15 Summer Programs in Georgia for High Schoolers

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If you’re looking for ways your teen can spend their summer in a constructive way, then summer programs might just be the answer. Colleges and nonprofits across the country are realizing how beneficial these programs are for high school students, and your student can have fun while preparing for college at the same time.


By developing their interests and learning more about college and career paths, summer programs help high school students make the most of their summer and return to high school inspired to succeed. We’ve rounded up 15 summer programs in Georgia 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. Since summer programs often explicitly specialize in something like the arts or STEM, 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.


Inspire academic excellence. Many summer programs are held at colleges and universities, which can inspire students about attending college in general, since they experience fun social activities alongside stimulating intellectual endeavors. Even for programs hosted by nonprofit organizations, students often engage in stimulating educational activities and tour local colleges where they meet with admissions counselors who break down the requirements to get in.


Enhance your student’s application. College admissions officers consider students’ extracurricular activities not only as part of the admissions process, but also when awarding merit scholarships. While there are no strict requirements about the exact activities a student should pursue, admissions officers want to see that students pursued their interests outside of the classroom. Summer programs that specialize in an area of interest allow students to demonstrate their professional and academic interest in ways that high school classes and part-time jobs often can’t.


Meet current students and faculty. Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending a summer program at a college is the chance for your student to connect with current students and faculty. One of our top recommendations for helping students get into their dream school is to connect with students who were successfully admitted to that school, and summer programs can facilitate that process for high school students. By attending any of these college-based programs, high school students can get to know current students and can get the inside scoop about campus life and the college community.


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 draw upon a wealth of extracurricular experiences when it comes time to apply for college.


Summer Programs in Georgia


There are so many amazing schools in Georgia that host summer programs, we’ve dedicated separate posts for them. Get started with one of the links below:



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 Georgia resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.


1. SCAD Rising Star


Students have the opportunity to earn college credit during this challenging five-week course at either the Savannah or Atlanta campus. They will choose two courses either from the general education program, foundational courses for art and design, or major-specific courses in fields ranging from architecture to fashion to animation.


  • Affiliate Organization: Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Grades: 11th only
  • Cost: $6,150
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Additional Requirements: Portfolio submission


2. SCAD Summer Seminars


Your student will be able to attend a variety of creative workshops at the Savannah or Atlanta campuses to develop their unique vision and talents. This weeklong program allows students to choose two workshops in any of SCAD’s disciplines, including advertising, illustration, sequential art, and even equestrian riding.


  • Affiliate Organization: Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $1,600
  • Deadline: Rolling


3. Emagination Tech Camp


This two-week technology-based camp allows students to specialize in an industry by choosing specific classes and taking advantage of the resources available at Mercer University. Students can select from Digital Art & Media, Coding, Engineering, or Game Design classes, along with recreational electives like swimming, field games, indoor games, or Dungeons and Dragons.


  • Affiliate Organization: Mercer University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $3,295
  • Deadline: Rolling


4. Emagination Game Design Academy


During this two-week intensive, students will immerse themselves in the world of video game development. They’ll work in teams to develop an original 3D console game using industry-standard software. Students also get to tour a local game design studio to meet current professionals and get a look at games currently in development.


  • Affiliate Organization: Mercer University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $3,295
  • Deadline: Rolling


5. Early College Summer Program


Students will master the skills needed to succeed in college during the four-week prep program. They’ll take core classes in English, math, and the sciences in the morning and supplement their understanding with classes introducing them to college admissions and financial literacy, before choosing an elective from areas such as coding, art, film, or community service.


  • Affiliate Organization: Georgia State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $650
  • Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Application prompt: How would attending the Georgia State University Early College Summer Enrichment program impact your overall academic and professional goals? (250-500 words)
  • Additional requirements: Must live in metropolitan Atlanta area


6. GGC Tech Camp


During this week-long tech-based program, students will master the creative software used in a variety of disciplines, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. They’ll also explore how these technologies are used in different disciplines, and how technology skills can translate to many careers in the future.


  • Affiliate Organization: Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Grades: 9th & 10th only
  • Cost: $225
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Application prompt: What career are you interested in?


