broad range of interested students.

8. MITRE’s Nationwide High School Student Program

  • Location: McLean, VA
  • Cost: Paid
  • Internship Dates: 8 weeks, Summer 2024
  • Application Deadline: Open for Summer 2024
  • Eligibility: Freshmen through seniors in high school during the 2023-24 academic year, minimum 14 years old before June 2024.

As one of the best computer science internships for high school students, MITRE’s program invites high school students to explore STEM fields through practical projects. With guidance from experts, students tackle global challenges, applying classroom knowledge in real situations to develop their STEM skills.

Participants join a collaborative community, working on significant projects that enhance their technical and problem-solving skills. This mentor-led environment offers insights into STEM research and development complexities, preparing students for further education and careers in these fields.

MITRE’s eight-week program provides a practical introduction to STEM disciplines, combining hands-on projects with expert mentorship. This invaluable experience lays a solid foundation for students’ future academic and career paths in STEM, blending theory with practical application.

9. Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)

  • Location: UCLA
  • Cost: $2,736 (Program fee)
  • Internship Dates: June 24 – July 12, 2024
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: 9th-12th grade in Spring 2024, at least 15 years old by June 24, 2024.

CSSI at UCLA offers a targeted program for high school seniors eager to deepen their understanding of computer science. This initiative bridges high school and college-level studies, combining academic rigor with practical experiences. To qualify, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and are required to submit transcripts, a personal statement, and responses to specific essay questions. These requirements ensure that selected students are genuinely interested in pursuing computer science.

CSSI’s curriculum includes a 4-unit course, Computer Science 30, akin to college-level studies. It demands full engagement and active student participation, promoting a collaborative and immersive learning environment. Strict attendance is enforced to maintain the integrity of the program.

Financial aid is available through UCLA’s Summer Scholars Support for eligible students in California. Parking permits for commuting students are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

10. SparkSIP Summer Internship Program

  • Location: Various
  • Cost: $25 application fee, waivers available
  • Internship Dates: Dates not specified, mentorship program
  • Application Deadline: March-April 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students in grades 9-12 in the USA, citizens or permanent residents.

SparkSIP will shift to a mentorship model in 2024, focusing on students with strong academic performance and an active approach to learning. This program uniquely pairs students with industry mentors, providing an immersive learning experience in the tech field. Candidates must complete an application form and submit essays, a resume, and academic transcripts. The application process emphasizes the need for authenticity in responses.

Through mentorship, students gain insights into their areas of interest, backed by personalized guidance and exposure to real-world projects. This approach enhances technical skills and fosters personal growth and active engagement in learning.

a male student sitting at a computer chair and looking at the camera

11. National Institute of Standards and Technology Internships

  • Location: Boulder, CO, and Gaithersburg, MD
  • Cost: Unpaid
  • Internship Dates: Second or third week of June to the second week of August
  • Application Deadline: Mid-February (varies by year)
  • Eligibility: Juniors or seniors in high school, U.S. citizens, minimum GPA of 3.0.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), one of the best computer science internships for high school students, provides an exceptional program for high school juniors and seniors interested in exploring scientific research. The Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP) allows students to spend eight weeks at the NIST campuses in Boulder, Colorado, or Gaithersburg, Maryland. Though this is an unpaid opportunity, it offers invaluable experience in a leading research environment.

The program is designed for students keen on participating in scientific research and able to commit to the full duration of the internship. The application requires submissions of a resume, transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Participants can undertake individual research projects guided by some of NIST’s finest scientists and engineers. This allows for the practical application of classroom theory and introduces students to the forefront of scientific discovery and exploration of future career opportunities in science and technology.

12. TARGET by Fermilab

  • Location: Illinois
  • Cost: $17.20 per hour
  • Internship Dates: June 17 – July 26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 5, 2024
  • Eligibility: 2022-2023 high school sophomores and juniors, Illinois residents, 3.0 GPA or above.

TARGET by Fermilab is a six-week summer internship designed for Illinois high school sophomores and juniors passionate about STEM fields such as physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. The program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM by offering a combination of practical work and learning experiences.

TARGET focuses on engaging students directly in Fermilab’s pioneering research environment to inspire further study and careers in STEM disciplines.

The application requires an online form, questionnaire, unofficial transcript, and two recommendation letters—one from a science teacher and another from a math teacher. These steps ensure the selection committee can identify academically prepared students and genuinely interested in STEM.

