Summer Opportunities

  • This list will help you start researching options for summer activities. There are many other programs available online and through local organizations.  Have fun in your search and find something that interests you! 


    General Opportunities

    CollegeMatch: Comprehensive list of summer opportunities divided into four categories: Summer Courses & Pre-College Programs, Independent Research Programs, Online Classes, and Community Service.  Programs are categorized by subject where applicable, but many of them offer learning opportunities across a wide variety of disciplines. Use their Interactive AI to help generate a list of opportunities.

    Teen Life: A list of one-of-a-kind programs in all shapes and sizes — some are academically focused, others are skills-based, and still others are similar to a traditional summer camp experience. All of these programs offer vital enrichment opportunities for teens to expand their horizons. 

    15 Best Value College Summer Programs for High School Students 


    Online Educational Opportunities Search engine for available online California Community College courses.

    Coursera: Free online courses from the nation’s top colleges on hundreds of topics.

    DVC Summer Academies: Summer academies focus on specific career paths and are designed to help high school students uncover their interests.

    EdX: High-quality, free online courses from hundreds of institutions that share a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.


    Alternative Institutions for Coursework

    UC Scout: Online approved UC A-G high school courses.

    Apex Learning: Online for original credit or f credit recovery towards grade-level advancement and high school graduation. 

    National University Virtual High School: Online AP, UC (A-G), or elective courses to achieve academic goals.

    Language Bird: Online language courses for high school credit. 

    Laurel Springs Online School: Online UC (A-G) approved courses.

    Tilden Prep: A unique, WASC-accredited, college preparatory school. Teaches UC-approved courses one-to-one and in small groups. Utilizes mastery of learning, teaching students to 80% (B) or higher level of mastery before moving forward. The individualized pace and teaching methods address a wide range of learning needs.


    Volunteer Opportunities

    VolunteerMatch: Search Engine to help you connect with volunteer opportunities in the local area

    TeensVolunteer: Volunteering Website started by Berkeley High teens to connect students to local volunteering opportunities

    HandsonBayArea: Volunteering Website for local Bay Area volunteer opportunities

    DoSomething: Organization connecting young adults for social change


    Academic Programs on College Campuses

    ASA: The Oxford Experience: The ASA Oxford Experience is a summer enrichment program for high school students. As an ASA student on the Oxford Experience, students enjoy challenging academic courses, a wide variety of extracurricular activities, and a full schedule of exciting excursions providing a wonderful taste of England’s history, culture, and traditions.

    Brown University Pre-College Programs: Each summer, students from around the world choose Brown University Pre-College Programs to experience the challenge of college-level academics and prepare for college success.

    Boston University High School Honors Program: High School Honors is an exciting opportunity for high school students to study alongside Boston University undergraduates, while earning up to 8 college credits in just six weeks. The program offers more than 80 undergraduate courses in a wide range of subjects, from African American studies to writing, and everything in-between, including biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics, philosophy, and visual art.

    California State Summer School for Math & Science: Held on University of California campuses in Davis, Irvine, San Diego and Santa Cruz, COSMOS enables advanced math and science students to engage themselves in an intensive academic experience that addresses topics not generally taught in high schools.

    Civic Leadership Institute at Northwestern: The Civic Leadership Institute (CLI) is a three-week summer service-learning program for outstanding high school students completing grades 9 through 12. The program combines hands-on education, meaningful service, powerful speakers and seminars, and an unforgettable residential experience for a summer that students describe as “life-changing.”

    Colorado College Pre-College Program: Colorado College offers 27 courses in various subjects as a part of their Pre-College Program, which is divided into three blocks. Block A and Block B run for three-and-a-half weeks, and high school students take classes alongside Colorado College undergrads. The Pre-college Block is two-and-a-half weeks long and is exclusively for high school students.

    Columbia University Summer Immersion: Each session, take one curricular option for an in-depth examination of a specific subject area.

