15 Summer Programs for High School Students in Arizona

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

15 Summer Programs for High School Students in Arizona

From the bustling campuses of ASU and the University of Arizona to specialized institutes like the Mayo Clinic, Arizona is a fertile ground for students eager to delve into fields ranging from engineering and healthcare to journalism and environmental science. Summer programs for Arizona high school students enrich participants’ academic journeys and foster personal development.

Each program, unique in its offerings, caters to the diverse interests of high school students. Whether it’s the hands-on aviation experience at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the leadership and social justice focus of the ASU César E. Chávez Leadership Institute, or the innovative STEM explorations in the Technology Enrichment Programs, students have the chance to immerse themselves in environments that challenge and inspire. The tailored experiences promote a deeper understanding of various disciplines, encouraging students to pursue their passions and potentially shape their career paths.

1. ASU César E Chávez Leadership Institute

  • Field: Leadership and Social Justice
  • Cost: Free
  • Eligibility: Students entering junior or senior years of high school interested in leadership and social justice.
  • Important Dates: Specific dates not provided; the program accepts 60 students annually.

The ASU César E Chávez Leadership Institute stands out among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, offering an immersive experience designed to cultivate the next generation of community leaders and change-makers.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

This week-long residential camp, hosted by Arizona State University, is dedicated to high school juniors and seniors demonstrating a keen interest in leadership and social justice. The program, which bears no cost to participants, uniquely combines leadership development, civic engagement, and community service into a comprehensive curriculum.

Students can volunteer with local organizations, gain insights from civic and business leaders, and explore the intricacies of college preparation, including translating personal interests into potential careers and drafting compelling personal statements.

With a focus on fostering a deep understanding of leadership principles and the legacy of César E. Chávez, the institute annually welcomes 60 students eager to make a positive impact in Arizona and beyond.

2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Flight Exploration

  • Field: Aviation
  • Cost: Not specified; FAA medical exam required for eligibility to fly.
  • Eligibility: Students aged 12 to 16 interested in aviation.
  • Important Dates: Four week-long sessions from May to July​.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Flight Exploration program represents a standout offering among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, tailored specifically for young aviation enthusiasts.

Student on study aboad program

This unique initiative provides participants aged 12 to 16 with a foundational experience in the world of aviation through a series of week-long sessions that span from May to July. The curriculum is designed to introduce students to a broad spectrum of aviation topics, including air traffic management, safety analysis, night operations, and cross-country operations.

What sets this program apart is its hands-on approach to learning; participants not only receive training in a flight simulator but also log actual flight time in a C-172S aircraft, a feature that underscores the program’s commitment to delivering a real-world understanding of piloting.

The requirement for an FAA medical exam for eligibility to fly ensures that students meet the necessary health standards for operating an aircraft, further emphasizing the program’s adherence to professional aviation protocols.

3. Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills by Leadership Society of Arizona

  • Field: Leadership Development
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Students aged 12 through 18.
  • Important Dates: The program lasts four days; classes run from 9 AM to 2 PM.

The Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills program by the Leadership Society of Arizona occupies a unique position among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, providing a dynamic and innovative learning environment focused on leadership development and personal growth.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Hosted on Arizona State University campuses, this four-day program caters to students aged 12 through 18, offering a curriculum that combines logic, leadership, and life skills engagingly and educationally.

What sets this program apart is its emphasis on practical knowledge and application. It encourages students to improve their decision-making skills, understand effective leadership, and apply logical reasoning to everyday challenges.

This hands-on approach is designed to equip participants with the tools they need to succeed in their personal and academic lives, fostering a sense of confidence and preparedness for future endeavors.

4. Med-Start Summer Program (University of Arizona)

  • Field: Health Sciences
  • Cost: $4,100
  • Eligibility: 11th graders, U.S. citizens, Arizona residents, minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Important Dates: The deadline for application is February 1st of the previous year.

The Med-Start Summer Program at the University of Arizona distinguishes itself among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, offering an immersive experience that paves the way for participants interested in pursuing careers in the health sciences.

Group of students studying together in the library.