Interns at Fermilab take part in real projects, offering them a rare glimpse into how theoretical knowledge is applied in a professional research setting. This practical experience is foundational, helping to shape personal and academic development and laying the groundwork for future endeavors in STEM.

13. Sandia National Laboratories Institute Programs

  • Location: New Mexico and California
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: Year-round and summer
  • Application Deadline: At least three months before the desired start date
  • Eligibility: Varies by institute, generally undergraduate and graduate levels.

Sandia National Laboratories provides internships that directly contribute to important national objectives. These opportunities span New Mexico and California locations, covering areas crucial to Sandia’s goals, such as cybersecurity, predictive simulation, and software engineering. The internships combine education with hands-on work, challenging interns and broadening their skills.

Interns engage in cutting-edge projects, from developing system designs and simulation models to conducting advanced technological experiments. These experiences are enhanced by seminars and workshops, offering a comprehensive understanding of Sandia’s objectives and the significance of the interns’ work.

Additionally, networking events and social activities help build a community among interns, promoting connections with professionals and peers. This supportive environment encourages collaboration and insight into future career possibilities.

Targeted at both undergraduate and graduate students, these programs are available year-round, with summer and co-op options. The application process seeks to identify candidates who possess the necessary technical skills and are committed to contributing to Sandia’s mission.

14. Syracuse University Engineering and Computer Science Research Internship

  • Location: Syracuse University
  • Cost: Generous stipend for successful completion
  • Internship Dates: 6 weeks, Summer
  • Application Deadline: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Rising 12th-grade high school students in the greater Syracuse area.

The ECS Research Internship at Syracuse University is a six-week program for rising 12th graders, designed to immerse them in engineering and computer science research. Aimed at high school students in the Syracuse area, this computer science internship encourages the exploration of STEM fields through direct involvement in university-level research.

Under the guidance of Syracuse’s faculty and students, interns gain valuable insights into the research process and its application in engineering and computer science. Using the university’s advanced research facilities, students experience the rigors of scientific investigation firsthand.

The program also prepares students for college life and STEM careers through various activities, culminating in a research poster symposium. Here, interns can present their work and refine their communication skills. Completing the internship rewards students with a stipend, underscoring Syracuse University’s effort to nurture young STEM talent. From safety training to data analysis and presentation, the program lays a solid groundwork for a career in science and engineering.

a student coding using 3 laptops

What Skills are Required for a Computer Science Internship?

Joining computer science internships for high school students is a vital step toward a future career in technology. These internships offer practical application of classroom teachings, providing insights into tech industry operations and challenges.

Understanding the skills required is critical for students aiming for engineering internships. This preparation equips you for the tasks ahead and strengthens your application, making you a more competitive candidate. The following are essential skills needed for computer science internships:

Technical Skills

  • Programming Languages: Knowing programming languages like Python, Java, or C++ is crucial. These form the foundation of software development and problem-solving in the tech field.
  • Data Structures and Algorithms: A solid understanding of data structures and algorithms is vital for data management and problem-solving. These are central to coding and optimizing software.
  • Software Development Processes: Familiarity with the stages of software development and tools such as Agile methodologies and Git is valuable. These skills show you can contribute to projects and work effectively in teams.

Soft Skills

  • Problem-Solving: Creatively and effectively addressing real-world problems is key. Participating in coding contests or hackathons can enhance this skill.
  • Teamwork: Effective teamwork is crucial in tech. It involves good communication, understanding team dynamics, and being receptive to feedback.
  • Communication: The ability to explain complex technical concepts clearly and document your work is highly valued. Effective communication aids in collaboration and presenting projects.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility is necessary in tech, as interns need to be ready to learn new technologies and adjust to changes in project requirements.

Additional Considerations

  • Passion for Technology: Genuine technological interest encourages further learning and exploration. This is crucial for engaging in personal projects and joining tech communities.
  • Curiosity and Eagerness to Learn: Internships offer a chance to learn. Showing enthusiasm to learn, asking questions, and seeking new challenges can make your experience more rewarding.
  • Professionalism: Behaviors like punctuality, meeting deadlines, and showing initiative contribute to a successful internship experience.

