Gianna Cifredo 15 min read 11th Grade, Summer Activities

15 Summer Programs at Cornell University for High Schoolers

Now more than ever, high-achieving students can find incredible summer programs at top schools like Cornell University. Colleges like Cornell know that summer camp isn’t just for young kids; by providing enriching summer experiences, these schools hope to share the excitement of college and expand student awareness of the kinds of unique opportunities that their campus has to offer.

 

The Cornell summer programs will allow your teenager to grow in ways that traditional summer activities, like volunteering or a part-time job, can’t do. These programs range from general immersion into the college experience to getting in-depth looks at a particular field, and often give your student the chance to interact directly with college students and faculty. We’ve rounded up 15 summer programs at Cornell University to help parents figure out which program might suit their student’s unique interests and goals.

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

As we said, summer programs for high school students are about more than just having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). Here are some of the main benefits of summer programs:

 

Specialize in an area of interest. Cornell knows how valuable it is for students to explore a specific field or industry, and many of their programs are geared towards students with specific interests. These programs often give students an inside look into an industry or academic discipline that they wouldn’t be able to get in a traditional class setting, and expand students’ awareness of opportunities in these fields.

 

Experience college firsthand. If your student isn’t sure about what they’d like to study, or if they’re looking for college credit, summer programs held at colleges can help your student find their passion and truly understand what it would be like to attend college. At a school like Cornell, students often learn about hard-to-find resources, such as specialized learning communities or research opportunities, directly from admissions counselors or student assistants, which can also give them a leg up when it comes to senior-year applications. Furthermore, participating in a summer program can help your student determine their preferences for location, campus size as they look toward the college application process.

 

Enhance your student’s application. Speaking of applications, college admissions officers consider students’ extracurricular activities to see how a student will contribute to the college community and if they’re ready for college-level academics. While there are no strict requirements about the exact activities a student should pursue, summer programs allow students to demonstrate their professional and academic interest in ways that high school classes and part-time jobs often can’t, and simultaneously show that students are ready to take on the exciting challenge of college. Additionally, summer programs offer unique opportunities and experiences for teens to draw from which can make for a more interesting and well-round personal essay and applicant profile.

 

Meet current students and faculty. For a selective school like Cornell, this may be one of the greatest advantages of attending a summer program there. One of our top recommendations for students hoping to get into their dream school is to connect with students who were successfully admitted to that school, and attending a summer program at Cornell will facilitate that process for students. By attending any of these programs, high school students can meet current students and get the inside scoop about campus life and the college community.

 

These programs vary in length, so if you’re worried that your student won’t have time to fulfill their other obligations, such as volunteering, interning, or part time work, then rest assured: your teen doesn’t have to choose between these activities and a summer program. Many summer programs are short, sometimes even as short as a week, so students can balance other obligations while participating in a summer program. By diversifying their activities, students will be able to impress college admissions officers with their developed passion and character.

Summer Programs at Cornell University

As part of the Cornell Summer College, Students can earn college credit while immersing themselves in a subject of their choice.

 

Note: These program costs are all approximate. There may be differences in cost based on whether a student stays on-campus or decides to commute, is a New York resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

1. Animal Science: Sustainable Animal Husbandry

If your student is interested in a career as a veterinarian or wants to work in zoos and conservation, this program is the perfect choice for them. Students will learn biological concepts as well as the practical skills necessary for animal handling. They’ll also visit local farms and Cornell’s research centers to explore the complex relationships between animals and humans.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

2. Introduction to Architecture

This rigorous six-week program will let high school students get a crash-course in architecture alongside current Cornell undergrads. They’ll learn architectural principles and methods in a real studio environment, participate in design workshops, and take field trips to enrich their understanding of architecture. Students will finish with a portfolio of work that they’ll present to their peers.

 

  • Grades: 11th only
  • Cost: $13,200
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

3. Art as Experience: Drawing, Photography & Printmaking

This hands-on creative experience will introduce students to a variety of art mediums and techniques, including traditional drawing materials, collage, digital photography, and screen printing. They’ll tour local art museums and take advantage of Cornell’s beautiful art studios. Students will create their own inspiring works of art as part of a group exhibition that they will curate, install, promote, and present to the public.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

4. Biological Research & the Health Professions

This highly-customizable biology-based program introduces students to a wide range of biological concepts and careers available in the health profession. Students will be allowed to take two other Cornell courses to specialize and advance their knowledge in a subset of biology that matters most to them, or combine it with general classes for a well-rounded academic experience.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $13,200
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

5. The Business World

Students will be immersed in the world of business during this three-week course. After being introduced to the primary components of business management, students will learn about major issues facing business such as globalization and ethical leadership. They’ll work in groups to simulate a true business with specialized roles and make decisions using research and analysis, and further their understanding with guest speakers.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

6. Strategies for College Success: Critical Thinking & Effective Learning

This course is perfect for the student who isn’t sure what they may want to study or pursue as a career. Students gain a strong foundation in critical thinking, study habits, and learn about a variety of careers through engaging discussions and self-reflection. By the end of this program, students will know how to identify and handle academic obstacles and articulate their own goals for the future.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $13,200
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

7. How to Win an Argument: An Introduction to Debate & Rhetoric

A valuable program for any student interested in law, political science, or competing in Debate, this course will challenge students to work with a wide range of opinions and evidence. They’ll learn about the components of an argument, how to evaluate an argument based on its persuasiveness, and participate in an in-house tournament to help refine their skills.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

8. Design Immersion: Exploring Interior, Graphic & Product Design

Designed to be truly experiential, Design Immersion will teach students about how designers approach problems to make our world more beautiful while still being functional. They’ll use studio time to create their own designs and put together an exhibit of their work, develop models, and get insight about how to create an admissions-worthy portfolio.

