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10 Dermatology Internships for High School Students

Applying for an internship in high school is a great way to gain practical experience, learn new skills, meet industry professionals, and gain valuable insight into different fields. If you’re a high school student who is keen on pursuing dermatology, completing an internship in the field will inform you of the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in it — especially specializations in skin diseases, skin cancer, hair abnormalities, nails, epidemiology, and others.

A successful internship in dermatology can boost your college or university applications as it will foreground your dedication, motivation, awareness, and exposure to the field. It will further tend to your passion for the subject and give you practical clinic/office experience, both of which admissions committees tend to look for.

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of some of the best dermatology internships for high school students. There’s something here for everyone!

Location: Virtual

Eligibility: High school students who can contribute 5-15 hours/week for 8-16 weeks

Application Deadline: Summer II cohort: June 26, 2024

Dates: The summer 2024 II cohort starts on July 5 and runs till September

Cost: Starts at $1,990; financial aid is available.

Ladder Internships is an endeavor started by Harvard alumni and entrepreneurs to pair highly qualified high school students with leading startups (like IPMD, Softemind, and JuneBrain) across multiple industries and countries. This is a selective internship, with only 70 students accepted in 2023 out of 700 applications.

If you are interested in a career in dermatology, you can opt for the medicine or health tech tracks to get first-hand exposure to the field. As part of the internship, you will attend weekly meetings with the company coach to plan and execute a real-world project that you will then present at the end of your internship. You will also receive support and guidance from a Ladder coach.

A longer research internship is also offered. For a more in-depth review, check out our blog post on Ladder Internships!

Location: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Eligibility: High school students in Philadelphia in grades 10-12.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January.

Dates: 4 consecutive Saturdays in March; followed by a paid summer internship (if selected).

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; stipend provided for the summer internship. 

University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Academy for Skin Health (PASH) is a four-weekend program designed for students interested in dermatology. Selected students will interact with clinicians and scientists and receive their guidance while learning laboratory techniques and experiments, discovering diseases, and using advanced technology. You will further get to network with Penn faculty and peers. You may also get the chance to attend the annual Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center (SBDRC) Scientific Symposium.

If you successfully complete the program, you become eligible for a paid summer internship sponsored by the Office of Outreach, Education, and Research (OER). You will perform in-depth laboratory work while simultaneously participating in the university’s ECuRE program.

Location: Denver Health, Denver, CO | Children’s Hospital Colorado (multiple campuses), CO

Eligibility: Current high school sophomores attending school in the Denver metro or Colorado Springs areas.

Application Deadline: Applications are closed for 2024-25 and will reopen in January 2025 for the 2025-26 program.

Dates: 2 years spanning junior and senior years.

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; stipend provided for the 100-120-hour internship.

Denver Health, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Colorado, hosts the Medical Career Collaborative Program (MC2) to provide high school students a chance to explore various medical and healthcare professions. As part of the internship portion of the program, you will be placed in a department (including dermatology) in one of the participating hospitals and work with the staff to gain practical experience. You will also be paired with a mentor who will guide you during the internship.

In addition to the hands-on work, you will attend field trips, seminars, workshops, training sessions, college application support, and additional support once you become an alum. At the end of the internship, you will create and deliver a Presentation of Learning to share your experience.

This program generally accepts a total of around 75 students annually.

Location: NIH campuses in: Bethesda, Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Phoenix, AZ

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors of high school who are at least 17 years old at the time of application and who live within 40 miles of their respective NIH campus can apply. Confirm the additional eligibility requirements for your respective cohort program—HiSTEP and HiSTEP 2.0.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: July 2, 2024 to August 1, 2024 (8 weeks)

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; stipend of $2,300-2,530 (if you are currently in high school) or $2,570-2,840 (if you have graduated high school) is provided; no housing/transportation is included, but there is free parking on campuses with some also offering a Transhare program.

The High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers students a chance to work in an Intramural Research Program. Applicants should indicate their preference for the institutes where they wish to work. Students interested in dermatology can opt for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) or the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Selected students will be placed in research groups and will work in the labs’ state-of-the-art labs under the supervision of a Principal Investigator (PI). You can undertake basic, clinical, or translational research. In addition to lab work, you will receive access to educational and career advising, professional development programs, and a comprehensive well-being and resilience program.

The program will conclude with the Summer Poster Day where you will present your research.

Location: Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Eligibility: Open to U.S. high school students.

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Dates: Depends on the student, with the internship potentially spanning days/weeks/months.

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; both paid and unpaid opportunities are available.

The Penn State College of Medicine offers research internships and observation opportunities for either 1-2 days or extended internships typically spanning weeks or months. Applicants should first find a potential research supervisor (you can specifically search for supervisors in the Department of Dermatology that match your research interests) and indicate their preference in their applications to get matched accordingly.

