16 Psychology Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

social science

16 Psychology Internships for High School Students

With a growing fascination for the complexities of the human mind, psychology is gaining popularity among high school students. This surge in interest highlights the relevance and significance of practical experiences in the field. Psychology internships for high school students serve as a crucial link, offering students practical exposure beyond traditional classroom learning and providing a firsthand look into the dynamic world of psychology.

Top Psychology Internships for High School Students

Exploring the field of psychology, high school students are keen to have meaningful experiences beyond classroom teachings. The list below introduces the top psychology internships for high school students, provides valuable insights into the workings of the human mind, and offers hands-on exposure.

Internship for college students

1. Child Mind Institute Youth Mental Health Academy

  • Location: Varies (Depends on the internship)
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June 24 – July 26, 2024 (1st Summer); Aug 2024 – May 2025 (Academic Year); June – July 2025 (Summer Internship)
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Applicant must be a rising high school junior or senior and currently enrolled in a public or private high school in California. The applicant must also belong to a structurally marginalized community, possess a strong interest in mental health, and maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

The Child Mind Institute Youth Mental Health Academy (YMHA) offers a unique and comprehensive program emphasizing mental health and research. During the 5-week summer initiative, participants engage in a paid project-based learning experience (with up to a $2,000 stipend), focusing on mental health literacy and concluding with a capstone group presentation.

Throughout the school year, students benefit from mentorship, monthly workshops, and guidance in mental health education, internship preparation, and college readiness. In the second summer, the program offers a paid internship, allowing participants to apply acquired skills, work remotely or in person, and build valuable career connections.

2. UT Southwestern Medical Center Inspiring Careers in Mental Health Internship

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June 2024 (2 weeks)
  • Application Deadline: February 2024 (Already closed)
  • Eligibility: The internship welcomes participants who are rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, as well as those entering their first year of college. Participants must also be legal residents of the U.S.

The UT Southwestern Medical Center Inspiring Careers in Mental Health Internship, hosted by the University of Texas Southwestern Department of Psychiatry, stands out for its unique approach to exposing high school students to diverse careers in mental health. This two-week virtual program offers interactive sessions led by mental health clinician-scientists, ranging from licensed clinical social workers to neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. 

Participants gain insights into diverse mental health careers through readings and leaders’ demonstrations, fostering enduring mentoring relationships beyond the internship. Moreover, the program enhances exploring careers in psychotherapy, neuropsychological testing, neuroscience, interventional psychiatry, and community-focused psychiatry.

3. SHTEM Summer Internships at Stanford University

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $50 (Application fee)
  • Program Dates: June 17, 2024 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be either a high school junior or senior during the 2023-2024 school year (11th or 12th grade at the time of application) or a full-time community college student within the first three years of enrollment. High school applicants should be at least 14 by June 17, while full-time community college students must be between 17-21 (inclusive) by the start date.

Stanford University’s SHTEM program, one of the most sought-after psychology internships for high school students. SHTEM offers its annual summer internship for the Summer of 2024 in a fully virtual format for eight weeks. This opportunity invites passionate high school and early community college students to engage in exciting research projects that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. 

a highschool student on an online class

The internship aims to provide early exposure to a diverse range of research themes, including the science of information, engineering, the arts, linguistics, psychology, biology, neuroscience, computer science, technology, philosophy, and design. Students will be grouped into various projects that align with their interests and strengths and are mentored by students, faculty, and staff of the Stanford Compression Forum and its affiliated organizations.

4. Internships at the American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: Varies (Depends on the internship)
  • Application Deadline: Varies (Depends on the internship)
  • Eligibility: Internships are open for high school students. Interns must be eligible to work in the U.S., verified through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s e-verify service. They must reside in a state where APA is registered as an employer. Details may differ depending on the specific internship.

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides prestigious remote internships across various psychology fields, offering two distinct positions: paid and academic credit (unpaid). The program is designed for passionate students eager to apply psychological knowledge and fosters skill development, non-traditional career exploration, and valuable networking.

Interns engage in hands-on activities within their respective offices, reporting directly to supervisors for daily tasks and overall learning objectives. The program includes educational presentations by APA senior staff, complimentary APA student affiliate membership, free access to resources, and networking opportunities with senior psychologists, enriching interns’ professional growth and understanding of psychology’s diverse applications.

