Summer and extracurricular programs provide an opportunity to learn something new, expand your knowledge in a subject of interest, experience life on a college campus and much more! While some of the programs may be costly, there are some that are more affordable or even free for students who qualify.  Make sure to check them out and come back regularly as we’re always updating this list.

If the site is out of date, Google the name of the program to find a current site.

Explore! There’s something out there for you! Check out these resources for spring and summer activities: Student Spring/Summer Opportunities; Summer Opportunities; Opportunities by the Month.

NOTE: Because of the pandemic, some summer programs have not yet updated their offerings.  Those not yet updated have been noted. Check back often if you are interested in a program.


Fastweb: http://www.fastweb.com/college-search/articles/summer-programs-for-high-school-students

Philadelphia School District of Philadelphia Summer Programs: http://www.fastweb.com/college-search/articles/summer-programs-for-high-school-students

Teen Life: https://www.teenlife.com

Engineering Opportunities compiled by SLAEngineers: https://bit.ly/2DXm8mL needs updates

Temple Upward Bound Math & Science https://education.temple.edu/upwardbound

WorkReady Philadelphia – places students in paid jobs for six summer weeks.  Applications now open.Explore your interests and build your resume through community service in Philadelphia; more information at Volunteer Opportunities in Philadelphia.

City Year has programs across the country including providing mentors for at-risk students in 19 Philadelphia public schools.

Philadelphia offers many different areas of vocational training, some are free!  Find more information HERE.

Study Abroad Programs: Youth for Understanding; AFS Study Abroad; and the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA).

Philadelphia Based Opportunities:

ACE Mentor Program is free and open to any high school student who has the curiosity and drive to learn about a career in design and construction — from contracting and engineering to architecture & interior design. Check for updates here.

Bartram’s Summer River Internship

Become an expert at rowing and learn the history & ecology of the lower Schuylkill River and its surrounding community, connect with high school students across the city working on-water, assist on Free Saturday Boating Days and teach fishing and rowing to summer camp groups visiting Bartram’s Garden on weekdays.  For more information visit here.

Bloomberg Arts Internship

This 8 week PAID internship is open to rising seniors in Philadelphia public schools.  Students will work at leading arts organizations and participate in intensive professional development.  For more information and to apply go HERE

CCP offers several ways for high school students to get college credits and experience college courses, during both the school year and summer. More information here.

Dieticians and Nutritionists

Explore growing fields related to Health Care.  West Chester University offers these majors, which can lead to a great career. Watch the video HERE. Email ddirhan@wcupa.edu for more information. 

Drexel Summer Institute
Drexel’s summer academic programs are open to highly motivated high school students who wish to explore what a university-level program is all about. Workshops are led by Drexel faculty and utilize Drexel’s labs, facilities, and the city of Philadelphia’s many resources. More information here.

Drexel University’s Summer Music Technology (SMT) (suspended for 2021)

SMT is an innovative educational experience for high school students that leverages music technology to motivate greater interest in science, math, and engineering. This unique one week camp is a pioneer in STEAM learning, a deep integration of STEM with the Arts & Design for the deeper understanding of both. All SMT activities involve hands-on, project-based learning, to explore: Application deadline: April 3, 2020 – recommendation and short essays required. Apply Here

Drexel University Environmental Science Leadership Academy

This summer adventure is one part adventure travel, one part leadership training, and two parts field experience.  Find more information here.

Franklin Institute Volunteer Opportunities

The Franklin Institute is looking for volunteers to fill Exhibit Facilitator positions as well as Discovery Camp Counselor-in-Training positions. The volunteer hours can count as community service hours in multiple organizations and schools.  Visit here for more information. After you fill out the application from the website, email it to  volprog@fi.edu

Janney Montgomery Scott Mentor Program

Janney Montgomery Scott hosts a mentoring program for 11th grade girls. Professional women provide an introduction to career opportunities in various fields as well as mentoring opportunities.  Email Ms. Hirschfield to express your interest in attending. Spots are limited so it is first-come-first-served.

