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10 Best Computer Science Programs for High School Students

Are you a CS nerd or a beginner who wants to learn the basics? Look no further because our list of 10 CS programs has something for everyone! These programs are provided by universities with some of the finest CS departments or leading providers in CS skilling.


The programs range from highly selective to fairly welcoming, and while some have a fee associated with them, others provide a stipend.


Why CS programs? If you are targeting a CS or, generally, a STEM major, these programs will go a long way in helping you build key skill sets for college and showcase your profile for college applications! Even if you are not targeting a STEM major, basic concepts from CS come very handy in analyzing data across subject areas, as well as adding diversity and academic rigor to your application!


Not seeing something you like or want to see opportunities in other subject areas? You can also look at other opportunities we’ve curated in psychology research, medical research, biology research, and virtual research. You can also check out our research program – Lumiere – which had 2100 students apply this past year!


10 Best Computer Science Programs for High School Students


1. Berkeley Summer Computer Science Academy

Location: University of Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $4,625

Application deadline: March 2023 (based on previous year’s schedule)

Program dates: June 19, 2023 - July 1, 2023 (based on previous year’s schedule)

Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Applicants must be high school students who are 16-17 years old by June 19, 2023 and have good academic standing. For detailed eligibility criteria, please visit here.


This is a rigorous 2-week experience designed for motivated students who are interested in coding, computer science, and wish to gain an excellent understanding of college-level student life. It is designed for students with little of no prior coding experience. Students will undergo an immersive learning experience in coding, powerful computer science concepts, collaborative programming, and problem-solving.


2. MIT’s Women’s Technology Program

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Fee/ stipend: None

Application deadline: January 15, 2023 (based on previous year’s schedule)

Program dates: June 2023 - July 2023

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: This program is women focused. Applicants must be juniors or seniors in high school.


This is a 4-week summer academic and residential experience where 60 female high school students explore engineering through hands-on classes that are taught by female MIT graduate students, labs, and team-based projects. Students focus on either Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) or Mechanical Engineering (ME).


3. Veritas AI’s Programs

Location: Virtual

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $1,490 for the AI Scholars program (The 10-week bootcamp). $4,200 for the AI Fellowship (the 12–15-week, 1-1 mentorship). $4,700 for both. Need-based financial aid is available.

Application deadline: Program runs in cohorts throughout the year - applications for the Winter Cohort close on November 27, 2022.

Program dates: Rolling. Applications for the summer are between February and May.

Program selectivity: Open enrolment (AI Scholars program), Moderate (AI Fellowship)

Eligibility: Applicants must be ambitious high school and can be anywhere in the world. For the AI Scholars program, no previous experience is required - applicants need to show a keen interest in AI. For the AI Fellowship program, applicants will either need to complete the AI Scholars program or have had past experience with AI concepts or Python.


Veritas AI has a range of AI programs for ambitious high school students, starting from close-group, collaborative learning to customized project pathways with 1:1 mentorship. The programs have been designed and run by Harvard graduate students & alumni.

In the AI Scholars program, students work with PhDs from top institutions to learn the fundamentals of Python and key concepts in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Students build a strong foundation to code and create AI models independently.

In the AI Fellowship, students create a novel AI project independently with the support of a mentor over 12-15 weeks. Examples of past projects can be found here.


4. Columbia’s Pre-College Summer Program

Location: Columbia University (Columbia, NY)

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $6,300 (commuter). $12,449 (residential).

Application deadline: Applications for 2023 will open in late November 2022.

Program dates: Sessions I is likely to be from June 27, 2023 –July 15, 2023. Session II is likely to be from July 19, 2023–August 5, 2023 (based on previous year’s schedule)

Program selectivity: Open enrolment

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in a high school as of Spring 2023. While no prior experience is required, applicants should have an aptitude for logical reasoning and systematic thinking.

