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11 Health Science Summer Programs for High School Students

If you're interested in health sciences, these summer programs should definitely be on your radar! These programs will offer valuable experiences typically through lab work, lectures, and seminars led by professionals and academics in the field of health science. These programs not only allow you to explore your interests but also helps you gain insights into college-level coursework and research environments. 


Including your participation in a health science summer program on your CV or in your Statement of Purpose (SOP) for college applications can also significantly bolster your profile. It demonstrates your commitment to the field, readiness for college-level study, and proactiveness. These experiences will give you a competitive edge when applying for future research opportunities, internships, and scholarships in health sciences. These signal to admissions committees and potential mentors that you are a self-motivated and dedicated student, qualities that will set you apart from other applicants!


Location: Stanford Campus

Cost: No Cost

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024

Program Dates: June 24-July 26, 2024

Eligibility: First generation and low-income high school juniors


The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP) is a full-time, week-long summer program that requires participants to travel to Stanford's main campus from Monday through Friday. It provides a structured environment to explore medical sciences and healthcare delivery. You can expect to engage directly in the field through internships at Stanford Hospital, where you will observe and learn from healthcare professionals across various departments. These internships not only enhance students' understanding of medical science and healthcare but also offer invaluable hands-on experiences, including laboratory work, shadowing doctors, and patient interaction.


Beyond clinical experience, the SMYSP emphasizes the importance of addressing health disparities through a public health research project. You will collaborate in small groups to conduct research on critical issues such as racial inequities in COVID-19 health outcomes and language barriers in hospital settings, culminating in a college-level research paper, presentation, and academic poster. You will also participate in team-building exercises, mentorship, and educational opportunities. Lastly, you will benefit from guest lectures, tours, and demonstrations by professionals from various medical specialties.


Location: Remote — you can participate in this program from anywhere in the world!

Eligibility:

  • You must be currently enrolled in high school or plan to enroll as a freshman in college in the fall of 2023.

  • Students must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement. (Note. Students have an unweighted GPA of 3.3 out of 4)

  • No previous knowledge of your field of interest is required!

Application Deadline: Varying deadlines for each of the four yearly cohorts. 

Program Dates: Vary based on cohort.


The Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a rigorous research program tailored for high school students. The program offers extensive 1-on-1 research opportunities for high school students, across a broad range of subject areas that you can explore as a high schooler. 


The program pairs high-school students with Ph.D. mentors to work 1-on-1 on an independent research project. At the end of the 12-week program, you’ll have developed an independent research paper! You can choose research topics from subjects such as medicine, life sciences,health sciences, and more. You can find more details about the application here!


Location: Tufts Medford Campus

Cost: Commuter: $5,000, Residential: $6,500, Materials Fee: $100

Application Deadline: May 1

Program Dates: July 7 – July 19, 2024

Eligibility: Entering grades 11-12 or a Spring 2024 high school graduate


The Tufts Mini Med School: Careers in Medicine program is a great opportunity for you to study alongside faculty and experts from one of the nation's leading medical schools, Tufts University School of Medicine. The curriculum of Mini Med School is structured to provide a holistic understanding of medical and health-related topics. Through engaging lectures, interactive medical case studies, and hands-on training, you begin to experience what it's like to study and work in the field of medicine. One of the program's highlights is the series of field trips to the Tufts Medical campus, where you visit the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center and engage in hands-on activities within the anatomy lab. These experiences offer a glimpse into the practical aspects of medical training and patient care. 


Mini Med School also places a special emphasis on two critical areas in medicine: infectious diseases and immunology. These topics are at the forefront of healthcare today, and you delve into them through in-depth study, including medical microbiology lab sessions and infectious disease-focused medical case studies. Mini Med School also facilitates question and answer sessions with admissions staff, medical doctors, professionals from various health-related fields, and current medical students. 


