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18 Summer Internship Opportunities for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Diverse group of young people chatting in college library

18 Summer Internship Opportunities for High School Students

Securing a spot at your dream college isn’t just about good grades and test scores. It’s about showing you’re more than just numbers on a transcript. That’s where summer internships come in. These opportunities aren’t just about filling up your time during the break – they’re about building valuable skills, gaining real-world experience, and showing colleges you’re serious about your future.

So, if you’re a high school student aiming to stand out in the competitive world of college admissions, paying attention to summer internships is a smart move. Today, we’ll share 18 summer internship opportunities tailored for high school students, each offering a chance to shine and make your college application shine brighter.

Why Summer Internships Matter

Many top internship programs happen in summer because you have ample time for challenging work. Summer internships last weeks, giving you time to fully immerse yourself in tasks, travel, and bond with other interns. These programs attract experienced professionals, like those from NASA, who often volunteer to mentor. They understand the value of guiding the next generation of talent. 

Internships help develop practical skills valued in the workplace, complementing academic learning. They offer a hands-on approach to understanding industry practices and cultivating professional relationships. So, seizing opportunities like summer internships can significantly enhance your career prospects and personal growth.

When Should I Start Looking for Summer Internships?

You should begin searching for summer internships about 6 months to a year ahead of the summer you’re targeting. Most competitive summer opportunities have a tough application process and early deadlines, usually set towards the end of the previous year.

Here are 18 summer internships for high school students. We’ll provide details on eligibility, dates, deadlines, and the costs needed for participation. These internships are prestigious but only open to a select few students each year.

However, if you’re focused on building specific skills, consider more than just the institution or stipend. Factor in networking opportunities, skill development, and exposure when choosing summer internships.

Diverse group of students with young man in wheelchair

1. Spark’s Summer Internship Programs (Spark SIP)

  • Location: Subject to the specific internship program
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June to August 2024 (8 to 10 weeks)
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified 
  • Eligibility: Grades 9 through 12 

SPARK SIP is a great STEM internship program for high school students in the USA, especially in the Seattle area. It helps connect students with experts in science, engineering, and business, as well as professors and community leaders. This helps students grow as people and in their careers.

After a careful selection process, the best applicants are chosen for interviews with possible internship hosts. Internships can be different, and they usually last from 20 to 40 hours per week. Students may also get paid up to $500. Past projects have included things like creating a tool to find tick-borne infections and breast cancer, developing software, and making content for social media. These hands-on experiences are very valuable for high school students.

2. High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program (HiSTEP)

  • Location: NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: July 2 – August 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising 12th graders

HiSTEP is a summer internship program for high school students. The five-week program runs from July 2 to August 1, 2024, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. HiSTEP introduces students to various scientific disciplines and career paths in biomedical research and healthcare. The program also focuses on developing professional skills. To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, attend an eligible school, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and live within 40 miles of the NIH campus. Participants receive a stipend and transportation benefits.

3. Bank of America Student Leaders Program

  • Location: Washington, D.C. 
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: July 22 – 27, 2024​​​​ 
  • Application Deadline: January 17, 2024​​​​​​
  • Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors 

The Bank of America Student Leaders Program aims to empower students to create positive change in their communities through a summer internship and a national leadership summit. Applying to this program offers a distinctive summer opportunity.

During the eight-week paid internship, you’ll acquire practical skills in addressing community needs and develop a deeper understanding of the non-profit sector. Additionally, participating in the leadership summit will allow you to interact with peers from around the country, explore collaborations between government, business, and non-profits, and refine your leadership abilities through workshops and discussions.

students on a campus

4. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)

  • Location: Stanford University, California
  • Cost: Free, with a stipend provided
  • Program Dates: June 10 to August 1, 2024​​​​
  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2024​​​​
  • Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors

SIMR is a summer research program for high school students. It offers an immersive experience in biomedical research for eight weeks at Stanford University. Students work on various medical projects alongside top faculty and researchers, gaining hands-on experience and attending introductory lectures. 