    DVC Career Academies: DVC Career Academies are college courses designed for high school students during the summer. They allow students to explore various career opportunities while earning college credit. Subjects include Animation, Business, Cyber Security, Engineering, Health Careers, Biotechnology, Music and Robotics.

    Georgetown’s Summer High School Programs: An immersive learning experience that prepares students with the tools needed for college success. Ranging in length from one to five weeks, programs span a wide range of subjects, covering everything from forensic science and politics to creative writing and digital design. 

    George Washington Summer Programs: High school students benefit from GW's expertise in a variety of topics, including global development, international relations, public policy and administration, politics, diplomacy, history, biomedical engineering, museum studies, and the arts.

    Johns Hopkins University Pre-College Summer Programs:

    Oxbridge Academy: The Oxford Tradition is an academic program for students in grades 10-12 held at Pembroke and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford University, England. There are around thirty courses available, as diverse as Archaeology, British History, Medical Science, Law and Society, and Journalism.

    Stanford Summer Institutes: Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes is a three-week summer residential program held on the Stanford campus that provides academically talented and intellectually curious students currently in grades 8–11 with intensive study in a single course.

    Stanford University Math Camp (SUMaC) welcomes a select group of rising high school juniors and seniors from around the world, for intense study in advanced mathematics. 

    Stanford Medical Youth Science Program: is a five-week immersive enrichment program focused on science and medicine open to low-income, first-generation high school juniors that live in Northern California.

    Summer Discovery:  Pre-college enrichment, academic, and internship programs held on various college campuses nationally and internationally.

    UC Berkeley ATDP (Academic Talent Development Program): Challenging summer courses in various subjects. Depending on the course, it may fulfill A-G or AP requirements.

    UC Berkeley Summer Session: An academic opportunity to experience college life at UC Berkeley. A chance to get involved in Berkeley campus-based and online courses, extracurricular activities, and college exploration workshops while earning college credit. 

    UCSB Summer Research Academies: UCSB's summer research academies are open to current high school students in 9th, 10h or 11th grade, with a minimum weighted GPA of 3.6. Scholarships are available to students who may need them. Students will earn four college credits by taking a research course that will teach fundamental concepts in whatever track they choose. They will learn how to compose a formal research report and gain key communication skills to present their findings. There are ten varied tracks to choose from. 

    University of Pennsylvania - Penn Summer: Penn Summer programs provide a complete Penn experience whether students study on-campus, online, or in an international locale. Faculty-led courses allow students to explore an exceptional range of opportunities and be part of the intellectual community.

    USC Summer Programs: A diverse offering of 4-week summer courses. Accepted students to the USC Summer Programs balance academic and campus life, have access to USC faculty who are leaders in their fields, and explore growing academic passions at the university level. 

    Washington University Pre-College Programs: Pre-college programs provide motivated students with the opportunity to challenge themselves in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Programs aim to develop challenging and innovative programming that aligns with the overall WashU mission and goals, provide academic support to enable all students to experience growth in their academic abilities and create a positive, collaborative community by implementing educational, cultural, and social activities for all students.


    Subject-Specific Programs


    California State Summer School for the Arts:  A rigorous four-week, pre-professional visual and performing arts training program for high school students held each summer at the California Institute of the Arts.

    embARC Summer Design Academy at UC Berkeley: embARC is a four-week summer design program at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore architecture, urban design, and sustainable city planning through integrated components.

    Interlochen Center for the Arts: Located in beautiful northwest Michigan, Interlochen Arts Camp offers summer programs for grades 3-12.

    RISD Pre-College: This summer, live like a RISD student and work alongside hundreds of other creative, highly motivated students who will inspire you to push your limits and produce your best work.  

    School of Creative and Performing Arts: Campers of all experience levels are challenged to advance their skills through hands-on learning with teachers who are leaders in their fields, surrounded by classmates who share their passion. The faculty are dedicated to their craft and to passing on their knowledge to the next generation of artists. 

    Summer at SCAD: SCAD offers summer programs for high school students of all ages to pursue art and design disciplines while working alongside peers from all over the world.



