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20 Summer Programs in Florida for High Schoolers in 2024

What’s Covered:


There are many summer programs for Florida high schoolers that blend academic interests with enjoyable activities where you can build valuable skills, explore new fields (or deep-dive into old favorites), make new friends, gain firsthand experience, and ultimately put yourself on the path to success. Keep reading to see 20 of the best summer programs in the Sunshine State!


20 Summer Programs in Florida for High Schoolers


1. UM Summer Scholars


Dates: June 29 – July 19

Location: University of Miami 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $7,941 – $9,418 


The University of Miami’s three-week Summer Scholars program provides high schoolers with the opportunity to sample the college experience—taking college-level work, earning college credit, and learning from the university’s faculty. A wide variety of courses are available in five fields:


  • Healthcare and medicine
  • Exploration sciences
  • Communication and media
  • Architecture, engineering, and tech 
  • Business, law, and global studies


2. National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC)


Dates: Varies

Location: University of Miami

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $2,995 – $3,995


NSLC offers a handful of opportunities for students to have an immersive college-like experience at the University of Miami. Participants will study in university classrooms, live in dorms, eat in dining halls, and ultimately learn to navigate life on a college campus while exploring topics and fields like leadership, marine biology, and medicine.


3. UM Academies 


Dates: June 29 – July 12 

Location: University of Miami 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $4,380 – $5,503 


UM Academies at the University of Miami allows high schoolers to gain hands-on experience in the fields of entrepreneurship, weather, forensic science, criminal law, and Spanish. These immersive academic experiences are taught by experts in the field, and they involve working in labs, visiting research facilities, and participating in cultural activities.


After classes, there’s plenty of time to explore life at one of the nation’s most well-known research universities and the surrounding area. 


4. Young Scholars Program (YSP)


Dates: June 9 – July 20 

Location: Florida State University   

Application Deadline: February 15 

Cost: Free


The YSP is a six-week residential program aimed at Florida high schooler rising seniors with an interest in pursuing careers in STEM. Participants typically attend three courses in the fields of math, science, and computer programming—the courses are specifically designed for this program. 


Coursework can be rigorous, but there is also an abundance of social and athletic activities scheduled, including themed dances, canoe trips, fireworks, and scavenger hunts.  


5.  FSU College of Medicine Summer Institute



  • Session 1: June 9 – 14
  • Session 2: July 7 – 12
  • Session 3: July 21 – 26

Location: Florida State University

Application Deadline: February 22

Cost: $1,400


Students interested in pursuing a healthcare career will want to look into this stellar summer program. Participants are introduced to a variety of clinical settings, gain perspectives on life as a medical student, and are given access to information about pre-health advising and programs. As a residential program, students also gain a firsthand look at life at college and meet a network of similarly minded peers.


6. Student Science Training Program


Dates: June 9 – July 27

Location: University of Florida 

Application Deadline: Rolling admission 

Cost: $5,200


UF SSTP is a seven-week residential research program for students who will enter their senior year—aged 16 or above—and are interested in science, medicine, math, computer science, or engineering careers. It focuses on research participation with a UF faculty research scientist and their team. Applicants must be capable of independent living and learning, collaborative, and genuinely interested in research.


Application requirements include an essay, transcripts, and teacher recommendations.


7. Summer Media Institute (SMI)


Dates: June 23 – 28

Location: University of Florida

Application Deadline: 

  • Early bird: March 1
  • Regular: May 1
  • Late: May 15

Cost: $850


This summer program is a great choice for high schoolers with a talent for storytelling and communication, or those interested in exploring careers in media. A number of specializations are offered, including:


  • Anchoring and hosting
  • Broadcast reporting
  • Communication for the greater good
  • Feature and news writing
  • Filmmaking
  • Photojournalism
  • Social media
  • Sports reporting


8. Camp Connect



  • Session 1: June 24 – 28  
  • Session 2: July 8 – 12
  • Session 3: June 10 – 14 

Location: University of Central Florida  

Application Deadline: May 10 

Cost: $200 – $300 


Camp Connect is an engineering program that offers activities, presentations, and lab tours to introduce students to different engineering fields. Each day features a specific department, and the activities are led by the faculty and students. Students will collaborate on a team project to be presented on the final day of the camp. Program applications must be at least 13 years old.


9. Summer Institute Computer Science 


Dates: June 3 – 21

Location: University of Central Florida 

Application Deadline: April 26 

Cost: $1,250  


This three-week program is focused on students interested in learning about computer science and computer technology. Participants build programming skills, participate in a variety of interactive activities, and listen to lectures. Participants also meet like-minded peers—building friendships and networks.  


10. Competitive Programming Overview


Dates: July 7 – 19  

Location: University of Central Florida 

Application Deadline: March 29 (early) May 17 (final)

Cost: $2,750  


High-achieving high schoolers with a background in computer science and an interest in algorithms and programming competitions will want to check out this interesting summer program. 


The camp is designed specifically to help students improve their performance in contests such as USACO, CodeForces, and ultimately the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Over its two weeks, participants learn about the algorithms and data seen in competitions, participate in practice competitions, and receive personalized coaching. 


