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10 Summer Business Programs for High School Students

If you are a high school student looking to pursue business in the future, these summer programs should definitely be on your radar! These programs, typically hosted by universities or business colleges, expose you to key business concepts such as entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, and leadership through a combination of lectures, interactive workshops, and team projects. When it comes to your college applications, the experience gained from a summer business program can significantly bolster your profile. It demonstrates your initiative, dedication to personal growth, and a keen interest in pursuing a career in business. Your experiences in these programs can serve as solid content for your personal statement and are great networking opportunities!

Location: University of Pennsylvania

Cost: Ranges from $8,000 to $11,000 depending on your program choice

Program dates: Two or Three week sessions in June-August depending on your program

Application deadline: April 3, 2024

Eligibility: High School students in grades 9-11 (check program specific eligibility here)

The Wharton Global Youth On-Campus Programs offer an incredible opportunity to learn about various business disciplines and are designed by established Wharton faculty and instructional staff, drawing upon the latest Wharton research and teaching methods. For example, the Product Design Academy is a three-week intensive program where you'll learn design thinking and product development through hands-on studio work, from identifying customer needs to designing a physical product. The Essentials of Entrepreneurship program spans two weeks and focuses on developing your ability to create innovative products and understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur

If finance interests you, the Essentials of Finance offers an introduction to the sector, covering personal and corporate finance fundamentals. For those interested in leadership, the Leadership in the Business World program provides insights into leadership within modern organizations. Data enthusiasts can explore the Data Science Academy to learn data visualization and machine learning, while sports fans with a knack for math might find the Moneyball Academy intriguing for its focus on sports analytics. Lastly, the Management & Technology Summer Institute is perfect for students interested in the intersection of business and technology, offering a credit-bearing program that includes classes with Wharton/Penn faculty, industry field trips, and more.

Location: State College, Pennsylvania

Cost: $50 registration fee for accepted students

Program Dates: June 16-28, 2024

Application Deadline: March 22, 2024

Eligibility: High school students in the U.S. or Puerto Rico entering grade 12 with a strong passion for business

If you're a high school junior who wants to pursue a business education in college, the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State's University Park campus offers a great opportunity to get a head start. This two-week, residential program is specifically designed to introduce you to the rigors of college life and the fundamentals of business education through a series of college prep and business courses taught by Penn State faculty. 

During the program, you'll engage in a variety of classes and activities that cover key aspects of business. For example, you'll explore Management and Organization with Dr. Jamie Campbell, learn about the intricacies of Supply Chain from Dr. Felisa Higgins, and delve into Ethics and Social Responsibility with Dr. Michelle Darnell. Additionally, you'll have the chance to develop your Business Writing and Presentation skills under the guidance of Olivia Lewis, and enhance your Business Communication competencies with Dr. Andy Gustafson. The program also includes a focus on Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, led by Brad Leve, providing you with a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to succeed in the business world.

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!

Location: UC Berkeley 

Cost: California Resident $6,050 and Out of State Resident $7,050

Program Dates: July 6-20, 2024 or July 20 - August 3, 2024

Application Deadline: February 29, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible

The Berkeley Business Academy for Youth (B-BAY) annually welcomes 50 students from around the globe to dive into business disciplines at Berkeley. Through intensive learning experiences led by Berkeley Haas professors and insights from corporate guest speakers, you'll delve deep into the essentials of business formation and development.

You will work on independent research, computer lab assignments, and collaborative team projects. Together with your team, you'll be tasked with creating a comprehensive business plan from the ground up, culminating in a presentation of your plan at the end of the session. B-BAY is also tailored to prepare you for the college admission process. You'll engage with undergraduates and admission advisors from Berkeley and other institutions, gaining insights into college life and the application process, including how to craft a compelling UC personal statement and college application essay. The program awards you a UC Berkeley Business Academy for Youth Certificate of Completion, signifying your achievements and the high academic standards you've met.

Location: Georgetown University

Cost: $5,775

Program Dates: June 16 - June 28, 2024 

Application Deadline: Rolling

Eligibility: Be a current or rising high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior during the academic year prior to your summer program and show evidence of good academic standing, with at least a 2.0 GPA

The Georgetown University's Entrepreneurship Academy is a two-week intensive program that provides a comprehensive exploration of entrepreneurship, including choosing a start-up, prototype testing, market research, social innovation, and the nuances of global business operations. The curriculum is designed to bridge theory with practical application, teaching you the essentials of design thinking and brainstorming to transform your ideas into viable, promising business plans. You will work in teams to prepare for a final pitch competition, simulating real-world business planning and presentation scenarios. 

By participating in the Entrepreneurship Academy, you'll benefit from guest lectures, develop a business plan and pitch presentation in small groups, and engage in discussions, case studies, and interactive activities that cover a wide range of business topics. Additionally, hands-on exercises will help you improve your critical thinking and team-building abilities. Academic programming runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, supplemented by optional co-curricular events, free time, and residential living activities in the evenings. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Location: Online, Bay Area CA, or Ann Arbor MI

Cost: Ranges from $5000 to $10000 depending on chosen program

Program Dates: 3, 4, or 5 weeks between June and August

Application Deadline: March 3, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible

With LaunchX, you have the opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur from anywhere in the world, thanks to their innovative Online Entrepreneurship and Online Innovation Programs. These programs are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the future of business. 