    Berkeley Business Academy Camp:B-BAY students learn from professors who are at the top of their field—and from youth mentors. Students gain hands-on experience through class projects and presentations in a safe learning environment—all from the vibrant UC Berkeley campus.

    Economics for Leaders Program: Economics for Leaders (EFL) is a selective summer program that teaches student leaders how to integrate economics into the process of decision-making in an interactive learning environment.

    Wharton Global Youth Program: Leadership in the Business World (LBW) is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising seniors who want an introduction to a top-notch undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. 




    Georgetown University Introduction to Data Science Academy 

    Girls Who Code: In this program, girls entering 11th and 12th grades engage in project-based learning in STEM fields, as well as gain exposure to careers in tech. One perk is that it’s free to attend.

    ID Tech Camps 


    Community Service - Local

    Aspire Reading Buddies: Opportunity to spend time reading one-on-one with PreK – 3rd graders from Child Development Centers (Oakland Unified) in the East Bay.

    Lawrence Hall of Science: The Lawrence Hall of Science offers a fun, dynamic volunteer program for teens.

    Monument Crisis Center: Monument Crisis Center is a community-based non-profit family resource center for Central and East Contra Costa County. Located in Concord, the Center offers nutritious food, quality resources, and referrals to low-income individuals and families in order to help them become stable and secure in our community.

    Oakland Zoo: If you love animals, want to help, or want to start a career working with animals, then we have several options for you. Learn about our volunteer and internship programs.


    Community Service - Travel

    Amigos Language and Summer Immersion: AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after completing the program.

    Global Leadership Adventures: Global Leadership Adventures operates summer volunteer programs for high school students, exclusively in authentic, non-tourist communities.

    National Geographic Expeditions: Expeditions, university workshops, photography workshops, wildlife conservation, and community service trips with local experts.  

    Projects Abroad: Projects Abroad has spent over 25 years helping volunteers and interns fulfill their potential and make the world a better place. 

    Putney Student Travel: Innovative international programs that foster maturity, self-confidence, and personal discovery while fostering global awareness.

    Rustic Pathways: Programs facilitate life-changing educational experiences for students and use travel and philanthropy to achieve sustainable development in the cities, towns, and villages.

    Where There Be Dragons: Opportunity to travel like a local, live with families, apprentice with artists, and learn from scholars, farmers, sages, and community leaders alike. Empowers students to experience a different place through hands-on engagement. Each program is custom-crafted and led by expert instructors to ensure the most profound levels of immersion and mentorship. Program offerings throughout Asia, Africa, and South America. 



    Embry Riddle Summer Camp Aerospace Engineering:  One-week course. The Aerospace AERO pre-college program teaches the fundamentals of aerospace engineering and the science of flight. Classes include aerodynamics, flight mechanics, astrodynamics, robotics, propulsion systems, and aircraft design, as well as in-depth study of structures and materials, and computer-aided design. Students will collaborate with their peers to learn and apply the latest technology in the aerospace engineering industry.

    Engineering Summer Academy at Penn

    University of Michigan Electrify Tech Camp

    USC Viterbi

    WPI Summer Academic Programs 

    Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC): is a one-week engineering camp on the Cal Poly Slo Campus.



    The Best Summer Engineering Programs 



    California State Summer School for the Arts: An individual, expressive use of the film medium is emphasized in the film program. Each year, 28 students learn all aspects of creative film production, from experimental to pre-cinema history. The program is structured to resemble a collegiate BFA course that students typically experience at an elite university and art school film programs.



    College of William and Mary Pre-Collegiate Program in Early American History


    Language Immersion

    Abbey Road Programs: Founded by Stanford alumni two decades ago, Abbey Road continues to provide premium educational and recreational summer programs for high school students from the United States and all over the world.

    AFS: Globally competent thinkers are in high demand, so the time is right to travel and learn in a thrilling environment abroad. A unique, full-immersion experience can lead you even deeper than language fluency toward true cultural fluency.

    Amigos Language and Summer Immersion: AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after completing the program.