The program prioritizes inclusivity and diversity, welcoming applicants from underrepresented groups and providing free participation plus a stipend. It concludes with a poster session, fostering a sense of achievement. SIMR not only teaches valuable research skills but also inspires students to pursue STEM education and careers, contributing to future leaders in science and medicine.

5. JAX Summer Student Program at the Jackson Laboratory

  • Location: Bar Harbor, Maine, and Farmington, Connecticut
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: June 1 – August 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 29, 2024
  • Eligibility: 12th grade to undergraduate students​​

The JAX Summer Student Program at The Jackson Laboratory offers you a comprehensive 10-week experience in genetics and genomics research, including a one-week orientation, eight weeks of lab work, and a final week of wrap-up activities

You receive a $6,500 stipend, round-trip travel, room and board, and are expected to focus solely on the program without engaging in other jobs or internships. This program is an excellent opportunity for you to immerse yourself in scientific research and contribute to the cutting-edge fields of genetics and genomics​​.

6. HOPP Summer Student Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

  • Location: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: 8-week program; specific dates not provided
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Not specified​​.
  • Acceptance Rate: 5% 

The Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) stands out among summer research programs for high school students, tailored for those interested in oncology and pathogenesis. It offers hands-on research experiences in one of the world’s leading cancer research and treatment centers. Participants conduct independent research projects with mentorship from MSKCC’s scientists. 

The program immerses students in cancer biology complexities, providing theoretical insights and practical approaches to cancer understanding and treatment. Over eight weeks, students learn lab techniques, gain research experience, and attend training sessions and tours to broaden their clinical oncology understanding. The program concludes with students presenting their research findings at a poster session, enhancing their scientific communication skills and contributing to the scientific community.

7. Summer Writer’s Workshop at Sarah Lawrence College

  • Location: Bronxville, NY
  • Cost: Not specified in the sources.
  • Program Dates: Virtual session from July 15 to July 19, 2024, and an on-campus session from August 5 to August 9, 2024.
  • Application Deadline: One week before each session
  • Eligibility: Students entering 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades, and at least 14 years old at the program’s start.

Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2024, this program is all about encouraging creativity, exploring different types of writing, and helping you love writing even more. Whether you join online or in person, students from different backgrounds can enjoy this rewarding experience.

Led by experienced writers and performers, the workshop offers writing and theater sessions. You’ll do lots of fun exercises and projects to improve your skills and express yourself creatively. Designed for 9th to 12th graders, the program welcomes students of different ages and abilities. You need to be at least 14 years old when the program starts, so everyone in the group is mature yet diverse.

students listening and talking to male teacher

8. Writing Institute at Washington University in St. Louis

  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Cost: Not specified.
  • Program Dates: The program runs in July (exact dates not specified)
  • Eligibility: Open to writers of all levels.

The Writing Institute at Washington University in St. Louis is a top-notch program for high school students interested in writing and literature. It offers a wide range of classes during the summer to suit different interests and skill levels. The program focuses on improving writing skills important for college and beyond.

Students can take core courses on storytelling and attend workshops on poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They get help from experienced teachers and hear from guest speakers in the literary world. This program boosts not just writing skills but also confidence and self-expression, making it a great opportunity for young writers.

9. Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)

  • Location: Varies 
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: Unspecified
  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2024 (for 2025 Summer Program)
  • Eligibility: High school students aged 16 and up

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) stands out as one of the premier STEM internships available to high school students. This program facilitates connections between high school students and Department of Navy (DoN) laboratories for an eight-week summer stint. Aimed at academically talented sophomores through seniors with a strong interest in STEM fields, SEAP provides participants with an immersive experience in Naval research and development, under the guidance of top scientists and engineers.

With approximately 300 positions available across over 38 labs nationwide, SEAP is a highly competitive program that serves as a potential pathway to careers within the DoN. Interns are exposed to a wide array of research projects spanning disciplines such as engineering, robotics, cybersecurity, astronomy, biomedical studies, and environmental science. Stipends are determined based on the actual hours worked, inclusive of federal holidays. New interns are eligible for a $4,000 stipend, while returning interns receive $4,500, distributed in installments throughout their internship period.

