20 Best High School Engineering Summer Programs in 2024

Top summer engineering programs for high school students
April 3, 2024
8 min read


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/2/24

Are you interested in pursuing a career in engineering after high school? If so, read on to learn about the best summer engineering programs for high school students in the country.

Engineering summer programs are intensive learning experiences that allow participants to explore specific engineering disciplines and develop practical skills. They’re a great opportunity for high school students to gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies and interact with like-minded peers.

A summer program is a great way to start if you intend to study engineering in college or want to be introduced to fundamental concepts. In this article, we've compiled a selection of top-notch engineering programs designed to give high school students a competitive edge.

20 Best High School Engineering Summer Programs

Check out these fantastic summer engineering programs for high schoolers who dream of becoming engineers!

1. John Hopkins Engineering Innovation Pre-College Program

Location: Baltimore, MD

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: $3,575

Eligibility: High school students aged 15-17 years old

Start Date: July 1

Application Deadline: February 23

John Hopkins University offers this program for high school students who want to major in engineering after college. Practical programs such as sustainable and biomedical engineering make students study the course concepts in practice and not only in theory.

JHU allows students to collaborate with their peers when working as an engineer. They will learn about engineering economics and how to solve problems at the end of the four weeks.

2. Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, MA

Program Length: Six weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 11

Start Date: TBD

Application Deadline:  TBD

MITES is a six-week rigorous program for talented high school juniors interested in engineering. Students participate in various activities and learn skills necessary for a successful career in engineering. 

They must select five out of 14 courses, including one calculus course, one physics course, one life science course, a humanities course, and an elective course. 

All costs, such as food, education, and boarding, are covered; the only thing the participants will have to spend money on is transportation to and from the venue. This summer program is a great option for students who’ve always dreamed of studying at MIT.

3. Summer Engineering Exploration Camp (SEE Camp) at the University of Michigan

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Program Length: One week

Cost: $650

Eligibility: Grade 10-11

Start Date: July 7

Application Deadline: March 1

The Society of Women Engineers hosts the SEE camp for high school students of all genders. Participants will engage in design challenges and gain practical experience in engineering activities, including Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and more!

During the program, the students will take a campus tour, participate in team-building activities, and learn more about the university where the program occurs.

4. Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP) at the University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Program Length: Three weeks

Cost: $7,635

Eligibility: Students who have completed the 9th grade and above 15 years of age

Start Date: July 7

Application Deadline: March 1

The ESAP is offered to highly motivated and talented students who have completed the ninth grade and are interested in pursuing engineering. The students must take a course in complex works, nanotechnology, biotechnology, computer science, or others during the program.

Also, the participants will be engaged in extracurricular workshops and interactive sessions. This program at UPenn is a great opportunity for students who are highly interested in attending the school.

5. Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) at Boston University

Location: Boston, MA

 Program Length: Ten weeks

Cost: $5,350

Eligibility: Students entering 12th grade in Fall 

Start Date: June 30

Application Deadline: February 14

The RISE program allows rising seniors to conduct research in collaboration with the Boston University Engineering Department. Selected students can also work alongside graduate and STEM students attending Boston University

Depending on your interests, various research opportunities are available in several fields, including engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and computer engineering. 

6. Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Programs

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Program Length: Six weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: High school sophomores or juniors

Start Date: June 22

Application Deadline: February 1

Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Academy for Math and Science offers students from underrepresented communities the opportunity to explore STEM-related fields.

Through classroom activities and instruction, program participants will enhance their understanding of their chosen STEM field. Carnegie Mellon’s esteemed engineering faculty lead these summer programs. 

7. Introduction to Engineering Program (IEP) at the University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, IN

Program Length: Three weeks

Cost: $1,300

Eligibility: High school students

Start Date: June 30

Application Deadline: March 31

During the IEP program, the students will be given a taste of college life and learn about the available career opportunities in engineering. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet professionals in the industry, interact with them, and go on field trips. 

The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame will introduce the students to the many facets of engineering. Also, students will have an overview of engineering design and computer programming elements.

8. CURIE Academy at Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, NY

Program Length: One week

Cost: $1,850

Eligibility: Grade 11-12

Start Date: July 14

Application Deadline: February 15

CURIE Academy is specifically for rising female seniors and juniors who excel in school, especially in math-related subjects. During the program, participants will attend daily engineering classes, execute research projects, and learn about the majors in engineering. 

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

Location: Durham, NC; Baltimore, MD; Berkeley, CA; Ann Arbor, MI; New Haven, CT

Program Length: Nine days

Cost: $3,895

Eligibility: High school students with at least one year of high school and a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Start Date: Varies

Application Deadline: TBD

The NSLC summer high school engineering program allows the participants to explore different engineering fields, such as biomedical, mechanical, civil, and electrical. The program is held at the following universities across the nation:

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

These programs also occur at different dates in summer. During the program, the participants will build major engineering skills while working in a college-like atmosphere. They will also learn leadership skills that will serve them in college and their careers as engineers.

10. Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Location: New York, NY

Program Length: Ten weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grades 10 and 11

Start Date: June

Application Deadline: March 1

ARISE is an excellent opportunity for grade 10 and 11 students interested in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. This 10-week-long program allows students to gain research experience while learning about professional ethics and development. 

Available research fields include bioengineering, molecular engineering, robotics, and computer science.

11. TRY Engineering Summer Institute

Location: Varies

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $3,895 (Sleepaway/Residential) or $3,295 (Commuter/Day)

Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 between 13-17 years old. 