5. Barrow Neurological Institute Summer High School Internship Program

  • Location: Barrow Neurological Institute
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: July 1, 2024 – August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 16 years old at the beginning of the internship and enrolled as full-time high school students during the internship period.

Barrow Neurological Institute’s Department of Translational Neuroscience has allowed high school students to do scientific research in a professional setting for over two decades. This program provides students with hands-on lab work utilizing cutting-edge technology.  In addition, they now welcome submissions for research support roles in Marketing, Neuroscience Publications, and Barrow Neurological Foundation. 

Barrow Neurological Institute is dedicated to providing excellent mentorship under Barrow specialists, equipping students with the essential tools for success in their career journeys.Qualifying students may be eligible for scholarships, enhancing their opportunities for educational advancement.

6. Johns Hopkins Internship in Brain Sciences (JHIBS)

  • Location: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine campus/Online
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates:  June 2024 – August 2024 (In-person program);  July 2024 – August 2024 (Virtual program)
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Current rising high school juniors or seniors by June 2024 with a strong academic record in STEM courses are welcome to apply. The in-person program is available to students residing in the Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area, enrolled full-time in a Baltimore City Public or Independent School. Meanwhile, the virtual program is open to students nationwide who are enrolled full-time.

Psychology internships for high school students interested in behavioral health-related sciences include the Johns Hopkins Internship in Brain Sciences (JHIBS). This eight-week summer research internship aims to expand the pool of qualified, underrepresented candidates from Baltimore pursuing careers in neuroscience and mental health medicine.

JHIBS offers in-person and virtual options for students. Participants engage in activities, including professional development workshops, college prep classes, mentorship training, and networking activities. In-person interns collaborate with experts on research projects and receive an hourly wage and transportation funds. Meanwhile, virtual interns are awarded a $500 scholarship for educational support after the 5-week program.

scholarship for students

7. National Institutes of Health High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

  • Location: Varies
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June-August 2024 (Lasts for 6-8 weeks during the summer)
    Application Deadline: February 16, 2024 (Already closed)
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at least 17 years old by June 15, 2024. Additionally, they need to be enrolled as juniors or seniors in high school at the time of application. U.S. citizens are eligible if enrolled at least half-time, and permanent residents are required to be enrolled in a U.S. high school.

The National Institutes of Health High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) provides a unique opportunity for students to spend a summer immersed in biomedical research at the NIH, working alongside leading scientists in various fields. With a focus on biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences, interns explore basic, translational, and clinical research across various disciplines.

Students interested in biology, engineering, psychology, mathematics, or other health-related fields are welcome to apply. Internships, lasting a minimum of eight weeks, commence in May or June, featuring additional activities such as lectures by distinguished NIH investigators, career development workshops, and Summer Poster Day, organized by the NIH Institutes and the Office of Intramural Training & Education.

8. Harvard University High School Summer Program in Psychology and Neuroscience

  • Location: Varies (On-campus/Online)
  • Cost: $75 (Application fee); Program fee costs approximately $4,000 to $14,000, depending on the residential or commuter status of the participant (Scholarships available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents or those granted with DACA status.)
  • Program Dates: June 22 – August 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 10, 2024 (Early application); February 14, 2024 (Regular and International student application)
  • Eligibility: Applicants must graduate from high school and enroll in college by 2024, 2025, or 2026. Additionally, they must be at least 16 years old by June 22, 2024, and not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2024.

Participants explore the intricacies of psychology and neuroscience in the Harvard University High School Summer Program. During the 7-week program, participants learn about the anatomy and function of the brain, human behavior, and intersections of psychology, logic, and law. Students have the opportunity to study courses like Neurobiology, The Psychology of Close Relationships, and Power and Privilege in the Criminal Justice System.

Whether participating in the 7-Week Residential program or SSP Online, students can earn up to 8 credit hours, with a flexible format catering to various learning preferences. Courses are taught by Harvard faculty and visiting professors, providing an immersive and transformative educational experience. Participants also have the option to request an official transcript upon completion.

9. Psychological Science & Society at the University of Southern California

  • Location: University of Southern California
  • Cost: $65 (Non-refundable application fee); Over $7,000 to $10,000 depending on the residential or commuter status of participant (International participants may incur additional fees)
  • Program Dates: June 16, 2024 – July 13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 3, 2024 (Domestic students); March 29, 2024 (International students)
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have completed at least the 9th grade by June 17, 2024, and should be enrolled in a rigorous high school curriculum. The program welcomes both domestic and international students; however, international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.

