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10 Best Internships for High School Students

If you are a determined high school student, you should consider doing an internship. Internships in high school are very advantageous as they showcase your ability to supplement your theoretical knowledge with practical application - a skill that admission officers highly value!


We have curated a list of the 10 best internships across the board. Each of these internships is extremely prestigious and will be a great addition to any college application. We have taken internships in various subjects - from aerospace engineering to journalism and even marine biology!


If you would like to know more about internships in a specific subject area, you can take a look at our other pieces, where we cover opportunities in biology and marine biology, architecture, law, and psychology!


Why should you consider an Internship?

Internships, especially those associated with prestigious companies and universities (e.g., NASA, Bank of America, Princeton, etc.) will help build your profile..


Through an internship, you will also benefit from gaining real-world experience, and you can get a glimpse into your future career trajectories! Additionally, pursuing an internship is a great opportunity to network with peers and mentors, which will be valuable for future opportunities and even letters of recommendation!


How did we choose the best internships?

We have used 2 criteria to determine which internships are the best:

  • Prestige - How prestigious is the host organization? Internships that are associated with prestigious organizations such as NASA or Princeton are highly valued as they are more credible.

  • Selectivity - We have used selectivity as an important factor, as gaining admission into a highly selective program shows your academic capabilities. Moreover, attending these internships will set you apart from the rest of the applications!


Ladder Internship is a selective program for high school students to work with startups.


Ladder Startups work in fields including technology, machine learning and A.I., finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form.


As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding students through the internship and helping them navigate the startup environment.


Note that as a Ladder Intern, you will engage in a coaching+work-based model - a component that sets it apart from most internships in this list. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


Acceptance Rate: 15-20%

Cost: $1990 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application Deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program Dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!




The Bank of America offers hundreds of high school students across the country an opportunity to engage with their communities in meaningful ways via their internship program. Students are paired with a nonprofit organization local to them and participate in a paid internship for eight weeks. Popular participating nonprofits include Habitat for Humanity and The Boys and Girls Club. Students interested in economics can apply their knowledge and gain more skills through a hands-on internship over the course of a summer.


Additionally, as part of the internship experience, students convene in Washington, D.C., at their National Student Leaders Summit, where they interact with professionals in a variety of fields ranging from business to governmental affairs. This program is considered highly selective but is another phenomenal way to apply economics hands-on while developing connections on a nationwide level.


Note: We've covered this opportunity in detail here!


Acceptance Rate: Between 5-8%

Cost: Fully funded, hourly stipend

Location: Washington D.C

Application Deadline: TBD, applications open in October

Program Length: Eight weeks

Eligibility: Current junior or senior high school student, legally authorized to work in the U.S



If you are interested in political journalism and have decided on it for your major, this year-long course at Princeton is a great option. The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) offers high achievers from low-income families a free residential journalism and college preparation program where they will study politics and current affairs, learn from Princeton professors and journalists, and collaborate with a college advisor.


The program includes a variety of online and in-person possibilities, such as weekly lectures and workshops led by program graduates and journalists from publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Politico, and CNN, among others.


Fair warning - This is a highly selective program, including a three-round application process and a final cohort of up to 40 students.


Acceptance Rate: Below 5%

Cost: No cost

Location: Hybrid (Virtual + Princeton Campus)

Application Deadline (Summer 2023): April 23, 2023

Program Dates (Summer 2023): July 28 - August 7

Eligibility: High-achieving juniors from high school and low-income backgrounds.




Conducted by the National Institute of Health, the HiSTEP program offers internships in the areas of biomedical engineering and healthcare. The program aims to expand the pipeline of students interested in biomedical and healthcare careers by expanding opportunities for high school students.

Spanning over 5 weeks in Bethesda, MD, you'll delve into the scope of the scientific enterprise and the importance of biomedical research and other STEM-M careers. Sessions in the HiSTEP program have previously included the following -

  • Basic science skills used in laboratory settings through hands-on science experiments.

  • Current topics in Health Science through case studies and group projects.