 

  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

9. Cornell Engineering Experience

If your student is considering a career in engineering, look no further. Students will hear from engineers from diverse fields like aerospace, computer science, and material science to get an inside look at the everyday life of an engineer. They’ll visit Cornell’s innovative engineering research facilities, and apply their problem-solving skills to lab experiments and address real-world challenges.

 

  • Grades: 11th only
  • Cost: $13,200
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs? 

Build a Profile That Will Impress Admissions Officers

Our Early Advising Program helps students in 9th and 10th grade discover their passions and build strong academic and extracurricular profiles to succeed in high school.

 

10. English Immersion: Academic English for Speakers of Other Languages

Designed specifically for international students whose first language isn’t English, students have the opportunity to earn six college credits while improving their English skills in time for college admissions. Each student takes a course on academic writing and another course of their choice, making it the perfect way to demonstrate your English competency if you plan on applying to colleges in the U.S.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $13,200
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

11. The Fashion Studio: Portfolio Development

Cornell’s Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design is perhaps the only fashion-forward department in the entire Ivy League. Students will hear from guest speakers, experiment with innovative technology such as laser cutters, learn industry-standard programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and develop an admissions-worthy design portfolio. Bonus: There’s no sewing!

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

12. History & Politics of the Modern Middle East

Perfect for students interested in politics, history, or international relations, this program explores how the history of the Middle East has shaped today’s political climate. Through discussions, films, and readings, students will learn about culture, competition for resources such as oil, and pushes for social and religious reform in this region.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

13. Freedom & Justice in the Western Tradition

This course explores the concepts of freedom and justice from ancient thinkers to modern-day. In it, students will learn about the intellectual traditions that our current legal and political systems are based on, and participate in class discussions that will allow them to articulate their own ideas on the nature of freedom and justice.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

14. Hospitality Operations Management: Entrepreneurship in the Food & Beverage Industry

If your student dreams of owning their own restaurant, then this program will provide them with an introduction to the practical business skills they’ll need to succeed. Students will learn how to conduct market research, identify potential customers,and plan the successful execution of new concepts. They’ll learn about issues such as supply chain, and develop a business case for their own food and beverage concept.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

    • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities. Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
    • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
      • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
      • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
      • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
    • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

 

15. International Human Rights in Theory & Practice

Students will explore the history of human rights and explore issues facing the present-day, such as the death penalty, women’s rights, migration, climate change, global poverty, mass atrocities, and accountability for past human rights violations. They’ll work with their peers to simulate advocating for human rights with a case study, and leave the program prepared for careers in government, law, nonprofit organizations, or corporate responsibility.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $6,500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

Application prompts:

 

  • What are your three most significant interests and activities (including any employment or volunteer work experience)? (250 words) Note the time you devote to the activities, how long you’ve been involved in them, and your main responsibilities.Describe why one of these interests or activities is important to you, your reasons for becoming involved in it, and your related accomplishments.
  • So that we can get to know you better, please provide a personal statement that addresses the following questions (250 words):
    • What distinguishes you from your classmates and peers?
    • What do you expect to gain from Summer College?
    • What do you hope to accomplish during the program?
  • Tell us about your interest in the Summer College programs (both your first and second choices) you selected in your application (250 words). Why did you select these programs? What do you expect to gain from them? What personal, work, or volunteer experience have you had related to these programs?

Wrapping it Up

Cornell summer programs run the gamut of experiences. Whether your teen knows exactly what they want to study or wants to explore their options, there’s a program that caters to their interests. No matter which program they choose, they are sure to get unique insight into what it’s really like to get in and attend an Ivy League school.

 

If your student missed a deadline or isn’t currently eligible for one of these programs, there are plenty of other activities that students can participate in over the summer to stay engaged. These include getting involved in community organizations, volunteer service, and working. You can find some ideas for activities in our post Summer Activities to Strengthen your College Applications.

 

It can be hard to find summer programs that will work for you and your student’s schedule and will keep your student engaged. That’s why CollegeVine’s Mentorship Program helps students identify activities to refine their interests and strengthen their portfolios. Find out if our Mentorship Program is right for you!

 

Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:

15 Summer Programs at Brown University for High Schoolers

15 Summer Programs at The University of Chicago for High Schoolers

15 Summer Programs at Johns Hopkins University for High Schoolers

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.