Best High School Computer Science Summer Programs

Student working on repairing computer parts
Updated:
February 28, 2024
9 min read
Contents

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/28/24

What sets computer science summer programs apart? Let's find out.

These programs offer a unique opportunity for high school students to explore the fascinating world of computer science during their summer break. They not only equip students with coding skills but also foster problem-solving, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the tech landscape. 

In this article, we'll uncover the key reasons why these programs are a fantastic choice for young minds eager to delve into the realm of computer science.

25 Best High School Computer Science Summer Programs

Here, we'll highlight excellent programs that provide hands-on coding experiences. Let's explore the top computer science camps for high school students passionate about the subject.

1. Girls Who Code (GWC) Summer Immersion Program

Location: Online

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: 9th–11th grade students

Start Date: N/A

Application Deadline: March 22

Girls Who Code offers two summer programs: the Summer Immersion Program for grades 9–11, covering computer science, design, and UX in two weeks, and the Self-Paced Program for grades 9–12, focusing on Python, cybersecurity, and data science with six weeks to complete projects and live support sessions.

2. Terp Young Scholars

Location: In-person and online

Program Length: Three weeks 

Cost: $1,500–$2,500

Eligibility: Applicants need a minimum unweighted academic average of 3.0

Start Date: July 8

Application Deadline: May 1

The Terp Young Scholars program at the University of Maryland is a three-week opportunity for high school students, ranging from 10th graders to graduating seniors. It provides a college-level experience, the chance to earn college credit, and an immersive environment for learning. 

Students can choose from various courses, including "Introduction to Computing" for those interested in computer science, offering hands-on learning and collaboration on a college campus.

3. U.S. Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

Location: Annapolis, Maryland

Program Length: One week

Cost: $700 

Eligibility: Students who are currently in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades

Start Date:

  • Rising 9th graders: June 3–8
  • Rising 10th graders: June 10–15
  • Rising 11th graders: June 17–21 

Application Deadline: April 15 

If you're a high school student in grades 9–11 and you're thinking about a future in coding, game development, design, or robotics, you definitely want to take a look at the Naval Academy Summer STEM program. 

It's a fantastic opportunity to spend a week immersed in hands-on learning and problem-solving. Plus, you'll get to explore cutting-edge labs and facilities at one of the top engineering programs in the country. It's a chance to test your skills and see if these exciting fields are the right fit for you!

4. Summer Program for Automation, Robotics, and Coding (SPARC)

Location: New York City, New York

Program Length: Two weeks 

Cost: $3,025 

Eligibility: High school students in grades 9–11 with Algebra II and prior programming experience 

Start Date

  • Session One: June 17–28 
  • Session Two: July 8–19
  • Session Three: July 29–August 9

Application Deadline: N/A

Tandon NYU offers two-week programs for high school students focusing on robotics, mechatronics, and programming. 

These programs provide a solid foundation in computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering, setting students up for potential careers in fields such as IoT, machine learning, and augmented reality. It's a fantastic opportunity to dive into the world of technology and innovation.

5. Research in Science and Engineering Program (RISE)

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Program Length: Six weeks 

Cost: $3,120–$3,426

Eligibility: Senior in high school & US citizen

Start Date: June 24

Application Deadline: February 14

In the RISE program, you can choose between two tracks: Internship and Practicum. Internship participants dedicate 40 hours a week to research projects, while Practicum students begin with a two-hour lecture followed by four hours of group research each day. 

Additionally, Practicum participants join Internship students once a week for skill-building workshops. It's all about customizing your experience!

6. Frontiers STEM Summer Program

Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

Program Length: Two or four weeks 

Cost: $3,995

Eligibility: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders

Start Date

  • Session 1: July 7–19
  • Session 2: July 21–24

Application Deadline: April 30 

At WPI's two-week residential program, high school students in grades 10-12 get a taste of college life while exploring STEM majors with a humanities twist. If you're into computer science, you can check out majors like "Computer Science: 

Possibilities in Programming" or "Data Science: Extracting Knowledge and Insights." Alongside classes, there are also fun activities and college prep sessions to make the experience well-rounded and informative.

7. iDTech Camps

Location: Varies

Program Length: Varies

Cost: $999-$4,799 

Eligibility: Students 7–17 old

Start Date: Varies

Application Deadline: N/A

iDTech offers two-week coding and artificial intelligence camps for high school students in 25 states and Washington, D.C. These programs cover topics like machine learning, cryptocurrency, and encryption. 

They provide a taste of college life, with day or overnight options at university campuses, and a mix of group and one-on-one sessions led by certified coding instructors.

8. Computer Science for Cyber Security (CS4CS)

Location: New York City, New York

Program Length: Three weeks 

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Students in grades 8-11 from New York City and nearby cities like Jersey City, Newark, or Hempstead.

