Discover+ Opportunities: Summer Academic Programs

June 12, 2023

Enrolling in a summer academic program (or two!) can help enhance your college application in a number of ways. It can demonstrate your academic ability by showing that you are willing to take on additional coursework during your summer break, which indicates your dedication and commitment to your education. It can help you build a stronger transcript by allowing you to explore new academic topics that may not be available at your high school or that you have not had the chance to explore during the regular school year or even provide you with a chance to retake a course in which you did not do very well in order to improve your grade. In addition, it demonstrates initiative and responsibility by showing that you are willing to seek out additional educational opportunities and that you are responsible enough to manage your time effectively.

AtomicMind’s proprietary online directory, Discover+, was inspired by our years of experience helping students find and engage in a broad array of purposeful and enriching extracurricular activities, including academically rigorous summer academic programs at a wide range of institutions. Below are some of them. Feel free to contact us for guidance and support in choosing and engaging in a summer academic program that’s a good fit for you.

The Ross Mathematics Program

Ross is a specialized summer program designed for high school students with a talent for mathematics. Lasting for six weeks, this residential program offers an immersive experience in which participants can explore advanced mathematical concepts. Throughout the duration of the program, students dedicate the majority of their time to solving challenging problem sets that revolve around abstract mathematical ideas. By focusing on a single subject, such as number theory, students gain a deep understanding of its fundamental principles. However, the program’s emphasis extends beyond content knowledge, as it also aims to foster effective communication of mathematical ideas. Ultimately, Ross, which promotes cooperative and collaborative learning, aims to provide students with a strong foundation for independent mathematical research.

Stanford University Mathematics Camp – SUMaC

SUMaC offers an advanced mathematics experience to participants through lectures, guided research, and group problem-solving. Participants delve into current research topics, explore the historical development of significant areas of mathematics, and investigate ways in which math is applied in various scientific fields. The program goes beyond typical classroom mathematics, catering to students with a strong interest in the subject. Participants should expect a rigorous workload akin to a college course, with assignments to be completed outside of live class meetings. Overall, SUMaC provides a challenging and engaging environment in which students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in advanced mathematical study.

Penn Law Pre-College Academy, Legal Education Programs

The Penn Carey Law Pre-College Academy offers high school students from around the world a comprehensive introduction to law school and the American legal system. This intensive three-week program, led by esteemed faculty and legal practitioners, covers cutting-edge issues that are currently shaping the legal landscape of the United States. Participants gain exposure to various specialized areas of law, including business, environmental, human rights, and technology law. The academy aims to foster the development of essential skills like communication, analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and leadership, all of which are crucial for future academic and professional success.

Boston University Summer Term - Summer Preview

Boston University’s Summer Preview program provides rising eighth, ninth, and tenth graders with the opportunity to choose from three weeklong seminars that offer a taste of college life and academic exploration. Participants can delve into their academic interests or discover new subjects while attending lectures with a small group of motivated peers. Alongside their studies, students will experience college life, make new friends from around the world, and enjoy social activities in the city of Boston. The program also includes a college workshop to enhance high school studies and prepare students for future college applications. Both commuter and residential students are welcome to participate in the Summer Preview.

W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Summer Institute at Princeton University

Pre-Scholars (rising eighth and ninth graders) can enroll in either the Junior Achievers Academy or the Fellows Mentoring Academy, both of which offer four weeks of instruction. Classes take place from Monday to Thursday, with each class meeting daily for seventy-five minutes. Alternatively, Scholars (rising tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders) have the option to choose from five academies: Management and Business, Leadership, Engineering, Pre-Med/Neuroscience, and the Talented Tenth Academy. These Scholars engage in five weeks of instruction in university-level courses.

Brown Pre-College Programs – Summer@Brown

Summer@Brown offers a diverse and extensive selection of over three hundred non-credit courses that allow students to explore new subjects and broaden their perspectives. With options available both online and in person, students can choose courses lasting between one and five weeks, during which they engage in rigorous, active learning experiences. In-person courses offer students the chance to participate in workshops, activities, and events that foster learning, connection, and independence. With a global community of students, Summer@Brown provides a rich, immersive environment for personal growth and development, preparing students for college and beyond. The program emphasizes curiosity, discovery, and engagement, with instructors dedicated to student learning and a focus on intellectual exploration rather than formal grades and credit.

Harvard School of Public Health – Stat Start Program

Stat Start is a specialized summer program designed for high school students from underrepresented backgrounds who have an interest in data science and computing. The program, which spans one month, focuses on the development of skills in statistical programming, computational thinking, and problem-solving. Students engage in three hours of instruction per day, four days a week, through a combination of lectures and lab work. The program culminates with group research projects that students complete and present. Participants receive direct mentoring from Biostatistics PhD students and benefit from career counseling and college application guidance.

NYU Summer Pre-College

NYU Precollege provides high school students with a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience of life as an NYU student, earn college credits that can be applied to future degrees, and become part of New York University’s vibrant global community. Participants can enroll in undergraduate courses across various academic disciplines, taught by NYU’s renowned faculty. Whether exploring potential majors or discovering new academic interests, students will have the opportunity to engage with classmates from diverse backgrounds and cultures, enhancing their educational experience.

Boston Architectural College Summer Academy

For nearly half a century, BAC’s Summer Academy has offered high school students a hands-on experience in design and materials. This year, the Academy is available in two formats: an on-site program and a synchronous virtual program. On-campus students will engage in live lectures, exercises, site visits, and hands-on design and building activities in teams, while virtual students will explore case-study buildings, participate in video-streamed site visits and chats, and receive material kits for remote hands-on projects. All students will have access to design software and computing resources, receive a sketchbook, develop digital and physical portfolios, and even receive a 3D printing pen to enhance their design explorations.

Carnegie Mellon School of Music Pre-College Program

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Music Pre-College Music Program offers high school students a glimpse into college life within a renowned musical setting. By living on campus, attending classes taught by conservatory professors, and engaging in rehearsals, performances, and other activities, students experience the freedom of college life in a secure environment. Students can choose from four major options: Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, Composition, and Music Technology/Electronic Music. They benefit from private studio lessons, classroom courses, music support classes, and the opportunity to participate in various performing ensembles. For local students seeking flexibility, a part-time program is available, providing lessons and supplemental classes. Overall, this program provides an immersive, enriching musical experience for aspiring musicians.

Cornell Pre-College Programs (Online only)

Cornell University’s pre-college programs offer high school students a valuable opportunity to engage with an Ivy League education prior to college enrollment. Students can immerse themselves in captivating courses taught by esteemed Cornell faculty, earning three to eight college credits and a Cornell transcript. The programs focus on enhancing college study skills, providing one-on-one admissions counseling for college applications, and fostering connections with a diverse group of motivated peers from around the world. Courses are delivered online through various interactive platforms, allowing for flexible engagement. Students in these programs can expect an exceptional academic experience with regular undergraduate-level coursework and the chance to earn college credit.