    Casa Nica in Nicaragua: A unique, flexible, affordable, and enriching program that combines Spanish classes and meaningful development work.

    CIEE High School Study Abroad: Opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the local scene while improving fluency in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, or Arabic.

    Concordia Language Villages: Builders of globally minded communities and guiding world fluency. Cultural immersion programs in the North Woods of Minnesota engage participants to develop language proficiency.

    Estudio Hispanico: Organization with a great passion for Spanish language learning that carefully handpicks all partner schools in Spain and Latin America.

    Go Overseas: International experience is a valuable way to gain valuable insight into yourself, expand your perspective and challenge yourself.

    Lacunza: Summer courses for teens and families. An educational and enjoyable way to learn Spanish which includes classes, activities and excursions.

    Lita: Three-week and five-week language immersion trips to Spain.

    Summer Language Academy at Middlebury College: The Academy’s approach to language learning, modeled after the pedagogy utilized at Middlebury College's renowned Language Schools, gives students the opportunity to spend four weeks immersed in language and culture.

    Rassias - Dartmouth: The Rassias Method is a unique approach that speeds language learning, increases language retention and has student's speaking and understanding in "ten days that make a difference." Originally developed for Peace Corps training, it has been adapted by language teachers in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

    Rustic Pathways: Intentionally designed, transformative student-travel programs with impact at the core of the experience.

    School Year Abroad: School Year Abroad (SYA) is focused on providing immersive, year-long study abroad programs for high school students. 

    SIT Study Abroad: SIT programs are developed around a framework of the most critical global issues (CGIs) of the day. Programs are interdisciplinary and appropriate for a variety of majors. Most programs address two CGIs within specific cultural and geographical contexts or comparatively across several countries and continents.

    Transitions Abroad

    Where There be Dragons: Dragons offers a meaningful way to travel with intention. Experience what it’s like to live somewhere else, if only for a few weeks, through an immersive summer travel program. Trips in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and more.


    Music and Theater 

    Bay Area Girls Rock Camp: Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers young people through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity, and teamwork. Although the camp centers on the experiences of young women, it is committed to gender justice and creating an inclusive environment that supports a wide range of marginalized gender identities and expressions.

    Berkeley Rep: Fun-filled, enriching, affordable camp experience for middle school and high school students—right here in Berkeley. 

    Berklee: Five-Week Summer Performance Program: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive (Five-Week) is the world's preeminent summer musical performance program. With one-on-one instruction from Berklee’s renowned faculty and a curriculum that offers college credit, this immersive program is designed to enhance the playing or singing performance skills of pre-college and high school students. 

    Interlochen Center for the Arts 

    Summer Music Programs at Oberlin: Each year the Conservatory of Music offers a series of music and voice programs during the summer months.

    UCSC: Soundwall Rock Music Camp: Soundwall Music Camps are open to students ages 12 - 17 who have a minimum of one year's playing/study experience. The camps are designed for young musicians who want to have the time-of-their-life performing music every day with students their own age. 

    50 Best Pre-College Summer Arts Programs for High School Students 


    Outdoor Leadership

    National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS): NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help students step forward boldly as leaders.

    Outward Bound: Outward Bound is the leading provider of experiential and outdoor education programs for youth and adults.


    Research Opportunities

    Pioneer Academics: For students interested in exploring summer research opportunities at the highest academic standards. Students join the community of Pioneer’s prospective scholars from 86 countries who share similar interests.

    Polygence: Opportunity to turn passions into research projects. Students work with an expert mentor to develop the research project of their dreams. Culminates in showcasing projects by presenting, publishing, and more.
    Scholar Launch:  Scholar Launch offers both one-on-one and small seminar format opportunities for students to engage in graduate-level learning and produce publishable or otherwise impactful work product under the tutelage of an instructor who has taught or led at one of the world's pre-eminent learning centers through three programs: Research Practicum,  U.S. College Writing Seminar, Global Internships.

