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20 High School Summer Programs for Rising Sophomores

20 High School Summer Programs for Rising Sophomores

Summer break is a perfect time for students to participate in enriching experiences that help them explore their personal and professional interests. High school summer programs are a valuable opportunity for students to experience unique educational experiences, enhance academic skills and create lasting friendships. This article will dive deeper into notable summer programs for rising sophomores, to help them feel prepared for the upcoming summer!
General Summer Programs for Rising Sophomores with Many Subject Areas

As the nation’s #1 public university, UCLA’s summer programs offer a challenging and enriching curriculum designed to empower high school students to excel. At the UCLA Summer Session, high school students learn to become global citizens and gain essential tools to make tangible impacts on the world. Students will take 1-2 approved courses in-person or online for 3-10 weeks and receive UC credits.

Application deadline: At the latest, June 1, 2024

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates: Various sessions starting from June 24, 2024

Location: University California, Los Angeles

Fee: $821 – $1181

NYU’s high school programs provide opportunities for students to delve deeper into academic subjects, enhance their skills, and preview the college experience. Led by NYU faculty, these programs aim to introduce students to college-level concepts, encouraging them to explore diverse academic pathways. High school students can choose from a variety of courses to gain a firsthand experience of life as an NYU student. Programs that are for rising sophomores:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences: High School Law Institute
  • STEM: Summer Program for Automation, Robotics and Coding (SPARC), Immersive Summer Interacting with Technology & Engineering (I-SITE), Design, Invent & Innovate (DII), Computer Science for Cyber Security (CS4CS), Innovation, Entrepreneurship & the Science of Smart Cities (ieSoSC), Machine Learning, XR Through Virtual Worlds, Computer Engineering for Good, User Experience Design, Simons NYU Science Exploration Program
  • SPS High school Academy: Career Edge and Weekend Workshops
  • Arts and Media: Tisch Future Artists, Tisch Online High School Screenwriters Workshop

Application deadline: The application opens late-November

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates: Various sessions

Location: Columbia University

Fee: $700+

Located in the city that never sleeps, Columbia University’s High School’s Pre-College Program offers a unique and enriching educational experience for high school students seeking to immerse themselves in a rigorous academic environment. Programs that are offered to rising sophomores:

  • NYC Commuter Summer: The commuter option for Columbia University’s program allows students to live off-campus while engaging in a diverse academic experience, selecting from over 70 courses in various subjects, with daily classes lasting four hours and taught by expert instructors.
  • Online Summer: Similar to the Commuter program, but students can participate in classes from anywhere around the world
  • Columbia Writing Academy: Created by Dr. Nancy Sommers, this intensive 2-week course is offered through the Online Summer program designed to help students craft and perfect their college application essays.
  • Climate School in The Green Mountains: The Columbia Climate School in the Green Mountains is a two-week program in Castleton, Vermont, where high school students collaborate with experts, learn about innovative solutions, and forge partnerships to drive impactful action in response to climate change.

Application deadline: At the latest June 12, 2024

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates: Various sessions

Location: New York University

Fee: Varies depending on programs

The Academies at the University of Pennsylvania offer three-week subject-intensive programs for current 9th to 11th-grade students. Led by University of Pennsylvania faculty and seasoned professionals, students will choose their class of interest and receive additional support from graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants.

Application deadline: December 1, 2023 – TBD

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates: Various sessions

Location: University of Pennsylvania

Fee: Varies depending on program

Arts and Media

Hosted by Berklee College of Music, Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive invites student musicians to Boston. Students will receive one-on-one instruction from Berklee’s esteemed faculty, a curriculum offering college credit, and opportunities to improve as a musician. Students will also explore diverse aspects of the music industry through elective coursework.

Application deadline: January 15, 2024 (Early Deadline)

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates: July 5-August 9

Location: Boston

Fee: $5,230

The Tufts University SMFA Studio Art summer program offers an immersive experience for artists and makers to explore various mediums and grow as artists. Participants have the opportunity to engage with SMFA at Tufts’ interdisciplinary approach to art making and create conceptually sophisticated artwork. The program includes foundational classes that blend different disciplines, providing instruction and guidance to enhance technical skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, and animation.

Application deadline: May 1, 2024

Eligibility: Rising sophomores and juniors

Program dates: July 7 – 26, 2024

Location: Tufts University, Boston Fine Arts Campus

Fee: Commuter: $5,000 / Residential: $6,750 / Materials Fee: $200

The Boston University School of Visual Arts’ Summer Institute is an intensive visual arts program designed for high school students aged 15-18. The program aims to help students build outstanding portfolios and gain a glimpse into the college art school experience. Whether their goal is to prepare for college admissions or enhance technical skills, students are introduced to professional artistic materials and methods. The program includes classes, studio time, visits to museums, special workshops, and an immersive experience as a Boston University student. Upon completion, students earn three college credits and leave with artwork ready to be included in their portfolios.

