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24 Medical Internships + Programs for High Schoolers in 2024

What’s Covered:


Considering a career in medicine? Internships and pre-college medical programs in healthcare can give you a head start on your career and help you get into college. These opportunities can provide you with experiences such as working in a lab and conducting trials, all while providing first-hand experience working in settings like universities, hospitals, clinics, and research facilities.


13 Medical Programs for High School Students


1. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP)


Application Deadline: March 15

Duration: Five weeks (June 24-July 26)  


In this five-week, tuition-free online program, low-income, first-generation high school juniors who live in Northern California complete intensive coursework in medicine and health science, take part in professional development workshops, network with health professionals, and receive college admissions guidance and mentoring. Students will also complete a college-level research project on public health disparities and gain insight into navigating a career in medicine.


The 24 participants in this program will each receive a $1,250 clinical research stipend.


2. Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego: Summer Medical Academy


Application Deadline: February 23

Duration: Two weeks (June 17-28 or July 8-19)


Offered through Rady’s Children Hospital San Diego, the Summer Medical Academy gives high school students interested in pursuing healthcare careers the opportunity to explore medical training and practice. High school students who have both completed 9th grade and are between 15-19 years old can gain hands-on experience, learn about key topics in medicine from experts, and network with future potential colleagues.  


Prospective participants are admitted based on their interest in a health career, participation in extracurricular activities, and scholastic achievement. Special consideration will be given to students who reside near San Diego, seniors in high school or recent graduates, and those who have an affiliation with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The cost of this program is $3,000. Scholarships are available, but on a limited basis.


3. Lumiere Research Scholar Program


Application Deadline: Varies by cohort. Main summer deadlines are March 15, April 15, and May 15

Duration: Options range from 12 weeks to 1 year


Founded by Harvard & Oxford researchers, the Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a rigorous research program tailored for high school students. The program pairs high-school students with PhD mentors to work 1-on-1 on an independent research project. At the end of the 12-week program, you’ll have written an independent research paper! You can choose research topics from subjects such as medicine, computer science, psychology, physics, economics, data science, business, engineering, biology, and international relations.


This program is designed to accommodate your schedule—you can participate in the summer, fall, winter, or spring, and the program is also conducted fully remotely. While you must be currently enrolled in high school and demonstrate high academic achievement (most students have an unweighted GPA of 3.3), no previous knowledge of your field of interest is required. The cost of the program ranges from $2,800 to $8,900, but financial aid is available.


Note that this is a selective program. Last year, over 4000 students applied for 500 spots in the program. You can find more details about the application here.


4. UCSF Summer Student Research Program


Application Deadline: February 16

Duration: Nine weeks (June 3rd until early August)


Students in this program are placed in local clinics and science labs to participate in biomedical research projects. Through the program, participants receive one-on-one mentorship from healthcare providers and researchers. Participants also gain access to unique workshops, seminars, trainings, simulations, and networking events. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors, as well as current college undergraduates, from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences, such as minority racial/ethnic groups, those with disabilities, and first-generation college students. 


Program participants are eligible for a stipend ranging from $3,000 to $4,300. 


5. Center for Disease Control (CDC) Museum Disease Detective Camp


Application Deadline: March 22

Duration: Five days (June 24-28 or July 22-26)


At CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, rising high school juniors and seniors (who must also be 16 years old) have the opportunity to spend five days learning about public health. The fields covered vary and may include research, data collection, data analysis, and health education. Although the camp doesn’t focus on medical treatment, it’s a good opportunity for students interested in medicine to get a more comprehensive understanding of career paths in the field. 


Activities are also diverse and include recreated outbreaks, mock press conferences, environmental and global health activities, a laboratory session, an introduction to chronic disease surveillance, and short lectures from world-renowned CDC scientists. 


The program is free to attend. However, participants must provide their own housing and transportation to and from the CDC’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia. 


