128 Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students | NerdyMates Blog

Marist College Reading, PA

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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology University of Michigan Berklee College of Music Stanford, CA


New York, NY William & Mary

I relied on information from Summer Program Finder, which helps locate various summer programs, to create the list. I looked up the programs in each region of the country and listed the colleges that host programs by state.

Fashion Institute of Technology Sewanee, TN



Oneonta, NY

Additionally, be sure to select a program that’s in line with your interests. If you have a passion for creative writing, then you can cultivate that passion in a writing program. If you’re fascinated by business, you can hone your business skills in an entrepreneurship program.

Indiana University Bloomington West Point, NY Bentley University Location Ann Arbor, MI Johnson & Wales Maryland Institute College of Art Durham, NC University of Wisconsin-Madison Location


Blacksburg, VA Saratoga Springs, NY
New York, NY

Rhode Island


US Naval Academy Location Location Boston University
Parsons School of Design Brooklyn, NY
School State College, PA

Dover, DE
The Catholic University of America
Roanoke, VA
UCSD Location
Babson Park, MA North Miami, FL
New York, NY Tufts University Location Emory University

Finally, you may need to consider the cost and length of the program. If you have a limited budget, you may have to focus your search on cheaper programs that you’ll be able to afford. If you have other obligations or activities you’re hoping to do during the summer, you may want to choose a shorter program.


If you know you want to do a pre-college summer program, there are a number of factors to consider to help you select the right program for you.

Madison, NJ Location Babson College UCSB
University of New England
Rapid City, SD
Johns Hopkins University

128 Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students

Baltimore, MD
Penn State Berks
Bowling Green, OH Air Force Academy
Penn State New Kensington
Rochester Institute of Technology Ithaca College Atlanta, GA Penn State Erie MIT Dobbs Ferry, NY

Clemson, SC

Providence, RI
York, PA New York, NY School
Syracuse, NY Alfred University Yale University Johnson & Wales Barnard College La Jolla, CA
New Kensington, PA
Evanston, IL Oakland, CA Worcester, MA
Champaign, IL Susquehanna University Bethlehem, PA

Location UCLA


North Carolina

Ramapo College
School Princeton University Nashville, TN
University of Maryland


How Did I Create This List of College Summer Programs for High School Students?

Rider University Lehigh University University of Miami
School Location

List of Summer Programs

Also, many colleges allow high schoolers to take classes during the summer term. Again, if you’re interested in a certain college, you can look on its website to find available summer opportunities for high school students.

Location School South Bend, IN

Really, it’s up to you whether or not you decide to attend a summer program. You can check out our post on whether or not you should do a pre-college summer program for a detailed explanation of the pros and cons. Summer programs can provide you with a good opportunity to explore your academic interests or take a class in a subject that’s not offered at your school. Also, you can make friends, experience college life, and get a better idea whether or not you’d want to attend a specific school.

New York, NY Boston, MA Wake Forest University Hanover, NH UC Davis
West Long Branch, NJ
Springfield, MA

Posted by Justin Berkman | Jun 3, 2016 10:00:00 PM Troy, NY Location Alfred, NY Harvard University

On the negative side, most college summer programs for high school students are expensive, and they may not provide much help getting into college (unless it’s a highly selective program that’s offered at no or minimal cost). Do your research, and if a program is something you can afford and would enjoy, then you should go for it. It may stimulate your academic and personal growth, and it can help you determine your future goals.

Atlanta, GA New York, NY Gettysburg, PA

SUNY Oneonta Hoboken, NJ US Military Academy Ithaca, NY

Poughkeepsie, NY
Charlottesville, VA


Some pre-college summer programs are open enrollment (anyone can attend) and others require admission through an application process. The selective programs typically require teacher recommendations, application essays, and standardized test scores. Check a specific program’s website for its admission requirements.

What Is a Pre-College Summer Program?

Duke University Columbus College of Art and Design
University of Texas at Austin
Johnson & Wales
Drexel University Rutgers University
Cambridge, MA West Lafayette, IN


Summer programs provide high school students with opportunities to explore their academic interests and spark new passions. Also, they allow high school students to get a taste of college life and meet other students from all over the world.

New York

NYIT Texas Tech University University of Houston
The Rockefeller University

While these programs can be fun and educational, most of them are expensive. There are some free programs and many programs that offer financial aid for qualified students, but summer programs often cost thousands of dollars.