If selected, you will work in the laboratory under the supervisor and either shadow them, participate in experiments, or learn techniques from them. You may also get a chance to perform research on your own project and complete it during the internship. 

Note that you will need to go through lab safety training before you begin working in the lab.

Location: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

Eligibility: High school students who are at least 16 years old and have a commitment from a Rutgers, RBHS-NJMS faculty member

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but must be submitted at least 4 weeks before the anticipated start date.

Dates: Decided based on the availability of the intern and faculty member.

Cost: Typically free for all accepted participants.

The Rutgers Health New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) hosts high school student interns. If you are interested in interning in an NJMS research laboratory, you should first contact the relevant faculty and obtain a commitment from them. If you are specifically interested in dermatology, you can find a list of relevant faculty members here.

During your initial contact with the faculty member, make sure you discuss your potential research project so that you can begin working in the lab once your internship begins. Throughout the internship, you will receive guidance and supervision from the faculty member so that you can complete your project successfully.

You will need to complete laboratory safety training before commencing your research.

Location: South Lake Union, Seattle, WA

Eligibility: Students between 11th and 12th grades from underrepresented backgrounds.

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in March.

Dates: June 24, 2024 - August 16, 2024 (8 weeks).

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; stipend provided (amount unspecified); housing/transportation are not included but a free ORCA card is provided for commuting.

Fred Hutch Cancer Center provides treatment for and supports research in various types of diseases, including skin cancer. The internship begins with 2 weeks of safety training, following which students are paired and assigned activities in specific research groups/labs. Interns will receive mentorship from an accomplished researcher or clinician throughout the internship period.

The program further includes research seminars, social activities and networking events with peers, and professional development workshops/training sessions. The internship will conclude with presentations made for your cohort and the Fred Hutch community.

This program is highly prestigious, selecting only around 20-30 students every year. Take a look at our detailed blog post on this program for more information.

Location: University of Chicago | University of Illinois at Chicago | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Northwestern University | Rush University

Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors at least 16 years old and from the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign areas.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January.

Dates: Second week of June through the first week of August every year (8 weeks).

Cost: Free for all accepted participants; stipend of $3,000 provided.

ResearcHStart allows high school students to work in the well-equipped laboratories of all participating institutions. This program (and the cancer centers at large) focuses on cancer research, including skin cancer, allowing you to gain practical exposure and knowledge of various lab techniques, diagnostics, and treatments. If selected, you will work full-time in the lab while attending regular lectures along with career development and skill-building workshops.

In addition to focused cancer research, you will receive holistic knowledge in fields like biophysics, immunology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. You will also get a chance to present your research to your peers and members of the participating universities at the concluding research symposium.

This program is highly competitive, selecting only up to 30 students.

Location: DermCare Experts, Quincy, MA

Eligibility: High school students (especially from underrepresented communities)

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Dates: 1 to 2 years depending on the student’s high school graduation date.

Cost: Free for all accepted participants

DermCare Experts is a dermatology clinic that runs the annual Urban High School Premedical Mentorship Program sponsored by the Dermatology and Clinical Research Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Fellowship. The program offers high school students a chance to learn some essential laboratory techniques and methods and apply them to projects in dermatology, such as screening, diagnosis, regular and medical skincare, and more. This aims to provide students with an early pipeline and insight into the hands-on work involved in the field.

Spanning 1-2 years in length, this comprehensive program offers a host of monthly activities, including lab work, journal clubs, guidance sessions on college applications, and one-on-one sessions with premedical fellows. Students are also given a chance to spread awareness and participate in fairs and events around the city.

Location: Chicago, IL or Washington, D.C.

Eligibility: High school and college students from Black, Latino, or Indigenous communities.

Application Deadline: Applications are closed for 2024 and will reopen for 2025 in fall 2024.

Dates: June 10, 2024 - June 14, 2024 (Chicago) | June 24, 2024 - June 28, 2024 (DC)

Cost: Not specified; for specific details on any potential costs or stipends, refer to the official program website or contact the program administrators directly.

For a short but comprehensive work-learn opportunity, consider the Pathways program organized by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). As a participant in this program, you will spend five days interacting with and learning from professional dermatologists, dermatology residents, and medical students. Here, you will learn about the field of dermatology, receive tips on applying to medical school, and attempt some dermatology procedures and techniques.

You will further get a chance to meet like-minded peers and open up opportunities for collaboration. The practical experience, guidance, and mentorship offered in this program will help you understand the career’s demands and provide clarity on potential paths you can pursue.

One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing independent research in STEM, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students 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.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

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.


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