Jefferson University Future Health Professionals Program 

Jefferson offers this 16-week educational and experiential program for underrepresented minority high school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in careers in the health professions and medicine.  Students attend sessions on Jefferson’s (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) campus for two hours per week.  The program begins in November and ends in March. Note that the deadline for the Health Care Professionals program during the school year is early in September! For more information, click here.

Jefferson Nursing STEP-UP

This summer program is a FREE on campus enrichment program that offers rising high school juniors and seniors an introduction to the field of nursing and its various disciplines; college application preparation including personal statement writing, resume development and comprehensive SAT workshops delivered by a name-brand company; classroom and clinical observation experiences; time management and study skills training; field trips; and faculty and student mentoring.  For information visit this web-site. Check back for up-dates.

LandHealth Institute

Rising 9th-12th graders can experience interdisciplinary, immersive, “at-the-source” watershed-based learning in environmental science, environmental justice, ecological restoration, and community engagement. Weekly sessions throughout the summer (with an option to continue through the fall) will spark and build curiosity and confidence about the natural processes at work city-wide. Receive a stipend doing it! Check out programs HERE. 

La Salle Summer STEM Enrichment Program 

Rising sophomores and juniors have the opportunity to earn college credit during a special summer session com­prised of high school students on La Salle’s campus. Courses, textbooks, and lunches will be provided free of charge to accepted students. Details here.

LEAD Program in Entrepreneurship and Business in Society, Medicine, Public Health and Engineering

This program offers juniors one week of virtual courses plus a two-week residency in a selection of colleges, including Duke, Morehouse, Lehigh, Northwestern, Pitt, and St. Francis College.  For more information and to apply visit HEREDeadline April 1.

Free Lifeguard Training and Red Cross Certification

Must be 16+ by June 15. Earn at least $15.25/hour as a Lifeguard for Philly Parks and Rec. FREE training and Red Cross Certification is now underway; visit bit.ly/2022Lifeguard to get started.

Mercy College School of Business Summer Leadership Academy

Mercy College offers three different one-week sessions for students interested in exploring careers in business.  Apply by March 31 for reduced tuition.  For more information and to apply visit HERE.

National Hispanic Institute

The National Hispanic Institute provides a variety of programs to support students in high school: a virtual Great Debate for 9th and 10th graders; a Youth Legislative session for 10th and 11th graders; and for 11th graders  the Collegiate World Series.  SLA students have benefited from these programs in past years; this year Ms. Hirschfield will lead a special session exclusive to our students.  Please join Ms. Hirschfield for this virtual session for SLA students (of all ethnicities) to learn about what NHI has to offer.   During this session students will discover how the NHI summer program can provide them with leadership training in a supportive environment.  

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic STEM+Medicine FREE Summer Opportunities Academy

This in-person program offers traditionally underrepresented students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to accelerate their STEM+M skills, learn about the college and medical school admissions process, and explore careers in medicine. Classes meet June 20-24, learn more and apply by April 29 HERE.

The Health Profession Recruitment and Exposure Program (PCOM HPREP), is for high school students who have an interest in healthcare professions. This program provides resources and opportunities to help students succeed in high school and be college and/or career ready upon graduation. Participants also will learn about PCOM and our programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and graduate studies.  Applications go live in August. 

Philadelphia Futures

Philadelphia Futures offers support for first generation, low income students.  Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection prepare students for success in college and beyond.  For more information and eligibility contact your advisor and/or Ms. Hirschfield.

Saint Joseph’s University

These courses are available to rising seniors this summer at St. Joe’s, along with an optional series of virtual workshops, individual learning strategy consultations and tutoring to support the classwork. The workshops will include topics such as note taking, college reading, and time management. Check back for updates HERE. Students will receive more information after they register for a class.  

Smith College Women of Distinction

October 14-16, 2022. The Women of Distinction program for high school seniors highlights the opportunities that Smith College offers for African American, Asian American, Latina and Native American students. Participants in this program will explore Smith College to determine whether it might be an appropriate college choice for them. Students will attend panels and workshops on student life and the college admission process, and connect with current Smith students and faculty. For information and to receive the application visit HERE. 

St. John’s College

Summer Seminars for students age 15 to 18 meet virtually for one week to discuss a Great Book by: Plato; Toni Morrison; Tocqueville on Democracy; Virginia Woolf. Each class is $150 – reduced tuition is available.  This is a great opportunity and resume builder!