10. NASA High School Internship Programs

  • Location: Varies (Depends on chosen internship)
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: Mid-January – Early May (Spring Session); Late May/Early June – August (Summer Session); Late August/Early September – Mid-December (Fall Session)
  • Application Deadline: Early November (Spring Session); Early March (Summer Session); Early July (Fall Session) 
  • Eligibility: GPA of at least 3.0 and age 16+ at application.

Under the oversight of the Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM), NASA’s high school internship programs offer a distinctive chance for both high school and college-level students to contribute to NASA’s overarching mission of advancing science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration. These internships, which come with compensation, are crafted to immerse students in the practical aspects of NASA’s endeavors, providing them with invaluable work experience through direct collaboration with mentors.

These mentors, comprising research scientists, engineers, and professionals from diverse backgrounds, offer students a wide-ranging exposure to the cutting-edge work taking place at NASA. Whether students choose full-time or part-time internships, they have the flexibility to work at a NASA center facility or remotely from home or a dormitory, ensuring accessibility for students nationwide.

11. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory High School Summer Internship

  • Location: Princeton University (Forrestal Campus)
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June to August 2024 (8 to 10 weeks)
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: At least 16 years old and a graduating high school senior when internship starts. 

Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) offers a summer internship opportunity for high school seniors through its science education department. This program, available in the summer immediately following graduation, provides a limited number of positions for outstanding students. Interns commit to terms lasting 8 weeks during the summer, working on projects alongside PPPL’s research or engineering staff.

Designed for students passionate about plasma physics and fusion energy, the program recommends that applicants possess relevant experience in experimental or computational plasma physics projects. Additionally, a strong foundation in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, coding (Python or Java), or CAD software (SolidWorks, AutoCAD) is highly advantageous for participants. 

Multiracial university students

12. Broad Summer Scholars Program (BSSP)

  • Location: Broad Institute
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June 3, 2024 – August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 22, 2024 (Already closed)
  • Eligibility: Rising high school seniors near the Broad Institute. 

The Broad Summer Scholars Program (BSSP) at the Broad Institute offers a dynamic six-week opportunity for highly driven high school students with a passion for science. Participants collaborate with Broad scientists on original research projects spanning fields such as cancer biology, psychiatric disease, and computational biology, among others. In addition to research, students engage deeply with the scientific community, exploring career paths, attending lectures, showcasing their work in a poster session, and participating in social activities with peers who share similar interests.

The program provides numerous advantages, including no application or attendance fees, a $3,600 stipend, partial reimbursement for travel expenses, and access to tutoring for understanding project-related scientific concepts. Participants also receive instruction in designing and presenting scientific posters, exposure to various scientific methodologies, and opportunities for socializing and team-building activities. 

13. UC Davis Young Scholars Program

  • Location: UC Davis
  • Cost: $6,750
  • Program Dates:  June 23, 2024 – August 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: 16-17 years old sophomores or juniors.

The UC Davis Young Scholars Program offers a six-week summer residential opportunity to approximately 40 high-achieving high school students. This program allows students to immerse themselves in original research across the biological, agricultural, environmental, and natural sciences. Collaborating closely with research faculty and groups in advanced laboratories, each participant focuses on an individual project, ultimately producing a journal-quality paper and delivering a presentation at a research symposium.

In addition to laboratory work, the program strives to familiarize students with the academic and social dynamics of college life, offering a realistic glimpse into university experiences. Students enrolled in the program earn five units of University Group Study Credit. Assignments include maintaining research notebooks, composing a detailed article on their project, and delivering presentations at both a symposium and their respective high schools.

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

  • Location: NIST Campuses: Boulder, CO, and Gaithersburg, MD
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: June 17, 2024 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 9, 2024
  • Eligibility: U.S. high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.0

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers top-notch STEM internships for high school students at its Boulder, CO, and Gaithersburg, MD locations. Known as the Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP), this eight-week, unpaid internship provides students with a unique chance to collaborate with NIST’s leading scientists on individual research projects.