New York, NY New London, CT
Location Middlebury, VT Parsippany, NJ
Location Fairleigh Dickinson University School School
School Eastern Kentucky University Lewis & Clark College Carleton College
School Rochester, NY Stevens Institute of Technology Waterville, ME Cambridge, MA Winston-Salem, NC Location
University of Alabama Location Rochester, NY Chapel Hill, NC University of North Carolina-Greensboro

In this article, I’ll provide a list of colleges throughout the United States that host summer programs for high school students. Furthermore, I’ll give information about what pre-college summer programs are like and let you know how to select the right program for you.

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Location Princeton, NJ Bloomington, IN
Waltham, MA
Georgia Tech School Stony Brook University
Davis, CA

A pre-college summer program offers high school students the opportunity to take classes at a college and experience college life during the summer. Most programs range from 1-7 weeks.

South Dakota


If you want to explore your interests during the summer without leaving home or paying to attend a summer program, perhaps you can get an internship.

The location of the program is an extremely important consideration for many students. If you have a dream school or a college you’re strongly considering, you may want to do a program on that school’s campus to get a better feel for the college and demonstrate your interest in that school. Also, you may want to save money by going to a program close to home. Or you may want to be able to spend a few weeks living in a city like New York or Boston.


Delaware State University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location School
Providence, RI
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR

In addition to the listed programs, there are also summer programs for high school students that are not housed at colleges. Additionally, especially because programs are evolving, there may be programs at colleges that aren’t listed. You can look at a specific college’s website to see if the college offers summer programs for high school students.

California College of the Arts School Purdue University The College of New Jersey Sewanee


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You can take programs that focus on such diverse subjects as writing, leadership, entrepreneurship, and engineering. Many summer programs offer both a residential and commuter option. Students can stay in essay writing dorms with their peers, or they can commute from home if they live close to the college.

Location Richmond, KY
UC Berkeley
Columbus, OH Caldwell University
Seattle, WA
School Vassar College New Haven, CT
Emerson College Selinsgrove, PA
Stony Brook, NY
Schenectady, NY
Lawrence Township, NJ
School Madison, WI
Tempe, AZ
Amherst, MA School
University of Washington


Furthermore, not only are students able to take classes from college professors or visiting scholars, but they’re also able to listen to lectures from alumni and participate in social activities. Many selective private colleges, including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia, offer pre-college summer programs for high school students.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Rowan University
George Washington University

Medford, MA Pittsburgh, PA Richmond, VA Location


Biddeford, ME Colorado Springs, CO School


Clemson University Springfield College School


Terre Haute, IN

Glassboro, NJ Berkeley, CA St. Louis, MO School Ithaca, NY Smith College

Do you want to become a doctor? Maybe you’ll be interested in doing a medical summer program.

Northampton, MA Mercy College College Park, MD Northwestern University

Virginia Commonwealth University School

Penn State University Park


Location Georgetown University Bowling Green State University
Washington, DC Erie, PA


Arizona State University Denver, CO Bronxville, NY Baltimore, MD Cornell University
US Coast Guard Academy Carnegie Mellon University


Washington University in St. Louis Mahwah, NJ School Drew University Pratt Institute Brown University Worcester Polytechnic Institute Washington, DC

New Hampshire

Location Lubbock, TX Location Los Angeles, CA Gettysburg College Ohio State University Bucknell University University of Chicago

South Carolina

Location Location
Vanderbilt University
New York, NY
Washington, DC Location Poughkeepsie, NY


Washington, DC Middlebury College

New Jersey

Skidmore College Boston, MA Centenary College Monmouth University University of Pennsylvania Lewisburg, PA Caldwell, NJ Savannah College of Art and Design NYU Union College Tuscaloosa, AL Location

University of Virginia


Location Virginia Tech Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Annapolis, MD

Penn State York

Syracuse University School
School Hampshire College
Dartmouth College

Should You Attend a College Summer Program?

Ewing Township, NJ Philadelphia, PA
Columbus, OH
Colby College New Brunswick, NJ


Austin, TX
Santa Barbara, CA



University of Notre Dame


Hollins University

Are you interested in other ideas for summer activities? Learn more about what you can do during the summer.

Savannah, GA


District of Columbia

School Northfield, MN Williamsburg, VA School
Teaneck, NJ Greensboro, NC
Chicago, IL
Sarah Lawrence College
American University

You can use this list and the Summer Program Finder to identify programs that match what you’re looking for.

University of Rochester

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Boston, MA Coral Gables, FL Location Waltham, MA Columbia University University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Houston, TX


Brandeis University

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