20 Medical Science Programs for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

student doctors sitting around a table while one of them is looking at the camera smiling

20 Medical Science Programs for High School Students

Are you a high school student dreaming of a career in medicine? Navigating the path to a successful medical career can seem challenging, but it’s an exciting journey that starts right in high school. In this blog, you’ll discover 20 outstanding medical science programs specifically designed for high school students like you. These programs offer unique opportunities to explore the medical field, gain valuable knowledge, and set a strong foundation for your future.

Whether you’re aiming for a top-tier college or looking to ignite your passion for healthcare, these programs are stepping stones to achieving your dreams.

1. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program

  • Location: Stanford University
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: June 24–July 26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Low-income and/or underrepresented minority high school sophomores and juniors

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) offers a dynamic and immersive five-week enrichment experience for high school juniors who are first-generation and from low-income backgrounds in Northern California. As a participant, you will delve into a comprehensive curriculum that includes hospital internships at Stanford Hospital and a public health research project. The hospital internships provide you with hands-on experience in various aspects of healthcare delivery.

In addition to these practical experiences, the program emphasizes mentorship and community building. You’ll receive guidance and support from faculty, health professionals, and college students, fostering a network that extends beyond the summer. The program also includes academic seminars and lectures covering public health, research methodology, and human anatomy, conducted by Stanford medical students. These sessions are designed to prepare you for your research project and provide insights into college and medical school preparation.

Medical interns

One of the most significant aspects of SMYSP is that it’s tuition-free, and aimed at increasing opportunity and access for aspiring first-generation college students. You’ll be expected to commit full-time Monday through Friday, gaining a deeply enriching educational experience. Moreover, the program includes a stipend for clinical research, further supporting your journey in science and medicine.

2. Health Career Institute at Dartmouth

  • Location: Dartmouth College
  • Cost: $2,800 – $3,600
  • Program Date: June 24-29, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 16, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students entering 11th and 12th grades

The Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth is a unique and enriching opportunity for high school students interested in exploring a variety of disciplines within the healthcare sector. Scheduled for June 24-29, 2024, this program is specifically designed for students entering 11th and 12th grades who are keen on delving into healthcare careers and eager to learn about both clinical and non-clinical health professions​​​.

At the institute, you’ll have the chance to interact with a range of professionals in the healthcare system, including physicians, research scientists, and experts in public health and health policy. This exposure is invaluable in understanding the complexities of healthcare systems and policies. The institute’s faculty comprises experienced healthcare professionals from Dartmouth and other educational and health institutions, offering you mentorship and insights that extend beyond traditional classroom learning​.

The program’s structure includes classroom instruction, a team-based research project, and dialogues with faculty and health profession students, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience. Importantly, you’ll also get a taste of college life by living in a dorm on the Dartmouth College campus and engaging in discussions about the college application process, which can be particularly beneficial for your future academic pursuits​.

3. Summer Student Research Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

  • Location: MLK. Research Building in Oakland, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
  • Cost: $3000–$4300
  • Program Date: Early June to early August (specific dates unspecified)
  • Application Deadline: February 16, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students over 16 years of age

One of the medical science programs for high school students, the Summer Student Research Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a remarkable opportunity for high school and college students, especially those from diverse and under-represented backgrounds, to engage in biomedical research. This program, with a history spanning over 40 years, integrates students into local clinics and basic science labs, where they participate in active research projects. As a participant, you’ll be paired with a mentor for one-on-one guidance through clinical or basic science research projects, which vary greatly depending on the mentor you’re assigned.

Group of medical students in college hallway

To be eligible, you need to be a high school junior or senior with at least one completed year in math and biology, or an undergraduate student. It’s important to be at least 16 years of age by June 1st of the program year. A key focus of the program is to encourage students from underrepresented groups in the sciences to pursue STEM careers by providing them with professional skills and confidence. Participants also receive a stipend, which varies based on student status and the granting agency​​​​​.

4. Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program

  • Location: University of California, San Francisco
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: May 28 – August 30, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 4, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students over 17 years old

The Arthritis Foundation Summer Science Internship Program offers a dynamic opportunity for high school juniors, seniors, and college undergraduates interested in exploring the fields of rheumatology and immunology, with a particular focus on arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Hosted by the prestigious University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Stanford University, this 8-week program, running from May 28 to August 30, 2024, immerses you in cutting-edge research environments​​​​​​​.

During the internship, you will engage in hands-on experiences in either basic laboratory (bench) research, clinical translational/epidemiological (patient-oriented) research, or bioinformatics (computational) research. This program is a great opportunity to delve into the intricacies of conditions like arthritis, understand the body’s immune responses, and contribute to the development of effective treatments. Not only will you gain valuable insights from world-renowned physicians and scientists, but you will also receive a stipend of $2,500 for your participation. To be eligible, you must be at least 17 years old by the start of the program and a citizen or permanent resident of the USA​​​​​​​​.

5. Health and Society Institute at Barnard College

  • Location: Barnard College
  • Cost: $7,772 – $9,687
  • Program Date: July 22 – August 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 26, 2024
  • Eligibility: Juniors and seniors in high school

The Health and Society Institute at Barnard College offers an insightful and immersive program that investigates the intricate relationship between health, society, and science. This program stands out for its dedication to exploring the cultural, historical, and economic underpinnings of the U.S. healthcare system. You’ll delve into how scientific knowledge interacts with other forms of knowledge representation and evaluate the credibility and influence of experts in various fields.

Barnard College

A unique aspect of the program is its emphasis on qualitative research. You will gain foundational knowledge and techniques related to qualitative research, including conceptualizing, planning, and implementing research projects. This experience is not just about learning; it’s about applying these skills to real-world scenarios, particularly in the context of working with human subjects.

6. Agress Summer Health Corps Program

  • Location: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: July 1 to August 8, 2024
  • Application Deadline: December 31, 2023​​​​
  • Eligibility: High school students

One of the medical science programs for high school students, the Agress Summer Health Corps Program is a unique, hands-on educational opportunity hosted by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Running for six weeks in July and August, this program is tailored for high school students, providing them with an immersive experience in various healthcare careers within a hospital setting. In 2024, the program will take place from July 1 to August 8, with mandatory orientation on the first day and a closing banquet on the last. The daily schedule is set from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, starting from July 2​​​​.

During the program, you will work alongside experienced healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and researchers. This exposure not only offers a real-world view of the healthcare industry but also allows you to learn from and interact with seasoned professionals, thereby gaining valuable insights into different roles and responsibilities. It’s a chance to see where your interests and aptitudes lie within the healthcare sector. Additionally, the program fosters a community of peers who share your passion for healthcare, creating an environment for collaboration and networking.

7. Summer Program In Neuroscience

  • Location: Boston University
  • Cost: $4,000
  • Program Date: June 3 – July 25, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 18, 2024
  • Eligibility: Junior and senior undergraduate students

The Summer Program in Neuroscience (SPIN) at Boston University is an eight-week program designed for undergraduates with an interest in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, computer science, and medicine. SPIN combines research activities with clinical and didactic experiences to provide a comprehensive understanding of neuroscience. Students participate in hands-on neuroanatomy labs, attend small group lectures, and are involved in clinical rotations that include observing neurosurgical procedures and neurological assessments.

This program not only enhances understanding of the brain and neuroscience research but also supports career development with sessions on application processes for medical and graduate schools and interview skills. Admission is based on academic performance, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The program runs from June 3 to July 25, 2024, with a tuition cost of $4,000, not including room and board. The application deadline for 2024 is March 18th.

8. High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program

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

The High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program (HiSTEP) is a distinctive opportunity for rising 12th graders, particularly those from schools where a significant portion of students are enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Located at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the program spans from July 2 to August 1, 2024, requiring a commitment of at least 21 hours per week every Tuesday through Thursday. It’s designed for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, though those with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 are also encouraged to apply if they have shown steady academic improvement​.

students listening and talking to male teacher

HiSTEP focuses on introducing participants to biomedical research and healthcare careers through various activities such as lectures, visits to research groups, networking events, small group discussions, and group projects. Additionally, the program guides the college application process, and helps develop career readiness and leadership skills, along with a resilience and well-being program.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and live within 40 miles of the main NIH campus. The program emphasizes diversity and inclusion, encouraging applications from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those disadvantaged by life circumstances that have negatively impacted their educational opportunities​​​.

