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10 Great Summer Immersion Programs for High School Students

Pre-college immersion programs are specialized academic experiences for high school students that allow them to delve deeply into a specific field of study. These programs provide hands-on learning, interactive workshops, and opportunities to collaborate with peers and industry professionals. Often residential, immersions also offer students the chance to experience college life and culture, providing them with a better understanding of what it’s like to be a college student. 


Compared to traditional pre-college programs or research programs, immersion programs offer a more focused and intensive learning experience that can provide students with a more comprehensive understanding of the field they are studying. Immersions can help students stand out as applicants by demonstrating their commitment to their academic pursuits and providing evidence of academic rigor. 

Colleges and universities are increasingly seeking out students who have taken proactive steps to enhance their education outside of the classroom, making immersion programs an attractive option for high-achieving students looking to gain a competitive edge.


Here are 10 great summer immersion opportunities for high school students.


The Anson L. Clark Scholar Program at Texas Tech University offers a distinctive opportunity to 12 highly qualified high school juniors and seniors. They collaborate closely with experienced faculty members, delving into research projects to gain invaluable hands-on experience. Over a rigorous 7-week period in the summer, scholars engage in an immersive research experience focusing on their preferred subjects. Upon the successful completion of their research project and submission of a report, scholars receive a $750 stipend as recognition for their accomplishments.


Note: Find more details about this program in our blog here!


Location: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Cost/Stipend: No cost, the program provides a $750 stipend. On-campus meals, room and board, and weekend activities/programming are covered. Travel to and from the program location, personal expenses, and medical expenses are not covered.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

Program Dates: 7 weeks, June 16, 2024 -August 1, 2024

Eligibility: At least 17 years of age by the program start date, and should graduate in 2023 or 2024 (U.S. and International)


The NSLI-Y program, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of State, provides fully-funded scholarships enabling American youth to study abroad. This immersive experience involves intensive language courses, cultural immersion while living with host families, and the option of spending either a summer or a full academic year abroad. Participants gain linguistic skills and cultural understanding through various activities, including engaging in casual conversations with locals, honing language skills at markets, and learning to cook traditional dishes alongside their host families. The program offers courses in 8 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. 


Note: You can learn more about this scholarship initiative in our guide.


Location: Estonia, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Latvia, Morocco, Taiwan, Tajikistan, and Turkey, among other countries.

Cost: Fully funded travel, classroom instruction, cultural events, and accommodations in the host country. You are financially responsible for acquiring passports and visas, receiving medical and document examinations, and any other miscellaneous expenses.

Application deadline: To be announced

Program dates: To be announced

Eligibility:

  • You should be a U.S. citizen or applying to become one.

  • You should be between 15 and 19 years old when the program starts. You can still apply if you’re under 15 but will turn 15 before the program begins.

  • Even if you have graduated before the program starts, you can apply during your senior year to attend the summer NSLI-Y.

  • Your GPA should be at least 2.5 out of 4.0. If your school uses a different grading scale, make sure your GPA is comparable to this.


The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X.


Apart from building the start-up itself, you will also participate in interactive classes on business fundamentals and business ideations, workshops and skill-building sessions, case studies, panel discussions and more.


The program is an excellent opportunity to delve into the world of business in high school, and having a space to explore multiple theoretical as well as practical frameworks that lead to a successful business. You can check out the brochure for the program here.


Cost: The total cost to attend the 4-week program is $2900. There is need-based financial aid. 

Location: This program is 100% virtual, with live, interactive workshops 

Eligibility: The program is currently open to all high school students

Program Dates: The 2024 edition of the program starts on June 5th and spans over 4-weeks.

Application Deadline: There are 3 application deadlines that you can choose between: 

  • Early Decision Deadline: March 17th, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 1: April 14, 2024

  • Regular Admission Deadline 2: May 12th, 2023


You can access the application link here!


SCIP stands apart from UCLA’s other summer programs by integrating co-curricular aspects with rigorous academics, making it a prestigious summer immersion opportunity. This balance aims to nurture both social and academic growth, a crucial asset for your upcoming college journey. Completing SCIP not only earns participants college credit but also grants them a program certificate. Moreover, it equips them with essential skills for managing college applications, academics, and university life, preparing them for future achievements. SCIP’s admissions process is highly competitive, requiring applicants to be in Grades 10–11 by Spring 2023 and hold a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA at the time of application.


Note: Learn more about UCLA’s Summer Immersion Programs in our blog here.


Location: UCLA campus, Los Angeles, CA

Cost: Variable based on the amount of units selected, but ranges from $5000 (4 units) to upwards of $10000 (10 units).

Application Deadline: April 1 (Students who require a visa) / May 1 (Domestic U.S. Students)

Program Dates: June 26 — August 4 (6 weeks)

Eligibility: 10th — 11th grade in Spring 2023 / 3.5+ GPA


Girls Who Code seeks to narrow the gender gap in technology by offering a summer program that combines hands-on projects with networking opportunities alongside women in the tech industry. Students can opt for their 2-week immersion program. While the program is open to all backgrounds, half of the participants represent underrepresented groups, including Black, LatinX, and individuals from low-income households, who identify as girls, women, or non-binary. This immersion aims to introduce beginners to intermediate computer science concepts, delve into the iterative design process, explore the basics of UX design, and provide an initial glimpse into the tech industry.