    Veritas AI: A CS/Artificial Intelligence program. However, they have programs where you can apply AI to things in a wide variety of fields, so also good for students who have interests beyond CS/AI


    Science Research Programs/Internships

    NASA Internships: NASA Internships are competitive awards to support educational opportunities that provide unique NASA-related research and operational experiences for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as educators. These opportunities serve students by integrating interns with career professionals emphasizing mentor-directed, degree-related tasks, while contributing to the operation of a NASA facility or the advancement of NASA's missions.

    Oregon Saturday Academy: ASE Program: The Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program connects motivated high school students with mentors in pre-professional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) internships. 

    Research Apprenticeship in Biological Sciences: The Cornell University Research Apprenticeship in the Biological Sciences (RABS) offers a small number of serious, research-oriented students the rare opportunity to join a top-notch laboratory at one of the world’s leading research institutions.

    RISE Internship: In this six-week program, academically motivated rising seniors conduct research for 40 hours per week under the guidance of a faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student mentor.

    Research Science Institute: Each summer, 80 of the world's most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is the first cost-free to students summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research.

    Science Internships and Research Opportunities: A comprehensive list of science internships and research opportunities for high school students. 

    Stanford Institute of Medicine Summer Research Program: The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) is an eight-week program in which high school students from diverse backgrounds are invited to perform basic research with Stanford faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and researchers on a medically-oriented project.  

    Texas Tech - The Clark Scholars Program: The Clark Scholars Program is designed to attract gifted students from around the nation. The program allows students the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with outstanding faculty in a research-intensive setting. 

    UCSB Pre-College Programs:  Earn college credit for university-level interdisciplinary research in STEM, Humanities and/or Social Sciences under the guidance of a mentor. Four and six-week programs.  


    Travel & Topics

    The New York Times Student Journeys: Students delve into a theme of their choosing through hands-on experiences with a New York Times expert and a team of group leaders.



    Between the Lines International Writing Program at the University of Iowa:  Between the Lines hosts young writers at the University of Iowa for a cultural exchange program that focuses on the art and craft of creative writing. Participants ages 15-18 come together in Iowa City for an intensive two-week session. 

    Creative Writing Workshops at Columbia University:  Three-week program on Columbia's campus. Students enroll in either introductory or advanced workshops, which allow them to practice their literary craft with an attentive group of their peers, under the guidance of an experienced instructor. 

    Denison University - Writers Workshop: This eight-day residential program brings together young writers who are passionate about artistic expression and eager to stretch in new directions. In small workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, beginning poets and writers get the chance to develop their talents and refine their skills. 

    Interlochen Summer Writing Program: Develop and amplify your writing voice in this immersive three-week program. Guided by an outstanding faculty of published writers, you will experiment with multiple genres, deepen your understanding of the craft, and cultivate the confidence to share your work with the world.

    Iowa Young Writer’s Studio: The University of Iowa offers a summer residential program as well as online courses. The Studio gives promising high school-age creative writers the opportunity to share their writing with teachers and peers, receive constructive critique, participate in writing exercises and activities, and attend (actually or virtually) readings and literary events.

    Juniper Institute for Young Writers at UMass Amherst: The Juniper Institute for Young Writers provides an immersion in the writer’s life, a pre-college experience on the UMass campus, and an unforgettable week. Participants engage with their writing community from the morning Craft Sessions, to the afternoon Writing Labs and into the early-evening readings and Writer's Life talks.

    The Kenyon Review Young Writer’s Workshop at Kenyon College: An intensive two-week workshop for intellectually curious, motivated high-school students who are eager to develop their creative and critical abilities with language—to become better, more productive writers and more insightful thinkers.

    The Young Authors' Workshop at 826 Valencia: Two-week intensive writing camp for high school students. In this fun and rigorous program, students join us for ten full days of writing together, led by guest speakers who are poets, journalists, oral historians, and artists. 

    UCLA Summer Writing Program: designed for ambitious high school students who seek to strengthen their writing and discussion skills to get a step in preparing for college.