The University of Southern California‘s Psychological Science and Society course is an exciting opportunity for high school students interested in pursuing psychology internships. Throughout the course, students engage in independent research projects and daily class activities, including meditation exercises and psychological tests, which provide them with hands-on experience in the concepts learned. 

The course covers foundational topics such as the history of psychology and research methods, as well as intriguing subjects like mindsets, leadership, narcotics, social media’s impact on mental health, and the intersection of games and therapy. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of different career paths within psychology, empowering them to contribute meaningfully to scientific advancements and societal well-being.

10. The Science of Psychology Pre-College Program at Columbia University

  • Location: Columbia University/Online
  • Cost: Ranges from approximately $7,000 to $13,000, but limited financial aid is available (Cost varies for residential, commuter, or online participants)
  • Program Dates: The program runs from June to August 2024 (Varies for residential, commuter, or online participants)
  • Application Deadline: March 4, 2024 (Residential Summer applicants); April 1, 2024 (Commuter Summer applicants and Online Summer applicants)
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be entering grades 9 through 12 or their freshman year of college in the fall, and they should be currently enrolled in school at the time of application. For the Residential Summer program, applicants must be 16 years of age or older at the program’s start.

The Science of Psychology Pre-College Program at Columbia University offers an immersive experience in psychological research, leveraging Columbia’s renowned reputation in academia. This course introduces students to fundamental concepts and theories of psychology, examining the science of the mind and behavior.

Columbia University campus

Topics covered include the biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, sensation and perception, cognitive development, language acquisition, personality, and social influences on behavior. Upon successful completion, students gain valuable insights and receive a Columbia University Certification of Participation and personalized evaluations from their instructors, enhancing their distinction in the college application process.

11. Summer@Brown

  • Location: Brown University Campus/Online
  • Cost:  Ranges from approximately $3,000 to $10,000, but limited financial aid is available (Cost varies for residential, commuter, or online format)
  • Program Dates: The program runs from June 23 to July 26, 2024 (Includes one to four-week on-campus, two to six-week online, and 5-week hybrid sessions)
  • Application Deadline: May 10, 2024
  • Eligibility: The program is open to students in grades 9 to 12 and must be aged 14 to 18 by June 16, 2024.

Summer@Brown offers high school students a unique opportunity to explore the challenges and opportunities of the college experience. With over 300 course offerings, spanning from environmental studies and medicine to psychology, mathematics, creative writing, and history, Brown Pre-College Programs cater to diverse interests.

Participants engage in workshops, activities, and events with a community of peers from various locations and backgrounds. Beyond academics, Summer@Brown fosters personal growth, independence, and responsibility, preparing students for life in college and beyond. Completion of courses is acknowledged with a Certificate of Completion, and those finishing a 2-week or longer course receive a Course Performance Report highlighting their achievements.

12. Introduction to Psychology: The Frontiers of Psychological Inquiry at Cornell University

  • Location: Online
  • Cost:  $5,250 (Tuition fee only; additional fees may apply)
  • Program Dates: June 24 – August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: June 10, 2024
  • Eligibility: The program is open to high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors.

One of the virtual psychology internships for high school students is Cornell University’s Introduction to Psychology: The Frontiers of Psychological Inquiry. It is a 6-week Summer session covering psychology’s history, major advancements, and cutting-edge research on diverse topics like perception, memory, intelligence, morality, sexuality, mental illness, religion, language, and creativity. 

Participants learn about the tools and methods psychologists employ, from observing developmental changes in children to measuring brain activity. The course combines well-designed content with live interactions and required components, providing Cornell University credits upon successful completion. Participants can also order their transcripts approximately ten days after the course concludes.

13. Psychology Institute at Wake Forest University

  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus
  • Cost: $3,000 (Limited need-based scholarships are available)
  • Program Dates: June 9 – 14, 2024 (Week 1) and June 16 – 21, 2024 (Week 2)
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis (Application opens on November 1st)
  • Eligibility: Students currently in grades 9 through 12 who maintain good academic standing and have no school suspensions are eligible to apply. International students are encouraged to submit their applications.

