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10 Summer Programs for High School Students in New Jersey

What people don’t realize is that New Jersey is so much more than what people think. There are plenty of beautiful places, great universities, and yes, incredible summer programs for high school students! Our handpicked summer programs offer something for everyone, be it journalism, politics, math, science, medicine, or beyond. Seize the chance to learn from the best, hone your skills, and meet like-minded peers. Your summer of growth and exploration starts here!


The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is the only summer program of its kind, offering a free journalism program for high school juniors from limited-income backgrounds. PSJP offers a year-long residential program to learn about politics and current affairs, taught by Princeton professors and experienced journalists. Additionally, you get access to online and in-person learning opportunities such as workshops and weekly lectures led by program alumni and journalists from well-known publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker.


However, keep in mind that the program has a rigorous application process, with only 40 students accepted in the final cohort.


Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in late February each year.

Eligibility: High school juniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA

Program dates: July 28, 2023 - August 7, 2023

Location: Princeton University, NJ

Cost: Free


Cory Booker’s campaign is for high school students interested in politics. You will have a chance to see up close how a campaign runs and aid with tasks like answering phones and processing incoming mail and email. You will also accompany the staff to local community events, draft memos for various events, and conduct research. You can also get the chance to assist with surveys and collect constituents' opinions and various data points.


Application Deadline: April 7, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates (Tentative):

Session One runs from mid-May through June.

Session Two runs from July to mid-August.

Location: Camden and Newark, NJ

Stipend: Compensation not mentioned



The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is offering MINDS (Medical Internship Navigating Diversity and Science), a medical internship to students from underprivileged backgrounds. This is your chance to learn more about the exciting world of medicine and human biology. You will learn a host of new information, like the different kinds of medical fields, and what goes into each one, the social determinants of health, and much more. You will get a chance to observe and create a project about the health disparities in New Jersey. You will also receive CPR/BLS and Narcan Certification upon completing the course, SAT Prep for 1 year, and hands-on medical experience. There are field trips to community organizations, universities, and hospitals on the docket.


Application Deadline: May 15, 2023

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors from underprivileged backgrounds, with a minimum 3.0 GPA

Program dates: July 20, 2023 – August 27, 2023

Location: Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, NJ

Stipend: $1,200


The Mercer County department is offering hands-on experience and internships to students during the summer. The Mercer County Internship Program is designed to provide students in high school and college with paid opportunities to work and gain practical training and hands-on, real-world experience that will help them meet their educational goals and prepare them for a professional career. During the summer program, you will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of curated activities coordinated by the Office of Personnel designed to teach new techniques and skills and enhance existing knowledge and abilities, while also exploring possible career paths in public administration.

Internship opportunities are offered during summer breaks (June to Labor Day) with a limited number of spots during winter and spring breaks. Mercer County also offers unpaid internships to assist students looking to earn credits for their college or university.


Application Deadline: April 30, 2023

Eligibility: Students must be at least 15 years of age and live or study in Mercer County

Program dates: High school students can begin their internship at the end of their school year, which typically occurs at the end of June. The last day for all students in the summer internship program is the Friday before Labor Day weekend.

Location: Mercer County, NJ

Stipend: $15/hour for high school students


Kean University is offering a STEM-based research initiative to interested students. The GSSRP is a hands-on experience-based program with cutting-edge research projects in Scientific Visualization, Cancer Biology, Machine Learning, Developmental Biology, and Modern Drug Discovery. Students will get a chance to work alongside faculty and staff and research projects. You will gain valuable technical skills and research experience, learn to work as part of a research team, develop a true appreciation of the scientific research process, and contribute firsthand to the acquisition of new scientific knowledge. The program will also include additional programming with professional skills workshops, instrumentation demos, and a focus on college and career paths.


Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 session are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early March each year.

Eligibility: High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Program dates: July 10, 2023 - August 3, 2023

Location: Kean University, NJ

Cost: $1,700


Rutgers University is offering a two-week program for high school students who are interested in biology research. The WISE program is designed to engage high school students in an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It focuses on the DNA sequence analyses of genes from the duckweed Landoltia punctata, and how these compare to those found in other species. Duckweed is a freshwater aquatic plant that is of interest to the scientific community.

