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11 High School Internships in the Bay Area

Are you a high school student looking for internships in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area? You don’t need to look anywhere else, because the Bay Area offers an array of internships that give you real-world experience and help you explore your career interests.

These internships provide the opportunity to learn and grow, allowing you to apply your classroom knowledge in practical settings and develop essential skills for your future.

Whether you're passionate about science, technology, arts, or social impact, there is an internship for you. In this article, we will explore a list of 11 internships for high school students in the Bay Area, covering different kinds of opportunities.

Additionally, you could check out our blogs on research opportunities in California, as well as deep dives on programs such as SIMR and HMMT.

Application deadline: December 23, 2022

Eligibility: Students aged 16-19 by June 1, 2023 can apply.

Program dates: June 19, 2023 - August 4, 2023

Location: Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco

Stipend: $15-17 per hour

For those interested in the healthcare industry, this internship offers practical experience and insight into it. During this internship, you will have the chance to work alongside healthcare professionals and learn about various medical disciplines, such as nursing, pharmacy, laboratory sciences, and more. You will take part in hands-on activities, shadowing experiences, and educational workshops that enhance your understanding of healthcare practices. The program emphasizes mentorship, teamwork, and personal development, and can encourage you to explore your career interest in the medical field.

Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application Deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program Dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Selection Rate: Selective

Eligibility: Students who can work 10-20 hours/week for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!

Ladder Internship is a selective program for high school students to work with startups.

Ladder Startups work in fields including healthcare and medicine, technology, machine learning and A.I., finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, media and journalism, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form.

As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding students through the internship and helping them navigate the startup environment.

Note that as a Ladder Intern, you will engage in a coaching+work-based model - a component that sets it apart from most internships in this list. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.

Application deadline: Applications typically open in winter or early spring for the coming academic year, and close by late spring or early summer.

Eligibility: 9th and 10th graders enrolled in an SFUSD school, who have maintained a GPA of 2.5 and a grade of C or higher in science and math, are eligible to apply.

Program dates: After school and on weekends, year-round participation

Location: California Academy of Sciences

Stipend: Students will be paid, but information on the exact amount is not available.

CiS is a multi-year, year-round, paid internship and youth development program for students who come from communities underrepresented in STEM, including girls and students of color. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the sciences, you can consider this immersive internship program. As an intern, you will work alongside scientists, researchers and educators at the California Academy of Sciences. You will learn the ropes of scientific research and science communication. This internship includes interactive training sessions twice a week, outdoor field activities and guidance on your college applications. In groups, you will work on a science research or environmental action project.

Application deadline: March 10, 2023

Eligibility: Current 11th graders, who are at least 16 years old by the start of the program, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and have completed Biology or Chemistry with a grade of B or better, can apply.

Program dates: June 5, 2023 - August 4, 2023

Location: University of California, San Francisco

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend, but information on the exact amount is not available.

The CURE (Community, Urban, Research, and Education) Internship Program is for students interested in biomedical research. This internship provides a platform for you to immerse yourself in career opportunities across various fields of research, including basic, clinical, behavioral, and population sciences. As an intern, you will be mentored by UCSF faculty, post-doctorate students, and graduate students. You will conduct your own research and present your findings in a 1-day Research Symposium at the end of the program. As a part of your internship, you will also receive college and career advice.

Application deadline: Applications typically open in early spring, and close by early summer.

Eligibility: Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 can apply.

Program dates: August to May, 6-8 hours a week minimum, with both virtual and on-site sessions.

Location: Asian Art Museum

Stipend: Students will be paid a stipend, but information on the exact amount is not available.

If you’re interested in art and culture, and fascinated by the behind-the-scenes workings of a museum, this internship might be for you. It will give you a firsthand experience in museum operations, event planning, and art education. As an intern, you will discover Asian art and cultural traditions, learn from local artists and arts organizations, engage in social justice and youth activism, conduct informational interviews with museum staff to explore careers in the arts, and develop your leadership skills by creating and facilitating hands-on art activities. The program will give you insight into art curation, exhibition design, and public programming, nurturing creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Application deadline: Applications typically open around January or February, and remain open for several weeks.

Eligibility: Students enrolled in a SFUSD high school can apply.

Program dates: The internship is conducted over the summer, and the dates will be decided on the student’s availability.

Location: University of California, San Francisco (Mission Bay campus)

Stipend: No information is available.

Combining science and technology, this internship is a chance to explore the subject of translational neuroscience and possible careers in the field. For the internship, you will be paired with a team of mentors to work on an independent research project. You get hands-on experiences and learn new skills related to translational neuroscience and technology, with projects ranging from literature reviews to interactive media programming. With laboratory experiments, data analysis, and scientific discussions, you will gain insights into various fields, such as biology, medicine, and public health. The internship will culminate in short presentations about what you learnt over the course of the program.

Application deadline: February 28, 2023

Eligibility: High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors that live in San Francisco or go to a high school in San Francisco can apply. Further details on eligibility and dates are available.

