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8 Pharmacy Internships for High School Students

If you are a high school student interested in pharmacy, these internships are definitely worth exploring! These internships typically involve shadowing pharmacists, assisting with managing stock, and understanding the dispensation and effects of medications, equipping you with firsthand experience of daily operations in a pharmacy setting. This early exposure will solidify your interest in the field and give you a head start in the field! 


Engaging in a pharmacy internship during high school can also significantly boost your college application by demonstrating your commitment and proactiveness in the field of pharmacy. Colleges and universities look for students who have actively explored their interests through real-world experiences. The unique insights and skills you gain can also provide compelling material for your personal statement, setting you apart from other applicants!


Location: Bethesda, MD

Cost: Free, Stipend paid

Application Date: February 16, 2024

Program Dates: Mid-May to August

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors who are 17 years of age or older on June 15, 2024


The National Institutes of Health High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) is a great opportunity to engage in full-time pharmaceutical research at various NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), primarily located at the main campus in Bethesda, MD. Tailored for 11th and 12th graders, the program allows you to work under the supervision of a Principal Investigator (PI) in research groups focusing on a wide range of scientific areas such as biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences. You will gain hands-on experience and focused mentorship in real-world medical research settings, allowing you to better understand the applications of fields like biology, chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences.


In addition to practical research experience, the HS-SIP supports your professional growth through development programs that enhance core competencies necessary for science careers. You’ll also receive educational and career advising, participate in a well-being and resilience program, and have the opportunity to present your research findings at the Summer Poster Day. 


Location: Seattle

Cost: Free, Paid stipend

Application Date: March 31

Program Dates: June 24 - August 16

Eligibility: High school student entering senior year or final term after the summer


If you are interested in pharmacy and considering a future in biomedical science, the Fred Hutch Cancer Center Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP) is a great opportunity for you. Specifically designed for students between 11th and 12th grade from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science, SHIP is a competitive, eight-week, full-time paid internship. The program kicks off with an intensive two-week hands-on training in laboratory safety and essential lab skills at the Fred Hutch Training Labs. 


After the initial training period, you will spend the remaining six weeks of the internship immersed in a Fred Hutch research group in Seattle, where you are paired with a mentor who guides you through specific research activities. This mentorship allows you to engage with current research projects. In addition to the research experience, the program offers seminars focused on research topics, professional development workshops aimed at college and career readiness, and various social activities that help build a community among interns and staff. The internship culminates in a presentation of your research to the Fred Hutch community, providing a platform to showcase your work and the skills you've developed over the summer. 


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

Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Application deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the cohort 

Program dates: Multiple cohorts throughout the year

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


Ladder Internships is a selective start-up internship program for ambitious high school students! In the program, you work with a high-growth start-up on an internship. Start-ups that offer internships range across a variety of industries from tech/deep tech, AI/ML to health tech, marketing, journalism, consulting, and more.  You can explore all the options here on their application form. Ladder’s start-ups are high-growth companies on average raising over a million dollars. Past founders have included YCombinator alums, founders raising over 30 million dollars, or founders who previously worked at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. In the program, interns work closely with their managers and a Ladder Coach on real-world projects and present their work to the company. Here is the application form


Interns are offered one-on-one training in communication, time management and other such valuable skills and will also have the opportunity to attend group training sessions with other interns in their cohort. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


Location: Bethesda, MD

Cost: Free, Paid Stipend

Application Date: January 12, 2024

Program Dates: July 2 - August 1, 2024

Eligibility: Students who attend a school where 30% or more of the student body participates in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and live in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia within 40 miles of the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.


The National Institutes of Health High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program (HiSTEP) is designed for rising 12th graders from schools with a significant percentage (30% or more) of students participating in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Aimed at those interested in pharmacy and healthcare, the program exposes students to a range of educational experiences to broaden their understanding of research and healthcare careers. Throughout the program, you will participate in lectures, visit various research groups, engage in networking events, and contribute to group projects. Furthermore, HiSTEP incorporates small group discussions that provide personalized learning opportunities, enhancing your insight into the field of pharmacy and biomedicine. 


HiSTEP is hosted on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD, running every Tuesday through Thursday from July 2 to August 1, 2024. As a participant, you are expected to dedicate at least 21 hours per week to engage in both projects and training sessions comprehensively. The program also includes sessions on the college application process, aiming to equip you with the necessary tools for academic advancement. 


Location: Varies depending on lab

Cost: Free

Application Date: February 13, 2024

Program Dates: June 18 - August 9, 2024

Eligibility: Rising senior or recent graduate who must be eligible to work in the U.S. and has a minimum of a 3.0 GPA


The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a high school internship program through its Material Measurement Laboratory (MML), which is ideal for students interested in the intersection of pharmacy, chemistry, and material sciences. The MML has research opportunities critical to industries in chemical, biological, and material sciences, allowing you to gain real-world experience in applied and fundamental research. The work not only contributes to the development of new vaccines and biologic drugs but also extends to other national importance areas like alternative fuels, environmental pollutants, and new materials for advanced manufacturing.


During the internship at the MML, you will dive into projects that involve the composition, structure, and properties of materials ranging from industrial and environmental to chemical and biochemical. The laboratory functions as the national reference laboratory for materials measurements, offering interns exposure to cutting-edge practices in synthesizing and measuring innovative materials and devices. Projects may include work on semiconductor and organic electronics, advanced nanomaterials, lightweight alloys, biomaterials, and health care manufacturing, among others. 


