Hit the Books With These 10 Summer College Programs


Just because it's summer, that doesn't mean school's out. Colleges around the country offer summer programs for high school students that provide an taste of college coursework and college life. Whether you're looking for a residential program or want to commute to a local campus, taking classes at the college level can help you prepare for college, gain confidence and explore new areas. With specializations ranging from robotics to music, the programs below are just a taste of what you can be doing with your summer.

10 exciting summer college programs for High School Students

Academy of Art University Pre-College Summer Program.

  • This six-week program offers an intensive introduction to the arts via courses such as sculpture, architecture, music production and web design. Students can choose from a commuter program, which includes classes twice a week, or a residential program, which includes classes four days a week and housing at the San Francisco campus. You must be a current high school student to apply.

Barnard College Pre-College Programs.

  • Located in New York City, Barnard College offers both one-week and four-week programs for rising high school juniors and seniors. The one-week programs include focuses in dance, liberal arts and leadership for young women, while the four-week program allows students to sign up for two classes in a range of fields within the humanities. When not in class, students can get to know New York City and participate in professionalization events. Residential and commuter options are available, and some financial aid is offered for students who demonstrate financial need.

Brown University Summer@Brown.

  • Brown University offers a diverse range of programs for high school students, and you don't even have to travel to Providence to take advantage of them. Online summer course options range from science and engineering to writing and business courses. In-person courses take place on Brown's campus and in locations ranging from Costa Rica to Italy. On-campus, students can choose from courses that focus on theater, the environment or leadership development.

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Carleton College Summer at Carleton.

  • Carleton College, located in Northfield, Minn. not far from the Twin Cities, offers a range of programs that fit the interests of diverse high school students. Students can select from programs that focus on liberal arts, quantitative reasoning, science or writing. Programs range in length from one to three weeks, and eligibility and tuition information vary depending on the program.

Hiram College Summer at Hiram.

  • Hiram College in Northeast Ohio offers short-term, residential and commuter academic camps for high school students that specialize in topics from robotics to creative non-fiction to genomics. Summer courses in both online and blended formats are also available for college students.

Oberlin College & Conservatory Summer Programs.

  • Music lovers from high school on up can participate in Oberlin's summer workshops, which provide specialized instruction in instruments such as the flute, organ or trumpet. Competitions and composition workshops are available as well. Student can live on the Ohio campus during these programs, which are typically around a week in length.

Pratt Pre-College Summer Program.

  • Pratt, which has campuses in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, offers month-long, summer programs for high school students interested in the arts. Student take four classes during the program and participate in cultural and social events in the area. Both residential and commuter options are available, and students can apply for merit scholarships to help cover tuition.

Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program for High School Girls.

  • This four-week program brings young women from around the U.S. to Smith's campus in Northampton, Mass. to take research-based courses in science and engineering. Classes on the 2012 schedule include Designing Intelligent Robots and Your Genes,Your Chromosomes: A Laboratory in Human Genetics. Students live in Smith dorms during the program and get a real taste of college life on this beautiful residential campus. Applicants must be entering grades 9 through 12 in the fall, and need-based financial aid is available.

Stanford University High School Summer College.

  • With both residential and commuter options, this program allows high school students aged 16 and over to take college-level courses on Stanford's lovely Palo Alto, California campus. Admissions are competitive, but students who gain a spot can truly experience college life both inside and out of the classroom. Partial scholarships are available for students who demonstrate financial need.

Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins.

  • High school students can choose from two main options at Johns Hopkins: Summer University, which allows students to take credit-bearing college courses in a range of areas and Discover Hopkins, which offers two-week, theme-based programs in health care topics such as infectious disease, nutrition and bioethics. Students can choose to live on the school's Homewood Campus in north Baltimore or commute to classes.


With both online and residential options as well as programs that range from a few days to several weeks, these summer college programs allow students to try out college life while still enjoying a high school summer.

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