Explicitly designed for 11th-grade students, this enriching six-week program, hosted by the prestigious University of Arizona, provides an invaluable glimpse into the healthcare industry. Participants are exposed to various healthcare career opportunities while engaging in college-level English, Science, and Math coursework, setting a solid foundation for their future academic and professional pursuits.

With a cost of $4,100, the program is both an investment in students’ educational journeys and a unique opportunity to explore the vast field of health sciences in a university setting. The program’s rigorous eligibility criteria, including U.S. citizenship, Arizona residency, and a minimum 3.0 GPA, ensure that participants are committed and prepared for the challenges and learning opportunities.

5. Summer Engineering Experience: SEE@ASU

  • Field: Engineering
  • Cost: Not specified; inquire for on-campus or commuter options.
  • Eligibility: 10th and 11th graders.
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The Summer Engineering Experience: SEE@ASU is a highlight among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, offering an unparalleled opportunity for students to delve into the engineering world.

View of a woman using a laptop.

Hosted by Arizona State University, this program invites students to immerse themselves in the engineering discipline through a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience. Scheduled for June 2-6, 2024, SEE@ASU is not just another summer camp; it is an intensive exploration of the practical and theoretical aspects of engineering.

For $1,200, plus a non-refundable application fee, participants can work alongside ASU’s esteemed Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty on real-world problems, engaging in projects that challenge their creativity and problem-solving skills.

This program is specifically designed for Arizona residents or students residing in Arizona over the summer, targeting those in good academic standing and entering their junior or senior high school years.

6. University of Arizona College of Engineering Camps

  • Field: Engineering
  • Cost: Residential camps are $750, day camps are $300. Needs-based scholarships are available.
  • Eligibility: Rising 9th to 12th graders.
  • Important Dates: Various camp dates from late June to late July. Scholarship applications are due April 15, 2024.

The University of Arizona College of Engineering Camps are a distinguished set of summer programs for high school students in Arizona designed to spark interest and nurture skills in the engineering field.

View of a student using her laptop while writing.

These camps offer theoretical knowledge and practical application, catering to rising 9th through 12th graders. With a schedule that spans various weeks throughout the summer, each camp focuses on multiple aspects of engineering, from environmental engineering to the broad scope of the engineering disciplines.

The camps are set up as residential and day camps, with the residential camps priced at $750 and the day camps at $300, ensuring options for different preferences and needs. Needs-based scholarships are available, making these experiences accessible to more students.

The University of Arizona emphasizes hands-on learning, with activities that challenge participants to think critically and solve problems creatively. These camps allow students to explore engineering in-depth and offer a glimpse into college life, especially for those who opt for the residential experience.

7. Mayo Clinic High School Student Summer Volunteer Program

  • Field: Healthcare
  • Cost: Free
  • Eligibility: Students 15-18 years old, not yet in college, available for 8 weeks between June and July.
  • Important Dates: The program runs from June 3 through July 26, 2024.

The Mayo Clinic High School Student Summer Volunteer Program is a distinguished part of the summer programs for high school students in Arizona, offering a unique blend of volunteer experience and exposure to the healthcare field.

A woman typing in a library.

Running for eight weeks from June 3 through July 26, 2024, this program invites high school students to engage directly with the workings of a world-renowned medical facility. The program is structured to provide meaningful work opportunities that contribute significantly to patient care and the overall operation of the Mayo Clinic, allowing students to see firsthand the impact of their efforts.

While the program focuses on service to Mayo Clinic employees and patients, it also emphasizes educational growth, offering students a series of presentations that broaden their understanding of healthcare careers.

This volunteering opportunity is open to students between the ages of 15 and 18 who still need to be in college, providing a structured environment to explore potential careers in healthcare without requiring clinical exposure or shadowing.

8. UA Fusion Camps

  • Field: Science and Technology
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Themed camps for various age groups focused on literacy, creative arts, and science exploration.
  • Important Dates: Six weeks of summer camps; specific dates not provided.

The UA Fusion Camps emerge as a dynamic segment of summer programs for high school students in Arizona, designed to meld literacy, creative arts, and scientific exploration into an enriching summer experience.

Group of students talking in a room.

