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8 Pharmacy Programs for High School Students

If you're a high school student with an interest in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, or any related field, participating in one of these pharmacy programs can be an amazing opportunity for you! These programs will introduce you to the fundamentals of pharmacy, including drug development, clinical practice, and patient care, among other areas. You will have the chance to gain hands-on experience gained through labs, workshops, and shadowing professionals that go beyond the textbook.

Including your participation in a pharmacy program on your CV, in future research experiences, or within your college Statement of Purpose (SOP) can significantly enhance your profile. It demonstrates your early commitment to and passion for the field, setting you apart from other applicants. These experiences can also serve as writing material for your SOP, allowing you to discuss your hands-on experience, reflect on what you learned, and articulate how it has shaped your goals and aspirations in pharmacy or related fields.

Location: UPenn Campus

Cost: $9,700 + $150 application fee. Additionally, you are eligible for a full scholarship if you attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school as part of the Penn Summer Scholarship.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2024

Program Dates: July 6 - July 27, 2024

Eligibility: Current 10th-11th grade students

If you are interested in pharmacy and chemistry, the Chemistry Research Academy at the University of Pennsylvania is a great opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of chemistry through a balanced mix of laboratory work and classroom learning. In the lab, which accounts for about half of your class time, you'll gain hands-on experience with analytical techniques such as spectroscopy and gas chromatography, and engage in the optimization of synthetic methods through experimentation. The academy emphasizes the real-world application of chemistry principles, offering open-ended laboratory challenges that mimic the research process, and culminating in a capstone research project.

Beyond the lab, you will explore a range of topics that mirror the department's research goals, from the chemistry of rare earth metals to the principles of chemical bonding in organic and coordination chemistry. You will learn about the application of chemistry in understanding and solving societal challenges, such as disease study through chemical protein modification. Interactive lectures, group discussions, and presentations will be supplemented by research lectures from leading professors and students. You will also get to take tours of the Science History Institute and the Singh Center for Nanomaterials

Location: New York, NY

Cost: Free

Application deadline: January 5, 2024

Program dates: June 24 - August 8, 2024

Eligibility: Current high school juniors or seniors

At the Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program (SSRP), you will engage in authentic pharmaceutical scientific research alongside a team designed and led by experienced Rockefeller trainees. Each team, composed of about 8 SSRP scholars, is led by a trainee who acts as the team lead, with additional support from dedicated scientist-mentors. 

You'll work in your own space within the RockEDU lab, focusing on a project that aligns with both the team lead's expertise and your own scientific interests in the field of pharmacy and medicine. The program also allows you to participate in elective scientific courses, guest lectures, and social events.

In the first week, you'll be introduced to your team's topic, becoming familiar with essential research techniques and laboratory norms. By the second week, you will have the opportunity to choose a specific research question within the team's topic to explore further. Over the following weeks, under the guidance of your team leader and scientist-mentors, you will delve deeply into this question, employing the research techniques you've learned to gather and analyze data. 

Location: St. John’s University Campus

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: January 

Program Dates: March 11 - April 26

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible to apply.

At St. John's University, the Changing Faces of Pharmacy Program is great for you if you have an interest in pharmacy or healthcare professions. By participating, you will be paired with a mentor who is actively pursuing their Doctor of Pharmacy degree at St. John’s University. This mentorship is at the heart of the Changing Faces of Pharmacy Program, providing you with personalized guidance and support throughout a semester-long journey. The program is offered free of charge, requiring only your application and the consent of a parent or guardian for participation.

Beyond the mentorship, the Changing Faces of Pharmacy Program incorporates a variety of programming activities throughout the academic year, all hosted on the vibrant campus of St. John’s University. Since its inception in 2012, the program has drawn numerous high school students interested in exploring the dynamic field of pharmacy. You can expect to engage in interactive sessions that illuminate the diverse roles pharmacists play in healthcare, from patient care to research and development. 

