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Timothy Peck
8 Internships

20 Awesome High School Internships in the Bay Area in 2023

What’s Covered:


Home to world-class colleges and universities, tech giants, and renowned museums, the Bay Area is home to numerous excellent internships for ambitious high school students. Whether you’re looking to make a year-round commitment or spend your summer interning, there’s no shortage of chances for you to pursue a field of interest, build skills, network with professionals, learn about a career path, and meet students with shared interests. As an added bonus, internships look great to college admissions offices, and some even will pay you. 


20 High School Internships in the Bay Area


1. Asian Art Museum’s Art Speak Internship


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Ten months (August to May)


Students participating in the Asian Art Museum’s Art Speak internship reap a multitude of benefits. Art Speak interns will discover Asia’s art and cultural traditions, connect with like-minded peers, and gain exposure to the Bay Area art scene by participating in workshops and meeting local artists. The Art Speak internship is open to artistic Bay Area public school students in grades 10-12. Interns receive a stipend over the course of the ten-month program and school credit, along with the chance to build their portfolio and bolster their extracurricular profile. 


2. The Berkeley Micro/NanoLab High School Intern Program for Young Women


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Eight weeks


Since 2001, the Berkeley Micro/NanoLab High School Intern Program for Young Women has invited high-achieving high school senior girls who are 16 years or older and have completed chemistry (and preferably psychics) courses to participate in their program. Lasting eight weeks, participants are paired with a mentor that they’ll work with for four 8-hour days a week where they’ll partner on projects and build lab skills. The purpose of the Berkeley Micro/NanoLab High School Intern Program for Young Women is to encourage female participation in engineering and science. 


3. Contemporary Jewish Museum’s (The CJM) Teen Art Connect (TAC) Internship


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: One year   


The CJM TAC is open to students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades who are interested in art, culture, Judaism, intercultural dialogue, and education. Over the course of the year-long paid TAC internship, students participate in activities such as leading architecture and exhibition tours, promoting and assisting in workshops, and planning teen-focused events. TAC interns receive one-on-one mentorship from museum staff, free membership to the museum, the chance to meet like-minded students, and the opportunity to connect with artists and creative professionals.  


4. Chabot Space and Science Center Galaxy Explorers


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: One year 


An incredible opportunity for students interested in STEM, the Galaxy Explorers program is a year-round commitment in which students in grades 9-12 are required to participate a minimum of 12 hours a month. Galaxy Explorers can meet their required commitment through numerous programs including field trips to local tech companies, staffing exhibits, assisting with outreach, and participating in workshops. Galaxy Explorers is an unpaid volunteer program.  


5. Exploratorium High School Explainers 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A 


The Exploratorium was the brainchild of Frank Oppenheimer, an experimental physicist (and brother to “the father of the atomic bomb,” Robert Oppenheimer). Home to hundreds of exhibits that help in the understanding of electricity, centrifugal motion, sound waves, optical illusion, superstition, and other concepts, the museum relies on Explainers—rather than docents—who are young people trained and supported by staff scientists and educators. Serving a vital role, explainers are given a considerable amount of responsibility, as they’re the Exploratorium’s primary contact point with the public. Students fill 130 positions a year and more than 3,500 students have participated in the program since its inception in 1969. High School Explainers are paid, they receive San Francisco’s minimum wage. 


6. Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Four weeks   


Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a four-week program open to graduating seniors with a passion for technology who intend to enroll in a full-time BA/BS program in the U.S. or Canada. Over the course of the program, students develop technical skills, prepare for college-level work in the computer science field, participate in developmental workshops, and gain exposure to opportunities in tech. Students from backgrounds historically marginalized in the engineering and technical fields are strongly encouraged to apply. 


7. Meta Summer Academy


Application Deadline: March 1 

Duration: Six weeks (June through July)


Meta Summer Academy externs learn about the day-to-day operations of one of the world’s most prominent social media companies up close and personal. Over the course of the six-week program, students will build work experience and bolster the skills needed for a successful career in tech. This opportunity is open to high school students who live in East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required to participate in the program. 




Application Deadline: December 23

Duration: Seven weeks (June through August)


The aim of the KP LAUNCH program is to introduce students from backgrounds generally underrepresented in healthcare to careers in the field. Opportunities are available at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland headquarters as well as at its facilities across northern California and are available in a broad spectrum of health-care-related fields, ranging from accounting and finance to healthcare and hospital management to research and development.


9. Norman Mineta Bay Area Summer Academy


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Three weeks 


The Norman Mineta Bay Area Summer Academy is a partnership between the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and other regional Bay Area agencies. The aim of the program is to show students how regional agencies operate, the influence they have on people’s lives, and how to have a voice in decisions that affect local communities. Participants will also build skills and learn about potential career paths in public office. This program is open to students 16 years old and up who live in the Bay Area and attend a local high school.   


10. Project Pull


Application Deadline: February/March 

Duration: Eight weeks 


Sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), Project Pull has been providing mentorship to promising and motivated San Francisco students for a quarter of a century—and hopefully pulling them to public service. Over the course of this eight-week program, Project Pull participants work a maximum of 20 hours a week with full-time city employees from a variety of departments and are paid $17.50 an hour. The program is open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who live or attend high school in San Francisco. 