Hosted by the University of Arizona, these camps are the product of a partnership between the Flandrau Science Center and the UA Bookstore, offering six weeks of themed camps that dive deep into hands-on learning and discovery.

Each camp is crafted to spark curiosity and a love for learning among participants, pushing the boundaries of traditional education to explore the wonders of science and the arts. What makes the UA Fusion Camps particularly compelling is their emphasis on creating a multidisciplinary learning environment that encourages students to explore a wide array of subjects, from astronomy to zoology, all while fostering critical thinking and creativity.

This approach enhances educational outcomes and ensures that students gain a holistic view of the world around them, making these camps a cornerstone among summer educational offerings in Arizona.

9. KEYS Research Internship

  • Field: Bioscience Research
  • Cost: Free
  • Eligibility: High school GPA of at least 3.5, 16 years of age or older, Arizona resident.
  • Important Dates: The deadline for application was December 5, 2021, for Summer 2022, suggesting early December deadlines.

The KEYS Research Internship stands as an exemplary model within the realm of summer programs for high school students in Arizona, specifically tailored for those keen on exploring the vast and dynamic field of bioscience research.

View of a woman using a laptop.

Hosted by the University of Arizona, this program is meticulously designed to immerse students in an authentic research experience, offering a deep dive into the scientific process from hypothesis formulation to experimental execution and analysis.

Participants are selected based on their academic prowess, particularly those demonstrating a solid foundation in science and mathematics and genuine curiosity about bioscience. Throughout the program, students are paired with leading researchers at the University of Arizona, engaging in cutting-edge projects that cover a wide range of topics from molecular biology to ecological conservation.

This hands-on approach sharpens their technical skills and cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, which are essential in any scientific endeavor. The KEYS Research Internship, therefore, not only enriches the participants’ summer experience but also lays a solid groundwork for their future academic and professional pursuits in science, making it a cornerstone among summer opportunities for aspiring young scientists in Arizona.

10. Camp Cronkite at ASU

  • Field: Journalism
  • Cost: Includes instruction, activities, meals, housing, camp T-shirt, technology access, and supervision. Scholarships are available based on financial need.
  • Eligibility: Current high school students of all grades.
  • Important Dates: Notification by May 1; specific program dates not provided.

Camp Cronkite at ASU represents a unique and enriching addition to the summer programs for high school students in Arizona, specifically designed to cultivate the next generation of journalists and media professionals.

A female student doing her letters of recommendation on the laptop

Hosted by the prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, this camp offers participants an immersive experience in journalism, multimedia storytelling, and broadcasting.

Throughout the camp, students are exposed to a rigorous curriculum encompassing various core journalistic practices, including audio collection, narrative writing, reporting, and even specialized sessions on vocal delivery and sports photography.

This comprehensive approach ensures that students learn about journalism’s ethical and technical aspects and gain practical skills by engaging in hands-on activities that mirror real-world media production.

Including activities such as attending a professional sports event further enriches the experience, providing students with a taste of the fast-paced world of sports journalism. By participating in Camp Cronkite, students are afforded a rare glimpse into the life of a journalist, equipped with the tools, knowledge, and inspiration needed to pursue a career in this dynamic field, making it a standout choice among summer educational opportunities in the state.

11. Summer Scrubs (University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix)

  • Field: Medicine/Healthcare
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Not detailed, typically targets students interested in healthcare fields.
  • Important Dates: Not specified​.

Summer Scrubs, hosted by the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, is a notable inclusion among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, designed to introduce aspiring young minds to the multifaceted world of healthcare and medicine.

a nursing student wearing her uniform smiling to the cmaera

This program is designed to give students a realistic glimpse into medical careers, offering a hands-on, exploratory experience that covers various aspects of healthcare, from patient care to the intricacies of medical research.

Participants can engage with medical professionals and educators, gaining insights into the day-to-day operations and challenges healthcare workers face. Additionally, Summer Scrubs emphasizes the importance of medical ethics, communication skills, and teamwork in the medical field, preparing students for the collaborative nature of healthcare professions.

This immersive experience not only aids students in making informed decisions about their future careers but also instills a sense of commitment and passion for contributing to the well-being of communities. As such, Summer Scrubs stands out as an impactful and inspiring program for Arizona high school students interested in the health sciences. It provides a foundation for building their academic and professional journeys in medicine.

12. Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP)

  • Field: Business/Accounting
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Offers a one-day or week-long experience, likely for high school students interested in business careers.
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP) is a dynamic component of summer programs for high school students in Arizona, specifically designed to illuminate the myriad opportunities within business and accounting.

Male student studying and writing in the library.

Hosted by the esteemed Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, BCAP aims to demystify the world of business for young scholars through an engaging mix of instructional sessions, hands-on activities, and field trips.

The program’s curriculum is thoughtfully designed to introduce students to fundamental business concepts, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and the ethical dimensions of commerce. Beyond classroom learning, participants benefit from interactions with university faculty, successful business professionals, and peers with shared interests, fostering a network that could support their future career paths.

By providing a comprehensive overview of what a career in business entails, BCAP plays a pivotal role in guiding students toward informed decisions about their educational and professional futures. This initiative enriches the participants’ summer experience.

13. Museum Explorers Camp

  • Field: Environmental Science/Natural History
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Students in grades 1 through 6, focusing on life in the Sonoran Desert and its seas.
  • Important Dates: Not specified; tailored for a younger audience but notable for high school volunteers or assistants.

The Museum Explorers Camp, part of Arizona’s summer programs for high school students, provides a unique and engaging educational experience beyond the traditional classroom setting.

A man looking at a work of art in a exhibit

Hosted by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, this camp invites students to immerse themselves in the natural and cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert through interactive, hands-on activities.

Unlike other summer offerings, the Museum Explorers Camp focuses on environmental education, conservation, and the arts, encouraging participants to develop a deeper appreciation for the world around them.

Through guided tours, wildlife encounters, and creative projects, students explore the rich biodiversity of the desert, learning about the plants, animals, and ecosystems that make this region unique. The program aims to inspire a lifelong passion for learning and conservation, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to become informed stewards of their environment.

14. New Start Summer Program

  • Field: College Preparation
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Designed for students transitioning to university life, offering a head start on college credits and campus acclimatization.
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The New Start Summer Program is a distinctive initiative among summer programs for high school students in Arizona, specifically designed to facilitate the transition from high school to university life.

Male student using a laptop in a coffee shop.

Hosted by the University of Arizona, this program offers an immersive collegiate experience over the summer, allowing participants to earn college credits, familiarize themselves with campus resources, and develop essential academic skills.

Unlike traditional summer camps, New Start focuses on educational enrichment, personal development, and community building, providing students with a comprehensive introduction to university life. Participants engage in various courses, workshops, and social activities to boost their academic performance and social integration into the college environment.

This program prepares students for the educational challenges of college. It helps them build a supportive network of peers and mentors, making it a critical stepping stone for high school graduates in Arizona looking to make a successful transition to higher education.

15. Technology Enrichment Programs

  • Field: STEM/Technology
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Needs to be more detailed; aimed at fostering interest and skills in technology fields.
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The Technology Enrichment Programs stand out among the summer programs for high school students in Arizona, offering a specialized curriculum that fosters a deep understanding and passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Female student using a laptop in a library.

These programs are designed to cater to the growing interest among students in technology and its applications, providing them with hands-on experiences that challenge their creativity and problem-solving skills.

Participants can work on real-world projects, learn from experts in the field, and use state-of-the-art technology and software tools. The emphasis on collaboration, innovation, and critical thinking prepares students for future academic pursuits and careers in the rapidly evolving tech industry.

Students gain valuable knowledge and skills by participating in these enrichment programs and building a network of like-minded peers and mentors. This makes it a crucial platform for young tech enthusiasts in Arizona to explore their interests and potential.


The summer programs for high school students in Arizona represent more than just academic enrichment; they are gateways to new experiences, friendships, and insights into future careers.

As students from across the state and beyond gather to participate in these programs, they are met with unparalleled opportunities to explore their interests in depth. These programs prepare students for the academic rigors of college and instill in them a sense of curiosity and a desire to impact the world positively.

As the summer sun sets on Arizona, it leaves a legacy of enriched, empowered, and inspired students, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow with confidence and enthusiasm.


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