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10 University Internships for High School Students

If you are a high school student, consider applying to an internship in your field to improve your working knowledge of your future career. An internship will equip you with essential skills needed in your field while enhancing your awareness of the avenues you could explore. In particular, university admissions committees highly regard practical experience when admitting students to their programs as such experience highlights your motivation, competence, and interest.

Further, applying to an internship offered by a popular university with competitive undergraduate programs is worthwhile as this can put you in direct contact with professionals in your field. 

If you wish to apply to the same university for your undergraduate studies, pursuing a high school internship at that university may boost your chances of getting accepted, as the internship may help you demonstrate interest.

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of 10 university internships for high school students you can apply to. The list below includes high school internships offered by Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Yale, and Princeton, so make sure you take a look!

Subject Area: Neuroscience, neurobiology

Location: Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurology, Baltimore, MD / Virtual

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors (in-person applicants must attend a Baltimore high school)

Application Deadline: Applications usually close on March 1.

Dates: June-August (8 weeks in person) | July-August (5 weeks virtual internship)

Stipend: Hourly wages and transportation funds are paid to in-person interns while virtual interns are paid a fixed stipend of $500.

The Johns Hopkins Internship in Brain Sciences (JHIBS) offers two attendance options for students interested in the neurological sciences.

  • In-Person Experience: Selecting only 8 students, the in-person experience allows interns to participate in a research project under the mentorship of faculty, student mentors, and staff. Interns will further participate in clinical rotations with Johns Hopkins neurologists and attend scientific seminars, weekly professional development sessions, and meetings with faculty. At the end of the internship, interns will deliver an oral or poster presentation of their work and experience.

  • Virtual Experience: The virtual experience includes educational presentations, professional development training sessions, mentorship training, and learning basic laboratory techniques and experiments.

Take a look at past projects here.

Subject Area: Information technology (IT)

Location: Yale University, New Haven, CT

Eligibility: Students residing in New Haven, West Haven, or Orange and attending participating high schools

Application Deadline: Not specified. Students cannot apply directly; high school representatives must nominate them.

Dates: 6 weeks during the summer

Stipend: Paid (amount not specified)

The Yale ITS High School Internship Program has been running since 2013 with the combined efforts of Yale Information Technology Services, Yale Human Resources, and New Haven Public Schools. This program offers high school students the chance to pursue paid opportunities in the field of information technology (IT).

Selected students will work in a professional office environment at Yale University and participate in the day-to-day workings of a technology career. Interns will further work under the direct guidance of managers, working on real-world projects that actively contribute to the university and organization. In addition, interns will receive access to the university campus and its facilities and resources, professional development workshops, social events, activities, and lots more.

Subject Area: Medicine

Location: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors aged at least 16 with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in February.

Dates: June 10, 2024 - August 1, 2024 (8 weeks)

Stipend: All students receive a minimum of $500 for the program. However, students from underrepresented groups will receive a minimum of $1,500. Housing and meals are not provided.

Accepting only around 50 students, the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) is a competitive and prestigious opportunity for students who wish to work on a medical or adjacent project with experts in the field. Selected interns will have the opportunity to work on their research projects with Stanford faculty, researchers, students, and postdoctoral fellows. Students will learn the ins and outs of performing basic scientific research under one-on-one mentorship at one of Stanford’s state-of-the-art laboratories.

Applicants should indicate their area of interest from 8 research areas, including immunology, neurology, cancer biology, bioengineering, stem cell and regenerative medicine, cardiovascular biology, bioinformatics, and genetics and genomics. 

The internship further includes lectures, lab work, safety training, and a final poster presentation.

Subject Area: STEMLocation: MIT, Cambridge, MA

Eligibility: High school juniors with valid test scores

Application Deadline: Applications for 2024 are closed. Applications for 2025 will open in the fall.

Dates: July-August

Stipend: This is an unpaid internship.

MIT’ and CEEs Research Science Institute (RSI) accepts 100 highly qualified high school students every year for a chance to participate in a research project. The program combines coursework in scientific theory with practical experience in science and technology research.

In the first week, students will attend intensive STEM classes and seminars and read current literature in the field. 

At the end of the first week, research project assignments are handed out, following which students spend 5 weeks working on individual projects in an MIT lab under the mentorship of professional scientists, faculty, and researchers. At the end of the 5-week internship, students will prepare and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their research.

Field trips and evening lectures with professionals are also included in the program schedule.

Subject Area: Engineering and natural sciencesLocation: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Eligibility: U.S. high school students (citizens, legal permanent residents, and international students attending U.S. high schools) who are at least 16 years old

Application Deadline: Applications generally close in March.

Dates: June-August (5-6 weeks)

Stipend: This is an unpaid internship.

The Laboratory Learning Program at Princeton University is a full-time research internship at Princeton University. This highly prestigious program allows students to work on ongoing projects under the supervision of Princeton faculty and research staff. The program includes safety training and laboratory work during regular office hours. The exact schedule will be determined and customized based on the projects and availability of the research staff.

Research opportunities are available in the following areas:

  • Engineering: Project examples include the development of soft robots, large language model applications in environmental sustainability, characterizing and engineering thermophilic enzymes for biofuel production, imaging airflow, and more.

