Top 15 Pre-Med Summer Programs

May 8, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/7/24

Are you hoping to become a doctor? Going to a pre-med summer program can help you gain access to the medical school of your dreams. Keep reading for the top 15 programs you can participate in during the summer.

Joining a summer program can not only strengthen your college application, but also help you get into medical school. With medical school being so competitive, it is always advantageous to partake in experiences that teach you a bit about the profession and demonstrate your dedication to the field.

This article will take you through the program benefits and give you an overview of the top 15 programs. Let’s get started!

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Top 15 Pre-Med Summer Programs

Here is our list of the top 15 pre-med summer programs.

1. Stanford Medical Youth Science Program

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program is open to low-income, first generation high school juniors from Northern California. This summer program is for underrepresented populations and is located on the Stanford Campus in Palo Alto, California.

This is a highly competitive program, with about 24 students attending each year. Students get to participate in faculty lectures, professional development workshops, and Stanford Medicine networking events.

The program runs for five weeks in June and July each year, and students must be able to attend all five weeks in order to participate. This program also offers continued mentoring to students after they’ve participated, with the hope that they will eventually enter the healthcare profession.

Each student is given a $1,250 clinical research stipend, but accommodation is not provided. The deadline for applications is March 15th, 2024.

2. Penn Summer Academies

The Penn Summer Academies are subject-intensive programs that can be completed either in-person on the UPenn campus or online. There are a variety of courses students can take, including:

  • Biomedical Research
  • Chemistry Research
  • American Sign Language and Deaf Culture
  • Coding Academy

The Penn State Academies are not only for students interested in pre-med, but any student in grades 9-11 with an interest in STEM subjects. The program runs for three weeks and requires students to have a 3.3 GPA or higher.

Each program has a different fee. The American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Academy is offered for $5700, and all other programs are offered at $9700. If you are from Philadelphia, you can qualify for a scholarship, and the application is typically due in late February.

The fee includes program costs, on-campus housing, meals, extracurricular activities, trips, and supervision. 

3. Health Care Career Exploration Camp

The Health Care Career Exploration Camp is located in Omaha, Nebraska and is free for any student from the state. To qualify, you have to be a high school sophomore, junior, or senior and be available in June and July.

This program provides students with essential skills for a career in healthcare. If you're interested in working in the healthcare field but haven't yet determined your specific role, this camp is the perfect opportunity for you.

4. Rady Children’s Summer Medical Academy

The Rady Children’s Hospital Summer Medical Academy is located in San Diego, California, and is open to students between the ages of 15 and 19. The program offers different courses and labs, as well as medical workshops.

This pre-med summer program runs for one week in June and another in July. Attending will cost you $3000, which includes:

  • All program materials
  • SMA t-shirt and scrub pants
  • Daily lunch
  • Parking at Rory Children’s Hospital

There are scholarships available for students in particular high school districts of San Diego and the application deadline is usually late February.

5. Center for Disease Control Museum Disease Detective Camp

Each summer, the CDC hosts students from around the United States for a five-day camp that will teach them about the science of epidemiology. Students learn about disease control, perform mock press conferences, participate in lab sessions, and attend lectures from world-renowned scientists.

The Museum Disease Detective Camp offers two sessions: one in June and the other in July. Applications are usually due March 22nd, and with only 30 slots per session, students are encouraged to apply early.

Students have to be in their junior or senior year of high school and able to attend every day from 8:45 am to 4:00 pm. Since this camp is located at the CDC, students have to also go through security checks before attending, which include background checks.

6. UCSF’s Summer Student Research Program

Located in Oakland California, this summer program offers one-on-one mentorship to students interested in pursuing a career in medicine. You will be given unique training sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities that will help you get into UCSF.

To join UCSF’s Summer Student Research program, you must be:

  • At least 16 years or older 
  • A high school junior/senior with at least one completed year in math and biology
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program
  • A part of underrepresented communities

The is a nine-week program that takes place between July and August. The application deadline is in February.

7. Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program

As the name suggests, the Simon Cancer Center Summer Research Program is located at the University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Indiana. The program was created for students who are typically underrepresented in the study of biomedicine or clinical research.

To be eligible, you have to be in your senior year of high school or your first or second year of undergraduate studies. Grade 12 students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, while undergraduate students must have a 3.2 GPA.

Those students chosen for the program will be given a stipend, and only a select few will be eligible to receive housing. The program is eight weeks long (June and July) and runs 40 hours a week. Students are expected to attend all sessions of the program.

8. CCHMCs High School Senior Summer Internship Program

The High School Senior Summer Internship Program offered by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is for students who are interested in pediatric medicine. Each student will be assigned to a mentor who works in a pediatric medical clinic, and they will be working for 20 hours a week.

This is an internship reserved for students from Cincinnati, and it pays interns a rate of $13 per hour. The program runs throughout the summer, and students need to be able to attend all sessions.

The deadline for the full application is February 1, but you have to state your interest in the program by the end of January. This pre-med summer program is competitive, and the application process includes essays, so make sure you have plenty of time to get it done if applying.

9. Medical Immersion Summer and Spring Academy (MISA)

Based in Oakland, California, the MISA program takes place twice a year, in April and July. There are running deadlines for both sessions and if you want to apply for the July program, you’ll need to submit an application by March. MISA is five days long, and students should be prepared to attend from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily.

This pre-med program offers a hands-on learning experience where students will learn practical skills such as measuring blood pressure. The program fee is $1,400, which covers the following:

  • All course materials
  • ID badge
  • MISA t-shirt
  • Daily lunch and snacks

MISA is well suited for any high school student in the Oakland area, especially those looking to take advantage of pre-med summer program benefits.

10. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) High School Summer Internship Program

This High School Summer Internship Program is reserved for juniors or seniors who are at least 17 or older. 

Students will work at the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Missouri. Students from the surrounding area are in the highest attendance to this program, but they will take students from around the country.

The internship lasts eight weeks, from the beginning of June to the end of July. Students get paid according to their skill level but will be at least making minimum wage. The deadline to apply is in February, and with few spots available, you are encouraged to apply early.

11. Nova Southwestern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine: Achieve in Medicine (AIM High)

AIM High is a pre-med program in Florida that runs over a five-day period in June or July. It is for high school students of any level who want to learn more about medicine and, in particular, orthopedic medicine.

The program admits 50 students per session and costs $1,600. The cost includes seven hours of instruction per day and meals, snacks and refreshments.

12. Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) High School Summer Internship Program

The Magee-Womens High School Summer Internship program focuses on women’s health, reproductive biology and infant health. In order to qualify, you must be from Pennsylvania in junior or senior years of high school.

This is a hybrid program, meaning students can be either on-site or at home while participating. It runs for four weeks, starting in July and the deadline for applications is early February.

13. Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience High School Internship

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience offers this pre-med summer program to students in the Palm Beach or Martin County area. Students have to be in their junior or senior year of high school when they apply and be at least 16 years of age.

The program runs for six weeks, through June and July. Students will receive $12 per hour for their work at the institute, and their applications are due in March.

Students with an interest in neuroscience, brain structure, function, and development are encouraged to apply.

14. National Student Leadership Conference – Medical and Healthcare

The National Student Leadership Conference provides participants with leadership skills across multiple disciplines, including medicine and health care. Attendees will learn how to take a patient’s blood pressure, among other hands-on skills.

The conference runs over nine days and has multiple sessions in both June and July. The following are the different locations where you can find the conference:

  • American University, Washington DC
  • Duke University, Durham North Carolina
  • Northwestern University, Chicago Illinois
  • UC Berkeley, Berkeley California
  • University of Miami, Miami Florida
  • Yale University, New Haven Connecticut

The tuition for this pre-med summer program is between $3,895 and $4,095, depending on the location. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so students can pick which session they want to attend.

