Calling all juniors! What are your summer plans? It may seem like a long way off, but summer is the perfect time to explore a field or major through intensive short-term programs. Below is a list of some resources to explore. Many programs fill as early as January and well before the end of the school year, so don’t wait to apply.

SFC is not affiliated with any of the listed organizations. Ask your advisor what the best options are for your student.


TeenLife is a resource for parents and students who want to get a sense of just how many different programs are available for every possible interest. TeenLife is primarily a search engine that organizes more than 13,000 teen programs by a user’s parameters: subject, location, time of year, cost, etc. TeenLife has a category specifically dedicated to available summer programs, so students can dive into a field full-time without worrying about completing their classwork simultaneously.

National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) Pre-College Summer Program

According to their website, “The mission of the National Student Leadership Conference is to provide a safe and supportive environment that encourages students to explore their academic and career interests while developing leadership skills essential for their success.” Students in high school (and middle school!) are invited to apply to these programs in a wide variety of subjects, from an Acting Intensive in New York City to an introductory Veterinary Science course at either UPenn or Virginia Tech. Through this interactive, high-level programming, students can get a sense of what their college experiences may be like in these fields. Some of the programs are eligible for college credit, so if your student really ends up loving the subject, their time at NSLC can potentially count towards their degree.

EXPLO Pre-College Program

Run out of Wellesley College, the EXPLO Pre-College Program has two different sessions. EXPLO 360º is a multi-course program designed to give current high school students a sense of what their college experience might be like with project-based, hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of topics. EXPLO Career Concentrations allows students to delve into a specific subject that interests them both as a college degree and as a future occupation with programming designed by industry experts. Through their partnership with Sarah Lawrence College and Hampshire College, EXPLO also offers the potential for students to earn college credits through their participation in the program.

Yale Young Global Scholars 

YYGS is a two-week summer program that facilitates discussions on cutting-edge topics in academia. Participants choose a session based on their academic interests, and they meet like-minded peers from around the world while navigating diverse classroom discussions. YYGS offers sessions in the humanities, social sciences, STEM fields, and a cross-disciplinary track that incorporates all of the above.

Lumiere Education

Lumiere Education is an organization that aims to provide opportunities for high schoolers to engage with serious, college-level research projects. With the help of trained mentors, students learn about the academic and professional research process, including writing and presenting their work for publication. Lumiere allows students to familiarize themselves with the kind of college-level research required for success in fields like biology, business, and international relations, among many others. They offer year-round sessions in both topic-based research and individualized research.

Foundation for Teaching Economics

The FTE offers courses all over the United States for high school students interested in the principles of economics, whether they’re curious about an introductory program or looking for a program that will build upon previous experience. FTE programs focus on the intersection of economics education and the development of leadership skills.

AI Camp

AI Camp provides high school students with the fundamentals of artificial intelligence and related skill sets including game development and web development. Their courses are entirely virtual and are designed to suit students who already have some experience with coding or those who are just getting started. The skills taught at AI Camp are meant to guide students through the specific realities of working in artificial intelligence and related fields.

NYU Tisch Summer Programs

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University offers a number of different programs, both in person and online, for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the arts. From filmmaking to dance to game design, Tisch’s programs are designed with a high degree of structure and rigor to help students develop their talents and experience college-level arts instruction.

Camp Psych at Gettysburg College

This virtual program at Gettysburg College helps introduce high school students to the basics of psychology, including research methods, developmental psychology, and cognition and memory. The courses involve a combination of lectures, discussions, and assignments, as well as the opportunity to ask the program directors professional questions regarding graduate school, career options in the field of psychology, etc.

APA’s Recommended Summer Psychology Programs

The American Psychological Association’s website has a list of universities who offer training opportunities for high school students interested in exploring psychology. Boston University, Emory University, and the University of Chicago are among the institutions included here.

SFC encourages families to start reviewing options for 2023 summer programs over this upcoming winter break. Many of the more competitive programs fill up quickly in advance. Even if your student ultimately finds that they would like to pursue a different subject in college, these opportunities for experiential learning and networking will provide them with valuable skills for any field.