6. Indiana University Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Eight weeks (typically from early June to late July)   


Participants in this eight-week program are paired with research mentors and work 40 hours per week on projects that may involve work in labs, computer databases, or clinics. They also participate in weekly workshops on topics concerning gaining admission to graduate and professional programs of study, along with professional development sessions.  


This program caters to students whose identities are traditionally underrepresented in research fields. All participants must have completed their senior year of high school or be current undergraduate students with a 3.2 cumulative GPA or higher. Participants receive a stipend, although housing and transportation must be taken care of by the student.


7. Penn Summer Academies


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Three weeks (July 6-27) 


The University of Pennsylvania’s Summer Academies offer high school students the opportunity to engage in three-week subject-intensive programs that combine advanced scientific or social theory with relevant applications. Each of Penn Summer Academies is focused on a particular subject: you’ll choose between biomedical research, chemistry research, experimental physics, and neuroscience. There are also programs in coding and math that are more tangentially related to medicine, but could still be beneficial depending on your personal goals.


The program is open to high school students currently in 9th through 11th grade and residential and online opportunities are available. The program costs $9,700, although financial assistance is available for select Philadelphia students.


8. Health Care Career Exploration Camp


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Usually two days in early to mid June


This free program for Nebraska students in grades 10 through 12 allows participants to learn about a variety of healthcare careers, not just clinical positions. The program is offered at two CHI Health locations in Nebraska. Note that space is limited by location, and past participants are waitlisted to allow new students to attend.


9. Medical Immersion Summer Academy (MISA)


Application Deadline: March 8

Duration: Five days in July or August


During MISA, you’ll learn about healthcare through hands-on clinical training in crucial skills (like suturing, providing CPR, splinting, and taking vitals) and mentorship opportunities. The purpose of the program, which was started in 2012 and takes place in Oakland, CA, is to give students interested in healthcare careers a strong knowledge foundation early on.


The program is open to all high school students in grades 9 through 12, so long as you are 15 by the start of the program, and costs $1,400, plus a $50 non-refundable application fee.


10. Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine: Achieve in Medicine (AIM–High)


Application Deadline: May 1

Duration: Five days (June 24-28, July 8-12, or July 15-19)


This program offers high school students the unique opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the field of medicine. Through AIM-High, students will gain hands-on medical experiences, such as using technology in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, alongside NSU medical students and staff. Activities include both educational interactive sessions and social events.


The program offers three sessions—two sessions at NSU’s main campus in Fort Lauderdale and one session at its Clearwater campus—and is available to high school students of all ages, so long as they have a GPA of at least 3.2. Tuition for AIM-High is $1,600, plus a $40 non-refundable application fee, and students will leave the program certified in first aid and CPR.


11. National Student Leadership Conference on Medicine & Healthcare


Application Deadline: Rolling 

Duration: Nine days 


This summer program gives high schoolers a chance to learn about controversial medical issues, today’s healthcare challenges, and advanced scientific research in areas such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The program is offered at:  


  • American University
  • Duke University 
  • Northwestern University
  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Miami
  • Yale University 


Students will perform clinical rounds, learn medical examination and surgical techniques, and contribute to a public health project focused on developing a media campaign to spread information on illness and disease prevention. Participants will also be able to take an online college credit course taught by American University faculty after completing the program.  


Each campus offers between two and four nine-day summer sessions with costs ranging from $3,895 to $4,095 depending on location. Scholarships are available, however. While admission is rolling, note that slots fill up quickly.


12. Eve and Gene Black Summer Medical Career Program


Application Deadline: February 16

Duration: Varies by facility


For more than 50 years, this free medical mentorship program has encouraged students to follow career paths all across medicine. Participants attend daily interactive sessions presented by a range of medical professionals, including surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, ophthalmologists, radiologists, and therapists. There are also two online sessions offered in July.


The program is open to high school juniors and seniors (at the time of application) living in Los Angeles and its adjacent counties. Some facilities may have additional age requirements. Note that if you have participated before, you cannot reapply.


