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15 Summer Programs for High School Students in North Carolina

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

aerial view of UNC Chapel Hill

15 Summer Programs for High School Students in North Carolina

Summer programs specifically designed for high school students in the Tar Heel State offer diverse activities and studies, from science and engineering to leadership and the arts. This article showcases 16 summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, each offering unique experiences that cater to varied interests and aspirations.

These programs provide avenues for academic enrichment and career exploration, fostering personal growth and new friendships. Whether you’re drawn to the complexity of biomedical research, the creativity of design, or the challenges of leadership, there’s a summer program waiting to transform your summer into a period of unforgettable learning and discovery.

1. NC State College of Engineering Summer Programs

  • Field: Engineering
  • Cost: Varies by program​​​​​​
  • Eligibility: Rising 9th/10th graders for day camps; 11th/12th graders for residential programs​​​​​​
  • Important Dates: The application system is open until Friday, March 29th. Acceptance status will be emailed out on Monday, April 29th.

The NC State College of Engineering stands out as a dynamic center for educational excellence, offering various summer programs for high school students in North Carolina. These programs are designed to spark curiosity, enhance learning, and prepare students for future challenges in the engineering field.

Engineering student working on a table.

With offerings such as day camps for rising 9th/10th graders and residential programs for 11th/12th graders, NC State provides opportunities for students at various stages of their high school journey to dive deep into engineering disciplines.

The curriculum is structured to offer a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience, allowing students to explore areas such as ecological engineering and the broader civil, construction, and environmental engineering sectors.

This initiative by NC State not only introduces young minds to the vast possibilities within the engineering realm but also equips them with the skills and knowledge to confidently pursue these paths.

2. Wake Forest Pre-College Medicine Summer Institute

  • Field: Medicine
  • Cost: $3,000​​
  • Eligibility: 9th – 12th grade students​​
  • Important Dates: Week of June 9 – 14 and Week of July 14 – 19.

The Wake Forest Pre-College Medicine Summer Institute is a standout among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, designed to immerse participants in the world of medicine and healthcare.

a male student being vaccinated by a doctor

This program, set against the esteemed Wake Forest University backdrop, offers 9th to 12th-grade students a unique opportunity to explore the medical field through a comprehensive week-long experience.

Participants are engaged in various activities, including hands-on experiences where they can learn about different medical disciplines such as internal medicine, cardiology, pulmonology, and more. Students have the chance to visit medical facilities, interact with healthcare professionals, and participate in simulation labs, giving them a realistic insight into the life and work of medical practitioners.

With a tuition fee set at $3,000, the program provides significant value by exposing students to the field of medicine and helping them develop skills and knowledge essential for their future careers in healthcare.

3. Outset – Pre-med Summer for High Schoolers in NC

  • Field: Pre-med/Medicine
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: High school students interested in medical careers​​
  • Important Dates: Specific dates for 2024 are not offered; interested participants should check the official website for updates.

Outset stands as a distinctive offering within the realm of summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, particularly those with aspirations in the medical field. This one-week, immersive pre-med program, held on the prestigious campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to delve deep into medicine.

Young woman working in pharmacy looking for medicine in shelf standing behind counter

Outset is meticulously designed to introduce high schoolers to the rigors and rewards of a healthcare career, offering a blend of lectures, hands-on activities, and direct interactions with leading professionals from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke Medical Schools.

The program’s curriculum spans many topics, including but not limited to the basics of medical knowledge, patient care, and the latest advancements in medical technology. Students gain invaluable insights into the medical profession by participating in Outset, fostering academic and personal growth.

This experience not only enhances their understanding of medical science but also equips them with the tools necessary to pursue a successful career in healthcare. Outset distinguishes itself by not just exposing students to the field of medicine but also by creating a comprehensive environment that encourages exploration, critical thinking, and the development of a strong foundation for their future endeavors in the medical profession.