Start Date: July 10

Application Deadline: April 14

This three-week summer program aims to inspire future engineers, especially women and minorities, to tackle cybersecurity challenges. It's open to 8th-11th graders in New York City and nearby areas. 

During CS4CS, participants will delve into topics like digital forensics, steganography, ethical hacking, and cryptography. No prior computer science or cybersecurity experience is required – everyone's welcome!

9. MITES Summer

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Program Length: Six weeks 

Cost: Free

Eligibility: 11th graders

Start Date: Late June-Early August 

Application Deadline: February 1

MITES Summer is a six-week program ideal for high school juniors interested in STEM. It offers a glimpse into life at MIT through courses, lab tours, and social events while providing valuable college admissions preparation. 

The program features challenging math and science coursework, along with electives covering real-world STEM applications like machine learning and engineering design. Students receive written evaluations from instructors, which can enhance their college applications.

10. Code Connects: Artificial Intelligence & Big Data

Location: Online

Program Length: Four days

Cost: $395

Eligibility: Students grades 6-12 and university students

Start Date: July 10

Application Deadline: N/A

In this one-week summer program, you'll dive into the exciting world of artificial intelligence and big data. You'll gain a solid grasp of machine learning, get your hands busy with practical projects, and sharpen your programming skills using Python.

11. Code Connects: Emerging Technologies 

Location: Online

Program Length: Two weeks 

Cost: $695

Eligibility: Grades 6–12 and College Freshmen

Start Date: June 19

Application Deadline: N/A

This two-week summer camp gives students a taste of the latest tech trends. In the first week, they'll dive into the basics of Python coding. Then, in the second week, they'll put that knowledge to work in exciting areas like AI, cybersecurity, data science, and web development.

12. Kode With Klossy

Location: In-person and Online

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Girls, gender nonconforming and trans students, ages 13–18

Start Date: N/A

Application Deadline: N/A

Kode with Klossy offers a two-week summer coding camp exclusively for girls, gender-nonconforming, and trans students aged 13-18. You can select from four topics: web development, mobile apps, artificial intelligence/machine learning, or data science. The program is available both online and in person, providing flexibility for your learning experience.

13. NextGen Bootcamp

Location: In-person and Online

Program Length: Varies

Cost: $1,999–$4,495

Eligibility: ages 13-19

Start Date: Varies

Application Deadline: N/A

NextGen Bootcamp provides summer programs for high school students, both online and in-person, in New York City. These programs cover a range of computer topics, such as Python and Java coding, web design, and data science. The best part? No prior coding experience is needed to join their programs.

14. Wolfram High School Summer Research Program

Location: Bentley University

Program Length: Two weeks

Cost: $4,200

Eligibility: Age 18 or under

Start Date: June 25

Application Deadline: N/A

The Wolfram High School Summer Research Program is a fantastic opportunity for high school students. It's a two-week crash course that introduces you to programming, computational thinking, and tech. 

You'll learn from Wolfram instructors, work on hands-on projects, and see your ideas come to life. They admit around 50 students every year, so it's a competitive but rewarding experience.

15. Emagination STEM Camp

Location: Varies

Program Length: Varies

Cost: $1,960–$3,760

Eligibility: 11–17 year olds

Start Date: Varies

Application Deadline: N/A

Emagination STEM Camp is perfect for high school students keen on computer science. They offer courses in coding basics, C#, Java, and AI Explorations, all spanning two weeks, with three-hour daily sessions. These camps, hosted on college campuses in Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, offer a taste of college life while you explore tech skills.

16. WPI Frontiers Program

Location: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Program Length: Five weeks 

Cost: $3,995

Eligibility: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders

Start Date

  • Session 1: July 7-19
  • Session 2: July 21-24

Application Deadline: April 30

At WPI, high school students in grades 10-12 can get a taste of college life through this two-week residential program. Whether you're keen on Computer Science or Data Science, it's a chance to delve into these majors. Alongside classes, you'll also enjoy some activities and prep for the college journey.

17. National High School Game Academy

Location: Carnegie Mellon University

Program Length: Six weeks

Cost: $8,998-$12,105

Eligibility: Be 16 by program start, and a sophomore or junior when applying.

Start Date: June 22

Application Deadline: March 1

Carnegie Mellon offers a fantastic six-week residential program for high school sophomores and juniors. Here, students dive into the world of video game design, gaining hands-on experience from concept to the final product. It's a great opporunity for those interested in software development. 

18. AI Scholars

Location: Carnegie Mellon University

Program Length: Two days

Cost: Free

Eligibility:16 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Start Date: June 22

Application Deadline: March 1

This four-week program is free and designed for high school seniors. It delves into artificial intelligence through classroom learning, research projects, lectures, and interaction with top tech companies. Additionally, students will engage in college preparation and readiness sessions, covering topics like admissions, financial aid, and overall well-being.

