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25 High School Summer Engineering Programs in 2024

What’s Covered:


High school summer engineering programs are a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in the field. They allow students to live and learn in a college-like atmosphere, meet like-minded peers, interact with those working in the field, and gain valuable insight into life as an engineer. Participating in a high school engineering program will also look great on a college application—it shows admissions officers that you’re driven to learn more about the things that interest you.  


Below are some fantastic high school engineering programs that will help put you on the path to a career as an engineer.  


25 High School Summer Engineering Programs 


1. Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) 


Dates: Late June – early August 

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Application Deadline: February 1 

Cost: Free


MITES is a six-week residential program at MIT for academically talented high school juniors. The program immerses participants in life at MIT and challenges them with rigorous courses in fields such as math, science, and humanities. 


Participants build the skills necessary for success in both college and their careers while growing a network of like-minded peers. All educational, food, and boarding costs are covered by the program—the only cost to attendees is transportation to and from MIT. Students from underrepresented and underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  


2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Women’s Technology Program (WTP)


Dates: June 29 – July 26 

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Application Deadline: January 15 

Cost: Free 


This free four-week summer program introduces female high school rising seniors with little to no experience in engineering to the field. Throughout the program, students take part in hands-on activities such as classes, labs, and team-based projects. 


The program aims to empower women from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds in engineering—students from schools without STEM classes and activities, students who will be the first in their families to attend college, and African American, Hispanic, and Native American students are encouraged to apply. This program is not residential and requires participants to commute—making it ideally suited to local students. 


This program is extremely selective. In 2023, it received 188 applications and accepted only 20 students.  


3. Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) Program


Dates: July 14 – 27

Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Application Deadline: January 8

Cost: Free


This free two-week workshop for rising high school seniors teaches them how to build a small radar system. Students work under the supervision of scientists and engineers at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, while building creative problem-solving skills and experiencing a slice of college life by living on MIT’s campus.


4. Summer Engineering Exploration Camp (SEE Camp)


Dates: July 7 – 13 

Location: University of Michigan

Application Deadline: March 1

Cost: $650  


Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Michigan, SEE Camp is a one-week, co-ed, residential program for high school students entering grades 10 through 11 with an interest in engineering, particularly those with limited access to engineering resources. The program is competitive, in 2023 it received more than 600 applications and accepted just 40 students. 


Participants at SEE Camp will take part in design challenges along with gaining hands-on experience via a variety of engineering-focused activities. Over the course of the week, students will also participate in social and team-building activities, and learn more about the University of Michigan—meeting with staff and students, and taking a campus tour. 


5. Research in Science & Engineering (RISE)



  • Residential: June 30 – August 9 
  • Commuter: July 1 – August 9 

Location: Boston University 

Application Deadline: February 14


  • Residential: $8,940 – $9,246
  • Commuter: $5,820 


The RISE program at Boston University gives rising seniors a chance to conduct laboratory research under the guidance of BU faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students while working side by side with some of the nation’s best STEM students. A variety of research opportunities are available, including:  


  • Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering 
  • Mechanical Engineering 


By the end of the program, students will have advanced their STEM skills, built a network of like-minded peers, and gained firsthand experience with college-level research. RISE is open to both commuter and residential students.  


6. Carnegie Mellon University Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)


Dates: June 22 – August 24

Location: Carnegie Mellon University 

Application Deadline: March 1

Cost: Free  


SAMS is a no-cost opportunity for students from underrepresented communities to explore and improve their STEM knowledge at one of the nation’s top technical colleges. SAMS students will further their understanding of the STEM fields through classroom instruction and hands-on projects under the guidance of Carnegie Mellon’s acclaimed faculty and staff. Participants in SAMS will also have the chance to explore majors at Carnegie Mellon, interact with current students, and ultimately come away with a clearer picture of college life. 


7. California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science  (COSMOS)


Dates: July 7 – August 2


  • UC Davis 
  • UC Irvine  
  • UC San Diego 
  • UC Santa Cruz 

Application Deadline: February 9 

Cost: $5,005


COSMOS is a four-week program that aims to motivate the next generation’s most creative and talented future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. The program builds a community of academically gifted students and allows them to work side by side with university faculty on topics that extend beyond the common high school curriculum. COSMOS is held at four University of California campuses:  


  • UC Davis 
  • UC Irvine  
  • UC San Diego 
  • UC Santa Cruz  


The program aims to create a community of students who participate in and contribute to an intensive academic experience delivered by distinguished educators and scholars. 


8. ESTEEM/SER-Quest Summer Program


Dates: July 12 – August 6 

Location: University of Maryland

Application Deadline: May 13

Cost: Free 


The ESTEEM (Engineering Science and Technology to Energize and Expand Young Minds) and the Summer Engineering Research (SER)-Quest is an intensive four-week for high school seniors at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering and is sponsored by the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. 