While the program does not include housing or transportation, it exposes students to real-world scientific research across six key NIST laboratories. These labs encompass a wide range of physical and engineering sciences, focusing on the development of measurement methods, tools, data, and technology to address industry needs. This offers students a comprehensive and hands-on learning opportunity.

15. Simons Summer Research Program 

  • Location: Stony Brook University
  • Cost: None
  • Program Dates: July 1, 2024 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 7, 2024 (Already closed)
  • Eligibility: 11th graders
  • Acceptance Rate: 8%

The Simons Summer Research Program, established in 1984 at Stony Brook University, provides an exceptional chance for highly capable high school students nationwide to explore the realm of research. Selected by their high schools, participants are matched with faculty mentors at Stony Brook and engage in meaningful projects in science, math, or engineering. Throughout the program, they gain practical research skills, learn laboratory techniques, and actively contribute to research teams while immersing themselves in the academic atmosphere of a top research institution.

Plus, students attend weekly faculty presentations, workshops, tours, and events, enhancing their comprehension of the research domain. The program concludes with a poster symposium where students showcase their work through research abstracts and posters, and receive a stipend for their contributions.

Happy students walking together.

16. MIT’s Research Science Institute (RSI)

  • Location: Research Science Institute at MIT
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: June 23, 2024 – August 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: December 13, 2023 (Already closed for 2024 program)
  • Eligibility: Junior high school students
  • Acceptance Rate: less than 5%

At MIT, RSI hosts a great summer program for high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Around 100 smart high school students from all over the world are chosen to take part in a free program that mixes hard classes with hands-on research. This program teaches students about science in the classroom and lets them do their own research in a lab.

RSI students start with a week of hard STEM classes taught by famous professors. Then, for five weeks, students work on their own research projects with the help of scientists and researchers. In the last week of the program, students write and give presentations about their research results. Outside of the lab, RSI students also learn about Boston’s culture and science by going on field trips and enjoying the beautiful nature of New England.

17. Engineering Summer Academy at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Location: University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $7700
  • Program Date: July 7 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 5, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students 15 years old and above

The Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP) offers a dynamic and immersive experience for high school students interested in engineering. Set in the heart of Philadelphia, this program runs from July 7th to July 27th, 2024, and is hosted at Penn’s historic and vibrant urban campus, providing students with a taste of college life in an Ivy League setting.

ESAP is designed for highly motivated students, aiming to give them a hands-on experience in various engineering fields. To be eligible for ESAP, students must have completed at least their freshman year of high school and be at least 15 years old by the start of the program. A strong academic record, especially in math and science, is essential. For international students, proficiency in English is required, demonstrated through TOEFL scores or a letter from their school. The application process includes submitting an online application, high school transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and an application fee.

18. NIH Summer Internship Program

  • Location: Bethesda, Maryland and Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: Between May and September 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 16, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students at least 17 years of age

The NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) is an exceptional opportunity for college, graduate, and professional students who are keen on exploring careers in research and healthcare. As a participant, you’ll be working full-time within one of the NIH Institutes and Centers in the Intramural Research Program. The research groups are spread across NIH campuses, including the main campus in Bethesda, MD. 

Eligibility for the program is fairly broad. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 17 years or older by June 15, 2024, and enrolled at least half-time in an accredited educational institution. This includes community colleges, colleges, universities, or professional schools. The program also has specific stipulations for U.S. permanent residents regarding their educational institution. In addition to the academic and citizenship requirements, participants are also expected to present proof of health insurance.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Final Thoughts

As you all prepare for your journey towards your dream college, remember the importance of summer internships. These opportunities aren’t just checkboxes on your application – they’re chances to grow, learn, and show colleges what you’re made of. At AdmissionSight, we know how crucial internships are in shaping your college path. 

Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way, helping you find the perfect internship, craft impressive applications, and stand out in the admissions process. So, seize the opportunities that come your way, work hard, and trust that your efforts will pay off. Your dream college awaits, and we’re here to help you reach it.

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