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10 Best Yale Summer Programs for High School Students

Looking to learn something new this summer while forging connections with like-minded peers? Some of our favorite summer opportunities for high school students are at Yale University!

Over the summer, Yale offers a web of programs, for different purposes and interests - some in-person, some online, some selective, and some open-enrollment. In this article, we outline 10 summer opportunities at Yale for high school students that we thought were most representative.

Two main types of programs are Yale Young Global Scholars and Yale Summer Session. In addition to exploring the courses offered in these two programs, we’ve also shared an internship opportunity and two writing courses. These programs aim to help students pursue their passions, develop new ones, and in some cases, even earn college credit!

Read on below to learn more about the following programs.

What is it?

The most popular option for high school students considering studying at Yale over the summer is their pre-college program “Yale Young Global Scholars” (aka YYGS).

YYGS is essentially an enrichment program that currently offers four programs, on campus, in the form of lectures, seminars, and a capstone project. It provides students an opportunity to explore a subject of particular interest to them while spending time with like-minded peers from over 150 countries. These courses are taught in a low-pressure, intimate learning environment, in small-sized lectures, and with a collaborative learning style

Who is this for?

If you want an experience tailored to high school students, then YYGS is your best option at Yale. The program is created exclusively for high school students and because it has some selection process it is considered to be a generally positive signal on college applications.

Pro tip: YYGS also hosts very useful webinars on college admissions, tuition, academics, and more! You can either attend these sessions live or watch recordings. Check them out here.


All YYGS are two weeks long, residential courses, and offered three times through the summer.

  • Session 1 dates: June 18 - June 30, 2022

  • Session 2 dates: July 2 - July 14, 2022

  • Session 1 dates: July 16 - July 28, 2022

Cost: $6,250 | Duration: 2 weeks | Location: In-person

Through the study of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and earth science, you’ll learn about how to apply scientific principles to real-world scenarios. The program emphasizes teamwork and promises to build critical thinking and analytical skills in students.

Study culturally significant texts across global literature, philosophy, music, religion, and cultural theory. In doing so, you’ll cultivate the skills to think about your place in the world and articulate yourself in speaking and writing. The program will also focus on relating the works to larger cultural issues.

Learn about public policy, human rights, market regulation, governance structures, and international law, and look at social systems and present-day issues through the lenses of economic, legal, and political theory. This program will help you build your critical thinking and analytical skills. Due to popular demand, there are now two sessions available.

Explore innovative approaches to global challenges and learn about emerging fields such as global health, international development, sustainability, and more. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students will gain an understanding of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and learn how to work toward developing solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

What is it?

Yale offers a set of college courses for credit over the summer. These programs are open to both college students and high school students (called “pre-college students” in Yale-lingo). This is different from YYGS because you’re actually taking a college-level course with other students - potentially current Yale students taking a course over the summer or other university students deciding to take a course over the summer.

Who is it for?

In this program, students get a chance to attend courses for credit, alongside other college students! This program is for those who want to get a glimpse into college-level courses and Yale’s academic rigor.

Unlike YYGS, these are longer-term courses. Attending this program is likely to get you a head start on your education by 2-4 credits. There are two sessions that each last about 5 weeks. Below, we go into the details of these summer sessions.


Yale college courses for credit are offered either during Session A or Session B respectively.

Pro-tip: These classes are offered on a first-come registration basis, so mark your calendars and register on time to make sure you get the classes you want!

  • Session A: May 30 - July 1, 2022

  • Session B: July 4 - August 5, 2022

The Yale Conservatory for Actors is a five-week program focused on educating students with a foundation in the theater. Through the conservatory, students are nurtured for artistic growth and skill development. This program uses various methods and practices, such as text analysis sessions, clowning sessions, and collaboration with fellow students.

Cost: $9,475 | Dates: July 3 - Friday, August 4, 2022 | Duration: 5 weeks | Location: In-person

This course aims to explore the role of uncertainty in medicine, along with subtopics like modern medical humanities, philosophy of science, and rationalism and romanticism. Students will learn by reading, analyzing, and discussing texts written by major on modern medicine. It also offers one credit!

Cost: $4,650 | Dates: May 30 - July 1, 2022 | Duration: 5 weeks | Location: In person

In this course, students are introduced to the art of programming and how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Mostly taught via solving case studies, this course designs scenarios inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. Some topics covered in class include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript, plus CSS and HTML.

Cost: $4,650 | Dates: May 30 - July 1, 2022 | Duration: 5 weeks | Location: In person

This course offers an insight into the political economy of slavery and ghetto origins, with subtopics about colonialism and domination. Students learn about the theoretical and historical considerations of racial differences in the US through this course while earning a one-semester credit.

Cost: $4,650 | Dates: July 4 - August 5, 2022 | Duration: 5 weeks | Location: Online


There are a few more opportunities offered at Yale over the summer for high school students. Here, we’re outlining these three in particular.

The DTC program aims to expose students from local schools to Yale's biomedical laboratories, as a means to open their minds to pursue research opportunities in science and medicine.

Here, students are selected to spend 6-8 weeks over the summer working at the Yale School of Medicine in a laboratory under the mentorship of a PI, a postdoctoral student, or a research assistant.

Cost: N/A | Dates: June - August 2022 | Duration: 6 - 8 weeks | Location: In-person

The Yale Young Writer’s Workshop is an online 1-week summer writing workshop. Students aged 16 to 18 choose from four genres and attend workshops, open mics, and student readings. It is one of the best career-building experiences for young writers as it explores career options and introduces students to professionals.

Cost: - | Dates: July 9 - July 14, 2022 | Duration: 1 week | Location: Online

A bonus program for those of you who made it this far!

Citizens-Thinkers-Writers is a free, 2-week summer residential program for students from New Haven public schools who are interested in exploring fundamental human questions in a college setting.

This program allows students to actively participate in a long-running philosophical conversation that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and further encourages them to link this conversation to their own experiences. After completing the summer program, students become CTW Fellows and continue to meet with the faculty, undergraduate residential teaching assistants, and a graduate coordinator throughout the academic year.

While all students are encouraged to apply, preference is given to first-generation college students!

Cost: Free | Dates: July 9 - July 21 2022 | Duration: 2 weeks | Location: In-person

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in a selective, individually customized research program, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, an online high school program for students founded by Harvard and Oxford researchers. The program pairs you with a full-time researcher to develop your own independent research project, in any discipline of your choice. Last year over 2100 students applied for 500 slots in the research program! You can find the application form here.

Looking for college programs beyond Yale? Check out our other blogs on 15 Best Free Summer Programs for High School Students and 15 Virtual Research Opportunities for High School Students.

Dhvani (the-one-e) is a program manager at Lumiere, in addition to being an entrepreneur, dialogue facilitator, and boxer. She graduated from UC Davis where she studied design, psychology, and sustained dialogue. She has a passion for all things education, inclusion, and empowerment.



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