The program is, in part, focused on helping academically strong high schoolers become competitive college applicants and attract them to attend the A. James Clark School of Engineering. At the ESTEEM/SER-Quest Summer Program, students will undertake an engineering-focused research project, develop a deeper understanding of engineering, and meet undergraduate and graduate students while gaining exposure to college-level research.  


9. National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) on Engineering Summer Program


Dates: Varies 


  • Duke University  
  • Johns Hopkins University  
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Michigan
  • Yale University 

Application Deadline: Varies 

Cost: $3,795 – $4,095 


The NSLC summer high school engineering program allows students to explore engineering fields such as mechanical, civil, electrical, and biomedical engineering. The program is held on five of the nation’s most renowned campuses.  


In addition to building engineering skills and familiarizing themselves with working in a college-like atmosphere, participants of the NSLC on Engineering Summer Program build leadership skills that will serve them in college and beyond.  


10. Anson L. Clark Scholars Program


Dates: June 16 – August 1 

Location: Texas Tech University 

Application Deadline: February 15 

Cost: Free  


Although the Clark Scholar Program is not engineering-specific, it’s one of the most prestigious summer programs in the nation. It delivers an unrivaled experience to the 12 students selected to participate every summer. The lucky few selected as Clark Scholars gather at Texas Tech University for an intensive seven-week research experience in their field while working hand in hand with faculty. The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program is free—in fact, participants receive a tax-free $750 stipend—and many of those chosen to participate have used the program as a launchpad to make their college and career goals a reality.


11. CURIE Academy


Dates: July 14 – 20 

Location: Cornell University 

Application Deadline: February 15 

Cost: $1,850 


CURIE Academy is a one-week residential program at Cornell University for rising juniors and seniors—of all identities—who excel in math and science to explore opportunities in engineering.  Students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM are strongly encouraged to apply. Students attend daily engineering classes, execute a research project, and participate in field sessions while learning about majoring in engineering and pathways in the field.


12. CATALYST Academy


Dates: July 14 – 20 

Location: Cornell University 

Application Deadline: February 15 

Cost: $1,850 


CATALYST Academy is a one-week residential program at Cornell University for rising juniors and seniors. The program is focused on bringing together a diverse group of participants, including those from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in STEM fields. Rising seniors from historically underrepresented groups are automatically considered for tuition waivers. 


Participants attend daily classes, execute a research project, and take part in field sessions—building a better understanding of the numerous educational and career pathways available to engineering students.


13. Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE)


Dates: June 3 – August 9 

Location: New York University (NYU)

Application Deadline: March 1

Cost: Free 


ARISE at NYU is an excellent chance for rising 10th and 11th graders in New York City with an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to gain research experience. During this free seven-week-long program, ARISE participants will have an authentic research experience, learning about expository writing, scientific methods, professional development, and ethics. Labs with research opportunities are in STEM fields such as: 


  • Bioengineering 
  • Molecular Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Computer Science
  • AI
  • Machine Learning   


14. Santa Clara University Summer Engineering Seminar (SES)



  • Session 1: July 14 – 18 
  • Session 2: July 21 – 25
  • Session 3: July 28 – August 1 

Location: Santa Clara University 

Application Deadline: March 12 

Cost: Free


This special summer program for high school students is aimed at rising juniors and seniors who are interested in exploring the field of engineering. SES is a five-day program and three sessions are held over the summer—the third session is open only to returning program participants. During the sessions, students are exposed to multiple engineering disciplines, participate in workshops, work on projects, and learn about the academic expectations and nature of college. 


Female students, students from underrepresented groups in engineering, students from low-income families, and students who will be first-generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply.


15. My Introduction to Engineering (MITE)



  • Session 1: June 23 – June 27 
  • Session 2: July 7 

Location: University of Texas, Austin 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $100 


The MITE summer program, hosted by the University of Texas – Austin, is a five-day camp where current high school juniors can discover more about the field of engineering. During camp, participants take part in hands-on activities and team projects, while also meeting and interacting with UT engineering students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 


Outstanding African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian students, as well as those who have overcome social or economic hardship, are strongly encouraged to apply.  


16. Women in Engineering


Dates: June 23 – 28 

Location: Milwaukee School of Engineering 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $950


The Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Women in Engineering summer program offers female students in grades 10 through 12 the chance to explore a variety of engineering disciplines, including: 


  • Architectural engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biomolecular engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Software engineering


During the day, students participate in hands-on engineering projects led by MSOE faculty and female engineering students and decompress with fun activities like interactive comedy shows and bowling in the evening.  


