15 Chemistry Summer Programs for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

unknown individuals performing chemistry experiments

15 Chemistry Summer Programs for High School Students

If you’re a high school student with a passion for chemistry, summer programs specifically designed for you can offer an exciting chance to explore this field. These opportunities not only enhance your knowledge but also prepare you for future academic pursuits.

We’ll cover a range of top programs, their important details, and their benefits. Discover how these experiences can play a pivotal role in your success.

1. Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

  • Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Program Dates: Late June through early August
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school juniors, especially from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds
  • Cost: Free

MITES is a prestigious six-week, residential summer program. It aims to increase diversity by supporting underrepresented groups. This initiative offers an in-depth exposure to STEM education and careers, making it a unique chemistry summer program for high school students.

Little Boy Mixes Chemicals in Beakers.

Joining MITES means engaging in courses spanning math, life sciences, and physics, complemented by an elective that deepens your interest. You’ll benefit from hands-on workshops, insightful field trips, and activities designed to propel your academic and career aspirations in STEM.

2. Science for Youth Intensive Program (SYIP)

  • Location: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
  • Program Dates: July 9 to August 5, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2024 (domestic applicants); March 31, 2024 (international applicants)
  • Eligibility: Rising students entering grades 9-12; ideally in the top 10% of their class and have taken general or AP chemistry
  • Cost: $14,750; $75 application fee

SYIP stands out as a rigorous summer initiative aimed at high school students with interests in chemistry and related sciences. It uniquely combines online coaching with an on-campus internship, providing a deep dive into scientific processes, concept development, and method design. This program is particularly designed for those looking to advance in chemistry, biochemical chemistry, materials science, or similar fields.

By participating in SYIP, you will be matched with a faculty member for mentorship and engage in a four-week on-campus internship. This experience allows you to assist with data analysis and non-hazardous lab procedures, attend seminars, and gain insight into the operation of world-class laboratories.

3. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP)

  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, or Gaithersburg, Maryland campuses of NIST
  • Program Dates: Typically from June to August
  • Application Deadline: Typically mid-February
  • Eligibility: Juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Cost: Free

NIST SHIP offers a unique two-month opportunity for students to engage in cutting-edge research in fields like physics, chemistry, and engineering. This prestigious program is tailored for high school students, providing an immersive experience in the Material Measurements Laboratory, especially for those interested in chemistry.

At SHIP, you’ll work alongside NIST staff on projects in areas such as chemistry and biochemistry, gaining unparalleled research experience. It’s a chance to set yourself apart from your peers with hands-on experience in a world-renowned institution. If you’re looking for chemistry summer programs for high school students, SHIP offers an invaluable glimpse into a professional scientific environment.

4. Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP)

  • Location: George Mason University
  • Program Dates: June 18 to August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 11, 2024
  • Eligibility: Must be at least 15 years old by June 18, 2024; have completed STEM courses
  • Cost: Free; $25 application fee

ASSIP offers high schoolers an eight-week research opportunity with faculty mentors, focusing on hands-on experience and STEM career exploration. ASSIP’s history of impactful projects in chemistry, such as antibiotic development and VOC measurement, sets it apart among high school chemistry summer programs, providing a unique pathway into scientific research.

At ASSIP, you’ll dive into cutting-edge research, develop communication skills, and explore career options. ASSIP equips you with the tools and knowledge to pursue your passion for chemistry and make meaningful contributions to scientific advancement.

5. Scripps Summer High School Internship Program

  • Location: La Jolla, California
  • Program Dates: To be announced
  • Application Deadline: To be announced
  • Eligibility: At least 16; San Diego County resident and student; minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Cost: Free; $4,760 stipend provided

Scripps Research Summer High School Internship Program is renowned for its prestigious hands-on research experiences in cutting-edge laboratories. Under the mentorship of world-renowned faculty, students delve into chemical and biological sciences, fostering critical skills and knowledge. The program aims to inspire future STEM leaders, offering unique opportunities for independent research and symposium presentations.

Students conduct science experiments.

Why join? You’ll immerse yourself in full-time laboratory research, attend enriching seminars, and present findings at a symposium. You’ll also receive a stipend and housing, making the program accessible. The program will pave a way for a successful career in chemistry and biomedical research.

