Connecticut is home of the mountain laurel, American robin, and–you guessed it, plenty of amazing educational programs for high school students! Whether you’re a long-time resident of Connecticut or just passing by for the summer, there’s something here for you. Best of all, you don’t actually need to be from Connecticut for some of these programs. These programs are perfect for your needs in a wide variety of disciplines: writing, economics, research, you name it!
Summer Programs for High School Students in Connecticut
Application deadline: May 13, 2022
Eligibility: Students between the ages of 14 and 18 who live or attend school in one of Greater Hartford’s 34 towns
Program dates: June 27, 2022 to August 3, 2022, with work-from-home every Thursday
Location: The Mark Twain House and Museum
This is a particularly exciting program for writers as they will find the opportunity to engage in daily writing within the Mark Twain House! Inspired by his writings and under the guidance of professionals, you will craft your own pieces in a range of genres from travel writing, journalism, and personal essays to poetry. You will also work collaboratively to create an online literary journal.
(Please note that the information given is for 2022 but the details for 2023 should be out soon.)
Application deadline: TBD
Eligibility: U.S. residents who are completing their sophomore or junior year of high school
Program dates: TBD
Location: Fairfield University
The Broadening Access to Science Education is a two-week residential summer program geared to those who are interested in scientific research and its processes. You will experience hands-on research in the fields of natural sciences and mathematics, which will culminate in a final project. The program is free of cost but would be selective as it only admits 24 students per cohort. (Applications for 2023 are closed, details for 2024 should be available by February)
Application deadline: April 1, 2023
Eligibility: 11th and 12th grade students over the age of 16 who are enrolled in a Connecticut high school. Students must have a B average grade or higher and must come from groups underrepresented in health professions
Program dates: June 20, 2023 to July 21, 2023
Location: UConn Health or Central Connecticut State University
Stipend: An unspecified stipend is provided to those who complete the program successfully
If your primary interest is medicine, this five-week commuter program could be an ideal way to spend your summer. Its key areas of research include medicine, dental medicine and biomedical research. The program schedule stretches from Mondays to Fridays, 7 AM to 5.30 PM, and offers students the opportunity to conduct research in science/clinical laboratories. UConn Health also offers Doctors Academies for freshmen and sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Another option for those looking to enter the field of medicine is Yale’s Discovery to Cure summer internship. However, the application process requires the involvement of a school representative.
Application deadline: April 12, 2023 (but applications are accepted on a rolling basis)
Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors, with 25-40 students accepted at each site
Program dates: Session I from June 12, 2023 – June 18, 2023, Advanced program from June 26, 2023 – July 2, 2023, Session II from July 3, 2023 – July 9, 2023
Location: Yale University (among a number of other locations)
Fee: $2,100, Partial scholarships available
FTE provides an interactive learning environment for students, training them in the field of economics and leadership. During this six-day residential program, you will examine current issues, study theoretical concepts through simulations, implement economic analysis in practical situations, and hone your leadership skills. Only one student per high school is admitted to the program so we recommend applying as soon as possible to increase chances of acceptance.
Application deadline: May 29, 2023
Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors
Program dates: July 30, 2023 – August 11, 2023
Location: University of Connecticut Storrs Campus
Fee: $1,995, Need-based financial aid is available
Through this summer program, you can get a taste of what it’s like to work in the field of engineering. You could be one of the 120 students who get to work alongside the School of Engineering’s faculty and students. Over the two weeks of this residential program, you will see engineering concepts demonstrated, get access to the Engineering Learning Center, and take part in the Grand Challenge Program to work on a project of your own.
Year-Round Programs for High School Students in Connecticut
Application deadline: March 15, 2023
Eligibility: Current juniors from New Haven public schools
Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 21, 2023, a two-week residential program followed by a fellowship with bi-monthly meetings from September to May
Location: Yale University
Primarily a course in critical thinking, this free program at Yale uses studies in literature and philosophy to answer questions about morality and politics. You will gain college-level reading, writing and analytical skills and learn how to engage in intellectual discussions with multiple perspectives. Seminar topics include Reflecting on Civic Life, Law and Justice, Leadership in a Republic, and The Color Line. Other summer programs at Yale can be found here.
Application deadline: April 6, 2023
Eligibility: Open to New Haven residents/school-goers between the ages of 14 and 21
Program dates: You can opt between the five-week Summer Learning Experience or the 26-week Year-Round Learning Experience.
Location: Varies as per placement
Stipend: The State of Connecticut’s minimum wage rate
The New Haven Government’s Youth and Recreation Department has connected with schools, local businesses, workforce development boards, and community organizations to provide students with early work experiences. You will learn how to integrate academic skills in a workplace, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills and skills related to a specific occupation.
Application deadline: April 19, 2023
Eligibility: All high school students
Program dates: April 29, 2023 – May 20 2023
Location: The Connecticut Science Center
Teen Investigate! meets every Saturday from 10 AM to 3.30 PM for four weeks. Here, you will get the chance to explore a different area of STEM, from computer coding and sound engineering to architecture and design. By the end of the workshops, you will leave with in-depth knowledge and a better understanding of STEM careers.
Investigate! occurs four times a year during the school year. On completion of one session, you are then eligible to apply for the CSC’s Teen Innovation Program which is a six-week summer program.
Application deadline: TBD
Eligibility: All students attending Middletown high school who meet the U.S. Department of Education’s requirements of low-income/first-generation college student status
Program dates: Mid-June to late July, with meetings on one Saturday of each month
Location: Wesleyan University
Aimed at underprivileged students in the city of Middletown, this program is great for preparing students interested in STEM subjects and careers. It does so through the combination of a six-week intensive program in math, science, writing and language training, and year-long mentoring and academic support services. The Upward Bound program is an option for students residing in Meridan.
Application deadline: March 31, 2023
Eligibility: Primarily Asian Americans and Black students between the ages of 15 and 20
Program dates: April 30, 2023 – August 27, 2023
Location: Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, and other spaces in Greater Hartford
Stipend: $800 upon completion of the program
Hosted by the Connecticut Historical Society Museum, this program is more focused on community than academics. You will connect with one another as well as the larger society and learn skills like oral history, digital storytelling, advocacy, and community-building. The program takes place every Sunday and requires a total commitment of 49 hours.
For those who read this far, here’s a bonus program! I absolutely LOVE going to museums and have dreamed about being able to curate my own exhibit. Plus, college tours are a lot more fun when you get to go with the friends you’ll make at this program! This is exactly the sort of thing I would have signed up for as a kid, if I had been granted the fortune to live in Connecticut.:
Application deadline: September 18, 2023
Eligibility: Open to New Haven and West Haven freshmen and sophomores
Program dates: Classes once a week and students are expected to participate through all four years of high school for the best experience
Location: Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
Standing for EVOking Learning & Understanding Through Investigations Of the Natural Sciences, EVOLUTIONS helps foster future science communicators and community builders. This program contains a ton of interesting activities that can help your all-around development, including classroom science activities, monthly workshops, college tours, student produced museum exhibits and paid internships at Yale’s science laboratories. It brings together classroom learning, work experience and hands-on research!
Applications for 2023 are unreleased but the dates should be similar to those of 2022.
One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you are passionate about research and would love the flexibility of doing it from home 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 2100 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 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: Nook Farm Writers Collaborative