Note: We’ve covered all you need to know about this program in our blog here.


Location: Virtual

Cost/Stipend: No cost, $300 need-based grant provided (for eligible students in the U.S.)

Application Deadline: Applications open by mid-January 2024. Early acceptance is due by mid-February 2024. General application deadline in late March 2024.

Program Dates: 2 weeks, typically, in July but may vary depending on the program.

Eligibility: All female and non-binary high school students are eligible.


The Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program (SIP) covers a wide array of fields, spanning technology to arts. This week-long program offers students from various academic disciplines the chance to explore campus life, reside in Wake Forest dormitories, study with professors and peers, and connect with professionals in specialized fields. As an SIP student, you’ll enroll in a single Institute focused on a specific subject area, spending most of your time with your Institute cohort while also engaging in activities with other SIP participants.

With 21 Institute choices available, SIP covers specialized academic topics grouped into broader categories. These include Neuroscience, Medicine, Psychology, Sports Medicine, Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Business, Engineering, Virtual Reality, Technology, Debate, Public Advocacy, Law, and Policy. 


Location: Wake Forest University Campus, Winston-Salem, NC

Cost: $2,800 for non-STEM Institutes and $3,000 for STEM Institutes.

Application deadline: The application opens on November 1st. Students are accepted on a rolling basis until all programs are filled. There is no hard deadline to apply.

Program dates: Exact dates vary by subject. SIP is split into six weeks of programming; each Institute will only be offered during one of the six weeks. No matter which Institute you attend, you can expect to be on campus for one week in the range of mid-June to late July.

Eligibility: High school students from every grade are eligible to apply.


The Immersion programs serve as UChicago’s foundational in-person summer offerings for high school students. These three-week, residential courses are designed to provide students with a firsthand experience of college education. The program is less selective, allowing a broader range of high school students to participate. It extends beyond the classroom, incorporating field trips and campus events, enabling participants to take full advantage of the resources available in both the university and the vibrant city of Chicago. Immersing themselves in the UChicago undergraduate level of coursework, students have the opportunity to explore dozens of possible course subjects, such as:

Location: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Cost: $8,600 (for Immersion students who live in the Chicagoland area and choose to commute the fees come up to around $5,850).

Application Deadline: 

  • Priority: Jan 18, 2024

  • Regular: Mar 5, 2024

  • Extended: Apr 11, 2024

Program dates:

  • Session 1: June 17 — July 5, 2024

  • Session 2: July 10 — July 26, 2024

Eligibility: Current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; at least 14 years old.


Pace’s Precollege Immersion Program is a 2-week summer intensive held at on its New York City campus designed for rising high school juniors and seniors. Participants get a firsthand look at the college experience by taking classes with Pace faculty and experiencing our downtown NYC campus. Courses are available in business, theater arts, film, and psychology. Participants will qualify for the Pace Precollege Summer Immersion Program $3,000 Annual Merit Scholarship if they choose to attend Pace University and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their time. Participants will also receive 3 elective course credits toward their Pace University degree upon completing the program. 


Location: Pace University Campus, New York, NY

Cost: $3,700 for tuition, housing, breakfast and dinner, class materials, and program activities. Students must arrange transportation to and from the campus at the start and end of the program. A commuter option is not available. + $50 application fee

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions process, no deadline specified.

Program Dates: Jul 14–27, 2024

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors.


The Stanford Institute of Medicine Summer Research Program offers comprehensive research opportunities spanning various medical disciplines, including neurobiology and cancer biology. Successful candidates will undergo a two-month immersion in a designated field of study, guided by prominent scholars, researchers, and Ph.D. fellows in medicine. This program provides a challenging environment, facilitating in-depth learning about research intricacies like ethics, methodology, and scientific data collection and analysis.


Note: Here’s a guide to SIMR.


Location: Stanford Campus, Stanford, CA

Cost/Stipend: No cost; $500 stipend provided ($40 application fee can be waived).

Application Deadline (Summer 2024): 24th February 2024

Program Dates (Summer 2024): June 10- August 1, 2024 (8 weeks)

Eligibility:

  • Must be juniors or seniors at the time of application.

  • Must be 16 years or older by the start of the program.

  • Students must be living in the U.S. and hold either citizenship or permanent resident status.

One other option — the Lumiere Research Scholar Program.

Explore the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, an exclusive online initiative at the university level that you co-founded alongside researchers from Harvard and Oxford. This program is designed for individuals with a fervor for conducting advanced research across major high school subjects, encompassing STEM and more. Impressively, last year’s application pool exceeded 4000 for just 500 available spots, indicating its highly competitive nature as an opportunity. Check out the application form here.


Trisha Malhotra, an Ashoka University alumna, has 5 years of experience being a freelance writer and currently writes for Lumiere Education. She is passionate about music, reading, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as a devoted cat parent.


Image Source: Wake Forest University logo

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