6. Simons Summer Research Program

  • Location: Stony Brook University
  • Program Dates: July 1 to August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 7, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school juniors; at least 16 years old
  • Cost: Free

The Simons Summer Research Program is a premier opportunity for high school students to immerse themselves in hands-on research in science, including chemistry. It’s designed to spark scientific curiosity and skills and allows students to work alongside distinguished faculty, learning advanced laboratory techniques as part of active research teams.

By joining this program, you will gain firsthand experience in the laboratory, mentored by experts. This immersive experience will deepen your understanding of chemistry, enhance your research skills, and provide a unique insight into scientific inquiry.

7. Santa Clara University Summer Engineering Seminar (SES)

  • Location: Santa Clara University
  • Program Dates: July 14 to 18 (Session One); July 21 to 25 (Session Two); July 28 to August 1, 2024 (Session Three)
  • Application Deadline: March 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors
  • Cost: Free

SES provides high school sophomores and juniors a unique glimpse into engineering disciplines, including a special focus on chemistry. This five-day program is celebrated for its comprehensive coverage of engineering fields and is led by experienced faculty, offering workshops in various engineering areas, including an immersive experience in chemical engineering.

By participating in SES, you’ll engage in hands-on chemistry projects, collaborate with faculty on research, and expand your knowledge in essential chemistry concepts. This chemistry summer program for high school students not only enhances your understanding of engineering but also prepares you for a potential career in this exciting field.

8. Project SEED

  • Location: Various sites across US
  • Program Dates: June 12 to August 4, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 8, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising juniors or seniors who have completed at least one chemistry course
  • Cost: Free; $3,200 to $4,000 stipend provided

Project SEED, an initiative by the American Chemical Society, offers high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to engage in paid summer research in chemistry. This unique program blends in-person and virtual research experiences, providing stipends and potential travel grants.

By participating in Project SEED, you’ll conduct real research under the guidance of mentors, gaining invaluable experience and professional connections. It’s an excellent stepping stone for future careers in chemistry or related fields.

9. Anson L. Clark Scholars Program

  • Location: Texas Tech University
  • Program Dates: June 16 to August 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors; at least 17 years old
  • Cost: Free; $750 stipend provided

Established in 1963, The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program offers a prestigious research opportunity for high school students to explore their full research potential. It emphasizes hands-on research experiences, mentorship, and access to advanced facilities. This program is known for fostering academic excellence and innovation across various fields, including an immersive experience in chemistry for those interested.

Chemist/Engineer holding a test tube inside a lab

As a participant, you’ll engage in a nine-week intensive research project, mentored by faculty in cutting-edge chemistry studies. This program allows you to develop practical skills, understand complex scientific concepts, and collaborate across disciplines. It’s a chance to dive deep into the world of scientific research.

10. Telluride Association Summer Seminar (TASS)

  • Location: Various university campuses
  • Program Dates: June 23 to August 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 3, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors
  • Cost: Free; scholarships provided

The Telluride Association Summer Seminar (TASS) is a renowned, selective program that immerses students in advanced studies across various subjects, including chemistry. Its unique approach combines multidisciplinary seminars and community service projects. It provides a comprehensive educational experience that goes beyond the traditional classroom setting, making it a standout among chemistry summer programs for high school students.

Joining TASS sharpens your analytical skills and fosters leadership and community involvement, preparing you for future academic and professional success. Participation in TASS is a significant step towards achieving excellence in your academic journey and beyond.

11. Illinois Tech Elevate College Prep

  • Location: Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech)
  • Program Dates: Typically June to July
  • Application Deadline: May 3, 2024
  • Eligibility: Middle and high school students aged 14 to 17
  • Cost: Free; scholarships provided

Illinois Tech Elevate College Prep offers high schoolers a comprehensive exploration of chemistry through hands-on research. Its Chemistry Scholars program, part of the Summer Scholar Program, delves into diverse areas like bioanalytical, computational, and environmental chemistry.

Participants engage in cross-cutting research projects, fostering skills in green energy, drug discovery, and more, making it a standout chemistry summer programs for high school students. You’ll work alongside faculty mentors on cutting-edge projects, preparing you for future STEM careers.

