5 Yale Summer Programs

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Yale University signage

5 Yale Summer Programs

Yale summer programs offer high school students a chance to learn and grow at one of the world’s top universities. These programs cover various subjects, from science to the arts, providing valuable experiences outside regular school work.

In this list, we explore five diverse Yale summer programs. They are listed in no particular order, offering unique experiences and learning opportunities. Whether you’re into exploring new scientific ideas, enhancing your creative skills, or just looking for a challenging academic experience, these programs have something for everyone. Let’s explore and see what each program offers and how it might fit into your summer plans.

1. The ISSOS Film Summer School

  • Location: Yale
  • Cost: $8,900
  • Program Dates: July 4-August 14
  • Eligibility: Students aged 13 – 18

The ISSOS Film Summer School program is designed for teens passionate about film, offering a deep dive into filmmaking at prestigious university locations like St Andrews, Cambridge, and Yale. The program, lasting three weeks, covers everything from scriptwriting to editing, taught by industry professionals. Students learn in a hands-on way, ending the course by making and showcasing their short films.

Girl holding a film slate

This program stands out for its diverse and inclusive environment. It welcomes students of different skill levels worldwide, enhancing the learning experience with cultural richness. Founded in 2005, ISSOS started with 50 students and has grown significantly, showing its popularity and success in creating a nurturing learning space.

The application process is straightforward, focusing on the student’s enthusiasm for film and teamwork skills. ISSOS isn’t just about learning film techniques; it’s a chance for personal growth, networking, and preparing for college applications by demonstrating dedication and developing key skills like leadership.

2. Yale Summer Session

  • Location: Yale
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Dates: May 27 – June 28 (Session A); July 1 – August 2 (Session B)
  • Eligibility: Yale students, graduates from other institutions, high schoolers, and teachers

The Yale Summer Session is a unique opportunity for students from different backgrounds, including current Yale students, graduates from other institutions, high schoolers, and teachers, to experience Yale’s academic environment. This program offers various courses, allowing participants to explore new subjects, catch up on credits, or advance their degrees. The chance to learn from leading scholars and access Yale’s top-notch facilities sets the Yale Summer Session apart. Students experience Yale’s rich academic atmosphere, small class sizes, and personalized attention, promoting deeper learning in their chosen subjects. The program also fosters a close-knit community where students engage in discussions, collaborate, and form connections.

group of students studying

Applying to the Yale Summer Session varies for different student categories, with Yale undergraduates having a streamlined registration process. Others, like visiting students and teachers, must meet certain requirements and submit additional documents. The program’s eligibility criteria are clearly outlined on its website. Preparing for the session involves packing suitable clothing for summer, essential items for class, and engaging fully in the academic and social opportunities available. Managing time effectively, participating in extracurricular activities, and immersing oneself in the Yale community are key to making the most of this experience.

3. Yale Young Global Scholars Program

  • Location: Yale University campus
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Program Dates: June 23-July 5 (Session I Residential); July 7 – July 19 (Session II Residential); July 21 – Aug 2 (Session III Residential)
  • Eligibility: Be between the ages of 16-18 years old by July 21, 2024, and current high school sophomore or junior (or international equivalent)

The Yale Young Global Scholars Program at Yale University is a unique opportunity for bright, ambitious students. It offers a deep dive into academic subjects and a chance to meet students worldwide, with over 2,000 participants from over 150 countries. The program provides lectures, group projects, and extracurricular activities, all designed to broaden your understanding and challenge your thinking.

Portrait of smiling asian male student sitting at desk in classroom at university,

The challenges in the program, like its rigorous coursework and students’ diverse backgrounds, are seen as opportunities for growth. Overcoming these helps build resilience and broadens your perspective. After completing the program, students have improved skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication, which are useful in college and beyond. The program is also a great addition to college applications, highlighting a commitment to learning and personal development. The connections made during the program can lead to future collaborations and support in academic or professional paths. Many students use this experience as a stepping stone for further studies or research, often supported by the resources and networks linked to Yale.

4. Yale Summer Program in Astrophysics

  • Location: Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium
  • Cost: TBD
  • Program Dates: June 24 to July 5, 2024 (Online); July 7 to August 4, 2024 (Residential)
  • Eligibility: Must be > 15.5 years old at the start of the on-campus program; must be a rising senior or equivalent in your school system, i.e., entering last year of secondary school before college

The Yale Summer Program in Astrophysics (YSPA) is a six-week program for high school seniors interested in astrophysics, held at Yale University’s Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium. It starts with two weeks of online self-study and four weeks on campus. The program accepts 36 students each year, offering them a chance to live and study together, fostering a community of young scientists.

YSPA’s curriculum covers various aspects of astrophysics, including observational techniques, telescope optics, data analysis, and scientific writing. The teaching approach blends classroom learning with practical, hands-on experience. Students use Yale’s telescopes and computer labs, learning to analyze astronomical data using Python and other scientific software.

a male astronomer looking at the night sky through his telescope

A key component of YSPA is the research project. Students work in teams, using real data to develop scientific models, culminating in a paper and presentation at the program’s mini-conference. This experience strengthens their academic skills and boosts confidence in their abilities.

In addition to rigorous academics, YSPA includes extracurricular activities like labs, lectures, and field trips, enriching the students’ overall experience. These activities and campus life contribute to the student’s personal growth and independence, preparing them for future academic and professional pursuits in science and technology.

5. Yale Summer Drama Program

  • Location: New Haven
  • Cost: $9,900
  • Program Dates: July 1-August 2
  • Eligibility: With academic history, personal statements, recommendations, acting experience, and whatever test scores apply

The Yale Summer Drama Program at Yale University offers an immersive experience in theater education, suitable for a diverse range of participants, from high school and college students to working professionals. This program provides an opportunity for intense learning over the summer, focusing on key aspects of drama without the long-term commitment of standard courses.

Students acting in the stage

The program’s rigorous training covers acting, directing, design, and technical production. Participants also benefit from masterclasses conducted by theater professionals, gaining industry insights. A highlight of the program is the final performances, where students apply and demonstrate their skills. Beyond skill development, the program offers networking opportunities within Yale’s prestigious community, potentially opening doors for future career opportunities in theater. Key features of the program include experienced faculty, excellent facilities, and a connection to Yale’s rich theatrical legacy.


In summary, Yale’s summer programs provide unique learning experiences that cater to a wide range of interests. These programs are more than just courses; they are gateways to personal and academic growth. Participants gain new skills and knowledge and build lasting relationships and a clearer vision for their future paths. Whether your interest lies in arts, sciences, or humanities, Yale’s summer programs are stepping stones to further education and career opportunities. They invest in your future, offering a summer filled with learning, discovery, and personal development.


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