Location: Georgetown University

Cost: $3,549

Application Deadline: May 15

Program Dates: Multiple sessions available

Eligibility: Be a current or rising high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior during the academic year prior to your summer program, Show evidence of good academic standing with at least a 2.0 GPA


The Georgetown Medical Academy offers a 1-Week Medical Academy program for high school students with an interest in the health sciences. You will explore medicine through Georgetown University's esteemed Medical Center, which encompasses the nationally ranked School of Medicine, School of Nursing & Health Studies, and the world-renowned Lombardi Cancer Center. You will explore a wide range of topics including human anatomy, physiology, radiology, surgery, cancer, biomedical ethics, and the procurement of human tissues. The labs are focused on suturing, orthopedic casting, small mammal dissection, and the use of a patient simulator. Additionally, you will be able to interact with current medical students, faculty from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and physicians from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


Structured academic programming runs from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, encompassing lectures, guest speakers, hands-on activities, group discussions, and off-site visits. This schedule is designed to immerse participants fully in the medical field, offering a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. Beyond the academic rigor, the program also offers optional co-curricular events in the evenings, allowing students to engage in free time and residential living activities until curfew. 


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: March 22, 2024

Program Dates: June 24-28 and July 22-26

Eligibility: High-school students during the summer before their junior or senior years and they must be at least 16 years old on the first day of the camp session


The CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp (DDC) is a great opportunity for you if you want to explore public health. Hosted at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, this day camp aligns with the museum’s mission to educate the public about the CDC's pivotal role in health and safety. Admission is competitively open to students who are entering their junior or senior years, providing the opportunity to delve into the core of public health studies during the summer. Throughout the duration of the camp, you will engage in a rigorous, fast-paced curriculum that covers a wide array of topics. These may range from infectious diseases, chronic disease, and injury prevention to more specialized areas such as data analysis, environmental health, emergency preparedness, and public health law.


The curriculum is designed to be reflective of current public health challenges and innovations, covering subjects such as epidemiology, global health, environmental health, emergency preparedness, school health and wellness, injury, violence and safety, public health communication, and more. 


Location: Harvard University Campus

Cost: $5,300

Program Dates: 2 weeks in June or July

Application Deadline: January

Eligibility: High School Students


In Harvard's Pre-College Molecular Oncology course, you will explore the molecular pathways and biomolecular techniques used in cancer research labs. This course is tailored for students who already have a background in cancer biology and are looking to gain a comprehensive understanding of laboratory experiments. Starting with a brief review of cancer as a disease, the course then dives into the intricacies of molecular pathways prevalent in oncology, as well as specific molecular techniques used in research. This exploration is facilitated by examining specific histological and biochemical tools that have made these advancements possible. You'll dive into the biomolecular techniques developed to monitor cell cycle progression, DNA replication, and gene and protein expression, gaining insights into the mechanics of cancer at a molecular level.


The concluding part of the course is a problem-based learning case. This case is designed to help you understand how biomolecular techniques influence cancer medicine, providing a practical context to the theoretical knowledge you've gained. Throughout the course, you will review basic cell biology properties, such as cell division, DNA replication, and cell death. In addition, you will receive a solid introduction to oncogenesis, covering more complex topics like proto-oncogenes, oncogenes, and the relationship between tumors and their environment. This includes a focus on the metastasis process, angiogenesis, and the role of the immune system in cancer. 


Location: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Cost: Free (Paid stipend of $1,200)

Application deadline: February 9, 2024

Program dates: June 27 - August 22

Eligibility: Students must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of at least the 9th grade by June 2024 

  • Must be 14 or older by June 27, 2024 

  • A genuine interest in science and laboratory research 

  • 3.5 GPA in science subjects


At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP), you will explore biomedical and computational research through an 8-week summer internship. This program not only focuses on laboratory or computational-based research projects but also includes postdoctoral-led journal clubs, student-led journal clubs, PI luncheons, laboratory tours, teambuilding, and social networking sessions. 


Each participant is matched with a mentor, such as a postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, or research technician, who provides supervision and guidance throughout the program. This program ends with a presentation of your research project at a poster session. Beyond the scientific training, HOPP SSP allows you to participate in tours of MSKCC's state-of-the-art facilities, training sessions, and luncheons with principal investigators. 


Location: Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California

Cost: $3,000

Application Deadline: February 23, 2024

Program Dates: Session 1: June 17-28; Session 2: July 8-19, 2024

Eligibility: Students who will be between 15-19 years old in June of the program year AND have completed 9th grade (up until the summer after graduating 12th grade) are eligible to apply.


