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12 Summer Programs for High School Students in North Carolina

If you're a high school student in North Carolina looking to get a taste of college life while learning something new then summer programs are a great way to do so. With a variety of options across the state, you can participate in programs that align with your interests and goals, whether that's diving into a specific academic subject, exploring potential career paths, or gaining experience in a particular field. In this article, we'll highlight 11 college summer programs for high school students in North Carolina, covering a range of subjects and opportunities.

12 College Summer Programs for High School Students in North Carolina:

Duke Pre-College Programs provide experiential learning and academic experiences to motivated 6th-11th grade students in a university setting. Taught by Duke experts, the diverse courses inspire and challenge future leaders in engineering, mathematics, humanities, social science, technology, and science. Duke University provides a wide range of expert-led courses across various subjects. Students can pursue diverse engineering courses such as "Engineering Solutions for Global Health" and "From Gel to Sell". Those interested in Mathematics can explore "Applied Econometrics" or "Cryptography Through Gamified Programming". Humanities courses like "Academic Writing" and "The Woman Ruler" are also available. Social science courses include "Criminal Law" and "Politics of Empire" while the technology course "Digital Music Production" is open for enrolment. Science courses include "Chemical Toxicology" and "Neural Integration".

Application Deadline: 19th June 2023

Eligibility: Students who are presently in 9th to 11th grade during the academic year of 2022-2023

Program Dates: July 3 – August 13

Location: Duke University Campus


  • For Residential, the cost is $4,900, which includes daily meals, lodging, and tours.

  • For Commuters, the cost is $3,200, which includes lunch during class days and tours.

July Experience is a demanding pre-college program that spans three weeks and is designed for high school juniors and seniors. Students are required to select two courses from a diverse range of liberal arts curricula. In addition, the program provides college readiness workshops, visits to Davidson College Lake Campus, and field trips to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Carowinds Amusement Park, and uptown Charlotte.

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close on 1st Feb.

Eligibility: To apply, students need to submit two applications: 1) the Summer Program - Partner (Non-Davidson) application, and 2) an application to the partner program itself.

Program Dates: Varies by program. Click here for the link to the program dates.

Location: Davidson College Campus

Cost: $3,000

Horizon offers trimester-long research programs for high school students across subject areas such as data science, machine learning, political theory, biology, chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, and more! It is one of the very few research programs for high school students that offers a choice between quantitative and qualitative research! 

Once you select a particular subject track and type of research you’ll be paired with a professor or Ph.D. scholar (from a top university) who will mentor you throughout your research journey. You’ll work to create a 20-page, university-level research paper that you can send to prestigious journals for publication as a high school student. 

This program is a solid opportunity for you to pursue a research program in highly specialized fields, under the guidance of a top scholar. The program also provides a letter of recommendation for each student, as well as detailed project feedback that you can use to work on future projects and on college applications. Apply here!

Location: Virtual 

Application Date: May 21, 2024 for the summer cohort, and September 25, 2024 for the fall cohort 

Program Dates: 

  • Summer seminar - June 24, 2024 - September 2, 2024

  • Fall seminar - October 23, 2024 - February 19, 2025

  • Lab dates are flexible, but you must apply 4 weeks in advance.

Eligibility: High school students with good academic standing (>3.67/4.0 GPA) can apply. Most accepted students are 10th/11th graders! Only a couple of tracks require formal prerequisites, more details of which can be found here.

The Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) encompasses a range of programs to equip students with the skills and mindset necessary for a purposeful career and a life of service. ELR programs include internships (e.g., marketing and sales internships at Love School of Business), leadership (e.g., being the president of a student organization), service learning (e.g., partnering with a non-profit organization to address a community need), undergraduate research (e.g., examining the effects of environmental factors on the growth of certain plants), and global engagement (e.g., participating in a study abroad trip or exchange program). Students undergo a process of preparation, action, and reflection to develop cognitive flexibility, enabling them to learn effectively from experience and apply their knowledge as responsible global citizens.

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Eligibility: Varied by the program. Click here to check the eligibility criteria.

Program Dates: Varied by the program. Click here to check the eligibility criteria.

Location: The Service Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR) can be fulfilled during the summer in Alamance County, as well as domestically or internationally.

The Kernodle Center for Civic Life is responsible for organizing service experiences.

Cost/Stipend: Varied by the program.

The UNC Summer Pre-College Program offers several resources and opportunities to high school students, including pre-college advising, an expo and symposium, a health careers day, a health careers workshop, and the TRiO Upward Bound program. These programs provide support, instruction, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, and cultural enrichment to help students prepare for college and succeed in their higher education pursuits.

Application Deadline: Varied by the program. Click here to check the application deadline.

Eligibility: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible.

Program Dates: June 18-23 and June 25-30

Location: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Cost: Starts at $1,350 and covers expenses such as lodging, meals, course materials, activities, and excursions.

At the UNCG Young Writers' Camp, young writers engage in a two-week program in July to create 21st-century texts utilizing digital tools, such as storyboarding, blogging, and movie-making, with daily writing workshops led by experienced UNCG faculty, graduate students, local teachers, and authors. The camp supports a range of writing styles and strategies used by professional writers, and all work is published on the camp website. Half-day or full-day sessions are available for campers, with morning sessions allowing writing on a preferred genre while the afternoon offers specialized instruction on topics like fiction, poetry, and making.