Start Date: Varies according to location

Application Deadline: TBD

TRY Engineering Summer Institute will be held at UPenn, Rice University, and the University of San Diego. During the two weeks, the students will receive training on designing challenges and learning engineering principles. They will go on tours and trips to learn from experts in the field.

12. Santa Clara University Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) at Santa Clara University

Location: Santa Clara, CA

Program Length: Five days

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 11

Start Date: July 14

Application Deadline: March 12

The summer program is for high school students who have completed their sophomore year and are interested in engineering. SES is a five-day program with three sessions exposing students to different engineering aspects. 

The program has special introductory workshops by the engineering faculty, a mixture of lectures, practicals, and interactive work. These workshops cover different fields of engineering and enable the student to have a taste of college. 

13. Brown Pre-College Engineering Program at Brown University

Location: Providence, RI

Program Length: One to Five weeks

Cost: Depends on the duration

Eligibility: High school students between ages 14-18

Start Date: June 23

Application Deadline: May 10

The pre-college program allows the high school student to taste college before getting into the school. There are various classes that the students can take, which are materials engineering, alternative energy engineering, and artificial intelligence.

14. Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Women in Engineering Summer Program at Milwaukee University

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Program Length: One week

Cost: $950 per week

Eligibility: Girls in grades 10-12

Start Date: June 23, July 21 and July 28

Application Deadline: N/A

MSOE’s Women in Engineering program at Milwaukee University offers different courses, including biomedical, biomolecular, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. The MSOE faculty take these courses with assistance from the female engineering students in the faculty. 

15. High School Summer STEM Research Program at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Location: Urbana, IL

Program Length: Six weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 10 -12

Start Date: June 17

Application Deadline: April 5

The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s High School Summer STEM Research Program is for rising high school seniors and juniors from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, or Wisconsin. 

During the program, participants will be paired with a team of engineers to do some research that experts in the fields are doing. These fields include Quantum mechanics, Bioengineering, and Electrical engineering.  

16. Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE) at Purdue University

Location: West Lafayette, IN

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost: $2164.70 (Indiana Residents) or $3,365.60 (Non-Indiana Residents)

Eligibility: Rising high school seniors

Start Date: July 7, 2024

Application Deadline: TBD

During the MITE program at Purdue University,  students will participate in research projects, meet the school's engineering students, and learn about the majors. The program is designed to attract underrepresented students, including African American, Native American, and Hispanic American candidates, to pursue engineering at Purdue.

17. Engineering Summer Program (ESP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Location: Madison, WI

Program Length: Three weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors

Start Date: June 24 or July 13

Application Deadline: March 20

The Engineering Summer Program (ESP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison offers high school students a residential program to have a first-year engineering student experience. The program has various activities, such as hands-on workshops and engineering-related fields.

18. Simons Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University

Location: Stony Brook, NY

Program Length: Seven weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Grade 11

Start Date: July 1

Application Deadline: February 7

Grade 11 students interested in science, math, and engineering are being offered this program to get first-hand experience in research. There are workshops, special events, and field trips that students can engage in to learn more about their engineering field.

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

Location: Cambridge, MA

Program Length: Four weeks

Cost:  Free

Eligibility: Female high schoolers who excel in math and science

Start Date: June 29

Application Deadline: January 15

The Women’s Technology Program at MIT aims to empower female high school students interested in engineering. Students will participate in classes, labs, and projects during the program.

20. CATALYST Academy at Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, NY

Program Length: One week

Cost: $1,850

Eligibility:  Rising high school junior or senior

Start Date: July 14

Application Deadline: February 15

The CATALYST Academy at Cornell University is focused on merging different groups of students, especially those underrepresented in STEM. During the one-week program, students will participate in classes, research projects, and field sessions to learn the pathways available for engineering students.

FAQs: 20 Best High School Engineering Summer Programs

Do you still have questions about engineering summer camps? Take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions:

1. Are There Any Prerequisites for Enrolling in Summer Engineering Programs?

Some prerequisites for joining engineering programs in the summer include grade level, age, and gender. The program is for only students interested in engineering and who have a deep understanding of mathematics and physics.

2. Are Residential Options Available for High School Students Attending Summer Engineering Programs?

Not all schools have residential options for high school students attending engineering programs in the summer. The residential option allows students to focus on what they are learning during that period since there is no transportation issue from one place to another.

3. How Can Participation in Summer Engineering Programs Enhance College Applications?

Attending a summer engineering program will boost your chances of acceptance during college applications. 

With the knowledge and abilities a student has gathered during the program, the admission committee of the intended school can see that the student has the experience that counts. Participation can also showcase a student’s interest in STEM fields, hands-on experience, and commitment to learning.

4. What Does the High School Engineering Summer Program Entail?

The High School engineering summer program entails workshops, lab sessions, team projects, exposure to real-world applications, interactions with experts, tours, and field trips to engineering facilities.

5. What Skills Can Students Expect to Gain From These Programs?

Engineering summer programs help students develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and creative design skills. They gain hands-on experience with engineering concepts and tools while working on collaborative projects with other like-minded students. 

Participants also develop practical skills such as designing, constructing, and testing prototypes, enriching their understanding of real-world engineering practices.

6. Are There Scholarships Available for Engineering Summer Programs?

Yes, scholarships can sometimes be available for these summer programs. Many programs offer their own scholarships based on merit or need, and universities often provide funding through their financial aid offices or engineering departments.

Final Thoughts

Summer engineering programs for high school students are educational initiatives designed for aspiring engineers. These programs typically give the students experience and increase their engagement in research and workshops.

The experience equips and prepares students for the challenges and skills needed in the ever-evolving engineering field. The programs also play an essential role in shaping the next engineers.

Good luck!

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