Location: Varies per lab

Cost: Free, Stipend Paid

Application Date: April

Program Dates: June - August

Eligibility: A current high school sophomore, junior, or senior (recent graduates are also welcome) who must have completed one course of high school chemistry and whose family annual income must not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines


The American Chemical Society’s Project SEED is a great experience for high school students interested in pharmacy. As part of the Project SEED In-Person Research, you will engage in substantive scientific research over an 8 to 10-week period, working approximately 8 hours per weekday. You will either work independently or collaborate with peers on a project, culminating in the writing of a research report or the preparation of a poster. Additionally, the program may include supplementary activities depending on the location, such as field trips, campus tours, career panels, and opportunities to participate in poster or science fair competitions.


The Project SEED program is structured into two sequential summer experiences: Summer I and Summer II. In Summer I, first-time participants receive a $4,000 fellowship to undertake a scientific research project in chemistry or a related field under direct supervision from a scientist-mentor. Following a successful first summer, you can return for the Summer II program to either continue your previous research or start a new project, with the same fellowship award. Summer II participants may also be eligible for a travel grant to present their research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting or other scientific conferences. Upon completion of the program, students planning to pursue degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or materials science can compete for Project SEED scholarships, which offer up to $5,000 annually for one to four years of college.


Location: Fairfax, VA

Cost: $25 application fee

Application Date: February 

Program Dates: June 18 - August 9, 2024

Eligibility

  • Remote internships and in-person/hybrid computer lab internships: Must be 15 years or older by June 20th, 2023 (for Summer 2023 program).

  • ‘Wet-lab’ in-person or hybrid internships: Must be 16 or older by June 20th, 2023 (for Summer 2023 program).


The Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) at George Mason University is a great opportunity for high school students interested in pharmacy. This nationally recognized program runs for 8 weeks from June 18th to August 9th, 2024, and involves a full-time commitment where you will work one-on-one with university faculty and researchers at collaborating institutions. During the ASSIP, you will conduct research with state-of-the-art technology, providing a hands-on experience that is rare at the high school level.


Through discussion forums and meetings with role models, you will explore various STEM career paths, including those in pharmacy, which can inform your future educational choices. The program emphasizes the importance of engaging in summer research, as it helps you make significant contributions to society while building crucial skills.


Location: Washington University St. Louis Campus

Cost: Free, Stipend paid

Application Date: February 12, 2024

Program Dates: June 3 - July 26, 2024

Eligibility: Students from any high school in the Greater St. Louis area (Missouri and Illinois) may apply to Summer Focus when they are in the 11th grade (i.e. their junior year).


The Washington University in St. Louis’s Young Scientist Program (YSP) provides eight-week funded research internships, where each participant, known as a Summer Focus Scholar, is closely paired with two dedicated scientists—a Mentor and a Tutor. The Mentor collaborates one-on-one with you on a specific project within the laboratory setting, ensuring you gain substantial, hands-on experience in a research environment. This dual mentorship model, along with the program’s emphasis on personalized attention and individualized projects, has contributed to its success over the past 30 years.


Beyond the lab experience, the Summer Focus program includes two specially designed courses. The Writing Course focuses on enhancing your ability to understand and communicate scientific concepts effectively. You'll learn to critically analyze scientific literature, articulate your research findings clearly, and present them to diverse audiences. Meanwhile, the NextUp Course is tailored to prepare you for your academic future, covering essential topics such as career exploration, college application processes, admissions test preparation, and financial aid navigation. As a culmination of your summer experience, you will present your research findings at a closing Symposium on July 26, 2024, to an audience comprising mentors, peers, family, and friends, followed by a reception. 


Location: Scripps Research Translational Institute

Cost: Free

Program dates: 10 weeks from June to August

Application Deadline: April 30th 

Eligibility: Highly motivated students in high school, college or professional training (medical/law/graduate/business school) may apply. 


At the Scripps Research Translational Institute (SRTI), you will engage in advanced translational research through their 10-week summer internship designed to introduce you to the cutting-edge fields of personalized healthcare, exploring genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic correlates of health and disease. Additionally, the program incorporates elements of mobile health (mHealth), monitoring individual symptoms and physiology to further advance personalized medicine. As an intern, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how modern research directly interfaces with clinical applications, preparing you for a future in healthcare sciences, statistics, or computational sciences.


Throughout the internship, you will actively participate in one to two weekly seminars, which require preparation such as reading assigned journal articles to ensure robust academic discussions. Alongside these seminars, you will collaborate with a mentor to develop and approve an independent research project, which you must present for final approval before the midpoint of the internship. The culmination of your research efforts will be presented at a Translational Institute Research Meeting, scheduled during the latter half of the internship. Additionally, you will share the outcomes of your research at a concluding intern poster symposium.


Bonus 

AI + Medicine: Veritas AI is an AI program for ambitious high school students, founded and run by Harvard graduate students. In the AI + Medicine program, students learn how AI is used in the healthcare and medical industry. Students get a chance to work on real-world projects using AI & ML models to diagnose diseases, sharpen medical scans, and explain their outcomes to aid doctors and patients. Here is the program brochure and the application form.



One more option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing research in pharmacy or related fields, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs 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. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


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: NIH logo

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