The summer program offers 1 and 3-week courses across a wide array of subjects and the computer science courses cover key fundamentals such as coding in Java, C, Python and immersive courses on AI / ML and Big Data (to name a few). Programming projects involving mathematical problems and logic games challenge students to develop logical reasoning, systematic thinking, and problem-solving skills.


5. Harvard’s College Programs for High School Students

Location: Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and online option for the Secondary School Program.

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $5,300 (pre-college program), $3,600–$13,750 (secondary school program, depending on the number of courses selected)

Application deadline: Program runs in cohorts throughout the year - applications for the Winter Cohort close on November 27, 2022.

Program dates: There are multiple sessions of the pre-college program from June - August 2023. June 17 - August 5, 2023, for the secondary school program.

Program selectivity: Moderate (pre-college program), High (secondary school program)

Eligibility: Applicants must be expected to graduate from high school and enter college in 2024 or 2025 and be at least 16 years old by June 17, 2023 and must not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2023.


Students can pick between programs that are 2-week, non-credit (pre-college program) and 7-week, college credit (secondary school program). There are multiple courses available such as “Introduction to Data Science with a Focus on Visualization” and “Introduction to Scientific Programming in Python”, to name a few.


6. CalTech’s Summer Tech Camp

Location: California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $2,500 per course (approx. and depends on the course)

Application deadline: Rolling

Program dates: To be announced.

Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Applicants must be between 13-18 years of age. Courses have different experience levels, and those criteria must be met.


These coding camps are designed to enable students to explore their interests in computer science through courses on Python, C++ (to name a few) and game development. The objective is to keep focus on the various applications of computer science in business and core technology.


7. Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Program

Location: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Fee/ stipend: None

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Program dates: July 1, 2023, to July 28, 2023

Program selectivity: High

Eligibility: Applicants must be current sophomores in high school.


This 4-week program enables students to deep-dive into the world of computer science through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on research projects, faculty lectures, and industry engagement with leading tech companies around the country. Students will engage in college-level courses in computer programming and mathematics. Those who complete the program and demonstrate a desire to continue may be invited to return as rising seniors to CMU’s AI Scholars program the following summer.


8. Stanford Summer Sessions

Location: Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Fee / stipends: Fee -

  1. Attending as a commuter, taking a minimum of 3 units: starts at $4,926

  2. Living on campus, taking a minimum of 8 units (typically 2-3 courses): starts at $15,875

Application deadline: Application for this year has closed. Registration for 2023 will start in November 2022. Program dates: June - August Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Applicants must be current sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are at least 16 years of age when the program begins. The applicant must not be matriculating into Stanford as a first year.


These 8-week programs offer an array of research opportunities across different subject areas and within computer science. Students can explore a wide range of topics from essentials of programming, programming abstractions to various internet technologies. All Stanford Summer Session courses carry Stanford University credit.


9. UPenn’s Summer Coding Camps

Location: Virtual

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $2,500 per course (approx and depends on the course)

Application deadline: Rolling

Program dates: Multiple and year-round.

Program selectivity: Moderate

Eligibility: Applicants must be between 13-18 years of age. Courses have different experience levels, and those criteria must be met.


These coding camps are designed to enable students to explore their interests in computer science through courses on python and C++ (to name a few). The objective is to keep focus on the various applications of computer science in business and core technology.


10. UCLA’s Computer Science Summer Institute

Location: University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

Fee/ stipend: Fee - $2,223. Scholarships are available for students in California.

Application deadline: Applications for 2023

Program dates: June 21, 2023 – July 8, 2023 (based on previous year’s schedule)

Program selectivity: Open enrolment

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in a high school as of Spring 2023.


This 3-week program is a computer science introductory track which awards credit for certain UCLA coursework. Students will learn how to use computers as tools for problem-solving, creativity, and exploration through the design and implementation of computer programs. Key topics covered in this program are data types including integers, strings, and lists; control structures, including conditionals and loops; and functional decomposition.

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program


If you are passionate about research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.



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