The Wake Forest Summer Immersion Psychology Institute offers an unforgettable experience for high school students. Participants explore the study of the mind and behavior and engage in hands-on experiences, including guided sheep brain dissection, brain training, and neuroplasticity exercises. The program covers topics such as the influence of emotions on daily life, the disordered brain, sensation and perception, the magic of neuroscience, and the psychology of addiction.

Through conducting their own observational studies, students gain a deeper understanding of how illusions, emotions, and biases shape our perceptions and interactions with the world. Upon completion of the program, all Psychology Institute participants receive an official Wake Forest University Certificate of Completion.

14. Camp Psych at Gettysburg College

  • Location: Gettysburg College
  • Cost:  $1,395 (Limited full-tuition waivers available)
  • Program Dates: July 14-19, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Eligibility: Participants must be rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with occasional consideration for recently graduated seniors in exceptional cases.

Camp Psych is a one-week residential program at Gettysburg College campus, aiming to provide an insider’s perspective on the field of psychology. Led by experienced psychology professors and supported by resident advisors, including current and former psychology majors, Camp Psych emphasizes small group interactions to ensure personalized attention and close engagement.

Campers not only gain knowledge about major psychological questions but also enhance critical thinking and analytical skills, preparing them for future college studies. The limited number of admitted campers ensures a close-knit community and facilitates meaningful interactions with dedicated faculty, making Camp Psych an enriching and insightful experience for students interested in psychology.

15. Bethel College Summer Science Institute

  • Location: Varies (Bethel College/Online)
  • Cost:  $50 (Registration fee for in-person program); $20 (Registration fee for online program)
  • Program Dates: June 23 – June 28, 2024 (In-person); July 7 – 12, 2024 (Online)
  • Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students in grades 10-12 are eligible to participate, and 2024 high school graduates are also welcome to apply, subject to space availability.

The Bethel College Summer Science Institute (BCSSI) provides a unique 1-week research experience for high school students, offering both in-person and online options in 2024. The institute allows participants to conduct research investigations across various science and mathematics fields, discussing topics beyond typical high school coursework. Students focus on hands-on research methods, including data collection, hypothesis testing, and using statistical software.

In the in-person program, students explore two research areas of their choice, participate in joint sessions, and stay on the college campus. Meanwhile, in the online program, students select one of three research groups available. Successful completion of research requirements earns in-person participants a certificate of completion and college credit, while online participants are provided with certificates of completion.

16. National Student Leadership Conference on Psychology and Neuroscience

  • Location: Varies (The program runs on multiple locations)
  • Cost:  $3,995 (Scholarships are available)
  • Program Dates: Varies (The 9-day program conducts multiple sessions from June to August 2024)
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Eligibility: Students in grades 6-12 who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership are welcome to apply. Middle school program participants must be at least 11 years old and currently enrolled in grades 6-8. High school program applicants should be between 14 and 18 years old and have completed at least one year of high school. Attendance at NSLC is allowed through the summer following high school graduation.

The National Student Leadership Conference on Psychology and Neuroscience stands out for its renowned leadership programs and engaging experiences in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. At NLSC, participants get hands-on experience through experiential simulations like Clinical Diagnosis, Anatomy Workshops, Psychology Workshops, Scans & Imaging, helping students develop essential skills and knowledge for a future career in psychology. 

Unidentified person talking to someone.

Interactions with guest speakers from diverse backgrounds bring practical knowledge and real-world experiences to the program. NSLC also offers field trips that provide a behind-the-scenes look at the psychology industry, and facilitates an educational and sightseeing tours in the city surrounding the university. Furthermore, the program offers a leadership curriculum covering personality styles, communication, resilience, and empathy, establishing the foundation for success in various pursuits.

What Are the Goals of Internships in Psychology?

What are the goals of internships in psychology? Taking part in psychology internships while still in high school means more than just having some fun extracurriculars after class. These internships are meticulously designed to cater to the specific needs and aspirations of high school students.

Educational Objectives

At the core of psychology internships for high school students is the aspiration to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world application. By immersing themselves in hands-on experiences, students gain a profound understanding of psychology beyond the classroom. 

These internships provide a sneak peek into various psychology careers, helping students make informed decisions about their academic and professional pursuits.

Skill Development

Beyond the theoretical realm, psychology internships focus on honing a spectrum of skills crucial for personal and professional growth. High school students are exposed to hard skills, including research methods and data analysis, empowering them with practical competencies beyond textbooks. 