STEM Precollege Summer Programs

Many colleges and universities offer summer courses virtually or in person.  Check out THESE opportunities in the Philadelphia region and elsewhere.

Temple Summer Programs 

Temple University provides several opportunities for students entering grades 9 through 12 to experience the academics, energy, and culture of Temple University through their rigorous summer programs. Students can earn Temple college credits as well as access non-credit enrichment classes in leadership, language, or visual arts. Be sure to apply early for limited financial aid. Learn more HERE.

Temple B4USoar

The Fox School of Business at Temple offers programs for high school students in Fall 2022. For information visit here.

Temple College of Science and Technology Summer Program

This three-month course introduces underrepresented/low income juniors to graduate-level research, mentorship programs, and experience in Temple labs, and offers a $1000 stipend at completion.  Apply HERE March 4, 2022. Note: the application requires a teacher recommendation, so plan ahead!

Temple’s Upward Bound and Upward Bound Science and Math

Temple UB and UBMS are college access programs that support the academic success of Philadelphia students in high school and college. Programming for 9th – 12th graders includes academic coursework and tutoring, college tours, career panels, enrichment activities in social entrepreneurship (UB) or science research (UBMS), and internships. More information here.

COMTO Career Fair

Are you interested in a career in transportation – engineering, design, public transportation, aviation, and much more.  Look for updates to the COMTO career fair at Temple University, usually held in March.  Comto also offers scholarships.  Check back for updates here.


This two week summer non-residential program at Penn is FREE plus a $400 stipend for current 9th and 10th graders.  The program focuses on the fundamentals of AI, its application to robotics, and its impact on society.  The program is for students from lower-income backgrounds and racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in AI, such as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Southeast Asian, and Native American. All genders are encouraged to apply. Previous experience with coding, computer science, or artificial intelligence is not required.  For more information and to apply visit here. Application deadline April 1, 2022.

Penn Law Pre-College Academy 
For details on this rigorous three week summer program visit HERE. Scholarships are available; deadline to apply is March 18, 2022; email dillerp@law.upenn.edu for scholarship information.

Penn Summer High School Programs
The Penn Summer Scholars Program is an opportunity for academically exceptional Philadelphia public and charter high school students to perform study beyond the level offered in high school and to gain a college experience through participation in a summer academy at the University of Pennsylvania.  Scholarships are available, check here. More information, dates, and application forms here.

Penn Summer Mentorship Program
The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program is open to rising 10th graders interested in Engineering and rising 11th graders interested in all five Penn professional schools (Dental Medicine, Nursing, Engineering, Medicine, and Law). Join the mailing list for updates and more information here.

SUMR Health Sciences Intensive Program

 Penn Young Scholars Program
The UPenn Young Scholars Program is an opportunity for academically exceptional local high school students to  take college courses and earn full college credit. Applications are accepted for Fall, Spring, and Summer Admission. More information HERE.

Penn FemmeHacks

On February 11-12, the University of Pennsylvania Women in Computer Science student organization holds a two day program designed to educate and encourage young women interested in careers in all aspects of computer science and engineering, including digital design.  For more information and to register click here.

Walnut Street Theatre Professional Apprentice Program 

Provides year-long professional apprenticeships in all aspects of behind-the-scenes theatre work, including development, audience services, education, costumes, carpentry, management, and much more. Apprentices receive a stipend. Applications are now open, and filled on a rolling basis

University of Wisconsin Engineering Summer Program

This Virtual Engineering Summer Program (ESP) is a free, three-week program for students who will be high school juniors or seniors in the upcoming school year. The Virtual ESP course curriculum includes math, chemistry, engineering, and physics (TBD). Other structured programming such as virtual industry site visits, guest lectures, workshops, and faculty mentoring will help students gain a better understanding of the field of engineering and its applications. For details visit HERE.

West Chester University

iCamp Media Academy program is FREE for rising juniors and seniors.  Check out the 4 tracks.

Youth Action
Youth Action provides several enrichment programs including college initiatives, toy collection and donation drives, signature service and more. Check for updates and more information here.