9. Neuroscience Research Academy

  • Location: The University of Pennsylvania
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Date: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students with at least one year of high school biology

One of the medical science programs for high school students, the Neuroscience Research Academy delves into the biological underpinnings of the brain, covering topics ranging from the fundamental cellular aspects of neurons to an exploration of sensory systems. It ultimately delves into more complex cognitive functions like memory, emotions, and moral reasoning.

Instructed by faculty from Penn’s Biological Basis of Behavior program, this academy offers students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the forefront of research and medical advancements in the field. This area of study has contributed significant insights into comprehending the mind’s workings in both healthy and diseased states. Please note that participation in the Neuroscience Research Academy requires full-time residential attendance, and there are no options for commuting or online participation.

10. 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. The application process for the SIP is comprehensive, requiring a detailed profile, a list of coursework and grades, a CV or resume, references, and a cover letter. The selection process is thorough, with a focus on aligning applicants’ research interests with ongoing projects​​​​.

11. High School Summer Research Experience at Roswell Park

  • Location: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: June 24 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 21, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students at least 15 years of age

The High School Summer Research Experience at Roswell Park offers an invaluable opportunity for high school juniors to delve into the world of scientific research, specifically focused on cancer science. Set to run from June 24 to August 9, 2024, this program allows you to work alongside experts on your own independent research project.

Multiracial university students

To be eligible for this program, you must be enrolled as a junior in high school at the time of your application and be a resident of Western New York. The program is a commuter-based one, which means you’ll need to travel to the facility daily, as there are no accommodations for staying on-site. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents and at least 15 years old by the start of the program. Notably, all participants will be required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. If accepted, you can expect to engage in advanced research topics, enhancing your understanding of scientific processes and methodologies, which is pivotal for anyone considering a future in science or healthcare​​​​​.

12. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program

  • Location: Stanford University’s Institutes of Medicine
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: June 10 – August 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors

The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) is an eight-week summer internship designed for high school juniors and seniors interested in biomedical research. Scheduled for June 10 to August 1, 2024, the program offers hands-on research experience under the guidance of mentors at Stanford University’s Institutes of Medicine and select departments. Applicants to SIMR can choose from eight research areas, including Immunology, Neurobiology, Cancer Biology, Bioengineering, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Cardiovascular Biology, Bioinformatics, and Genetics and Genomics. The program also offers a bioengineering bootcamp as an alternative to the lab research component​​​​.

In addition to the research experience, SIMR emphasizes skill-building and professional development, such as lab techniques, data analysis, teamwork, and research presentation skills. The program includes seminars and workshops to broaden your understanding of biomedical career options. A key aspect of SIMR is its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, welcoming students from various backgrounds and enriching the research environment with diverse perspectives.

13. UPenn Biomedical Research Academy

  • Location: Penn’s School of Medicine
  • Cost: $9,700
  • Program Date: July 6 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The UPenn Biomedical Research Academy is a comprehensive program for high school students interested in exploring the experimental basis of cellular, molecular, and genetic aspects of biology, particularly focusing on their relevance to diseases. Scheduled to run from July 6 to July 27, 2024, this program is designed as a fully residential experience where you’ll be immersed in daily lectures, faculty research talks, laboratory experiments, and small group investigations. The course content includes a wide range of topics such as genome sequencing, CRISPR/Cas-9, vaccines, antibiotic resistance, and bioethics, delivered by scientists, clinicians, and faculty from the Department of Biology and Penn’s School of Medicine.