13. Georgetown Medical Academy


Application Deadline: May 15 (note there is an application fee if you apply after January 31)

Duration: One week (June 9-15, June 23-29, or July 7-13)


Students in this residential program will learn about medicine and get an up-close-and-personal look at the Georgetown University Medical Center, including its world-renowned Lombardi Cancer Center. Participants explore a variety of topics, including human anatomy, physiology, radiology, surgery, cancer, and biomedical ethics. They’ll also gain hands-on experience in suturing, casting, and dissection. The program costs $3,549, or $2,750 if you are commuting, and provides a good glimpse into the path to becoming a physician.


14. Health Care Careers Exploration Program


Application Deadline: April 30

Duration: One week (July 20-25)


This week-long summer program at Rochester Institute of Technology provides deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades 10 through 12 the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of important issues in healthcare and prepare for a potential career in the field. Students will attend medical demonstrations, participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations, and become CPR and first aid certified. Students will also engage in a variety of social activities, such as swimming, bowling, going to the movies, and visiting local places of interest. The cost of the program is $700.


10 Medical Internships for High School Students


15. High School Senior Summer Internship Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital


Application Deadline: February 1

Duration: Eight weeks  


Work with a mentor in one of the various pediatric clinical specialties in this eight-week program for Cincinnati-area graduating seniors. Participants also engage in group activities, including an afternoon hands-on training session with computerized simulated pediatric patients in the SIM Center, lunch seminars, networking sessions, and community service opportunities. Your internship will culminate in a graduation party featuring student presentations on their experiences. 


Interns work 20 hours a week and are paid $13 an hour. 


16. NIH High School Summer Internship Program 


Application Deadline: February 16 (February 23 for reference letters)

Duration: Generally eight weeks 


This internship offers students the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading scientists in the field of biomedical research, at one of the most renowned research institutions in the world. Students participate in a range of activities including lectures from NIH investigators, career and professional development workshops, and activities focused on college readiness.  


The internship is open to students who are juniors or seniors when they apply and who are age 17 or older. All participants are given a stipend, although the amount varies from year to year and depends on the level of education you have completed before beginning your internship.   


17. Magee-Womens Research Institute High School Summer Internship Program


Application Deadline: January 31 

Duration: Six weeks (beginning June 17)


This is a six-week, 240-hour internship for rising high school juniors and seniors (who will be over 16 when the internship starts) where participants conduct scientific research under the supervision of an investigator and their staff at MWRI and Magee-Womens Hospital. Interns also participate in sessions where investigators discuss careers in biomedical science and their journeys and perspectives. At the program’s conclusion, interns will present their findings to other participants as well as to the MWRI faculty and staff.  


This is a free and extremely competitive program, which has been around since 1995—less than 8% of the students who apply are chosen. Note that to apply, you must permanently reside in southwest Pennsylvania. Students from families that qualify for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program for Pennsylvania are eligible to receive a $1,800 stipend for their participation in the program.


18. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience High School Internship


Application Deadline: March 4

Duration: Six weeks (June 17 to July 26)


This six-week internship is for rising juniors and seniors (who will be at least 16 when the internship starts) in a Palm Beach or Martin County high school who are interested in brain structure, function, and development, and the advanced imaging techniques and technologies used in neuroscience. Neuroscience interns participate in one of three tracks: neuroscience, scientific programming, or mechanical engineering. At the end of the internship, students will write a scientific abstract and deliver a short presentation.  


Interns are compensated at a rate of $12.50 per hour for their work, and can expect to work 40 hours per week for the duration of the internship.


19. KP Launch 


Application Deadline: January 2 

Duration: Seven weeks (June 17 to August 2)


The KP Launch program is offered by Kaiser Permanente, and provides students who are between ages 16-19 by June 1 with a variety of internships at its Oakland headquarters and medical offices across Northern California. The program is aimed at students who are low-income or from backgrounds underrepresented in healthcare, and serves to introduce them to careers in the field by building practical job skills and gaining real-world work experience.  