Application deadline: March 15, 2024

Eligibility: High school students (ages 15–18)

Program dates: July 7 – 26, 2024

Fee: Commuter: $3,600

Location: Boston University College of Fine Arts

The Boston University Summer Theatre Institute (BUSTI) is a five-week pre-college program designed for high school thespians. The program offers an immersive experience where students actively engage with Boston University and the professional artistic community in the greater Boston area.

Application deadline: December 1, 2023 – TBD

Eligibility: Rising sophomores and juniors

Program dates: June 30 – July 27

Location: Boston University College of Fine Arts
Fee: $4,525

Business and Entrepreneurship

LaunchX brings together top aspiring high school entrepreneurs from around the world each summer, supporting you through the process of launching an actual startup. Schools don’t organize LaunchX, but LaunchX organizers collaborate with top-ranking schools like MIT, Northwestern University, and the University of Pennsylvania for hosting locations. There are four different programs for students to choose from: Ann Arbor Entrepreneurship, Bay Area Entrepreneurship, Online Entrepreneurship, and Online Innovation. They also offer a free course called “Becoming an Entrepreneur.”

Application deadline: April 24, 2024

Eligibility: Any high school students

Program dates and locations: June 30 – July 27 (Ann Arbor, Michigan) or July 7 – August 3 (Bay Area)

Fee: $9,970

University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School exposes talented high school sophomores to rigorous business education, taking lessons from seasoned professors and connecting them to other talented peers around the world. Programs that are offered to high school sophomores (both don’t have prerequisites, although prior knowledge of the area is highly recommended).

  • Essentials of Entrepreneurship: learn about venture creation, business development, and entrepreneurship
  • Essentials of Finance: learn about finance, accounting, economics, and investing
  • San Francisco, CA: Innovation and Startup Culture: students will get hands-on experience in all aspects of the venture creation process. They will work in a team to generate business ideas and present their ideas in front of judges.
  • Cambridge, UK: Strategy and International Management

This two-week program, led by Wharton faculty and UK guest speakers, provides students with an introduction to management and international business concepts through interactive lectures. Participants will engage in case analysis, tackle real-world business challenges, and gain valuable skills applicable to job selection processes and business education worldwide.

Application deadline: Latest June 1, 2024

Eligibility: Rising sophomores

Program dates: Various sessions starting from June 9, 2024

Location: University of Pennsylvania

Fee: $821 – $1181

Business and Entrepreneurship

The Telluride Association Summer Seminar (TASS) is a free, six-week summer program designed for high school sophomores and juniors. TASS aims to prepare and inspire students to become leaders and contributors to society through immersive educational experiences centered around critical thinking and a democratic community. Participants attend college-level classes, and engage in discussions, group work, lectures, and other activities. Outside of class, students collaborate democratically, plan activities and community service projects, practice transformative justice, and participate in a public speaking program and guest lectures.

Application deadline: November 2023 – TBD

Eligibility: All high school sophomores and juniors

Program dates: June 23-August 3

Location: Cornell University, University of Maryland, and University of Michigan

Fee: $821 – $1181

Science, Technology, Engineering and MathScience, Technology, Engineering and Math

PROMYS is a six-week summer program at Boston University designed to encourage highly motivated high school students to explore the creative world of mathematics in-depth in a supportive community of peers, counselors, research mathematicians, and visiting scientists.

Application deadline: March 1, 2024 at 11:59 EST

Eligibility: Rising sophomores

Program dates: June 30 – August 10, 2024

Location: Boston University

Fee: $821 – $1181

Smith Precollege is offering a range of in-person summer programs in 2024. The programs include a one-week College Readiness Workshop aimed at helping students improve academic skills, and prepare college applications. The Creative Writing Workshop helps students explore their writing skills in various mediums. The Summer Science & Engineering program offers hands-on research opportunities in life and physical sciences, as well as engineering. The Sustainable Futures program brings together individuals who are passionate about environmental activism and creating positive change. Lastly, the Women, Gender, & Representation program explores topics such as women in politics, intersectional feminism, race in literature, and historical context using an intersectional analytical framework.

Application deadline: December 2023 – TBD

Eligibility: Young women, female-identified, and gender-nonconforming students entering grades 9 to 12

Programs available for students: College Readiness, Creative Writing Workshop, Summer Science & Engineering Program, Sustainable Futures, and Women, Gender & Representation

Program dates and Tuition:

  • College Readiness: July 21–27, 2024 / $2,660
  • Creative Writing Workshop: July 6–19, 2024 / $4,745
  • Summer Science & Engineering Program: July 6–19, 2024 or July 21–August 3, 2024 / $4,745
  • Sustainable Futures: July 21–August 3, 2024 / $4,745
  • Women, Gender & Representation: July 21–August 3, 2024 / $4,745

Location: Smith College

The Johns Hopkins summer program offers several options for high school students. The Explore Engineering Innovation (EEI) program provides in-person residential and commuter options, where students can explore various engineering disciplines such as chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and materials science. Sustainable Energy Engineering program is also offered in person on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. There are also 2 online options for students as well.