View of UPenn sign

In the laboratory component, you’ll get to perform experiments using techniques like PCR, gel electrophoresis, restriction analysis, bacterial transformation, and ELISA. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects such as determining your blood type and investigating gene expression in bacteria. The program also includes journal clubs where you’ll engage in discussions on peer-reviewed research articles, learning how to read, interpret, analyze, and critique primary research under the guidance of Penn researchers or faculty members. This setup not only offers deep insights into the core of biomedical research but also equips you with valuable skills and knowledge for your future academic or professional endeavors in the field of biology​​​​​.

14. Neuroscience Camp at Drexel

  • Location: Drexel University
  • Cost: $2,200
  • Program Date: July 8–19, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors

The Neuroscience Camp at Drexel University,  one of the medical science programs for high school students, is a highly esteemed program designed for high school sophomores and juniors with a keen interest in neuroscience. To be eligible for this competitive program, you should be a rising junior or senior with a background in biology, chemistry, or research. The application process requires you to submit transcripts and two letters of recommendation, with an application deadline set for April 15, 2024. The cost of the camp is $2,200, and it’s important to note that this is not a residential program, so housing is not provided.

During the camp, you will engage in an intensive study of neuroscience under the guidance of Drexel University College of Medicine’s esteemed faculty members, Dr. Jed Shumsky and Dr. Michael Lane. The curriculum includes a wide range of neuroscience topics, such as cellular neuroscience, neuropharmacology, electrophysiology, and other advanced subjects. Hands-on experiences, like live brain activity recordings, are a core component of the camp. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a lab project encompassing various neuroscience laboratory techniques and data analysis.

15. Eugene And Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy

  • Location: City of Hope, Duarte CA
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: June 3 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 13, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school and undergraduate students

The Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy at City of Hope offers you a chance to gain hands-on research experience in biomedical science. This program, aimed at high school and undergraduate students, provides a unique opportunity to work on real-world research projects.

You must be at least 16 years old to participate, and while it’s beneficial to submit additional materials like transcripts and recommendation letters, these are not strictly required. The program spans ten weeks and requires you to contact the program administrator for specific time period details. This academy is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of scientific research, especially if you have a keen interest in biomedical fields.

16. Research Training Program for High School Students

  • Location: Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: July 8–August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 10, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors

The Research Training Program for High School Students at Seattle Children’s Research Institute is a comprehensive program designed for students interested in exploring the world of biomedical research. It’s crucial that you are interested in fields like biology, biochemistry, microbiology, or public health, but prior knowledge in these areas is not required. A notable aspect of this program is its commitment to diversity and inclusion, especially encouraging participation from underrepresented groups in the biomedical and health sciences.

student in front of university building looking at camera

The program, one of the medical science programs for high school students, which runs from July 8 to August 2, 2024, offers a mix of educational lectures, hands-on laboratory experiences, and career workshops. You’ll be engaged in activities like microscopy, agarose gel electrophoresis, and gene editing, among others. Additionally, the program includes tours of the facility and a group research project, culminating in a presentation. This experience is not only about gaining laboratory skills but also about understanding the application process for college and exploring various career paths in biomedical fields.

Applications for the program open in early January and close in March. You will need to submit an application form and a letter of recommendation. Keep in mind that the program is competitive, and being within commuting distance of downtown Seattle is necessary, as housing is not provided. Importantly, participants will receive a stipend, and thus a Social Security Number is required for tax purposes.

17. Biomedical Research and Global Health at Seattle Children’s Institute

  • Location: Seattle Children’s Institute
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: 2023-2024 school year
  • Application Deadline: March 8, 2024
  • Eligibility: 11th and 12th-grade students

The Biomedical Research and Global Health program at Seattle Children’s Institute, in partnership with the Highline School District, is one of the medical science programs for high school students that offers an immersive year-long academic experience for high school students. This program is tailored to prepare you for a variety of career opportunities in biomedical research and healthcare. Throughout the program, you will engage in hands-on lab experiences, providing an authentic introduction to the research process.

These experiences include learning lab safety, practicing essential lab skills, and using state-of-the-art equipment for experiments related to disease prevention and treatment. Additionally, guest lectures from scientists and field trips to local research organizations will give you an inside look into careers in this rapidly evolving field.