The Summer Medical Academy (SMA) at Rady Children's Hospital is great if you want to enter the healthcare field. SMA leverages a curriculum that hosts a blend of lectures and interactive discussions, hands-on skills clinics, group projects, career panels, and activities focused on team building, networking, and self-care. This is not just an exposure to medical training and practice; it's a way for you to explore the career paths within healthcare, facilitated by esteemed institutions and organizations such as the UCSD School of Medicine, Illumina, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.


Over the course of two weeks, you will engage directly with a wide range of healthcare possibilities, gaining firsthand experience through various skills clinics that cover essential medical procedures and techniques. You will also sit through various talks delivered by experts in the field. Beyond the technical and intellectual growth, SMA places a strong emphasis on the importance of forming connections with like-minded peers and professionals, fostering a network of future colleagues. 


Location: UT San Antonio Campus

Cost: $700

Application Deadline: 3/8/2024

Program Dates: July 8-12, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible


The BEAT (Biomedical Excellence and Academic Training) Academy at UT Health San Antonio is great for you if you have an interest in the fields of medicine and biomedical research. You will explore various health careers, supported by a curriculum that bridges medical and biomedical disciplines. You will also be able to engage directly with medical and biomedical faculty through a series of seminars and hands-on activities. The range of subjects covered includes cutting-edge biomedical research currently underway at the UT Health Science Center, encompassing areas such as anatomy, physiology, medicine, molecular biology, aging, and neurodegeneration, among other relevant and contemporary topics


The program includes behind-the-scenes visits to the human anatomy lab, where students can learn about the human body firsthand. Interactions with both real and state-of-the-art simulated patients provide a glimpse into the realities of medical training, while introductions to the latest advances in biomolecular technology reveal the cutting edge of medical research. Students will also conduct biomolecular experiments themselves. In addition to this, the program includes a college prep session.


Location: Online

Cost: $3050

Eligibility: Grades 10-11 at the time of application

Application Deadline: March

Course Dates: 2 weeks in either June or July


Enrolling in the Stanford Pre College Investigations in Genetics program is an exciting opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the captivating realm of genetics. This program is meticulously designed to offer high school students like you a comprehensive exploration of the fundamental principles and cutting-edge developments in the field of genetics. Guided by accomplished faculty and researchers, you will embark on a journey through the intricacies of genes, heredity, and genetic variations. 


Through a blend of engaging lectures, hands-on laboratory experiments, and thought-provoking discussions, you will acquire a profound understanding of genetic processes, DNA structure, and the role of genetics in various aspects of life, from health to evolution.


You will be able to approach questions such as: What role does genetic mutation and regulation play in disease manifestation? How can we understand the composition of the microbiome, and what insight it can provide regarding disease states? 


Location: Rochester Institute of Technology Campus

Cost: $700

Application Deadline: Rolling

Program Dates: July 20-25, 2024

Eligibility: Deaf and hard-of-hearing students who are entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade in fall of 2023 and are in excellent academic standing may attend


The Rochester Institute of Technology's Health Care Careers Exploration Program is great for you if you are interested in health sciences. This program will allow you to explore various career options within health care. You will be actively involved in medical demonstrations, group activities, and discussions. The program includes hands-on demonstrations across a range of disciplines including biology, exercise science, medical laboratory science, microbiology, nursing, nutrition, and more. You will have the opportunity to become CPR/First Aid certified, an essential skill set for anyone looking to enter the healthcare profession. 


Enrolling 24 students, this co-ed program emphasizes a close-knit learning environment with a student-staff ratio of around 6:1. Daily classes feature hands-on activities in various health science areas, hosted in state-of-the-art facilities such as Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall and the Center for Bioscience Education and Technology. Field trips to local medical facilities and evening leisure activities, including sports and outings in the Rochester community, complement the academic components, offering a balanced and comprehensive exploration of health care careers. 


One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to further enhance your applications by doing research in business and related fields, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students 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. 


Jessica attends Harvard University where she studies Neuroscience and Computer Science as a Coca-Cola, Elks, and Albert Shankar Scholar. She is passionate about educational equity and hopes to one day combine this with her academic interests via social entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, she enjoys taking walks, listening to music, and running her jewelry business! 


Image Source: Stanford University logo


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