Simultaneously, emphasizing soft skills, such as effective communication, empathy, and teamwork, ensures a well-rounded development that is invaluable in any future career path.

Two young students communicate on the street, near the university

Professional Networking

One of the standout features of psychology internships is the opportunity to build connections with seasoned professionals in the field. This aspect is particularly significant for high school students, as these early connections can pave the way for mentorship and guidance.

Networking with professionals offers insights into the industry, fosters a deeper understanding of potential career trajectories, and opens doors to future opportunities.

Psychology internships for high school students are about more than just fulfilling academic requirements. Through these experiences, students gain exposure to the multifaceted world of psychology, acquire skills, and build networks that will serve as stepping stones for their academic and professional journeys.

Benefits of Internships for College Admissions

Securing a spot in your dream college requires more than good grades; it demands a well-rounded application reflecting your dedication and passion. By actively participating in real-world experiences, you set yourself apart in the fiercely competitive admissions process.

Now, let’s discuss some of the benefits of internships for college admissions.

A primary advantage of psychology internships for high school students lies in how they can contribute to your application. By immersing yourself in real-world experiences, you demonstrate an authentic commitment to the field, setting your application apart amidst a sea of candidates.

The hands-on experience acquired during internships is tangible evidence of your grasp of psychology, providing a distinctive edge in the competitive admissions process.

Moreover, the relationships cultivated during internships open doors to impactful recommendations. Supervisors, impressed by your dedication and performance, can offer robust endorsements that attest to your capabilities. These recommendations become a compelling tool in persuading admissions committees of your suitability for their academic community.

Beyond recommendations, the personal insights acquired during internships become valuable material for compelling college essays.  Sharing unique experiences, overcoming challenges, and personal growth foster a profound connection between your narrative and the admissions officers, enabling them to see the individual behind the application.

A student writing her essays

Psychology internships give you hands-on experience in applying what you’ve learned in class and are crucial for creating a standout college application. Remember that the skills, experiences, and connections forged will not only shape your understanding of psychology but will also help in crafting a compelling narrative that appeals to college admissions committees.

How To Find A Psychology Internship

Looking for psychology internships for high school students can be both exciting and challenging. Finding the right psychology internship requires a proactive and strategic approach to research. Here are some strategies to guide you on how to find a psychology internship:

1. University Websites

Begin by visiting the psychology department pages of the universities you are interested in. These pages often serve as information hubs, featuring dedicated internship sections, faculty contacts, and detailed information on application procedures.

2. Professional Psychology Organizations

Leverage the resources offered by organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA), as these entities frequently curate comprehensive lists of internship opportunities. Use these platforms to gain insights into the internship landscape, emerging trends, and potential opportunities.

3. Local Institutions and Clinics

Explore opportunities within your local community. Many psychology internships are offered by community mental health centers, clinics, and institutions. Check with nearby hospitals, counseling centers, or nonprofit organizations that may provide valuable hands-on experiences.

4. Career Services at Your High School

Tap into the resources offered by your high school’s career services department. They often have information on internship opportunities and application guidance and may even facilitate connections with alumni who have pursued psychology-related internships.

A female teacher guiding a female student

5. Online Job Platforms and Internship Databases

Browse online job platforms and internship databases. Websites like Indeed, Internships.com, and Idealist feature many internship opportunities. Narrow down your search by filtering for psychology-related positions, and make sure to check the application deadlines.

6. Volunteer Opportunities

Consider volunteering in organizations related to psychology. While not explicitly labeled as internships, volunteering can provide valuable insights, networking opportunities, and a chance to demonstrate your passion for the field. It might also lead to discovering hidden internship prospects.

7. Faculty Recommendations

Connect with your psychology teachers or other relevant faculty members who may have insights into internship opportunities. They can offer guidance, share experiences of past students, and provide recommendations based on your strengths and interests.

8. Networking

Establishing a robust network is a cornerstone of successful internship hunting. Actively engage with professors, peers, and alumni within the academic circle. Attend psychology-related events and conferences, and participate in online forums to expand your network and uncover hidden internship options.

The psychology internship landscape is vast and ever-evolving, so be open to exploring various avenues. Psychology internships for high school students are invaluable experiences that contribute to educational growth and career exploration and enhance college applications.

By actively seeking internships aligned with individual interests and career aspirations in psychology, students gain practical insights and set the foundation for success in college and beyond.



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