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12 Summer Programs for High School Students in Minnesota

As a high school student, it is recommended that you make the most of your summer break, especially the one before joining college. And if you’re a student in Minnesota, then you have a lot of great programs to choose from that run during the summer.

Minnesota has a great set of enriching summer programs to pick from. From STEM adventures to humanities explorations and everything in between, Minnesota has programs for almost every stream!

We’ve curated some popular summer programs in Minnesota for you in this blog, that offer a variety of activities across various subjects that you can consider.

Please keep in mind the following information is for 2023 and dates for the following years will likely happen around a similar time period.

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors from high school with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply

Program dates: June 25, 2023 – June 30, 2023

Location: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester

Fee: Free

This week-long residential program offers a look at the wide range of healthcare careers. You will explore the various career options in the field, including niche roles like radiographers and respiratory therapists. The program consists of hands-on activities and networking with students and staff. You will also learn about professional etiquette and academic pathways to these careers. Do keep in mind that the application process includes an interview and can be fairly competitive.

Another program that could introduce you to health careers is HealthForce Minnesota’s Scrubs Program, which includes a lot more hands-on lab work. The program takes place at several locations within Minnesota and a couple of those are free.

Application deadline: February 1, 2023

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years old,

Program dates: May 30, 2023 – July 28, 2023, although students can elect to work through the first half of August as well

Location: University of Minnesota

Stipend: $3,000

A great option for those students specifically interested in cardiovascular medicine, this program gives you the chance to do independent research within the field. You will be allotted a lab as well as a faculty mentor who will guide you with your research project. Additionally, field trips and seminars by industry leaders will expand your overall knowledge of the field. However, keep in mind that this is a highly competitive program that receives about 70 applications per year for the two high school spots available (the rest are for undergraduates).

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students can apply

Program dates: Session 1 from July 9, 2023 – July 14, 2023, Session 2 from July 22, 2023 – July 27, 2023

Location: University of St. Thomas

Fee: $300 (an early bird rate is $200)

Financial assistance: Available

A residential program hosted by a non-profit organization, the MBV is ideal for building a foundation in business and entrepreneurship through hands-on experience. As a participant, you will work in ‘companies’ of 10-14 students and create a business plan for a fictitious product, which you will present at the end of the program. You will also attend mock interviews and sessions by professionals on a number of topics like marketing, budgeting, financial aid and more.

Application deadline: March 1, 2023

Eligibility: Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors from minority groups attending Twin Cities schools

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – July 14, 2023

Location: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Stipend: $400

Ideal for those who are interested in neuroscience, this program offers a comprehensive introduction to the field. You will not only study the brain and get practical experience in research labs but also learn about college applications, CV writing, and financial aid. The highlight of this program is the mentorship that will provide you support on a long-term basis, even after the program ends. This program has only ten spots so it’s best to apply as early as possible!

Application deadline: June 1, 2023

Eligibility: Any high school student who has completed a year-long course in single variable calculus

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – July 14, 2023

Location: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Fee: Free

Through this summer program, you will explore mathematical models beyond what you learn in high school. The curriculum will look at the practical usage of math in real-world scenarios, such as the effect of traffic on a bridge. Previous projects have included developing a predictive model for air quality and a model to identify the best rail expansion route. Do keep in mind that this is a commuter program and best suited for students within the Twin Cities region.

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 

The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Location: Virtual


  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 

Application deadline: Applications open on January 1 and are then accepted on a rolling basis till the courses fill up

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: Session A from June 20, 2023 – June 30, 2023, Session B from July 10, 2023 – July 21, 2023

Location: Macalester College

Fee: $750 (A) and $825 (B) for commuters, $1,800 (A) and $2,075 (B) for residents

Financial assistance: Available

MITY is a non-profit organization that hosts several academic enrichment programs for students. The Expand Your Mind program is a two-week intensive course where you will deep dive into a specific subject. Course options range across humanities, fine arts, and STEM. Some examples include studio painting, entrepreneurship, creative writing, chemistry, astrophysics and forensics. With residential and commuter options available, the program also offers a glimpse into college life, something you want to experience before applying and moving to university for your undergraduate degree.

Application deadline: April 14, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: Varies with each camp but they are all 4-5 day camps in the months of June and July

Location: University of St. Thomas

Fee: $500, but some camps offer a $590 stipend upon successful completion of the program

Financial assistance: Full scholarships available for free or reduced lunch eligible students

ThreeSixty Journalism is a non-profit program of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, which provides immersive courses in journalism and is useful for anyone with an interest in media. The summer camps cover a range of multimedia learning from TV to radio to sports journalism, giving students practical experience in the field. You could create an ad campaign in the PR Workshop, produce a radio story in the Radio Broadcast Camp or develop a professional TV package. Do keep in mind that spots are limited for these summer camps.

Application deadline: June 12, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: June 25, 2023 – July 1, 2023

Location: St. Olaf College

Fee: $925

This is a well-rounded program for budding musicians, who will attend classes, get one-on-one sessions, and receive the opportunity to play with large and small ensembles like orchestras, choirs, or quartets. Daily classes include courses like music theory, jazz improvisation and musical theater, while the private lessons will be focused on a specific instrument (voice is an option here as well). The residential program will end with a concert in Boe Chapel.

Application deadline: March 16, 2023

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors

Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 28, 2023

Location: Carleton College

Fee: $4,300

Financial assistance: Need-based scholarships are available

On completing an SLAI Program, you will not only have gained three weeks of high-level academic learning but also 6 Carleton credits (which generally transfer as 3 semester credits). The computer science track focuses on the need for computers to perceive their surroundings and respond to complex scenarios. You will delve into the individual topics of robotics, computer vision, game theory and game development. At the end of the program, you will have the opportunity to present your research at a symposium.

Application deadline: April (date not specified)

Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors and seniors. Freshmen can apply but might not be selected

Program dates: Session 1 from June 11, 2023 – June 16, 2023, Session 2 from June 18, 2023 – June 23, 2023, Session 3 from July 9, 2023 – July 14, 2023

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota (lodging location varies)

Fee: $1,600

Financial assistance: Available

The MN ACE Camp is a residential program that allows you to literally step into the world of aviation. You will learn about the many career pathways in aviation while also getting substantial practical experience — touring airline operations, shadowing employees during a flight, receiving flight attendant training, and even piloting an aircraft with a certified instructor! The camp sessions are limited to 30 students though, so it’s best to apply early.

Additionally, several options on this list are eligible for the Minnesota government’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program which offers stipends of up to $1,000 to cover the expenses of such summer programs.

Additionally, here is a bonus program you may want to consider alongside the ones mentioned before -

Application deadline: December 4, 2022

Eligibility: Sophomores and juniors from underrepresented groups

Program dates: One Saturday per month until December of your senior year

Location: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Fee: Free

Instead of providing an intensive learning experience in the summer, Rooted in STEM offers a long-term approach to educating students in STEM over the course of two years. The program uses monthly sessions on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters —featuring lectures, presentations, demonstrations, lab tours and networking opportunities. It is an ideal choice for those looking to enroll at the University of Minnesota as the program offers a $40,000 scholarship for students who complete the program and get admission to the College of Science and Engineering.

Looking for a similar opportunity in the arts? Consider Minnesota College of Art and Design’s Post-Secondary Enrolment Option, a free honors program where you can earn college credit.

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research and would like to do so from the comfort of your 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 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: Mayo Clinic College logo



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