For those looking to dive into a real-world business creation experience, the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurship Program offers a chance to join a team and launch a company within just 4 weeks. This program is hosted in Ann Arbor and provides a collaborative environment where you can work closely with peers under the guidance of experienced mentors. Similarly, the Bay Area Entrepreneurship Program offers the same accelerated, team-based company launch experience in the vibrant and innovative atmosphere of the Bay Area.

Regardless of the format or location you choose, LaunchX emphasizes practical, hands-on learning, team collaboration, and the development of real start-ups. By participating in any of these programs, you'll not only gain invaluable entrepreneurial skills but also work alongside a diverse group of peers, or "launchies," as you start your journey in the world of business. 

Location: UC Berkeley or Online

Cost: $6,450 for Online and $9,450 for On-Campus

Program Dates: June 17 - July 12, 2024 for Online Program and July 15 - August 9, 2024 for In-Person Program

Application Deadline: February 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible

LeanGap is a great opportunity for you if you are interested in entrepreneurship. With a choice between an in-person program hosted at UC Berkeley in San Francisco and an online option that allows participation from anywhere, LeanGap caters to a wide range of aspiring entrepreneurs. The program spans four weeks, featuring a full-time schedule for the in-person program and flexible class hours for the online program, accommodating students from different time zones.

You’ll be taught by experienced entrepreneurs and receive mentorship tailored to guide you through the journey of starting a company. The curriculum is designed to take you through the crucial stages of launching a startup, starting with idea validation, where you'll pitch ideas and form teams around the most promising ones. In the following weeks, you'll focus on creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), gaining traction in the market, and finally, perfecting your pitch for Demo Day. This journey is supported by hands-on activities, group recreational events, and the opportunity to present your company to a panel of Silicon Valley investors, CEOs, and technologists.

Location: Harvard University Campus 

Cost: $1,450

Program Dates: Five day sessions between June and August

Application Deadline: Rolling

Eligibility: 9th-12th grade high school students. Students must be 14+ at the time of the program to attend.

At the Harvard Student Agencies Business Academy, you can explore entrepreneurship and business management through two distinct academies. In the Business Entrepreneurship Academy, you will learn the fundamentals of launching a business, extending your financial literacy, and diving deep into the startup ecosystem. You’ll gain hands-on experience, enhance your analytical thinking, and ultimately present an innovative business idea in a startup pitch simulation to judges.

This Academy will lead you to create and adapt your startup idea to the current market, develop advanced financial literacy, and acquire analytical skills necessary for conducting market and customer research. You'll explore the structure of a business plan, conduct SWOT analyses, craft persuasive elevator pitches, and apply insights from business school case studies to your own business concept.

In the Business Management and Strategy Academy, you'll tackle corporate challenges, from improving profitability to achieving market penetration with new products. Acting as consultants, you'll learn to analyze business data, devise solutions to major firm problems, and delve into mergers, acquisitions, pricing strategies, and financial statements. This program aims to enhance your problem-solving skills, provide insights into managing a firm's logistical and operational components, and teach you to interpret corporate financial documents for better understanding a firm's market performance.

Location: University of Michigan Ross Campus

Cost: $5,000

Program Dates: June 14 - 28, 2024

Application Deadline: January 2024

Eligibility: You must be a current rising high school senior to apply. Preference will be given to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. You must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy is a two-week program designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the inner workings of companies, the problem-solving processes of leaders, and life of a business student at Michigan Ross

This academy is particularly suited for highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds who are eager to delve into their interest in business, offering a chance to see what business is truly about. You will gain a deeper understanding of business operations, explore potential career paths, and get an authentic college experience by learning alongside a cohort of high-achieving peers

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to connect with Ross faculty, company partners, and industry experts, enhancing their knowledge and expanding their network. Leadership with purpose is a key theme, encouraging students to consider the impact of business leadership. Although the program includes rigorous, college-level academic work, it does not offer college credit, nor does participation influence admission to the Michigan Ross BBA program. 

Location: Online

Cost: $6,295

Program Dates: July 8 - July 29, 2024

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible

The Babson College Introduction to the Entrepreneurial Experience summer study program emphasizes exploring social, economic, and environmental challenges aligned with the U.N. Global Goals, providing you with a broad understanding of entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, finance, and business communication.

The program boasts a global network, allowing you to connect with a diverse cohort of students passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. Learning from world-class Babson faculty, who are both educators and experienced entrepreneurs, you will be able to access mentorship from Babson graduate and undergraduate students, who will guide you throughout your journey in the program.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem at Babson will allow you to hear from leaders within Babson’s entrepreneurial network, engage with faculty, alumni, and students through panels and presentations, and participate in both live and asynchronous academic coursework. The course schedule includes live sessions lasting approximately 3 hours daily, with an expectation of up to 5 additional hours each day for out-of-class assignments.

One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to further enhance your applications by doing research in business and related fields, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program 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. 

Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 

Image Source: Berkeley Haas logo


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