Office of Human Resources and Talent 

Philadelphia high school students seeking summer jobs can find work through WorkReady. Learn more and register here.  

Out of Philadelphia Opportunities:

Accounting Career Awareness Day

ACAP began in 1980 when NABA recognized the need for a program that would direct African Americans and other minorities toward the accounting and finance profession. Through ACAP, students throughout the United States have received educational enrichment experiences and practical help needed for college preparation and a career in accounting. For more information visit HERE.

Actuarial Science Summer Camp

Are you interested in math/finances? Do you know what it’s like to be an actuary? Lebanon Valley College holds a one-week summer program for rising high school seniors interested in becoming an actuary (it’s a good paying job!). Check back for updates and for more information visit here.

Adelphi University Summer Program

Earn college credits, take trips to New York City, experience campus living, and explore college life.  Learn more here.

American University

Study international affairs in Washington, D.C. while earning college credits. To learn more visit here.

Black Excel

The number of summer enrichment programs for high school students to consider is very large; Black Excel highlights selected programs. More information here

Carleton Summer Programs  

Carleton College offers summer academic programs for high school sophomores. The programs include courses from the Language & Global Issues Institute, Summer Writing Program, Summer Quantitative Reasoning Institute, Summer Science Institute, Summer Computer Science Institute, and Summer Humanities Institute. For more information visit go.carleton.edu/summer or email summer@carleton.edu.

College Boot Camp 

This program for rising juniors and seniors is online for 2021.  The Camp offers essay help, standardized test prep, scholarship guidance, and visits Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Colgate, Amherst, Wesleyan. For more information visit HERE.

Columbia University

Columbia offers several College Edge programs, including sessions in New York City and Barcelona, as well as Gap Year programs.  For more information visit here.

Cornell Summer Programs   

 Cornell University offers summer courses that include architecture, design, hospitality, debate, engineering, and international relations.  Learn more about these award-winning programs here.

Davidson College 

Experience Davidson during a three week summer program. Final deadline April 1, 2021.  Learn more here.

Duke University

Duke offers summer sessions for students in grades 9 – 12.  For more information on courses, deadlines, and applications visit HERE.

Exploration Summer Programs

Explo provides two- and three-week summer options for students ages 9 to 17. Choose from Explo 360, Explo Focus, and Explo English,  and prepare to have a truly amazing summer experience. More information here

18th Annual Forensic Science Symposium @ Cedar Crest College

The Forensic Science Student Organization (FSSO) at Cedar Crest College (a women’s college in Allentown PA) will host their 18th annual Forensic Science Symposium on March 20, 2021. Seven speakers across many disciplines in the field of Forensic Science will be there. Admission and lunch for this event are free for high schoolers and their guest(s). Find more information and register here.

The Forensic Science Mentoring Institute

FSMI offers a FREE seven week summer course in Forensic Science for high school students 16 and older.  The course takes place in Willow Grove; transportation can be arranged.  Applications and more information are available here; application period closes April 30, 2021

Health and Biomedical Sciences Summer Camp  

Explore fundamentals of pharmacology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and medical ethics at Lebanon Valley College.  For more information, visit their website here  

Hispanic Student College Institute

If you identify as Hispanic, you are invited to apply for the Hispanic Student College Institute at Montclair State University. This workshop is FREE. At the institute, you will engage in career development and college planning workshops, participate in college mock interviews, and live on campus at Machuga Heights.  More information HERE.

Ithaca College Summer Program

Ithaca College offers a one week and a three-week summer session. The one-week session offers courses such as ASL, Digital Photography, Digital Music Production, and Screenwriting, while the three-week program offers a more comprehensive list of courses in fields such as business and the arts. Find more information here.

Johnson and Wales University

JWU offers summer programs in Providence RI, to explore careers in Baking and Pastry Arts; Culinary Arts; Hospitality; Criminal Justice. More information here. Check out other JWU campuses as well!

Lasko College Prep Program

The Lasko College Prep Summer Program is open to eligible Jewish high school juniors planning to attend a four year college.  Visit here for more information. Program offerings include:

    • College guidance
    • Free SAT Prep
    • Financial aid and scholarship counseling
    • College visits
  • Mitzvah project and other social activities

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Summer Internship

MICA offers a design residency for rising juniors and seniors.  For information and to apply visit HERE.  