Application Deadline: 9:00 AM on July 10th to 4:00 PM on August 4th in the Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) zone.

Eligibility: First-come, first-serve basis. Enrollment is limited to 100 students.

Program Dates: Here are the scheduled dates for upcoming camp sessions:

  • Community Voices: June 19-30, 2023

  • K-5th graders: July 10-21, 2023

  • 6th-12th graders: July 24-August 4, 2023

Location: 1300 Spring Garden St. Greensboro, North Carolina

Cost: Half-day camp for two weeks costs $275. Full-day camp for two weeks costs $500.

The Wilson College of Textiles Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP) is a five-week program that provides rising high school seniors with an opportunity to learn about the textile industry, engineering, polymer science, business marketing, and fashion. Students are selected based on academic success, interest in the NC State Wilson College of Textiles, and extracurricular activities.

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close on April 15.

Eligibility: To qualify for STEP, students need to be in their junior year of high school.

Program Dates:

  • Week 1: June 11 – 16

  • Week 2: June 18 – 23

  • Week 3: June 25 – 30

  • Week 4: July 9 – 14

  • Week 5: July 16 – 21

Location: Wilson College of Textiles

Cost: $450

NC State University offers the flexibility to design your summer schedule by providing 3, 5, or 10-week sessions that accommodate your summer plans. You can fulfill your degree requirements by enrolling in a diverse range of courses, including Maymester and General Education Program (GEP) courses. The General Education Program comprises classes covering various fields, such as Mathematical Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, U.S. Diversity, and Visual and Performing Arts. The courses that will be available in Maymester 2023 are Literature, Art and Society, Science Fiction, Introduction to Philosophy, Sociology of Barbecue, LGBTQ+ Social Work, and more.

Application Deadline: The dates for each summer term option are as follows:

  • Summer I (3 weeks or 5 weeks): From April 7, 2023, to May 19, 2023.

  • Ten-week: From April 7, 2023, to May 19, 2023.

  • Summer I and II: From April 7, 2023, to May 19, 2023, for Summer I, and from May 17, 2023, to June 28, 2023, for Summer II.

  • Summer II (5 weeks): From April 7, 2023, to June 28, 2023.

Eligibility: Students need to have a completed FAFSA for the current academic year, and be currently enrolled in a degree program at NC State.

Program Dates: Here's a paraphrased version of the statement:

Students can select one of three session lengths, which include:

  • Maymester: May 17 to June 7 (3 weeks)

  • Summer I: May 17 to June 23 (5 weeks)

  • Summer II: June 26 to August 1 (5 weeks)

  • Alternatively, they may choose to enroll for the full summer term, which lasts 10 weeks from May 17 to August 1.

Location: North Carolina State University Campus

Cost: Varied by the program. Click here to check the program fees.

The Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program in Business provides practical skills and critical thinking training while introducing students to essential aspects of running a business. Topics covered include finance, human resources, management, marketing, technology, and operations, with a focus on team collaboration and real-world application. The program concludes with a team presentation and opportunities to network and visit local businesses.

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Eligibility: Current 9th – 12th-grade students

Program Dates: June 11-16 or June 18-23

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

Cost: $2,800

Medical Summer Programs for High School Students in North Carolina

The WFIRM Summer Scholars Program in Regenerative Medicine provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in cutting-edge research at the intersection of engineering and biology in the challenging fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Scholars work alongside world-renowned scientists and engineers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine to explore the latest advances in regenerative medicine, gain hands-on laboratory experience, and contribute to ongoing research projects.

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close on January 15.

Eligibility: Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher on a 4.0 scale; and be either a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or eligible to work at Wake Forest.

Program Dates: May 31 - August 4, 2023

Location: Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard

Cost/Stipend: This program offers a stipend of $5,500 to the scholars who are selected for the 10-week period.

The Duke University Summer Academy for High School Students offers the Pathways to Health Careers Camp, a one-week summer day camp that introduces 25 rising 8th or 9th graders from Durham and surrounding counties to the world of health careers through hands-on activities, field trips, tours, and testimonials from practicing health care providers. The curriculum focuses on topics such as medical ethics, anatomy and physiology, epidemiology, public health, health disparities, and more. The camp provides opportunities for students to interact with healthcare providers at Duke, as well as explore health professions training programs at area universities or colleges.

Application Deadline: June 10th, 2023

Eligibility: 25 students who are either in 8th or 9th grade and are from Durham and surrounding counties are required.

Program Dates: June 15 -19

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Cost: $2,705

The UNC Rural Medicine Summer Academy (RMSA) is a collaborative initiative between the UNC Department of Family Medicine and the UNC School of Medicine Office of Rural Initiatives. This program provides rising high school seniors with a five-day opportunity to learn about the medical profession. RMSA offers hands-on experience in medical simulation, mentorship opportunities, CPR certifications, shadowing, and leadership workshops, among other activities. The program is designed to provide students with an immersive experience in medicine.

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close on April 10

Eligibility: Program participant selection.

Program Dates: July 16th – July 22nd

Location: UNC School of Medicine, 446 MacNider Hall

Cost: Free for accepted students

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! 

The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 

The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, 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 that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, 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 you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 

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

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

Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!

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. 

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research and would like to do it from the comfort of your home, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students 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: Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program



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Nick Chernick
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