Location: Buffalo, NY

Cost: $150

Application Deadline: May 1, 2024

Program Dates: July 15 - July 17

Eligibility: High school students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0

The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) Pharmacy Summer Institute (PSI) is great for those exploring careers in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. As a participant, you will engage in a series of structured activities from receiving valuable admissions planning and academic advising to help navigate your future educational and career path in pharmacy practice or research. You will also have the unique opportunity to learn about the vast array of job opportunities available to pharmacists, extending far beyond the traditional roles many are familiar with. 

Moreover, the PSI offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the world of pharmaceutical research and academia. You will have the chance to visit research laboratories and interact with faculty members who are leading experts in both clinical and basic sciences. Additionally, the program includes tours of UB's internationally recognized facilities. Networking opportunities allow you to meet with practicing pharmacists, researchers, and current PharmD students. Live demonstrations of pharmacy skills, such as patient counseling and compounding, bring the theoretical aspects of your learning to life, allowing you to observe and understand the practical implications of pharmaceutical practices. 

Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: March 2024

Program Dates: July 14-17, 2024

Eligibility: All high school students with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible 

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Summer Program (PSP) is a great way for you to explore the field of pharmacy. This four-day residential camp, scheduled for July 14-17, allows you to explore the pharmacy profession, including the diverse career paths available with a PharmD degree. You will participate in a series of well-structured activities and learning sessions led by practicing pharmacists and current pharmacy students, as well as admissions representatives from the PharmD program. 

The program also offers valuable sessions on the PharmD application process, offering you a unique advantage by demystifying admissions requirements and expectations. You will also gain knowledge about financing options for both undergraduate and professional (PharmD) education. 

Location: University of Washington Campus

Cost: $100

Application Deadline: April 30, 2024

Program Dates: July 8 - 11, 2024

Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 are all eligible to apply.

The University of Washington School of Pharmacy's Students Exploring Pharmacy (STEP) program offers a four-day program for high school students considering pharmacy as an academic commitment at university. Designed to show the diverse roles and impact pharmacists have on healthcare, STEP aims to show how these professionals are integral to improving health outcomes across communities. Through hands-on activities, you will learn about pharmacy practice, experiencing firsthand the innovative approaches to patient care that are taught at one of the top-ranked pharmacy schools in the nation

Participation in the STEP program means diving into a variety of interactive activities that simulate real-world pharmacy and healthcare scenarios, giving you a practical taste of the profession's day-to-day responsibilities and problem-solving challenges. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to discuss with pharmacists from various specialty areas, expanding your awareness of the vast career opportunities within pharmacy beyond retail or community settings. These discussions, coupled with the exploration of career options, are designed to broaden your perspective and inspire your career aspirations in pharmacy. 

Location: Virtual

Stipend: Non-Paid

Program dates: 8 weeks from end of June to Mid August

Application Deadline: January

Eligibility: Must be a high school junior or senior in the 2022-2023 school year (i.e. 11th or 12th grade at the time of application) OR a full-time CC student (within first three years of CC)

Stanford's STEM: Summer Internship is a great opportunity, hosted by one of the world's renowned institutions, that allows you to dive deeper into pharmacy. During the internship, you will engage in research projects that provide hands-on experiences beyond traditional classroom learning.  

You will be expected to work for 30-40 hours a week, where your work will primarily include research. The necessary materials for your practical projects will be provided to you by the institution, and you will have to be in regular contact with your mentors and peers. The program's emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration mirrors the real-world scenarios in tech industries. The networking opportunities within Stanford's community are also something to take note of.

Location: Scripps Research Translational Institute

Stipend: Unpaid

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. 

Enrolling in the Scripps Student Research Internship, which is part of the Scripps Research Translational Institute (SRTI), is an amazing opportunity for students interested in STEM, especially pharmacy. SRTI has a strong focus on personalized healthcare through genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic correlates of health and disease. 

As an intern in the program, you'll have the chance to work with and learn from a diverse team of scientists. This team includes internationally renowned investigators in areas such as genomics, bioinformatics, digital medicine, and community engagement. The primary goal of the internship program is to provide you, as a highly motivated high school student, with the training and preparation needed to become a future leader in the realm of translational medical research. 

Bonus - Veritas AI’s AI + Medicine Program: 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 other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to further enhance your applications by doing research in medicine, pharmacy, 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: UPenn logo


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