  • Natural Sciences: Project examples include sustainable catalysis, novel proteins with novel functions, antibiotic discovery, biophysics, and more.

 A 2-page research summary is due at the end of the program, which you can also use as part of your portfolio while applying to college!

Subject Area: Earth science, space research, astronomy

Location: Hybrid (Remote + University of Austin, Austin, TX)

Eligibility: High school juniors with U.S. citizenship

Application Deadline: Applications usually close in February.

Dates: July 1, 2024 - July 6, 2024 (online) | July 7, 2024 - July 20, 2024 (on-site for 11th graders) | July 27, 2024 - August 4, 2024 (on-site for 10th graders)

Stipend: This is an unpaid internship, although housing, meals, and local transportation will be covered. Some travel scholarships to Texas are also available.

The STEM Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) Summer High School Intern Program is jointly organized by NASA and the University of Texas at Austin. The program provides interns a chance to work with professional faculty, scientists, and researchers while receiving access to ongoing real-world projects, such as remote sensing data, analysis of ice sheets, mission design, Earth’s gravity field, space geodetic techniques, climate science, natural hazards, and more. As an intern, you will work on analyzing and visualizing data.

Participation in both the online and in-person sessions is mandatory, although some projects might also be completely virtual. 11th-grade students will further get the chance to participate in a concluding Virtual Science Symposium where they will present their projects.

Subject Area: Medicine, child health

Location: Anschutz Medical Campus (Children’s Hospital Colorado), Aurora, CO

Eligibility: High school seniors who are at least 18 years old by the start of the internship

Application Deadline: Applications are closed for 2024 and will reopen for the 2025 internship in December 2024.

Dates: June 3, 2024 - August 2, 2024 (9 weeks)

Stipend: $3,500

The Summer Child Health Research Internship by the University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado is a great opportunity for students to work in the lab with faculty members of the Department of Pediatrics of both hosting institutions. This internship will allow students to work on research projects in the field of child health. One-on-one laboratory work with mentors will form the core of this internship, with some time devoted to weekly research seminars and lectures.

The internship will conclude with student research presentations and submissions of written reports. Students and mentors can also submit abstracts to conferences and, if selected, will receive access to funding for travel and registration.

Subject Area: History, nutritional sciences, engineering, computer science, biology, neurobiology, chemistry

Location: TexasTech University campus, Lubbock, TX

Eligibility: Students who will be at least 17 years old by the program start date, will graduate in 2024/2025, and are U.S. citizens or permanent residents

Application Deadline: Applications close in February every year.

Dates: June 16, 2024 - August 1, 2024 (7 weeks)

Stipend: $750 + free housing and meals

Accepting only 12 students, the Anson L. Clark Scholar Program at Texas Tech University is a highly competitive and prestigious paid research opportunity. Selected scholars will conduct practical research under accomplished faculty members, getting the chance to work in laboratories with cutting-edge technology. By the end of the program, students must submit a successful research project report detailing their findings and results.

Students can choose their field from research areas like nutritional sciences, biology and microbiology, computer science, mechanical engineering, neurobiology, history, chemistry, and electrical and computer engineering. In addition to laboratory research work, students will attend weekly seminars related to their field and regular social activities to interact with peers and build a strong network.

Subject Area: Geosciences

Location: University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD

Eligibility: High school seniors starting an undergraduate degree program in geosciences with U.S. citizenship or permanent residence and a minimum 2.7 GPA

Application Deadline: May 31, 2024

Dates: July 1, 2024 - August 9, 2024 (6 weeks)

Stipend: $500 per week, with free housing, meals, and transportation provided.

The Geosciences Bridge Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a paid internship program comprising lectures, mentorship, professional development sessions, practical activities, field trips, and two for-credit courses. Students can choose from multiple areas of geoscience, such as biogeochemistry, atmospheric science, marine biology, marine chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, marine geology, meteorology, physical oceanography, remote sensing/GIS, and more.

Students must also take College Algebra or Calculus 1 and a Freshman Seminar course. When it comes to research projects, students will work in groups of 3-4 with assigned faculty mentors, with project presentations taking place at the final symposium. The professional development activities will include workshops in preparing for and delivering oral presentations.

Subject Area: Plant science research and computational biology

Location: Cornell University, Tompkins County, NY

Eligibility: Local/regional high school students (graduating seniors cannot apply) who are at least 16 years old

Application Deadline: Applications typically close at the end of March.

Dates: June 25, 2024 - August 9, 2024

Stipend: $4,200. Separate housing, travel, or meal stipends or provisions are not offered.

The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), Cornell University, and USDA provide high school research internships to those interested in scientific careers, especially in biology. Current openings include areas like plant science research and computational biology, with accepted students getting a chance to work with at least one research mentor and one faculty mentor. Students will complete ongoing research projects while participating in professional development lectures, discussions, field trips, and training. At the end of the program, students will deliver presentations using a scientific poster.

Students will carry out work in bioinformatics and wet lab and field work. Take a look at some research areas here.

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, a selective online high school program for students I 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.

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: Yale University logo


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