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10 Free Summer Programs for High School Students in Massachusetts

If you’re a high school student in Massachusetts looking to get involved in projects, enhance your skills, and build your profile, chances are that you’re looking at summer programs. Many programs you will find in this list will allow you to gain hands-on experience in your interests and build your profile by being part of projects. Moreover, they are a great opportunity to gain some early exposure to your field of choice. 


However, a large barrier for multiple students is the cost of attending some summer programs. In this blog, we offer a solution with 10 free summer programs for high school students in Massachusetts so you can get a head start in your field at a minimal cost! 


Application Deadline: 

  • Early Admission: February 18th, 2024

  • Regular Admission 1: April 14th 2024

  • Regular Admission 2: May 12th, 2024

Eligibility: Students who are currently enrolled in high school or plan to enroll as first-year students in college in the fall of 2024. The program seeks students who have demonstrated high level of academic achievement (a rough idea of this can be measured at about 3.3 / 4 unweighted GPA or equivalent percentages)

Program Dates: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Sessions available. The 2024 Summer Cohort begins on the 3rd of June.

Location: Remote


The Lumiere Breakthrough Scholar Program is a 12-week research program for high-performing high school students who come from underrepresented communities or financial backgrounds. This program aims to impart world-class research opportunities to deserving students. 


Students are paired with world-class PhD mentors on a variety of topics in diverse fields like Biology, Economics, Data Science, Environment, International Relations, and more. It aims to impart cutting-edge knowledge and experience to the students alongside an independent research paper. Selected students also present their work at the Lumiere Research Symposium.


Application Deadline:  January 14th for U.S. students. International students have a deadline of around February 11th

Eligibility: Applications are open to high school juniors but not seniors. Domestic and international students are eligible.

Program Dates: June 23 to August 3, 2024

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA


RSI is one of the most competitive programs for high schoolers in the state, owing to its excellent curriculum, rigorous application process, the research opportunities it provides, and its association with CEE and MIT. It is a competitive, fully-funded program for high school students to gain hands-on experience in full research cycles.


In around 5 weeks, RSI exposes its students to lectures by world-renowned scientists (which have previously included Nobel laureates). Students receive their research project assignments from their mentors, begin working with advanced literature, and take part in laboratory techniques. 


Participants present their work in the form of papers and oral presentations, which are judged by an outside panel from Boston. 5 papers and 5 presentations will even be selected for special commendation during the last week of the program! 


Application Deadline: February 1st, 2024

Eligibility: High School juniors who are US citizens

Program Dates: late June to early August

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA/ Virtual


MITES Summer is a six-week, on-campus program that immerses high school students with strong academic records and a passion into a semester of college. Students get exposed to high-level math and science as well as electives that focus on problem-solving and application. The curriculum includes math, life sciences, physics, arts, and more courses! 


Apart from academics, this program provides access to workshops, tours, and social events on campus and around Greater Boston. Students learn academic and social life skills and guidance on college applications as well as career opportunities.


Application Deadline: Applications are closed, but the deadline is usually around March 15th.

Eligibility: This program is open to students who are permanent residents of MA and are entering 12th grade in the fall.

Program Dates: Monday, June 24 – Thursday, August 1

Location: Northeastern University, Boston, MA


The YSP Program at Northeastern University offers future scientists and engineers a unique opportunity for hands-on research experience. Students get the chance to work in laboratories in Northeastern University’s Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Health Sciences. 


Aside from this, high school students will also get to participate in a special seminar series to learn about advanced topics and will also be exposed to an overview of engineering education for Undergraduate Students presented by the Dean‘s Office of the College of Engineering.


Application Deadline: Applications for the 2025 intake will open mid-November; the deadline should be around January 22nd.

Eligibility: Open to rising seniors who are US citizens and have good academic standing in the Science and Math courses, and are within commute distance to the Broad Institute

Program Dates: June 30th to August 9

Location: Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA


The Broad Institute is a non-profit biomedical research institute in Cambridge, MA. The Broad brings together faculty and scientists from Harvard, MIT, and Boston's leading hospitals to tackle ambitious problems related to human diseases, such as cancer, psychiatric disease, infectious disease, therapeutics, and more. The Broad Summer Scholars Program invites high school students with a strong interest in science to spend six weeks at the Institute. 


Students are matched with Broad researchers to conduct original and current edge research projects in various areas of biology. Students will be allowed to attend scientific talks and career sessions and present their research to the Broad community in a scientific poster session.


An added bonus is the $3,600 stipend that you will receive! 


Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Eligibility: At the time of the program be a rising high school senior, recent high school graduate / rising college first-year, situated in Massachusetts.

Program Dates: July 1 – August 9, 2024

Location: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA


The Mass General Youth Neurology Education and Research Program seeks to recruit students from underrepresented communities in neurological educational and research opportunities. It exposes students to a diverse set of neurologists and offers paid internships, which have a 40-hour commitment per week and may last up to 6 weeks for high school students. 


Post an onboarding bootcamp, the students will engage in 1:1 mentoring and work under the mentorship of a faculty member on ongoing projects. Students will engage in seminars and networking opportunities with leading neurologists. They will also prepare and present final presentations on their projects in front of the MGH Neurology Department.


Application Deadline: February 2nd, 2024

Eligibility: US citizen who is a high school sophomore, junior or senior and resides in Massachusetts. 

Program Dates: June 17, 2024, start date, the program can last from 8-12 weeks.

Location: Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center, Boston, MA


The Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program offers Massachusetts high school students from underrepresented populations to cancer research by allowing them hands-on experience at local cancer research institutions.


Alongside this, there are scientific seminars and sessions on professional/career development. At the end of their summer, participants are required to prepare and present an abstract and a poster or an oral presentation of their research project. 


Application Deadline: 

Eligibility: US Citizen completing your junior year in high school

Program Dates: July 14th to July 27th

Location: MIT campus in Cambridge, MA and Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA


The Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) program is an immersive two-week summer workshop designed to instruct students in the construction of small radar systems. 


During the program, students will delve deeply into the process of building small radar systems. They'll be tasked with constructing Doppler and range radar units, employing innovative problem-solving techniques along the way. This hands-on approach provides participants with invaluable experience as they collaborate with accomplished scientists and engineers.


Application Deadline: January 15th, 2024

Eligibility: Female High School juniors who permanently live in the US.

Program Dates: June 28th - July 26th

Location: MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA


The MIT Women's Technology Program (WTP) offers a challenging four-week summer academic immersion aimed at familiarizing high school students with engineering. Through hands-on classes, laboratory work, and collaborative projects, participants delve into engineering concepts during the summer following their 11th grade. 


WTP caters to students eager to learn, who have showcased proficiency in math and science during their high school studies, and who possess limited to no prior exposure to engineering, thus offering them a rare chance to explore this field.


Do note that this program is free for students with a family income of less than $120,000.


Application Deadline: Not specified for next cycle

Eligibility: Entering sophomores and juniors with a good background in mathematics. Previous experience in programming languages is desirable but not necessary

Program Dates: Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 26th, 2024

Location: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


The UMass Turing Summer Program is a 3-week summer program for interested high school students. It exposes them to Computer Science disciplines to help them understand its applications in areas like healthcare, energy and more. 


The Program features two classroom sessions and one lab session daily for 3 weeks. Students learn and utilize Python to understand concepts of sensing, data analysis and data visualization. 



One other option - the Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing research in cybersecurity or related fields, 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 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.


Image Source: MIT logo

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