7. Odyssey Atlanta


Odyssey Atlanta offers unique project-based learning to enrich students’ education and encourage them to think more deeply about how social issues are interconnected. Students will explore topics such as civil rights and technology, the industrial food complex and teen wellness, and college admissions guidance.


  • Affiliate Organization: Odyssey
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $35
  • Deadline: February 15, 2019
  • Application prompts: Choose ONE of these topics to write about. (250-500 words)
    • What can you teach others?
    • What determines an action or person as good or evil? Who decides what or who is good or evil? Are people inherently good or inherently evil?
    • What is one of the biggest problems facing our world today? What do you think needs to happen to resolve it?
    • What drives you to be creative or artistic? How does it affect the world?
  • Additional requirements: video introduction also required for application


8. Start Code Summer Camps | Summer Coding Camp


If your student is interested in computer science, then this camp is perfect for them. They’ll learn how to code in Java, Python, and Processing as they develop an original project over the course of this week-long summer program.


  • Affiliate Organization: Start Code
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $2,945 

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9. Start Code Summer Camps | Game Design With Unity 3D


Students will design their own games using industry-standard software, including Unity and Blender, as they master the skills needed to develop their own game. They’ll explore techniques including level design, collision detection, and user interface design.


  • Affiliate Organization: Start Code
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $4,595
  • Deadline: May 9, 2019


10. CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp


Perfect for any student interested in public health, this engaging program immerses students in topics such as epidemiology, environmental health, emergency preparedness, public health law, and global health. They’ll use their knowledge to try to solve case studies of disease outbreaks.


  • Affiliate Organization: CDC Museum
  • Grades: 10th & 11th only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: March 25, 2019


11. Athena Music and Leadership Camp


This week-long camp allows students to develop self-confidence and leadership ability through music and performance. Students will learn directly from accomplished musicians and performers as they gain insight into music performance and music education as a profession.


  • Affiliate Organization: Athena Camp
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $695
  • Deadline: May 17, 2019
  • Additional requirements: Female students only


12. Summer Music Institute


Students will get the chance to explore a variety of musical styles during this one-week program at Kennesaw State. They’ll receive personalized attention from the instructors during one-on-one reviews and small-group practices, and have the opportunity to watch current college students and faculty rehearse and perform.


  • Affiliate Organization: Kennesaw State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $295
  • Deadline: May 25, 2019
  • Application prompt: Submit a written statement expressing why you want to attend the program and what you hope to gain from the experience. (300 words)
  • Additional requirements: Students currently participating in band, orchestra, jazz, choir, or piano


13. The Summer Math and Science Honors Academy


Once your student is accepted into this five-week program, they’ll be able to continue attending every summer for the next three summer and attend monthly STEM workshops during the school year. Not only do students gain valuable STEM skills, but they also receive peer mentors and an academic support network to help them succeed in high school and transition to college.


  • Affiliate Organization: Morehouse College
  • Grades: 9th only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Application prompt: Submit a written statement expressing why you want to attend the program and what you hope to gain from the experience. (300 words)
  • Additional requirements:
    • Students of color
    • Attend a public high school or private high school via scholarship
    • Reside within 50 miles of Morehouse College as determined by your zip code.
    • Identify as male


14. MSM S.T.E.A.M. Academy: Laboratory Techniques and Anatomy


This two-week session introduces students to biomedical research and health careers as they master laboratory techniques used by researchers today. Designed primarily for students underrepresented in STEM, students will also receive mini-courses on how health interacts with society and on career planning.


  • Affiliate Organization: Morehouse College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $300
  • Deadline: April 1, 2019


15. MSM S.T.E.A.M. Academy: Authentic Research Experience


A truly immersive research experience, this program pairs students who are serious about biomedical research with a mentor who guides them during a six-week scientific investigation. Students will walk away with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to be a researcher and the rewards of pursuing graduate education.


  • Affiliate Organization: Morehouse College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $600
  • Deadline: April 1, 2019


Wrapping it Up


Whether your student loves the arts or wants to experience what college is like and explore their options, chances are there is a program for them. All of the above programs will enrich your student’s academic experience and help them explore their passions while they make new friends and lifelong memories.


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.


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Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:


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14 Summer Programs in D.C. for High Schoolers

11 Summer Programs in North Carolina for High Schoolers

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.

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