Massachusetts has some of the best colleges in the United States and the K-12 education system is pretty solid with high-performing public schools and a variety of specialized programs and schools.
There are plenty of options for immersive learning experiences across an array of subjects - free and paid! We’ve shortlisted some great options for you.
Note: Please keep in mind that the information for a lot of these programs is from 2023 and dates for the following years will be on similar lines.
Application deadline: January 15, 2023, for US citizens and March 15, 2023, for international students
Eligibility: Juniors with high PSAT and ACT scores. International students can apply as well!
Program dates: June 25, 2023 – August 5, 2023
Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
RSI is one of the most prestigious programs in the country and, as a result, one of the most competitive too. It accepts 80 students out of more than 1,500 applicants but if you do get in, your chances of getting admission to an MIT-level college become much higher. The program begins with a week of STEM lectures followed by five weeks of intense research on an individual project while being mentored by scientists and researchers. If you’re looking to apply to this program, here is everything you need to know beforehand!
Application deadline: February 1, 2023
Eligibility: High school juniors who are US citizens or permanent residents and belong to underrepresented/underserved communities
Program dates: June 23, 2023–August 4, 2023
Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Another highly prestigious program, MITES is a six-week residential program that aims to introduce students from minority communities to STEM fields. The curriculum includes courses in math, life sciences, physics, humanities, and one elective course. Apart from academics, you will also learn about STEM professions, engage in social events and experience college life at MIT. The program culminates with a written evaluation from the instructors.
Click here for a comprehensive list of all the summer programs for high school students at MIT.
Application deadline: February 22, 2023, for both
Eligibility: Students who are at least 16 years of age and will graduate high school in 2024 or 2025 (2023 accepted for the SSP)
Program dates: Three sessions between June and August available for the Pre-College Program and June 17, 2023 – August 5, 2023, for the SSP
Location: Harvard University
Fee: $5,300 for the Pre-College Program and between $3,600–$13,750 for the SSP, depending on the number of credits
Harvard offers two programs for high school students — the two-week, non-credit Pre-College Program, and the seven-week, credited Secondary School Program. While both programs have a large variety of courses to choose from (from literature to business to STEM), the former is an intensive program while the latter is like a complete semester. If you want to learn about Harvard’s programs for high schoolers in more detail, click here.
Application deadline: Standard application period is closed but rolling admissions accepted until April 10, 2023, in case of unexpected openings
Eligibility: All high school students
Program dates: You can choose from nine available sessions between mid-June and mid-August
Location: Harvard Medical School
This summer program offers a one-week stint in the MEDscience ‘emergency room’ where you will work with realistic, simulated medical emergencies. You will diagnose and treat ‘patients’ and learn clinical skills like suturing wounds, intubation, laparoscopic training, birthing babies, and inserting IVs. Organized by Harvard Medical School, this program is a great way to gain practical medical experience and explore healthcare careers.
Harvard Medical School also offers three other science programs — MEDscienceLAB for hands-on lab and research experiences, Moonshot Program for those interested in developing AI surgical robots, and MEDscienceLAB Forensics for studying crime scene investigation.
Application deadline: February 1, 2023
Eligibility: Juniors or seniors who are at least 17 years of age by June 15, 2023, and live within 40 miles of the NIH campus
Program dates: Specific dates haven’t been announced but the internship will run for 8 weeks during the summer
Location: An NIH laboratory, one of which is The Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Framingham, MA
Stipend: $2,190/month for students who have not yet graduated high school
Organized by the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE), this is a summer internship that focuses on biomedical research. You will work alongside NIH scientists, aid the group-specific research and maybe even work on a small, independent project of your own. The program schedule consists of one orientation followed by eight weeks of work. You will also be able to attend a few lectures, workshops, and career development sessions.
Application deadline: Unspecified
Eligibility: Entering sophomores and juniors with a good background in mathematics. Previous experience in programming languages is desirable but not necessary
Program dates: July 10, 2023- July 28, 2023
Location: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
This free three-week commuter course is ideal for those interested in computer science and technology. While focusing on code in Python and the development of health-sensing apps, the program will also look at concepts like AI, machine learning, mixed reality, sustainability, and cloud computing. Each day will have two classroom sessions and one lab session to ensure students get a hands-on experience.
Application deadline: May 1, 2023, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Closed for 2023.
Eligibility: Current juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years of age
Program dates: July 3, 2023 – August 11, 2023
Location: Tufts University, campus location will vary based on the assignment
Fee: $8,000 for the commuter program, $11,250 for a residential program, $7,500 for virtual program
Financial aid availability: Limited need-based financial aid available
As a student of this program, you will be placed in one of Tufts’ research laboratories and work under the guidance of a mentor. You will engage in laboratory techniques, evaluate real data sets, develop a poster, and present it at a poster session. Some of the focus areas for 2023 include Infectious diseases and global health, biomedical and nutrition sciences, and child study and human development.
Tufts University also has Pre-College Intensive Programs that deep dive into a single subject.
Application deadline: March 10, 2023
Eligibility: Juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.8 or higher
Program dates: June 29, 2023 – August 11, 2023
Fee: $3,051 for 1 course, $6,102 for 2 courses
By enrolling in the Honors Program you will have the opportunity to attend one or two undergraduate courses. A wide range of subjects is available, including psychology, literature, statistics, film, marketing, economics, and more. With satisfactory course work you can earn up to 4 semester credits and an official transcript! Another option is going for the university’s two-week non credit courses.
Application deadline: 15 March, 2023
Eligibility: Rising seniors who are Massachusetts residents
Program dates: June 26, 2023 – August 3, 2023
Location: Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s YSP is a summer research program that prepares students for pursuing STEM degrees and careers. As a scholar, you will work in state-of-the-art laboratories, attend seminars by professors, receive career counseling, and take field trips to corporate and government sites. Some topic examples for 2023 are Biomechanical Assessment of the Tricuspid Valve, Machine Learning for Computational Chemistry, and Terahertz Communications for 6G Networks.
Eligibility: All students who are at least 15 years old and have six months of playing/singing experience
Program dates: July 8, 2023 – August 11, 2023
Location: Berklee College of Music
Fee: $5,430 for the tuition fees and $3,720 for housing
Financial aid: Full and partial merit-based scholarships available
This program is meant for high school students to get an authentic Berklee undergraduate experience. Once selected, you will choose a primary instrument to be trained in. The program curriculum includes private instruction, instrument labs, and musicianship training and ends with a final week of concerts. Should you get a B or a higher grade by the end of the program, you will earn three transferable college credits!
One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you are passionate about research 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 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.
Image source: MITES logo