You will attend seminars followed by laboratory sessions each day. You are expected to attend all seminars and laboratory sessions, conduct independent homework assignments and report your findings. Each student that participates gets to submit their vetted DNA sequence analyses for publication on GenBank, the international repository of DNA sequences, that is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Education (NCBI).


Application Deadline: Applications are open on a rolling basis.

Eligibility: All high School students

Program dates:

June Session: June 20, 2023 - June 30, 2023

August Session: July 24, 2023 - August 4, 2023

Location: Rutgers University, NJ

Cost: $2,000


7. New Jersey Institute of Technology’s High School Summer Research Internship

The NJIT summer program is dedicated to STEM research and provides high school students with the chance to develop their professional and career skills in these areas. Through the Provost Summer Research and faculty-centered grants and research centers, you can gain hands-on experience and explore different STEM fields. Upon completion of their internships, participants are required to submit a research report detailing their findings and present an electronic poster at the annual Summer Research Symposium to share their project and outcomes with faculty and fellow students.


Application Deadline: April 1, 2023

Program dates: June 26, 2023 - August 3, 2023

Eligibility: Applicants must be completed 10th or 11th grade in June 2023, with a 3.75 GPA, residents or studying in New Jersey.

Location: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Cost: Free


Rutgers University is offering a Rutgers Young Scholars Program in Discrete Mathematics for those mathematics students that are mathematically inclined, who will serve as role models and mentors and will help you decide if mathematics is the right field for you. Teaching assistants who are embarking on their careers in mathematics will provide additional academic support. The Rutgers Young Scholars Program in Discrete Mathematics is a summer program for mathematically talented high school students. It provides a mathematically rich environment to high school students interested in mathematics and is designed to encourage them to consider careers in the mathematical sciences.


Selected students will participate in an intensive four-week residential academic program that provides a challenging introduction to discrete mathematics - a growing area of the mathematical sciences with many applications on the cutting edge of modern research.

During the program, you will develop and enhance your problem-solving abilities by applying mathematical concepts to a wide range of problems.


Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis until the program is filled. The program advises you to submit your completed application in February or March.

Eligibility: All high School students

Program dates: July 3, 2023 - July 28, 2023

Location: Rutgers University, NJ

Cost: $4,400


The Governor's School of New Jersey in Engineering & Technology is a highly selective summer program that offers talented and motivated high school students the chance to study at the Rutgers University School of Engineering. You will work with other students on a novel research project and present your findings at a research symposium. The program includes workshops, site visits to local corporations, and activities with professors, professionals, and peers from across the state. You get to take four academic courses and complete a small research and design project, with the bonus of visiting 2-3 local corporations to learn about future career opportunities.


Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 session are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early January each year.

Eligibility: You must be a New Jersey resident and a high school junior

Program dates: July 2, 2023 - July 28, 2023

Location: Rutgers University, NJ

Cost: Free


10. Newark Museum of Art’s Explorers Teen Program

The Newark Museum offers the Explorers Program that readies you for life by giving you the experience you need. This will be imparted to you via a curriculum that draws upon the Museum’s unique collections, resources, and staff. Every year, students from diverse backgrounds learn about their passions and strengths and develop new skills as public speakers, teachers, researchers, and leaders. As part of the program, you will participate in experiences like internships in different areas of the Museum, for which you will design and lead projects to gain real-life experience in a variety of jobs and fields of study, workshops focused on leadership training, public speaking, team-building, and Museum-based art and science projects that promote STEM learning, group trips to other institutions of culture and learning.


Application Deadline: May 15, 2023

Eligibility: Student must be a rising freshman, sophomore, junior attending a Newark school or residing in Newark, with a minimum GPA of 2.7

Program dates: Orientation is in October

Location: Newark Museum, NJ

Cost: Free


Here's a bonus program!

11. Veritas AI - AI Fellowship

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

Cost

  • $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. 




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: Stock image

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