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14 Summer Programs at University of Maryland for High Schoolers

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Located in Baltimore, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is a public research university that prepares talented students for their graduate and professional pursuits with a liberal arts foundation. Deeply connected to the surrounding community, UMBC emphasizes diversity, social responsibility and continuous education as key tenets of its mission and facets of its approach to education. High school students can take advantage of the benefits of a UMBC education early on by participating in the university’s Summer Enrichment Academy.


UMBC offers five one-week sessions during which students delve into the topics that interest them most, from anime to branding yourself on social media to cybersecurity and more. Read on to learn about 14 of their engaging summer courses designed specifically for high school students.

Why Attend a Summer Program

Summer programs provide unique experiences for high school students, enabling them to get a taste of college life before matriculating as freshmen. Furthermore, when your student applies to college, admissions committees want to see that they have been spending their summers productively, whether that means working, doing an internship, volunteering, or learning. Summer programs provide a unique opportunity for high schoolers to get a taste of college life while showing adcoms that they are curious and eager to learn beyond the curriculum in school.


UMBC’s summer programs are nonresidential, meaning that students commute to campus. They will still learn alongside their peers, make connections, and become acclimated to higher-level coursework at a lower cost than many residential programs. Because the courses are not typically full days, students may also be able to work part time or participate in other activities during the summer.


Plus, UMBC’s courses are not what you’ll find in a typical high school classroom, meaning that  students will be able to explore subjects that truly excite them. For example, in Moot Court, students experience what it’s like to participate in a court case and trial, even traveling to the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law to present their cases. 

14 Summer Programs at UMBC

Anime and Japanese Culture

Discover Japanese tradition, language, food, festivals, and other aspects of the culture through the lens of anime. Students will also learn about how the ideas and themes within anime have shaped modern Japanese culture. During the course, they will have the opportunity to create their own flip-book manga to share their stories.


Area of Specialization: General Humanities

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: June 8–July 12, 2019


Anime and Japanese Culture: Directors Cut

In this course, students will watch anime classics from directors such as Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii, Shin’ichiro Watanabe, Isao Takahata, and Tezuka and participate in discussions to analyze different perspectives and interpretations of the films. They will also create digital anime from flip-book stories. (This course complements Anime and Japanese Culture, however students with storyboarding and drawing experience are welcome to join.)


Area of Specialization: General Humanities

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 15–July 19, 2019


The Art of Sound Animation

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of animation, teaching them basic screenwriting, visualization, narrative development, as well as the entire production and post-production process and more. Students will have also the opportunity to create an animated group project, shooting footage on the UMBC campus.


Area of Specialization: Filmmaking

Cost: $470 (priority); $495

Program Dates: July 22–August 2, 2019


Belt It like Broadway

Open to students of all skill and experience levels in music, Belt It Like Broadway will teach students how to sing their favorite show tunes. UMBC music faculty will focus on areas such as posture, breath, resonance, voice placement, and character building, and the course will culminate in a final performance.


Area of Specialization: Music

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 22–26 or July 29–August 2, 2019


Branding Yourself on Social Media

Using basic tools available to everyone, students will learn how to create and develop a personal brand and content on social media. The course will also focus on protecting yourself online and how the content people post can help or harm them.


Area of Specialization: Communications

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 15–19, 2019


Chess Academy

Working with the UMBC Chess Program and Silver Knights, players will learn new openings, strategy, tactics, and endgames. They will also study master chess champion’s games and play numerous games against similarly-matched opponents. The course is open to students of all skill levels and is broken up into groups accordingly.


Area of Specialization: General Academic

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 22–26 or August 19–23, 2019


Cyber 1 Introduction into Cybersecurity

This course exposes students to the constantly evolving field of cybersecurity. Top industry professionals will teach high schoolers about ethical hacking, digital forensics, and open-source investigation. They will also explore career possibilities in the field and take a field trip to the Cybersecurity Operations Center at Northrop Grumman Corporation.


Area of Specialization: Computer Science

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: June 24–28, July 8–12, July 15–19, July 29–August 2, or August 19–23, 2019


Cyber 3 Advanced Cybersecurity Game Design/Development

Advanced cybersecurity students who have taken Cyber 1 or 2 and have programming experience in C++, Java, Javascript, Python and/or PHP (recommended) will deepen their skills, gaining knowledge in web application security, exploitation, and cryptography.


Area of Specialization: Computer Science

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 8–12, July 15–19, July 29–August 2, or August 19–23, 2019 

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Game Design and Development

Is your student a budding coder? This course will teach them all about the world of game development through coding. Starting with coding fundamentals including languages such as Java and C++, students will discover the foundation of game design and learn the basics of developing their own games.


Area of Specialization: Computer Science

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: June 24–28, July 22–26, or July 29–August 2, 2019


LEAD, Leadership Exploration and Development

During a series of interactive workshops designed to build students’ leadership competencies and potential, participants will develop the practical skills necessary to lead. The workshops are based on the Social Change Leadership model, which incorporates Individual, Group, and Community perspectives. Topics include Leadership Theory, Communication Skills, Multiculturalism, Ethical Decision Making, Collaborating with Difficult People, and more.


Area of Specialization: Management/Leadership

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 15–19 or July 22–26, 2019


Mechanical Engineering: Magic Fluids

High school juniors and seniors will gain hands-on experience with computational and experimental fluid dynamics, as well as learn about foundational fluid mechanics. They will discover how fluid science and technology are used in a variety of real-world platforms and applications. As a prerequisite, participants should have a fundamental knowledge of calculus and physics.


Area of Specialization: Engineering

Cost: $470 (priority); $495

Program Dates: July 22–26, 2019


Mobile Development

Does your student have a great idea for an app? Then this course could be the ticket to bringing it to fruition. Learning from industry professionals, students will discover the process of creating their own apps, studying areas like programming and mobile application design.


Area of Specialization: Computer Science

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 15–19 or August 19–23, 2019


Moot Court

Using a fictitious case, students will learn how to argue before the Supreme Court, gaining knowledge of the legal system and public-speaking skills. At the program’s end, students will perform an oral argument at the University of Baltimore Law School.


Area of Specialization: Law

Cost: $825 (priority); $850

Program Dates: July 15–26, 2019 (two weeks)


Music Academy: Guitar

Guitarists of all levels will hone their skills through lessons and workshops in this course. They will gain experience playing solo and in a group and learn the fundamentals of music theory, composition, and songwriting from UMBC music faculty.


Area of Specialization: Music

Cost: $225 (priority); $250

Program Dates: July 15–19, 2019


How Can You Help Your High Schooler Find the Best Summer Programs?


Does your child need help finding and applying to summer programs? There are many options available for a wide range of niches, from research to the arts and more. Discuss your student’s goals for college and beyond, and reach out to teachers, guidance counselors, older students, and others for advice.


Does your teen want access to expert college guidance — for free? When they create their free CollegeVine account, they will find out their real admissions chances, build a best-fit school list, learn how to improve their profile, and get their questions answered by experts and peers—all for free. Encourage them to sign up for their CollegeVine account today to get a boost on their college journey.

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.