4. Wake Forest University Pre-College Summer Immersion Program

  • Field: Various (Filmmaking, Finance, Health Science, Law, Leadership, Medicine, Neuroscience, Policy)
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: High school students​​
  • Important Dates: Information not provided.

The Wake Forest University Pre-College Summer Immersion Program is a distinguished offering among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, providing a unique platform for young minds to explore various academic and career pathways.

Set within the stimulating environment of Wake Forest University, this program invites students to delve into specialized fields such as filmmaking, finance and investing, health and exercise science, law, leadership, medicine, neuroscience, and policy and politics, among others.

Designed to cater to a broad spectrum of interests, the program harnesses the expertise of Wake Forest faculty and industry professionals to offer both on-campus and online sessions, ensuring a flexible and accessible learning experience.

With options for immersive on-campus learning or convenient online participation, students can choose their mode of engagement, making it an inclusive opportunity for high school students across North Carolina and beyond.

5. National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) at Raleigh-Durham

  • Field: Various, including Sports Management and Architecture
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: High school students​​
  • Important Dates: Information not provided.

The National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) at Raleigh-Durham is an exceptional entry into summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, offering a unique blend of leadership training, academic enrichment, and career exploration.

Group of cheerful happy students holding world globe and looking at camera leaning on white wall at campus.

This program allows students to explore various fields of interest, including sports management and architecture, through a practical, hands-on approach that encourages active learning and engagement.

What makes the NSLC at Raleigh-Durham particularly compelling is its emphasis on developing leadership skills alongside academic pursuits, preparing students for success both in college and in their future careers.

This holistic approach to education inspires students, expands their horizons, and gives them the tools to become influential leaders in their communities and beyond. By participating in the NSLC, high school students in North Carolina can connect with peers from across the country, engage with experts in various fields, and gain a deeper understanding of the responsibilities and opportunities that come with leadership.

6. N.C. A&T’s Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders (IFAL)

  • Field: Agriculture
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: Rising high school seniors​​
  • Important Dates: June 16-21, 2024​​

N.C. A&T’s Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders (IFAL) is a cornerstone among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, specifically tailored for those interested in the agricultural sciences and related fields.

This unique week-long leadership development program is meticulously crafted to introduce rising high school seniors to the vast spectrum of career opportunities in agriculture while simultaneously instilling in them a deep appreciation for the sector’s evolving technology, citizenship, and leadership development—the program, hosted by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T State University is an educational platform and a conduit for students to explore the multifaceted agricultural industry through interactive sessions, hands-on learning experiences, and leadership training.

By participating in IFAL, students are afforded a rare glimpse into the farming sector’s critical role in our society and the chance to engage with industry professionals and academics at the forefront of agricultural innovation.

This engagement empowers students with the knowledge and skills to shape the future of agriculture potentially. IFAL’s dedication to fostering the next generation of farming leaders ensures that high school students in North Carolina have access to an unparalleled learning experience, setting the stage for their future contributions to the agricultural sciences and leadership within the industry.

7. Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics

  • Field: STEM
  • Cost: No cost​​
  • Eligibility: Academically talented NC students​​
  • Important Dates: Information not provided.

Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is a preeminent program among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, specifically designed for those who exhibit vital interests and capabilities in science and mathematics.

students on a campus

This no-cost, state-funded initiative provides academically talented students with an immersive, four-week residential experience emphasizing hands-on research and experimentation in a collegiate setting.

The program, hosted by the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, aims to challenge participants with advanced topics not typically covered in high school curriculums, thereby fostering a deep understanding of scientific and mathematical principles.

Students are selected from across the state, ensuring a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment where like-minded peers can collaborate on research projects under the guidance of experienced faculty and researchers.

8. NCSSM Summer Accelerator

  • Field: STEM
  • Cost: $695-$1,925​​
  • Eligibility: 10th- to 12th-graders​​
  • Important Dates: July 21st – 26th for the Dogwood Health Trust-sponsored course.