MIT Splash

For one awesome weekend each November, thousands of high schoolers flood MIT’s campus to take classes, taught by MIT students, on anything and everything. From music theory to Hungarian history to aircraft analysis, Splash offerings number over 400 every year and span a wide variety of areas. Want to take a class on origami? Lasers? Neuropharmacology? All are open to you. Applications open in late October.  Check for updates here.

MIT Office of Engineering Outreach offers two summer programs; check for updates in November and for information visit  MIT summer programs

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory LLRISE is a two week residential radar workshop for rising seniors.  The program is free for accepted students, except transportation to MIT; applications are now open – visit HERE.

mathroots@MIT is a summer program for students who love math.  All expenses except transportation to MIT are covered. For more information visit HERE.

Artificial Intelligence Program

Taught by MIT and Stanford students and alumni, this virtual program is open to 9-12 graders.  For more information and to register visit HERE. 

NYU High School Academy Career Edge Program

NYU School of Professional Studies offers a series of one-week summer programs with various career-related courses. Visit this link for more information. You can also email sps.hsacademy@nyu.edu or call 212-998-7006 If you believe you are eligible for need-based scholarship, you are encouraged to complete the financial aid form online.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week

If you are curious about what it’s like to run your own business, seize this opportunity. The Foundation for Free Enterprise Education offers a summer program that focuses on management activities, including marketing strategies and website design. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit https://www.pfew.org/students.php or email amber@pfew.org. 

Princeton Summer Journalism Program

Princeton University offers a FREE, innovative residential journalism and college prep institute for high achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds. Over ten days every summer, students explore current events and world affairs through workshops and lectures led by Princeton professors, professional journalists, and alumni. During their senior year, students are matched with a personal college adviser, who will work with them on their college admissions process.  For more information visit here.


Discover Swarthmore is an all-expense paid fly-in program – that can boost your chances for admission to Swarthmore.  Visit classes, stay overnight in a dorm, meet students and faculty.  Applications for fall 2022 are due July 7, 2022 Visit HERE for more information – and remember that SLA faculty and documentation will not be available after school ends in June.

St. John’s College Summer Academy

St John’s College offers summer programs at 2 sites: Annapolis and Santa Fe. Program courses range from law, to philosophy, government, and more. For more information, visit here.

University of Pittsburgh Health Career Scholars Academy

These programs are for rising juniors and seniors who are interested in learning more about health care and health care careers.  More information here.

West Chester University Summer Tech Camps

West Chester offers summer camps in coding, robotics, game development and design. Check it out HERE.

Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) at West Point US Military Academy

This selective program gives high school juniors a one-week immersive experience as a West Point Cadet.  Activities include academic classes, military training, physical fitness training, and intramural athletics. Applications are open now.  Learn more here.

Wildlife Leadership Academy

The Wildlife Leadership Academy enriches Pennsylvania high school students and empowers them to become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending 5-day residential summer field schools. Students gain extensive knowledge about wildlife and conservation, leadership experience, and communication skills. If you are interested see Ms. Hirschfield to be nominated. 

Lead Business Program (Mrs. Hirschfield highly recommends this program)

Aimed at engaging youth of diverse backgrounds, the SBI program (various locations) exposes students to business principles and the skill sets needed for successful business careers. Engineering and Computer Science Summer Institute are also available. More information here

Paid Summer Internships at various universities

This link provides summer opportunities that are paid–unless specifically indicated http://people.rit.edu/~gtfsbi/Symp/highschool.htm

U.S. Department of State Youth Exchange Programs for HS Students:

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX)
The program is for is for motivated high school students who want to immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required.

The American Youth Leadership Program
Several different organizations implement this program, and each has organized an academic and experiential exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary, Check the American Youth Leadership Program website here

Philadelphia Futures 
Philadelphia Futures and the Ellis Trust for Girls serve high-achieving, low-income Philadelphia public high school students. There are several grant options, with various deadlines; the next cycle begins January 1.  To learn more  click here. 

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