11. Sandia National Laboratories Summer Internships 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A  


Sandia, a company that delivers national security solutions through science and technology, offers summer internships to high school students 16 years and older at its Livermore, California, location. In addition to gaining real-world work experience, Sandia also provides a variety of unique programs for its interns, including a welcome reception, career fair, symposiums, workshops, presentations, and site tours. The internship also provides an exceptional networking opportunity, allowing students to meet working professionals along with their future peers. 


12. Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)


Application Deadline: February 25 

Duration: Eight weeks (June through August) 


Juniors and seniors 16 years of age or older are invited to apply for SIMR. SIMR is a unique eight-week program where students perform basic research with Stanford faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students, and researchers on a medically oriented project.  All students receive a minimum $500 stipend for the summer; however, students from underrepresented groups in biomedical research, such as ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, women, and individuals with disabilities may receive stipends starting at $1,500 for the summer. Students from outside the Bay Area may apply, however, priority is given to local students.  


13. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP)


Application Deadline: March 1

Duration: Five weeks (June through July)


SMYSP is a five-week program for low-income, first-generation, high school juniors from Northern California. SMYSP is focused on science and medicine and is designed to put students on the path to college and eventually careers in medicine. Participants are mentored by medical professionals, faculty, and college students with a passion for science. The program is competitive—just 24 students are selected—and tuition-free.   


14. University of California San Francisco (UCSF) High School Intern Program  


Application Deadline: February 

Duration: Eight weeks  


A rigorous and intense experience, the eight-week UCSF High School Intern Program has participants conduct an original research project under the direction of a UCSF mentor. This internship differs from many similar programs in that acceptance is not dependent on grades or a commitment to a scientific career path. The majority of participants come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the sciences—for example, minorities, women, and those from low-income families. The goal of the program is to develop a sense of belonging and allow students to envision themselves pursuing a college degree and career in biomedical sciences. 


This program is open to rising high school seniors attending a San Francisco Unified School District high school, a San Francisco charter school, or a participant in College Track San Francisco. 


15. MarinHealth High School Volunteer


Application Deadline: Rolling 

Duration: One year   


If you are looking for an opportunity to gain experience in the medical field, consider applying to become a volunteer at MarinHealth. High school volunteers as young as 16 years old can gain firsthand experience in health care while performing duties such as greeting and directing visitors and patients and delivering books and puzzles to patients and their families. Available high school volunteer positions are limited and volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment.


16. University of California San Francisco UCSF Summer Student Research Program


Application Deadline: February 25

Duration: Nine weeks (June and August)


The UCSF Summer Student Research Program provides talented high school and college students one-on-one mentorship with healthcare providers and researchers. Participants take part in biomedical research projects, as well as workshops, seminars, trainings, simulations, and networking opportunities. The program concludes with a formal research symposium where participants present their findings. High school juniors and seniors (along with undergraduates) who’ve completed at least one year of biology and math—and who are from backgrounds considered underrepresented in the sciences—are eligible to participate in this program.  


17. San Francisco YouthWorks


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A  


The SF YouthWorks program offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to get a head start on their careers by working alongside city employees at various departments, such as the airport, library, and public utilities commission. Through mentorship and guidance from departmental staff, interns will gain invaluable experience in their field of interest, participate in field trips and site tours, and engage with local communities through service projects. This program is open to students who reside or attend school in San Francisco and pays $17.34 an hour. 


18. SFUSD Summer Internship


Application Deadline: February 

Duration: Six weeks 


Students interested in exploring various careers can take advantage of the SFUSD summer internship program. The program offers paid internships that generally last six weeks—although some can extend to nine weeks—and primarily work with youth, although some opportunities are available in fields like art, animation, architecture, biotech, health, and computer science. Participants are paid $17.34 an hour and most internships are connected to a City College of SF (CCSF) course, allowing participants to earn college credit while gaining work experience. Opportunities are available to San Francisco Unified School District high school students 14 years of age or older. 


19. Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program


Application Deadline: April 3 

Duration: Multi-year 


Careers in Science is a multi-year, year-round, paid internship and development program for San Francisco high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in the STEM fields. Interns enter the program as rising sophomores and continue through their high school graduation—as they demonstrate achievement and reliability, their responsibilities will grow. Participants conduct fieldwork, facilitate learning experiences, and attend trainings. The program is open to San Francisco Unified School District students who can commit to the program for two to three years, and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and a grade of C or higher in math and science. 


20. University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Science Internship Program (SIP) 


Application Deadline: March 31 

Duration: Ten weeks 


The UCSC SIP is an intensive ten-week internship that provides high school students with UCSC professors, post-docs, and Ph.D. student mentors. Participants conduct open-ended science research projects in a wide variety of fields, including astrophysics, biology, computer science, physics, and psychology. The program is open to students in grades nine through 12 and actively recruits students from groups traditionally excluded from the STEM fields. Students must pay to participate in this activity—tuition is $4,000. 


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances? 


Once you clear the academic threshold at selective colleges, your extracurriculars can be just as important as your grades. This is because there are so many academically-qualified candidates that admissions officers turn to activities and essays to see which students stand out and may be the best fit. 


Admissions officers rate a student’s extracurriculars based on their impressiveness and uniqueness. Each activity can generally fall into one of four tiers, with Tier 1 being the most outstanding (i.e. a national award). An internship may fall into Tiers 1-3, depending on how selective it is. 


To see how your activities stack up, use our free chancing engine. It’ll help you classify your extracurriculars into tiers, and let you know which aspects of your profile need improvement. You’ll be able to go into college admissions much more prepared as a result!


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.