  • Exploring STEM-M careers through learning the roles played by scientists, healthcare workers, and public health experts.

  • Career readiness and leadership development through improving skills such as self-awareness, assertiveness, and interpersonal/ resiliency skills.

  • College and career advising through resources that improve understanding of the college application process, aid in scholarship and mentor finding, and help with the transition to college.

Acceptance Rate: Below 10%

Cost: No Cost + stipend ($2150) and Public transport benefits provided

Location: National Institute of Health Campus (Bethesda, MD)

Application Deadline (Summer 2024): 1st February 2024

Program Dates (2023): July 5th - August 3rd.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a high school sophomore or junior/ rising sophomore (turn 17 by June 15th, 2023, for Summer 2023 program)

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or hold permanent resident status.

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Attend a school where 30% or more of the student body participated in the Federal Free/ Reduced Lunch Program.

  • Have their primary residence in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC (within 40 miles of the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD).


NASA’s Office of STEM Engagements provides internship opportunities at all their locations around America. If you live near a NASA facility, you have the flexibility to opt for an internship in a research facility near you! However, if you live away from one, NASA also conducts virtual internships. You can access their database on internships here (you will have to filter through the database to find opportunities open for high school students specifically).


Through this internship, you will gain the opportunity to experience real-world applications of aerospace engineering. Students interested in engineering or astrophysics can consider this program as it’s a great value-add for college applications, owing to the reputation and prestige of this program as well as NASA.


Acceptance Rate: Around 5%

Cost: No cost; stipend provided

Location: Varies, different for each internship offered

Application Deadline: Varies from internship to internship

Program Dates: Varies from internship to internship, but should be in one of these three cohorts -

  • Fall - from late August/early September to mid-December (16 weeks)

  • Spring - from mid-January to early May (16 weeks)

  • Summer - from late May/early June to August (10 weeks)

Eligibility:

  • High School Students

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen

  • Have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.


The NYC Office of the Mayor offers internships to high school students who are interested in the functioning of city government and policy. You can apply to the department of your choice and, if selected, will work with that department for the duration of your internship.


You can expect to collaborate with full-time staff and work on various projects, including conducting research, attending meetings, managing incoming inquiries, analyzing data, drafting briefings, staffing events, etc.


Through the bi-weekly Speaker Series, you also learn more about the inner workings of the City government. Guest speakers include Deputy Mayors, Commissioners, Program Directors, and other senior staff. You will also get a chance to develop a service project with other interns! The goal is to design and execute a project to impact the most deserving communities and uplift New Yorkers in need.


Acceptance Rate: <30% for Summer 2023

Cost: No cost; a salary of $15/hour is provided.

Location: New York City

Application Deadline:

  • Summer term (2024) - Not specified; however, the tentative date is mid-March based on last year’s data.

  • Fall-Spring Term (2023-2024) - August 11th, 2023

Program Dates:

  • Summer term (2024) – June through August

  • Fall/Spring terms (2023-2024) - October 2nd, 2023 - April 19th, 2024.

Eligibility:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older.

  • Must be enrolled in high school or accepted to an undergraduate degree program.

Note. For the Fall/Spring Term, you must be a New York City resident and be enrolled in high school.



Internships at Treasury give students the opportunity to collect, analyze, and present policy data, as well as conduct research and summarize academic literature and news important for priority missions. This is a great program to build a solid foundation for a future career in international policy.


Through these internships, you get the chance to gain research and analytical skills and management and organizational skills through interactions with Treasury colleagues and other U.S. government agencies. You can choose to work in any one of the several offices that make up the Treasury Departmental Offices (headquarters).


Acceptance Rate: Around 10-12%

Cost: Fully funded, no stipend provided

Location: Washington, D.C.

Application deadline: Varies for all three Internship periods -

  • Spring Internship Period - Apply in October.

  • Summer Internship Period - Apply in December.

  • Fall Internship Period - Apply in June.