Application deadline: December 2023 – TBD

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors. Talented ninth-graders (rising sophomores) may be considered; however, priority will be given to older students.

Programs available for students: Explore Engineering Innovation: In-Person, Sustainable Energy Engineering: In-person, Explore Engineering Innovation: Online, Biomedical Engineering Innovation: Online

Program dates: July 1 – July 26, 2024

Tuition: $3,575

Location: Johns Hopkins University

The University of Chicago Immersion programs provide high school students with the opportunity to deeply engage in their passions and benefit from the educational resources of the University. These undergraduate-level courses offer personalized attention from faculty, researchers, and professionals who guide students through workshop discussions, research projects, and hands-on activities. The program is highly regarded for its teaching quality, striking a balance between serious academic work and an exciting atmosphere. This Immersion program is a residential program, requiring students to live on campus and attend classes in person, with no hybrid or remote learning options available.

Application deadline: At the latest May 1

Eligibility: Current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, who are at least 14 years old.

Programs available for students: Explore Engineering Innovation: In-Person, Sustainable Energy Engineering: In-person, Explore Engineering Innovation: Online, Biomedical Engineering Innovation: Online

Program dates: June 12 – June 29, 2024 or July 5 – July 21, 2024

Tuition: $3,575

Location: University of Chicago

The John Hopkins Stone and Bone program offers a four-week intensive practicum in paleontology led by Dr. Lance Grande, a Distinguished Service Curator at the Field Museum. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the collection, analysis, and conservation of fossils by working alongside museum scientists both in the lab and in the field.

Application deadline: Latest May 1

Eligibility: Current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, who are at least 14 years old.

Program dates: June 12 – July 7, 2023

Tuition: $13,600

Location: Chicago and Wyoming

MEDscience@HMS is a one-week, full-day program designed for high school students interested in science, medicine, or healthcare. It offers a hands-on learning environment where students experience realistic simulated medical emergencies. Participants have the opportunity to learn clinical skills from medical professionals, explore healthcare careers, and work in the state-of-the-art medical simulation emergency room at Harvard Medical School. The program aims to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills, allowing students to evaluate, diagnose, and treat acutely ill patients while practicing clinical skills like suturing, intubation, and IV insertion.

Application deadline: January 1, 2024 – TBD

Eligibility: Current high school students

Program dates: TBD

Tuition: $2650

Location: Harvard Medical School

The Moonshot Program offers high school students a unique opportunity to work on cutting-edge solutions in medical technology. Participants will engage in the design development process and present their prototypes to industry professionals. The program provides exposure to computer science, artificial intelligence, surgical robotics, and engineering, equipping students with valuable skills for the future. MEDscience Moonshot specifically focuses on biomedical engineering, computer science, and medicine, allowing students to prototype their own AI surgical robots to tackle complex medical problems.

Application deadline: January 1, 2024 – TBD

Eligibility: Current high school students

Program dates: TBD

Tuition: $5000

Location: Harvard Medical School

SPARC is a free program that provides students with the opportunity to develop quantitative skills and apply them to real-world scenarios. The program offers a multi-faceted learning experience, with small discussion-based classes and a variety of activities, ranging from programming labs to self-reflection periods. Students can deepen their quantitative skills through classes covering undergraduate and graduate-level concepts, including causal modeling and cognitive science. The program encourages students to connect their knowledge to real-world issues and explore topics such as clear thinking and achieving goals.

Application deadline: February 13, 2023

Eligibility: Current high school students

Program dates: July 18 – July 28

Tuition: Free

Location: California State University, East Bay

The UMass Turing Summer Program is a three-week summer program specifically designed for high school students in Western Massachusetts who are interested in or want to learn about Computer Science and its applications in areas like healthcare and energy. The program focuses on using computing for societal good, and explores topics such as how technology can improve health and promote sustainability. While some programming experience in languages like Python or Java is desirable, it is not necessary to participate.

Application deadline: TBD

Eligibility: Rising sophomores and juniors in high schools in Western Massachusetts

Program dates: July 10 – Jul 28, 2023

Tuition: Free

Location: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Participate in Aralia’s Summer Program

Summer vacation has always been an excellent time for learning and planning for the upcoming academic year. Whether it is improving your GPA or discovering new passions and interests, Aralia offers a range of summer programs to help you quickly jumpstart your academic improvements and/or increase your college application strength during your summer vacation!

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