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14 Summer Programs for High School Students in Virginia

Virginia is a state with a lot of opportunities each summer. So, if you’re interested in NASA, research, journalism, or lawmaking, there are summer programs for most interests. Check out out our hand selected top 14 programs in Virginia this summer! If you’re interested in the historic atmosphere, the proximity to the sea, or the variety of academic opportunities, Virginia will be the state for you. So whether you’re interested in NASA, journalism, or lawmaking, you should grab a snack and read on!

1. 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


  • $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: May 31, 2023 for Session 1, June 10, 2023 for Session 2

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors, seniors and rising college freshmen

Program dates: Session 1 from June 18 – July 8, 2023, Session 2 from July 9 – July 29, 2023

Location: The College of William & Mary (residential)

Fee: $4,800

Financial assistance: Limited need-based financial aid is available

Organized by the National Institute of American History & Democracy (a partnership between William & Mary and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), this program takes the study of history beyond the textbook. You will work with material objects, oral histories and even dig at archaeological sites. You choose from several course options, including Artifacts of American History, The Road to the American Revolution, and The Road to the United States Civil War.

Application deadline: Unspecified. Final decisions will be released by May 15, 2023

Eligibility: Students entering grades 10, 11, or 12 in fall 2023 who are first-generation college students

Program dates: July 16, 2023 – July 29, 2023 for the summer camp, with additional events throughout the year

Location: Virginia Tech

Fee: Free

Financial assistance: NA

A relevant option for aspiring engineers, this program includes summer and year-round components. The summer camp is a two-week residential program which will train you in engineering, through design projects and lab activities. Throughout the year, you will receive college application support, campus visits, and networking opportunities with Virginia Tech staff and students.

Application deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5

Program dates: July 15, 2023 – August 11, 2023

Location: University of Virginia (residential)

Fee: $6,296 for Virginia residents, $13,448 for non-residents,

Financial assistance: Limited need-based scholarships available, for which the deadline is March 15, 2023

UVA Advance offers a college experience in a nutshell, with workshops to prepare you for undergrad life, social activities in and around the university, and high-level academics that can earn you up to six transferable college credits! The academics include a specially designed core course (2023 students can choose from amongst Empowered Women in Africa, Business Communication, Introduction to Oceanography, and Genocide) and an elective course which is part of the regular undergrad syllabus.

Application deadline: April 10, 2023

Eligibility: Preference given to underrepresented and/or first-generation students who are rising juniors or seniors

Program dates: June 11, 2023 – June 14, 2023 (Session 1 for juniors), June 18, 2023 – June 22, 2023 (Session 2 for seniors), June 25, 2023 – June 29, 2023 (Session 3 for seniors)

Location: Virginia Tech

Fee: Free

A four-day academic enrichment program at Virginia Tech, the Black College Institute’s main aim is to widen the scope of opportunities for underrepresented and minority students. The program includes workshops and hands-on work in a number of academic fields, sessions that offer support with the college application process and a service learning component. This free program is highly competitive as it received over 1,200 applications in 2021. The 2023 cohort will include 200 students.

Application deadline: October 24, 2022

Eligibility: Open to high school juniors and seniors who are Virginia residents, United States citizens, and have a minimum GPA of 2.7

Program dates: December 2022 – April 2023 for the online component, June 24, 2023 – June 30, 2023 (Session 1 of the residency), July 15, 2023 – July 21, 2023 (Session 2 of the residency)

Location: Online course from December to April followed by an in-person summer residency at NASA Langley Research Center

Fee: Free

Organized by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, this is a notable program for those who are interested in climate change and want to work with NASA. Through the interactive online course, you will complete seven modules, learn from NASA researchers, and work with NASA-related research and data. Selected students will then get to attend the most exciting part of this program — a summer residency at Langley where they will work on a team project to design a mission to explore the Earth Systems by launching a satellite.

You can also opt for the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Program, which is similar in structure but focuses on the subject of human spaceflight. Please note, the dates given are for the 22-23 program, the timeline for the 23-24 program will be roughly the same.

Application deadline: April 7, 2023

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and demonstrate leadership skills in their school/community

Program dates: Second or third week of July (details to be announced)

Location: TBA but it will take place on a university campus

Fee: Free

The VBPD hosts this program to empower youth with developmental or other disabilities and give them the chance to hone their leadership skills. Along with leadership development activities, the program will also provide social skills enhancement, interactions with role models, and guest speakers for relevant topics. The agenda also includes Capitol Day where you will meet lawmakers and government officials as well as engage in a mock legislative hearing. Keep in mind that the application process is competitive and only 25 students will be selected!