11. Biology Summer Institute 


Dates: July 22 – 26 

Location: University of Central Florida 

Application Deadline: April 12 (early) May 17 (final)

Cost: $450  


Rising juniors and seniors with an interest in biology will want to check out this week-long program exploring the ecosystems of Central Florida. Participants will participate in hands-on experiences under the supervision of professional biologists, learning the techniques and approaches used to assess water quality, monitor vegetation, and study gopher tortoises and marine turtles. Participants will also spend a day in the lab to build their knowledge of data analysis and the importance of clearly communicating scientific findings. 


12. High School Cyber Camp


Dates: July 22 – 26

Location: University of South Florida  

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $425


The USF High School Cyber Camp aims to provide a similar experience to a professional conference, where high school students can select from a range of sessions hosted by experts and educators, take part in practical activities, and engage with peers and industry professionals to expand their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. 


This offers a valuable opportunity for students to learn, gain experience, and establish connections within the field.


13. CodeBreakHERS 


Dates: June 24 – 28 

Location: University of South Florida  

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: Free


The USF High School Cyber Camp provides a comprehensive learning experience for students interested in cybersecurity. Through hands-on activities and expert-led sessions, students will explore key concepts such as hardware security, internet security, information encoding, error correcting codes, cryptography, and blockchain. The camp will also include Capture the Flag competitions where students can apply the knowledge they’ve gained and compete with their peers. 


14. St. Petersburg College (SPC) Summer Musical Theater Program 


Dates: May 22- June 24   

Location:  St. Petersburg College 

Application Deadline: May 18 

Cost: Free 


This is a great chance for high school and college students to gain firsthand acting and technical theater experience over the summer. The program runs for five weeks and culminates in performances in front of real audiences. Past SPC Summer Musical Theater performances of Urinetown and Pippin have earned accolades and been counted among the “Top 10 Productions in Tampa Bay.” Inclusion in the production is not guaranteed; those interested are required to audition. 


15. Marine Science at Eckerd College



  • Session 1: June 9 – 14
  • Session 2: June 16 – 21

Location: Eckerd College  

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $2,000 


This summer program is perfect for students who want to explore college life while on the ocean. The program is modeled after Eckerd College’s undergraduate marine science program and includes lots of hands-on experience on the water and in the lab learning about marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, and more. 


Participants should prepare to work hard, get wet, and have an incredible experience! 


16. Animal Studies at Eckerd College


Dates: June 16 – 21

Location: Eckerd College

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $1,750


Students interested in exploring animal studies as a potential college major will want to check out this summer program. Modeled after Eckerd College’s undergraduate program, students will dive into fields like the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities—covering topics such as animal behavior, training, research, rehabilitation, and literature.


17. College Prep at Eckerd College  


Dates: June 23 – 28 

Location: Eckerd College

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: Free


This program is available and free to those living in St. Petersburg and coming from a family with a maximum annual household income of $78,800 (for a family of four). 


This residential college prep program is designed to give students a firsthand experience with college—learning what it does and what it offers them. During the program, the students will practice numerous skills essential to college survival, including navigating a college setting as an adult, experiencing the rigor of college coursework, and developing the habits needed for college success. 


18. Theatre for Social Change 


Dates:  June 18 – 23

Location:  Eckerd College 

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $850 


This partnership between Eckerd College and the Asolo Repertory Theatre offers young artists—ideally rising sophomores through seniors—the opportunity to work with professional theater artists to create and adapt stories that affect social change. During this program, participants will build the skills needed to create works of art and plant the seeds of change.  


19. Aerospace Camp


Dates: June 23 – July 12 

Location: Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $4,700 


During this extremely exciting four-week residential camp, students learn what it’s like to be a college student at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University while exploring career paths in flight, mechanical engineering, global security, and even becoming a NASA astronaut. Students will cover topics like the history of space flight, propulsion theory, orbital mechanics fundamentals, Space Shuttle operations, and U.S. space policy—earning three college credits upon the completion of camp.


20. Robotics & Autonomous Systems Camp


Dates: July 21 – 26

Location: Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

Application Deadline: N/A

Cost: $1,000


This program for students between the ages of 15 and 18 introduces them to the opportunities presented by the field of robotics and autonomous systems. Over the course of this week-long program, participants will design, build, program, and test their own autonomous robots while learning about the fundamentals of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering.


How Do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances? 


The effect your participation in a summer program will have on your college admissions odds varies depending on several factors, including everything from the selectivity of the program to the value a particular college places on extracurricular activities.  


In general, the four tiers of extracurricular activities provide an easy-to-understand method to gauge how colleges view your participation in summer programs. Top-tier activities (Tiers 1 and 2) are the most selective, impressive, and prestigious. Consequently, colleges value them the most. The Young Scholars Program at Florida State University is a good example of a top-tier activity thanks to its stringent eligibility standards and the rigorous demands placed on its participants.  


Lower-tier activities (such as those in Tiers 3 and 4) don’t have the same influence on college admissions—they’re more common and less attention-grabbing. That said, lower-tier activities can prove very valuable to college admissions as they demonstrate a motivation to pursue subjects you’re passionate about and help build valuable college skills, whether it’s writing, thinking, or auditioning. 


CollegeVine can help you determine the influence extracurricular activities like summer programs have on your odds of college admission. Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your chances of getting into 1600+ colleges while also providing insight into how 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.