Program dates: Treasury typically offers internship opportunities in the spring, summer, and fall:

  • Spring Internship Period (January-May): Apply in October

  • Summer Internship Period (May-August): Apply in December

  • Fall Internship Period (September-December): Apply in June

Eligibility: Students must be U.S. citizens and must be enrolled or accepted at an accredited institution



The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is an 8-week paid summer internship and mentoring program sponsored by the American Fisheries Society. The program stimulates interest in fisheries and aquatic science, especially among underrepresented groups.

As a Hutton Scholar, you will be matched and mentored by a fisheries professional in your local area. You will gain hands-on fisheries science experience in marine or freshwater, conducting laboratory and field research.

You will participate in resource conservation and management projects as a Hutton Scholar. Moreover, you will learn about career opportunities while receiving resources on potential course students. Some possible activities include electrofishing, examining specimens, data processing, establishing aquatic vegetation and fish habitats, and more!

An added benefit is an all-expense paid trip to the Hutton Scholars Summit conducted at the University of Arkansas!

Acceptance Rate: 12% for the Summer 2023 cohort.

Cost: No cost; stipend provided ($3,000 for 8 weeks)

Location: Based on your locality (Hutton aims to match students within a 45-minute commute of your home)

Application Deadline (Summer 2023): February 14th, 2023

Program Dates (2023): June to August (It depends on the Scholar's schedule)

Eligibility:

  • Students who live and have residency in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

  • All current high school students.



The SEES program is collaborative between NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and UT Austin. This national-level summer internship program is an opportunity for you to work alongside NASA subject matter experts - a coveted achievement.


The program is centered around Earth and space research. As an intern, you will be expected to assist with analyzing and visualizing data in your respective area of research. You can expect to work on areas such as Earth and space research (either through astronaut photography or galaxy classification), climate research, mission design (through satellite design or Mars Rover resource utilization), or more.


There is a virtual learning component to the program and then an onsite experience on campus at the University of Texas, Austin. You are also expected to present your research at the program's concluding symposium.


Acceptance Rate: Approximately 3-4%

Cost: No cost

Location: National Institute of Health Campus (Bethesda, MD)

Application Deadline (Summer 2023): 20th February 2023

Program Dates (Summer 2023):

  • June 25th-July 7th (remote)

  • July 8th - July 22nd (onsite).

Eligibility:

  • Open to rising Juniors and Seniors (at the time of the program)

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen



The SEAP Program by the Department of Navy (DoN) allows high school students to conduct Naval research and technology while simultaneously being mentored by scientists and engineers who currently conduct research at DoN.


Prospective students can choose between the 30 labs spread out over the country. Lab choices are based on interest (e.g., very few labs offer Marine Biology as a topic of interest, while Statistics and Engineering are more common among the labs).

Some topics of research that have been covered in the SEAP program are:

  • Submarine Life Support

  • Development of Ansys Fluent Workflow for Axial Fan Simulation and Flow Around Objects

  • Catalytic Oxidation of Li-Ion Electrolyte

  • Analysis of CSS Georgia Bones and Various Consolidants

  • Design and development of AM Prints for Educational Purposes

Get a more detailed understanding of their contributions here!


Acceptance Rate: Around 10-15%

Cost: No Cost + stipend of $4,000 (new participants) or $4,500 (for returning participants)

Location: Varies depending on lab choice.

Application Deadline (Summer 2024): 1st August 2023

Program Dates: Varies from lab to lab (expect it to be conducted in the summer months).

Eligibility:

  • Open to rising Juniors and Seniors (at the time of the program).

  • Must have turned 16 years old by the start date of the program.

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen

Note: Eligibility changes based on lab to lab (with some labs changing the grade and age minimum and others opening the program for permanent residents and dual citizens).



Any person interested in pursuing Computer Science in college would find SPARK interesting. SparkSIP allows applicants to select 5-6 projects that they’d like to work on and then assign sponsors to selected students. Moreover, SPARK provides opportunities and resources that can be used during and after college applications!



Another option -Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research, then 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 4000 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 Ph.D. 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.


Image Source: PSJP logo

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