Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students

February 05, 2018

Engineering is one of the most popular majors students apply to, but other than AP Physics and AP Calculus, how can high school students discover this interest?

Excelling in your high school’s science and math courses? Do you enjoy building things and solving problems? If so, then studying engineering might be something you should pursue.

To begin with, engineering isn’t just limited to computer science. With the boom of technology startups, there’s a huge demand for software engineers and developers, shifting a lot of the engineering focus and conversation to computer engineering. But within engineering, there are many different disciplines you can dive deeper into: mechanical, civil, chemical and electrical!

If you’re interested in discovering whether engineering is something you might like, take advantage of your summer and apply to summer programs with an engineering focus. Not only will it help you discover whether or not engineering is something you enjoy, but you’ll also be exposed to the different types of engineering you can study.

1. Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovation

Program Dates: July 8th-July 28th

Cost: $2,700 tuition; additional fees depends on location

Application Deadline: June 1st

The Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovation is a four-week summer program perfect for students who want to learn more about the different fields of engineering. Students will complete labs in computer engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering. Students are also able to receive college credit if they perform well at the end of the program. This program is offered at multiple locations.

2. Cornell Engineering Experience

Program Dates: June 23rd-August 7th

Cost: $12,825, includes tuition, room/board, and meals. It does not include books.

Application Deadline: May 4th

Cornell’s Engineering summer program offers students foundational knowledge to engineering. All students will enroll in the course, Exploration in Engineering, and can take an additional two courses to complement the main engineering class, or broaden their studies by selecting a course in another subject. Students will also gain lab and design experiences to learn about a wide range of traditional and emerging engineering fields.

3. The Engineering Summer Academy at Penn

Program Dates: July 8th-July 28th

Cost: $7,635, includes tuition, room/board, meals, course materials and trips

Application Deadline: April 6th

The Engineering Summer Academy at Penn, also better known as ESAP, is a 3-week intensive engineering summer program on the campus of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. This highly selective program gives highly motivated students an opportunity to explore different subfields of engineering, including biotechnology, nanotechnology and robotics. Students will enroll in one of six courses offered and will receive college credits at the end of their 3-weeks.

4. MIT’s Introduction to Engineering and Science

Program Dates: ~June 23rd-August, 2nd

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: February 1st

MIT’s Introduction to Engineering and Science, or MITES, is one of three summer programs that the Office of Engineering Outreach Program offers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology every summer. It is an intense six-week program that offers rising high school seniors the opportunity to take math and science courses at MIT, and choose an elective to learn more about a subfield of engineering. The program is free and students only pay for transportation to and from MIT. Underrepresented minorities and low-income students are encouraged to apply.

5. WashU’s Pre-Engineering Institute

Program Dates: June 10-29 or July 15-August 3

Cost: $5,585, includes tuition, room/board, meals, course materials and trips

Application Deadline: April 1st

Washington University in St. Louis offers a summer program with an engineering focus to expose them to the different fields of engineering and share the career opportunities in engineering. The program is divided into two sessions: a lecture and field trip based portion that educates the students on theory, and a laboratory session that gives high school students the hands-on experience to connect the theoretical to the applicable.  

6. CMU’s Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science

Program Dates: June 30th-August 11th

Cost: Free

Application Deadline: March 1st

CMU’s Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science, or SAMS, is a better fit for students interested in STEM field subjects. For students who have excelled academically in math and science in high school should consider this program and use it to see which STEM field might interest them the most. Courses are focused on computer science, engineering and natural sciences.  Underrepresented minorities and low-income students are encouraged to apply.

Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.

Start applying! While some of these programs have later deadlines, it’s best to apply as early as possible. High school sophomores & juniors: this is the perfect opportunity to start thinking about what you’re really interested, what you want to study in the future and what careers you might want to explore. So, don’t miss out on these opportunities!

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


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UPenn ‘20

Accepted to UPenn

Hello! I'm a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. I plan on concentrating in finance, marketing and social impact. In high school I was active in LGBTQ advocacy and music. I can help with any questions you have about admissions
Rochester ‘20

Accepted to Rochester, Rutgers, Fordham, College of NJ, Drexel

Hey! I'm a freshman at University of Rochester Class of 2020 interested in double majoring in Biology and Spanish, eventually applying to med school. I'm passionate about studying science, doing research and learning new languages.
Stanford ‘20

Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA

Born in small town, interested in math, science, and literature. Attending Stanford University starting fall of 2016, planning on studying engineering or computer science, with a minor in a foreign language.
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I am a current junior at Duke studying biology, marine science, and markets and management studies

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