The NCSSM Summer Accelerator is an innovative and challenging program among the summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, offering a unique blend of academic rigor and real-world exploration.

students on a campus

This program, hosted by the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, provides rising 10th- to 12th-graders with the opportunity to engage in high-level STEM courses, either online or through residential experiences on campuses in Durham and Morganton.

With a diverse range of courses covering topics from the intricacies of biotechnology to the fundamentals of quantum physics, students are immersed in an environment that not only pushes the boundaries of their academic knowledge but also nurtures their curiosity and passion for discovery.

The Summer Accelerator’s structure is designed to mirror the intensity and depth of college-level study, thereby preparing students for the demands of higher education and future careers in STEM fields.

9. Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP) at NC State

  • Field: Textiles/Fashion
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: Rising high school seniors​​
  • Important Dates: Information not provided; prospective applicants should check the official website.

The Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP) at NC State emerges as a notable highlight among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, specifically tailored to those intrigued by the diverse world of textiles.

Side view at multi-ethnic group of students using laptop while studying in college

Hosted by the prestigious Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University, STEP offers an immersive, one-week session to introduce rising high school seniors to the multifaceted textile industry, encompassing textile engineering, polymer science, business marketing, and fashion.

This program is meticulously crafted to provide a comprehensive textile sector overview, combining academic instruction with hands-on projects and encouraging students to apply their learning in practical contexts.

Participants can explore various facets of the textile field, from the design and production of fabrics to the marketing and management of textile products. Furthermore, STEP is an educational experience and a platform for students to consider future academic and career pursuits within the textile industry.

10. Wake Forest University School of Medicine Summer Research Exposure Program

  • Field: Medical Science/Research
  • Cost: Information not provided​​
  • Eligibility: Middle and high school students​​
  • Important Dates: Virtual Academy: July 15 – 18; Mentored Research: June 24 – July 19, 2024.

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine Summer Research Exposure Program is a distinguished addition to the array of summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, offering an invaluable opportunity for students to immerse themselves in medical research.

This program provides virtual and hands-on learning experiences in regenerative medicine science, allowing participants to delve into the complexities and innovations at the forefront of medical research today.

By engaging in this program, students are introduced to cutting-edge research methodologies and technologies and the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to pursue a career in the medical sciences.

This program is committed to providing real-world research exposure, bridging academic learning with practical application. High school students participating in the Summer Research Exposure Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine gain insight into a medical researcher’s life and contribute to advancing medical knowledge.

11. Online Immersion Programs – Wake Forest University

  • Field: Various (Business, Medicine, Psychology, etc.)
  • Cost: $995-$1,295
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Multiple 2- and 4-week sessions; rolling deadlines.

The Online Immersion Programs offered by Wake Forest University represent a pioneering approach to summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, extending beyond traditional classroom boundaries to provide a flexible and comprehensive learning experience.

applying in schools

This series of online courses caters to a diverse range of interests, including business, medicine, psychology, and more, enabling students to explore and deepen their knowledge in specific areas of interest from the comfort of their homes.

With sessions led by industry experts, Wake Forest University faculty, and guest speakers, these programs deliver content and foster interactive and engaging learning environments. The flexibility of online delivery means that students from across North Carolina and beyond can participate, breaking down geographical barriers and making high-quality education accessible to a broader audience.

Each course within the Online Immersion Programs is designed to offer students insights into potential college majors and career paths, complemented by real-world applications of the subject matter.

12. NCSU Design Day Camp

  • Field: Design
  • Cost: $1,300
  • Eligibility: Not specified
  • Important Dates: June 21, July 24-30; deadline April 8.

The NCSU Design Day Camp is a standout initiative among summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, specifically tailored for those with a keen interest in design and creativity.

students listening and talking to male teacher

Hosted by the prestigious College of Design at NC State University, this program offers an immersive experience that introduces participants to the fundamentals of design thinking and the creative process.