Priority is given to high school seniors and juniors, and participants earn the hourly minimum wage for the area, which varies between $15.50 and $18 per hour.


20. Summer Child Health Research Internship


Application Deadline: February 1 

Duration: Nine weeks (June 3 to August 2)


This medical internship is open to rising high school seniors, as long as they will be over 18 when the internship starts, who will complete their work alongside undergraduates and first-year medical students. Through the internship, students will explore research opportunities related to child healthcare, while working in a lab with faculty members of the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. At the conclusion of the program, students are required to submit a written summary of their research and deliver a presentation of it.


High school participants must be Colorado residents and are provided with a $3,500 stipend.


21. Fred Hutch Summer High School Internship Program


Application Deadline: March 31 

Duration: Eight weeks (June 24 to August 16)


This eight-week, full-time, paid internship is for rising seniors, specifically those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science. The first two weeks of the program are focused on training participants in laboratory safety skills and techniques, then for the following six weeks participants are immersed in mentoring activities. Interns will also take part in research seminars, professional development workshops, and social activities, and give a presentation to the Fred Hutch community at the end of their internship.


Interns are provided a stipend, and those commuting from the greater Seattle area are also given a free ORCA card for the local buses.


22. Harvard Medical School Project Success for High School Students


Application Deadline: February 2 

Duration: Six weeks (July 8 to August 16)


Project Success is aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds and groups underrepresented in medicine. The program provides paid summer research positions at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated institutions to rising juniors and seniors from Boston and Cambridge (do note there are GPA and coursework prerequisites, and you must be 16 by the start of the program). In addition to performing mentored research, students will also participate in seminars, workshops, site visits, and career counseling.


23. Medical College of Wisconsin Apprenticeship in Medicine (AIM)


Application Deadline: March 1 

Duration: Six weeks (June 24 to August 2)


AIM is a highly competitive program that provides internship opportunities to Milwaukee-area students from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in medicine and health careers, in order to stimulate their interest in careers in the field. Interns will receive mentoring from current medical students and participate in clinical shadowing and simulations. They will also explore career paths and take part in social activities. 


Participants can anticipate working 40 hours per week during the program, which is free and awards a stipend to all students at the program’s conclusion.


24. Pediatrics Internship Program at Stanford (PIPS)


Application Deadline: February 26

Duration: Six weeks (June 17 to July 26)


Rising high school juniors and seniors living in Northern California can learn about science, medicine, and research during this six-week internship. Participants will learn how research is performed and conduct their own research projects while working with Stanford faculty, postdoctoral fellows, researchers, and students. Anticipate working 30 hours per week during this program. 


This is a free program, and students with financial need can receive a $3,000 stipend for participating. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee, but applicants with total family income under $90,000 can apply for a fee waiver.


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Extracurriculars are extremely important in the admissions process, especially at selective schools. These schools get more academically-qualified applicants than they can admit, so your extracurriculars (and essays) will help you stand out. 


Extracurricular activities are divided into four tiers, with tier 1 representing the most exceptional and rare extracurriculars and tier 4 representing the most common activities admissions committees see. The higher the tier an extracurricular activity is, the more impactful it is on admissions odds. 


If you’re applying to highly-selective schools, we recommend having at least a few tier 1 and 2 activities to set yourself apart from other applicants. Internships vary in terms of rigor and selectivity, but prestigious, national programs in particular can certainly fall into tiers 1 or 2.  


Wondering how your internship impacts your chances? CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator can let you know! This tool uses factors like grades and test scores—along with other variables, like internships—to calculate your odds at hundreds of colleges. It can also provide valuable insight into areas where you can improve your profile.  


Disclaimer: This post includes content sponsored by Lumiere Education.

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.