17. High School Summer STEMM Worldwide Research Program


Dates: June 20 – August 2 

Location: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 

Application Deadline: March 24

Cost: N/A


The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign hosts a unique summer program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in which participants are paired with another student and teacher from their school to form a team. The team participates in the research activities of established researchers in fields such as:


  • Cancer immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Physics
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Bioengineering
  • Electrical engineering  


Through the program, students gain confidence in their abilities as scientists and engineers, develop college skills, and interact with people at every stage of the STEM path—such as faculty, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school teachers.  


The program is open to students from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin.  


18. Office of Naval Research Science and Engineering Apprentice Program


Dates: Varies by location (eight weeks) 

Location: Varies (one of 25 Navy labs) 

Application Deadline: November 1 

Cost: Free  


The Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP) places talented high school STEM students as apprentices in one of the more than 25 participating Department of Defense (DoD) labs for eight weeks over the summer. Apprentices work closely with researchers and gain firsthand scientific and engineering experience while earning a stipend—first-year interns earn $4,000 and second-year interns earn $4,500. The program aims to encourage students to pursue STEM careers and create interest in future employment with the DoD.  


19. Purdue University Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE)


Dates: July 8 – August 2 

Location: Purdue University 

Application Deadline: April 22


  • Indiana residents: $2,164.70
  • Non-Indiana residents: $3,365.60 


The four-week Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE) program focuses on college readiness with an emphasis on math and engineering research projects. Over the course of the program, students participate in hands-on engineering projects, meet current engineering students, and learn about a wide variety of engineering majors and careers all while living like a college student in Purdue’s residence halls. MITE participants earn two college credits upon completion of the program. 


20. Simons Summer Research Program


Dates: July 1 – August 9 

Location: Stony Brook University 

Application Deadline: February 7 

Cost: Free  


High school juniors with an interest in science, math, and engineering will want to look into this hands-on research opportunity at Stony Brook University. Participants are paired with mentors and become members of a research team—providing them with firsthand experience of what life is like at a major research university. Students also take part in workshops, special events, and tours. At the conclusion of the program, students will produce a written research abstract and a research poster.


21. University of Wisconsin–Madison Engineering Summer Program (ESP)


Dates: July 13 – August 2 

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison 

Application Deadline: March 11

Cost: Free  


The ESP from the University of Wisconsin–Madison seeks to introduce high-achieving high schoolers to the field of engineering. The three-week residential program for rising juniors and seniors offers an experience similar to that of first-year engineering students at UW–Madison and features activities such as hands-on workshops, engineering-related field trips, and mentorship. Admission to the program is competitive, so put your best foot forward.


22. Michigan State University High School Honors Science, Math and Engineering Program (HSHSP)


Dates: June 16 – August 3

Location: Michigan State University

Application Deadline: March 1

Cost: $4,000


One of the oldest continuously running summer research programs for high school students in the country, the HSHSP has been providing hands-on STEM education since 1958. Open to rising high school seniors, the program provides firsthand experience with the research process, enriches their knowledge about work in science and mathematics, and introduces them to like-minded peers.


During the seven weeks of the program, students will learn and live at Michigan State University—one of the top 50 research institutions in the U.S.—and gain insight into college life.


23. Northeastern Young Scholars’ Program


Dates: June 24 – August 1

Location: Northeastern University

Application Deadline: March 15

Cost: Free


This free program for Massachusetts rising seniors offers the opportunity to gain research experience working with Northeastern University’s Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Health Sciences. Participants take part in a seminar series exploring a variety of engineering fields, receive college and career counseling, take field trips to see engineers in action, and experience college life—living and learning at Northeastern University.


24. Princeton University Laboratory Learning Program


Dates: Varies

Location: Princeton University

Application Deadline: March 15

Cost: Free


This free summer program provides high schoolers the chance to participate as an intern in ongoing research projects under the supervision of Princeton University faculty and staff. Internships typically last between five and six weeks and opportunities are available in a variety of engineering fields.


Participants are required to submit a two-page research summary at the conclusion of the program.


25. Bucknell Engineering Camp


Dates: June 23 – 28

Location: Bucknell University

Application Deadline: N/A


  • Residential: $1,250
  • Commuter: $900


This summer program at Bucknell University is open to students in grades 7 through 12 and allows them to experience a slice of college life while getting a hands-on introduction to engineering. Participants are introduced to numerous fields of engineering, test themselves in solving engineering problems, and conduct research in labs.


How Much Do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances? 


Extracurricular activities play a considerable role in admissions at selective colleges, and taking part in a super selective summer program like the Anson L. Clark Scholars Program can give your odds of acceptance a huge boost. CollegeVine’s free chancing engine can add clarity to the college admissions process—including how schools view your activities outside of the classroom—using factors like GPA, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of schools and to provide tips to improve your profile.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.