12. Boston Leadership Institute Chemistry Research

  • Location: Gann/Bentley campus in Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Program Dates: July 1 to July 19, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Must have enrolled in or completed advanced science and math courses in high school and have earned a minimum of B+
  • Cost: $1,500 to $2,999; scholarships provided

The Boston Leadership Institute Chemistry Research program offers an in-depth look into the world of chemistry through one-week introductory and three-week specialized sessions. These programs aim to provide students with a solid foundation in chemistry, focusing on research skills that are essential for competitive colleges and future science careers.

By joining this chemistry summer program for high school students, you’ll delve into topics like atomic structure, dimensional analysis, and formula writing. You’ll learn how to identify common sources of error in experiments and apply mathematical principles in chemistry. This experience will enhance your problem-solving skills and prepare you for advanced studies or careers in chemistry.

13. Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL)

  • Location: Various locations
  • Program Dates: Varies by location
  • Application Deadline: Typically around May 10
  • Eligibility: Rising 9th to 12th grade students
  • Cost: Around $3,500 to $6,500; scholarships provided

BELL combines environmental studies with leadership training, offering students a unique opportunity to understand ecological issues while developing leadership skills. Its focus on locations like Alaska allows students to explore diverse ecosystems, making it a distinctive choice among chemistry summer programs for high school students interested in environmental science.

A student holding a model of the earth

Participating in BELL, you’ll develop an environmental action plan, engage with communities, and learn about cultural and ecological history. This hands-on approach enhances your understanding of environmental chemistry and fosters leadership qualities, preparing you to address global environmental challenges effectively.

14. California Academy of Sciences Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program

  • Location: California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
  • Program Dates: Year-round
  • Application Deadline: April 5, 2024
  • Eligibility: Grade 9 or Grade 10 students at SFUSD schools
  • Cost: Free

The CiS Intern Program is a prestigious, multi-year initiative offering high school students from underrepresented backgrounds immersive science internships. With a focus on youth development, CiS aims to diversify STEM fields through hands-on learning, mentorship, and community engagement. It stands out for its comprehensive approach to science education and career development.

Joining CiS offers a unique opportunity to dive into various branches of science, including chemistry, through interactive workshops, field studies, and mentorship. You’ll not only deepen your understanding of scientific principles but also develop essential skills like communication, leadership, and collaboration.

15. Chemistry Research Academy at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
  • Program Dates: July 6 to July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Grade 10 to 11 students with a strong chemistry background
  • Cost: $9,700; $150 application fee; scholarships available

The Chemistry Research Academy at UPenn offers high schoolers immersive research experiences in chemical sciences. Guided by experts, students delve into molecular structures and reactions. They engage in lab work, research lectures, and independent projects.

At the academy, you’ll experience transformative learning bridging high school and college, setting a strong foundation for your academic and professional journey in chemistry. Don’t miss the opportunity to elevate your knowledge and skills with this prestigious program at UPenn.

How do I choose the right high school chemistry summer program?

When selecting a chemistry summer program, consider your interests, goals, and skill level. Research programs that offer hands-on laboratory experience, expert mentorship, and opportunities for research projects. Look for programs with reputable institutions or organizations, such as universities or scientific societies.

Additionally, ensure the program aligns with your schedule and budget. Evaluate the program’s curriculum, faculty qualifications, and student feedback to make an informed decision.

What are the benefits of chemistry summer programs for high school students?

Participating in a chemistry summer program for high school students can provide valuable insights into the field, enhance your academic skills, and expand your knowledge.

Look for programs that offer a comprehensive curriculum covering various chemistry topics, including organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry. Hands-on laboratory experiments, workshops, and seminars can deepen your understanding of chemical principles and techniques.

Additionally, interacting with peers who share your interests and learning from experienced instructors can inspire you to pursue further studies or careers in chemistry.

How can chemistry summer programs for high school students boost my college application?

Chemistry summer programs for high school students offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate your passion for science and academic dedication on your college application. By participating in these programs, you showcase your commitment to exploring your interests, gaining practical experience, and preparing for future academic pursuits.

Physics major student surrounded by physics-related items

Admissions committees value applicants who actively seek out opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills, making participation in chemistry summer programs a valuable addition to your college application.


Chemistry summer programs for high school students provide enriching educational experiences and serve as impressive additions to college applications.

By immersing yourself in hands-on laboratory work, gaining exposure to cutting-edge research, and collaborating with peers and mentors, you not only deepen your understanding of chemistry but also demonstrate your readiness for academic challenges ahead.


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