15. Kaiser Permanente (KP) Launch

KP Launch is a program for Northern California permanent residents who live in the Kaiser Service area. They pick students who are underrepresented in sciences to participate in this summer program.

Students have to be above the age of 16 and in their junior or senior year of high school in order to apply. Successful applicants will be paid for their time at a rate of $15.50 – $18 per hour, depending on their experience. 

The program runs for seven weeks over June and July. If you want to participate, the application deadline is in December.

The above programs are all stellar opportunities for students who want to go into the healthcare profession and should be looked at closely, especially for those hoping to attend a pre-med program.

Benefits of a Pre-Med Summer Program

There are many benefits to attending a summer program for pre-med. These programs can allow students to explore their future careers before they attend college, giving them a better idea of what they want to study.

These programs also give students the opportunity to learn more about the science of medicine, meaning they can learn certain skills they might need during the next phase of their education.

If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be! Some programs will pay students to attend, allowing you to save up money for school while gaining valuable experience. This is very important if you want to go to medical school, as it can be a very expensive venture.

Like pre-med internships, summer programs make a great addition to your resume. However, keep in mind that they are not easy to get into; being able to attend one of these programs will show colleges your academic achievements and your dedication to learning.

Other Pre-Med Summer Programs

Let’s take a look at other pre-med programs that offer a well-rounded introduction to medicine. 

  • Johns Hopkins University Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students: Hopkins' summer programs teach medicine, neuroscience, and psychology to improve students' skills, boost their applications, and help them earn credits.
  • Harvard Medical School Pre-College Program: The Harvard Pre-College Program offers high school students a challenging on-campus experience with a variety of non-credit courses in a supportive environment alongside peers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Columbia University NERA MedPrep Academy Program: This program is all about helping students from junior high to medical school increase their competitiveness for medical school.
  • Cornell University ACCESS Summer Internship Program: This program allows undergraduates to enhance their understanding of biology and medical research through hands-on lab work. 
  • University of Michigan Health Sciences Pre-College Exposure Academy: Has three academies that introduce students to health science careers, develop leadership skills, enhance academics, and prepare for medical school admission. This program supports student growth from high school through college.
  • Emory Premedical Readiness Engagement Program (EmPREP): Emory University School of Medicine aims to help students overcome challenges and improve their competitiveness for medical school through the Emory Pre Medical Readiness Engagement Program (EmPREP).
  • Brown University Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME): Brown offers an eight-year program for students committed to medicine and a liberal arts education. PLME students finish their undergraduate degree in four years and transition to Brown's Medical School.

FAQs: Pre-Med Summer Programs

Still have a few questions? Take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions.

1. Should I Take a Pre-Med Summer Program?

Regardless of what you might want to study in university, taking a pre-med program has a lot of advantages. It will look good on a college application, and you might learn a bit more about yourself and what you want to do as a career.

2. What Are the Best Pre-Med Summer Programs for High School Students?

The best summer programs are the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, Penn Summer Academies and the Health Care Career Exploration Camp.

3. Do Medical Schools Care About Summer Programs?

Medical schools are interested in your commitment to healthcare and the circumstances that led you onto the path of medicine. Participating in a summer program can enhance your medical school application by demonstrating your passion for the field. 

4. What Are the Types of Pre-Med Summer Programs?

There are three main types of summer programs: academic, practical, and internships. 

Academic programs focus on teaching students about medicine and networking opportunities, practical programs teach hands-on skills you may use in your career, whereas internships are paid opportunities that allow you to work with medical professionals.

Final Thoughts

Pre-med summer programs are great opportunities for any student, regardless of what they plan to study. Not only will you learn about the medical profession, but it will also look good on your college application. If the opportunity arises, attending one of these programs would be a wise decision that would enrich your academic pursuits.  

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