The camp is structured to provide a comprehensive understanding of developing portfolio-level projects, incorporating pre-camp online modules to prepare students for their residential stay. During their time on campus, students engage in hands-on studio work, allowing them to produce a piece that showcases their newly acquired design skills and creative insight.

By offering this blend of practical instruction, studio work, and career exploration, the NCSU Design Day Camp represents a significant opportunity for high school students in North Carolina to explore their interest in design within a supportive and inspiring collegiate environment.

13. Senate Page Program

  • Field: Government/Political ScienceNot specified
  • Cost: Free (compensation available)
  • Eligibility: Must be 16-18 years old, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be a U.S. citizen with all required vaccinations.
  • Important Dates: Deadlines are March 1 for the summer session, July 26 for fall, and November 1 for spring.

The Senate Page Program stands as a prestigious and enriching opportunity within the spectrum of summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, offering a unique window into the workings of the United States Senate.

Multiracial university students

This program is designed for students interested in government, politics, and public service, providing an unparalleled experience that combines educational activities with real-world exposure to the legislative process.

As Senate Pages, high school students have the rare chance to observe and participate in the legislative process up close, assisting senators and learning about the inner workings of the United States Congress.

The program fosters a deep understanding of the American government and cultivates leadership skills, teamwork, and civic engagement among participants. It’s an exceptional way for motivated high school students in North Carolina to gain firsthand experience in a federal institution, enhancing their educational journey and potentially influencing their future career paths in public service or related fields.

14. 2024 Junior Vet Camp

  • Field: Veterinary Medicine
  • Cost: $381
  • Eligibility: Entering high school and ninth graders
  • Important Dates: August 6th; rolling deadline.

The 2024 Junior Vet Camp is an exemplary opportunity among summer programs for high school students in the state with a passion for veterinary science. This camp is designed to offer students a hands-on, immersive experience in veterinary medicine, providing a window into the daily responsibilities, challenges, and rewards of a career in caring for animals.

A female veterinary medicine student reading through a book in her room

Participants can expect to engage in various activities, from learning basic veterinary procedures to understanding animal behavior and welfare. This program enriches the participants’ summer experience and provides valuable insights and skills for those considering a future in veterinary medicine or animal sciences.

It’s an ideal setting for motivated students to explore their interests deeply, gain practical experience, and connect with professionals and peers who share their passion for animal care and health.

15. The Red Hat Shelton Challenge

  • Field: Leadership
  • Cost: $750
  • Eligibility: 9th-12th graders
  • Important Dates: Multiple sessions in June and July; rolling deadline.

The Red Hat Shelton Challenge is a highly respected leadership development program among the summer programs for high school students in North Carolina.

Students outdoors

This initiative is designed to instill strong leadership qualities in young individuals through an intensive, interactive, and engaging curriculum. Focused on honesty, integrity, compassion, and diversity, the program challenges participants to think critically about their values and leadership styles.

Through workshops, team-building exercises, and personal reflection sessions, students are encouraged to develop their capabilities as influential leaders who can positively change their communities.

The Red Hat Shelton Challenge seeks to nurture a generation of young leaders who are ethical, self-aware, and committed to continuous improvement and service to others. This program is an excellent opportunity for high school students in North Carolina to enhance their leadership skills, meet like-minded peers, and prepare for future leadership roles in various professional and community contexts.

Conclusion

The array of summer programs for high school students in North Carolina highlighted in this listicle presents many opportunities for young minds eager to explore, learn, and grow during their summer break.

From the immersive world of veterinary medicine at the Junior Vet Camp to the creative studios of the NCSU Design Day Camp, each program is designed to inspire and challenge students in supportive and dynamic environments.

Engaging in these summer programs allows students to delve deeper into their fields of interest, gain valuable hands-on experience, and make lasting connections with peers and mentors. As the summer approaches, students are encouraged to seize these opportunities to enrich their educational journey and take a significant step towards realizing their future goals and dreams.

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