The program is designed to build a robust foundation in biological sciences and research, integrating modern advancements in technology, such as gene editing and immunotherapy. You will be exposed to real-world scenarios and have opportunities for professional development and career planning.

18. Summer Scholars Program (SSSP)

  • Location: Seattle Children’s Research Institute
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: June 18 – August 16, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students

One of the medical science programs for high school students, the Summer Scholars Program (SSSP) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute is an enriching opportunity for undergraduate students and recent graduates, especially those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in biomedical and health sciences. This 10-week program allows you to engage in basic, clinical, or translational research projects under experienced mentorship. You can earn $20 per hour for a 40-hour week, though taxes will be withheld from this income. The program, slated to run from June 18 to August 16, 2024, requires your full-time commitment, including additional hours for professional development activities.

Young curly student woman wearing backpack glasses holding books

In the SSSP, you will gain hands-on lab experience, ranging from using lab equipment and software for research projects to attending career and professional training sessions. These sessions cover essential topics like abstract writing, research poster presentations, and networking strategies. Throughout the program, you will work closely with mentors, helping you build vital research skills. By the end of the program, you will have the opportunity to publish an abstract and present your findings at a poster symposium.

19. The Neuroscience Summer Institute at Carleton

  • Location: Carleton College
  • Cost: $4,500
  • Program Date: July 6–26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 11, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The Neuroscience Summer Institute at Carleton, scheduled for July 6-26, 2024, is an engaging three-week program designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field of neuroscience. In this program, you will participate in an intensive “Introduction to Neuroscience” course, which will expose you to various aspects of neuroscience, including brain anatomy, physiology, and chemistry.

The program is not just about lectures; it includes hands-on laboratory activities, such as sheep brain dissection, behavioral testing, microscope work, and data analysis. You’ll even get exposure to advanced techniques like small animal brain surgery. Furthermore, the program includes opportunities to tour other neuroscience labs, allowing you to explore a wide range of research areas in the field. The program culminates with a symposium where you will present your work to peers and the broader community.

As a participant, you will earn up to six Carleton course credits (transferring as three-semester credits) for successfully meeting faculty expectations and completing course requirements. You’ll receive a grade and have the option to request a formal academic transcript to reflect your achievements in the program. This experience at Carleton’s Summer Program, also known as “Summer Carls,” is an excellent way to delve into the fascinating world of neuroscience while earning college credits​​​​​.

20. Institute On Neuroscience

  • Location: Emory University
  • Cost: $25 application fee
  • Program Date: Exact dates for 2024 not specified
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors

The Institute on Neuroscience (ION) at Emory University, in collaboration with the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, The Marcus Autism Center, and Georgia State University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, offers an enriching eight-week summer program for high school students. This is one of the medical science programs for high school students that’s designed for students who excel in science and have a keen interest in neuroscience research.

The ION program begins with a Meet-the-Mentor Luncheon in the spring, followed by a one-week introductory curriculum in early June. During this period, you will learn about neuroscience through hands-on activities, discussions, and readings directed by faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students. The program also includes visits to research facilities to learn about various techniques like PET scanning or electron microscopy. Additionally, you’ll engage in Friday workshops focusing on scientific communication, science and society, scientific ethics, and special topics in neuroscience.

Two college students standing in corridor

After the introductory week, you will conduct a seven-week mentored laboratory research project at one of the participating institutions. The summer concludes with a comprehensive Closing Research Symposium, where you will be required to present your research findings in a 10-minute slide presentation to an audience including family, friends, peers, program mentors, and others in the neuroscience community. This presentation is a celebration of your hard work and achievements throughout the program.

Final Thoughts

As you look towards your future in medicine, remember that the journey is as important as the destination. The medical science programs for high school school students we’ve explored are more than just a line on your college application; they’re gateways to understanding, opportunities to grow, and platforms to showcase your commitment and passion. Embrace these experiences, and let them guide you to a fulfilling career in healthcare. Your journey has just begun, and the possibilities are endless. Stay curious, stay dedicated, and let your passion for medicine light the way to a bright future.



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