19. Penn Summer Coding Academy

Location: University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

Program Length: Three weeks

Cost: $5,500 

Eligibility: Students who attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school in grades 9–11 

Start Date: July 6

Application Deadline: N/A

At UPenn, high schoolers in grades 9-11 can join a three-week residential program that's all about getting into front-end web development. 

You'll dive into the world of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript (JS), and learn how to use these tools to craft awesome web pages for both desktop and mobile devices. It's a solid start for those aiming for tech careers and also a solid choice if you’re pursuing computer science as a passion project.

20. UT Computer Science Summer Academy for All

Location: University of Texas, Austin (UT Austin)

Program Length: One week

Cost: Free

Eligibility: Students entering 10th–12th grade 

Start Date

  • Standard Academy: June 9–15
  • Machine Learning Academy: July 7–13

Application Deadline: December 22 

UT Austin's week-long residential summer program is open to high school students in grades 10–12. 

It offers two tracks: Standard Academy covers C++, project management, and tech careers, while the Machine Learning Edition explores Python, machine learning, and its societal impact. Participants experience college life, sharing rooms, dining on campus, and tackling advanced coursework.

21. Summer Liberal Arts Institute (SLAI) Computer Science

Location: Carleton College

Program Length: Three weeks 

Cost: $4,500

Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors:

Start Date: July 6

Application Deadline: March 11

The SLAI Computer Science program is available to rising high school juniors and seniors. Unlike traditional computer science programs, this one incorporates a liberal arts perspective. 

Students will delve into computational problem-solving through classroom instruction, hands-on labs, and collaborative project work. The program ends in a symposium where participants present the outcomes of their projects.

22. UCLA Computer Science Introductory Track

Location: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Program Length: Six weeks 

Cost: $461

Eligibility: Participants must be at least 15 years old by the start of Summer Sessions 2024 on June 24th.

Start Date: June 30

Application Deadline: June 1

The UCLA commuter program blends a coding boot camp with college-level coursework and lab activities, offering students in grades 9-12 an introduction to computer science. 

Participants will delve into computer program design and implementation, computer utility, and key topics such as integers, strings, lists, control structures, and functional decomposition. Importantly, no prior coding experience is required to join this program.

23. Berkeley Summer Computer Science Academy

Location: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

Program Length: Two weeks 

Cost: $5,060

Eligibility: domestic and international high school students who will be 16–17 years old 

Start Date: June 16

Application Deadline: March 11

The Berkeley Summer Computer Science Academy, spanning two weeks, offers a deep dive into computer science and coding for 16-17-year-olds during the summer. 

Modeled after UC Berkeley's introductory computer science course, this program concludes with the Code Celebration, where students showcase their coding projects. It's a residential program that also provides valuable insights into college life.

24. Veritas AI Scholars

Location: Online

Program Length: Ten weeks or two weeks 

Cost: $1,790

Eligibility: 9th to 12th graders with high school-level math experience.

Start Date: June 3

Application Deadline: May 12

Operated by Harvard graduate students, this program offers high school students in grades 9-12 a comprehensive introduction to Python, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

Students collaborate in small teams guided by AI experts specializing in various domains such as gaming, sports, finance, and healthcare. The program spans two weeks, with participants dedicating 25 hours to their coursework during this time.

25. UC Santa Barbara Research Mentorship Program

Location: UC Santa Barbara 

Program Length: Six weeks

Cost: $4,975–$11,874

Eligibility: 10th and 11th-grade students (exceptionally qualified 9th graders considered) must have a minimum 3.80 weighted GPA.

Start Date: June 17

Application Deadline: March 18

The Research Mentorship Program allows high-achieving high school students to delve into university-level research, including computer science. They collaborate with mentors, learning research techniques, gaining professional insights, and presenting their findings in research papers and academic symposiums.

FAQs

Have questions about computer science camps? Explore our frequently asked questions below to find answers and gain insights into these exciting learning opportunities!

1. Can Participating in a Computer Science Summer Program Improve a Student's Chances of College Admission?

Absolutely! Joining a computer science summer program can definitely boost a student's chances of getting into college. It shows a commitment to learning and a genuine interest in the field.

2. Do Computer Science Summer Programs Include Hands-On Projects?

Yes, many computer science summer programs do include hands-on projects. These projects are a fantastic way for students to apply what they've learned and gain practical experience.

3. What Is the Application Process for Computer Science Summer Programs?

Applying for computer science summer programs is typically straightforward. You'll need to fill out an application form, provide transcripts or recommendations, and possibly write a personal statement explaining your interest in the program. Be sure to check the specific requirements of the program you're interested in.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, computer science summer programs provide an excellent opportunity for high school students to explore the world of technology during their summer break. These programs not only teach coding skills but also foster problem-solving, creativity, and a deeper understanding of technology. 

Whether you're interested in pursuing coding, AI, robotics, or cybersecurity as a hobby or a career path, there's a program for you. So, if you want to gain valuable skills and get ahead in your academic and career pursuits, these summer programs are a smart choice to consider.

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