How to Maximize Your Internship Experience

Maximizing your computer science internship involves active learning, networking, and self-reflection. Here’s how high school students can fully utilize such opportunities:

1. Deepen Your Learning

Your internship is an opportunity to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Rather than simply completing tasks, strive to understand the underlying principles and processes. Inquire about the reasoning and methods behind your assignments. Gaining a comprehensive understanding will enrich your educational experience.

2. Build Your Network

Internships provide unique opportunities to connect with professionals. Take advantage of these moments to gain insights into the industry and discover various career paths. Establishing connections can lead to mentorship, future recommendations, and job opportunities.

3. Show Initiative and Accept Challenges

Demonstrate your enthusiasm by seeking out new responsibilities and volunteering for complex projects. This proactive approach signals your supervisors your readiness for more challenging work, helping you advance your skill set and stand out.

4. Document Your Experience

Maintain a detailed account of what you learn, your challenges, and your achievements. Whether through a journal, blog, or portfolio, this documentation is a reflective tool and a valuable asset for future endeavors.

5. Engage in Feedback and Reflection

Actively seek feedback from supervisors and colleagues to identify your strengths and areas needing improvement. Reflect on your progress, assess your contributions, and set personal development goals. This introspective practice enhances self-awareness and guides your future growth.

By engaging deeply with computer science internships for high school students, you make the most of your current experience and lay a strong foundation for your future career in this dynamic field.

students looking at the laptop about the social life at Columbia

Managing the Application Process

Securing a computer science internship while still in high school is a stellar way to launch into the tech world. Given the competitive landscape, adopting a strategic approach to your application process is vital to distinguish yourself.

Understanding the Landscape

Computer science internships for high schoolers provide invaluable experience in tackling real-world technology problems, often covering areas from software development to data analysis. The demand for these positions is sky-high due to the rapidly evolving tech industry. Kick off your journey by identifying potential opportunities early, understanding the desired qualifications, and customizing your application to match these needs.

Tailoring Your Resume

Your resume is more than a document; it’s a testament to your potential. Make it resonate by:

  • Highlighting Relevant Projects: Detail any coding projects, hackathons, or competitions where you’ve showcased your problem-solving and programming prowess. Elaborate on your contributions, the obstacles you navigated, the solutions you engineered, and the results.
  • Showcasing Technical Skills: Enumerate specific skills pertinent to computer science, such as programming languages (Python, Java, C++), software tools (GitHub, Docker), and systems you’re proficient in. Don’t forget to mention any relevant frameworks or libraries you’re comfortable using.
  • Including Extracurricular Activities: Feature your participation in computer science clubs, coding boot camps, or tech meetups to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the field and ability to collaborate on technology-driven projects.
  • Emphasizing Soft Skills: Highlight experiences that underscore your communication skills, adaptability, and innovative thinking.

Crafting a Compelling Cover Letter

Your cover letter bridges your resume to the internship opportunity:

  • Personalize Your Introduction: Directly address the hiring manager and start with a captivating hook.
  • Connect Your Experiences: Draw from your resume to illustrate how you’re equipped to handle the internship’s specific challenges.
  • Express Your Passion: Articulate your fascination with computer science, touching on how you envision contributing to and growing within the field.
  • Conclude with a Call to Action: Wrap up by expressing your eagerness for the role and suggesting an interview to discuss further.

Preparing for the Interview

Advance to the interview phase confidently by:

  • Researching the Company: Familiarize yourself with the company’s tech stack, projects, and culture to show genuine interest.
  • Reviewing Common Interview Questions: Formulate articulate responses to frequently asked questions, particularly those focusing on technical challenges and problem-solving approaches.
  • Preparing Questions for the Employer: Demonstrating curiosity about specific technologies, projects, or the company’s development practices indicates your proactive engagement.
  • Practicing Technical Skills: Be prepared to discuss your coding projects, including your thought process and the technologies used.

Young woman talking to an interviewer.

Successfully applying for computer science internships as a high school student is about demonstrating your unique blend of technical prowess, project experience, and passion for technology. Each application is a step toward your future in tech. Approach it as both a learning experience and an opportunity to showcase your capabilities, continually refining your approach as you progress toward your career aspirations.


Computer science internships offer high school students an extraordinary opportunity to apply classroom theories to real-world scenarios, fostering personal and professional growth. By selecting the right internship, diligently preparing for the application process, and actively engaging in the experience, students can lay a solid foundation for a successful career in computer science.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – start your journey today by exploring these internships and taking the leap into the world of technology.


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