Application deadline: May 1, 2023

Eligibility: US citizens/permanent residents and Richmond area high schoolers who have completed 9th grade and have a minimum GPA of 3.0

Program dates: July 17, 2023 – July 21, 2023

Location: Virginia Commonwealth University (commuter program)

Fee: Free

This program in Virginia is a great way for those interested in dentistry to get a taste of the profession. You will explore the different pathways of dentistry while attending interactive workshops and lab activities like tooth carving, suturing, digital dentistry and more. This commuter program is completely free and the only thing you need to take care of is transportation! Other VCU programs for high schoolers include the Pharmacy Summer Scholars program and the Allied Health Career Exploration program.

Application deadline: March 31, 2023

Eligibility: Graduating seniors and current juniors can apply

Program dates: June 20, 2023 – June 29, 2023 and July 17, 2023 – July 28, 2023

Location: Northern Virginia Community College

Fee: Free

You can choose either the Computer Science/Information Technology track or the Engineering track for this two-week program. The former will give you the opportunity to work with hardware like assembling a desktop computer and installing an OS. You will then use the hardware to study other topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Through the engineering track, you will learn about the data center and semiconductor manufacturing industries in the area, visit industry partners and even earn your OSHA 10 certificate!

Application deadline: April 1, 2023

Eligibility: Women who are rising juniors or seniors in a Roanoke area high school

Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 22, 2023

Location: Hollins University (residential)

Fee: Free

Geared at empowering young women, this residential pre-college program covers the topic of ‘Purpose and Power: Women Shaping History’ through learning on and off campus. You will also receive support for the college application process, including a Hollins University letter of recommendation, mentoring and workshops. With only 20 students accepted per cohort, this is a relatively selective program.

Application deadline: Applications open in April and results are announced in late May

Eligibility: Students between the ages of 14 and 19, who live in and around Arlington, can apply. Preference is given to underserved communities.

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – August 16, 2023

Location: Arlington Cultural Affairs Building in Green Valley but students may visit other areas for research and reporting

Stipend: None

If you’re interested in journalism, this internship with Arlington Independent Media can show you how to turn story ideas into nonfiction multimedia pieces (video, photo, audio, and more). The six-week program offers workshops, story meetings as well as a real-world journalism experience. You will leave with new connections, several media pieces for your portfolio, and a letter of recommendation.

Application deadline: The 2023 ASSIP application is now closed. The 2024 ASSIP application will be available in November 2023.

Eligibility: Students must be over the age of 15 for remote and computer lab in-person internships and over the age of 16 for “wet-lab” in-person internships

Program dates: June 20, 2023 – August 10, 2023

Location: Remote, in-person and hybrid options available

Fee: $25 application fee, no stipend,

Financial assistance: Application fee can be waived depending on need

Primarily a research program, this program will pair you with a mentor from George Mason University to work on a specific project. A wide range of research areas are available, including Earth Science, Molecular Medicine, Cyber Security, Finance, Astronomy, Math, Forensic Science and more. The format of the program differs with each project. Through ASSIP, you will use sophisticated technology and equipment, develop scientific writing, explore STEM careers, and exercise creativity and innovation.

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

Eligibility: Students who have completed their sophomore or junior year

Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 15, 2023

Location: James Madison University (residential)

Fee: $1,100

Financial assistance: Partial scholarships available for those in need

JMU’s Honors Summer Institute is a competitive program that accepts 30 students and gives them all-round training in college life. The program includes an Honors Core Course which is an interdisciplinary course looking at a current issue and examining it through a number of fields, an example of which can be found here. Along with this, you will attend subject-area classes that will focus on a different major every day. The fun and dynamic nature of the lessons is meant to let you explore options for your college major.

Application deadline: September 9, 2022

Eligibility: Open to students from grades 8 to 12, preference is given to students based on writing abilities, teacher recommendations and regional demographics

Program dates: October 6, 2022 – January 20, 2023

Location: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Fee: Free

While not a summer course, this 12-week program does provide keen insight into the fields of visual arts and museum careers through workshops, lectures and discussions. Although time-consuming in nature, this program also offers exciting opportunities like networking with museum professionals, assistantships for other programs, and working on a special VMFA project. The 22-23 cohort worked on developing an event that complemented one of the museum’s installations.

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 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: Stock image



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