Program dates: June 12, 2023 - August 4, 2023

Location: Across city and county department offices.

Stipend: $17.50 per hour

This internship at Project Pull aims to provide work experience, mentorship, and professional development to diverse youth, and introduce you to the public sector. Interns are placed in various city departments, where you will work on projects and gain hands-on exposure to different areas of public service. Through this immersive experience, you get a chance to develop essential skills, including teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. You will also receive guidance and support from dedicated mentors who will help you navigate career paths and set goals for your future.

Application deadline: No information is available.

Eligibility: High school students aged 16 or above, with a GPA of 3.0 or above, can apply.

Program dates: Based on the school schedule, each student’s internship manager will decide with them the duration and schedule of their internship.

Location: Livermore, California (40 minutes from San Francisco)

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend commensurate to the work they put in.

This internship program provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a cutting-edge research environment. As an intern, you will work alongside experienced scientists and engineers on projects that contribute to technological advancements. Through this program, you have the chance to explore various STEM disciplines, including engineering, computer science, physics, and more, under the guidance of your manager who will help define your work assignment, schedule, and the duration of your internship. You will participate in real-world research and development activities, collaborate with professionals, and gain insights into the scientific process.

Application deadline: Interest forms open in early February, and close by mid-spring.

Eligibility: Students who attend a local high school, live in the Bay Area, and are at least 16 years old and will have completed the 9th grade by the beginning of the internship can apply.

Program dates: July 6 - 27, 2023

Location: Bay Area Metro Center (weekly, mostly-online seminars)

Stipend: No information is available.

This internship will open a window to the inner workings of a metropolitan planning organization, and help you plan a career in government service. You will learn about what regional agencies do and what skills you might need for a career in the public sector, how decisions are made that impact the air you breathe, your neighborhoods, how you commute, and other factors that influence community health. You will also have a voice in making decisions that benefit the community. With online sessions and quizzes, you will learn to answer questions like: how long is a bridge supposed to last, why are there so many potholes, why is housing so costly, is the water really rising in the Bay Area. At the end of the program, you will make a presentation on a local challenge on transportation, housing, environmental justice and/or related topics.

Application deadline: Interest forms open in early February, and close by mid-spring.

Eligibility: Internships are intended for sophomores and juniors, and priority will go to students in the 11th grade.

Program dates: 6 weeks (20 hours a week) in the summer, dates will be decided based on the student’s choice of industry.

Location: Depends on the student’s choice of industry.

Stipend: Students will be paid for their work during the internship, but information on the exact amount is not available.

These internships offer valuable hands-on experience and professional development opportunities, a chance to explore career fields and gain practical skills in a real-world work environment. For your internship, you will choose an industry sector from a range of choices available, including animation, architecture, automotive technology, biotechnology, computer science, engineering, environmental science, finance, law, marketing, media, and more. You will work alongside industry mentors in your chosen field, and explore careers in that field. The internship will also help you develop skills that come in hand during college and in your future.

If you’re interested in pursuing health and medicine, consider the Health Education Outreach Internship at SFUSD.

Application deadline: Open positions are displayed on the job page, and if there’s a deadline to apply for an open role, it will be mentioned on the listing.

Eligibility: Students who are at least 15 years old, and not more than 18 years old, and have completed their first year of high school can apply.

Program dates: Throughout the year (after school and on weekends) and in the summer (5 days a week)

Location: Exploratorium, San Francisco

Stipend: San Francisco minimum wage

This paid opportunity allows you to engage in science communication and museum education. As an Explainer, you become an ambassador of science, interacting with museum visitors, leading demonstrations, and running many museum operations. Through hands-on experiences and training, you will work on your communication and presentation skills while deepening your understanding of various scientific concepts. The program encourages active learning and empowers you to be a confident and effective science communicator. Explainers also collaborate with peers and museum staff, and are tasked with a sizable amount of responsibility at the museum.

Here’s a bonus entry for those interested in biomedical science!

Application deadline: Applications are due in early February.

Eligibility: Current high school juniors enrolled in an SFUSD high school, SF charter school or College Track San Francisco can apply.

Program dates: 8-week internship beginning in June.

Location: University of California, San Francisco

Stipend: $3200 (part-time, 35 hours a week) | $4500 (full-time, 45 hours a week)

This internship can be a valuable opportunity for students interested in biomedical research. This internship allows you to work alongside UCSF scientists, researchers, and medical professionals in state-of-the-art laboratories and healthcare settings. As an intern, you will engage in hands-on research projects, gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies, and contribute to scientific advancements. You will also participate in educational workshops, seminars, and mentorship programs that expand your knowledge and professional skills. You will be matched with a scientist mentor who guides you while you learn and hone your skills to complete a unique research project.

If you are interested in doing university-level 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 4000 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: Unsplash


1 Comment

Anders Soft
Anders Soft
Sep 01, 2023

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