Summer Programs for High School Students in Massachusetts

Introduction – Massachusetts Summer Programs

Boston University summer programs for high school studentsThis page of the directory includes information about Massachusetts summer programs and camps that are available for high school students. Massachusetts has a large number of colleges and universities. The summer programs in Massachusetts enable students to build on their learning from the school year, delve deeply into topics of interest, develop new knowledge and skills, connect with new peers, and interact with instructors.

Massachusetts has more higher education institutions than most other states around the country. Many of these institutions along with reputable organizations offer summer program opportunities for high school students.

This page begins with general information about Massachusetts programs and this is followed by postings of specific summer programs in MA, including summer programs in Boston.

Exploring Summer Opportunities on this Directory

This page focuses on summer options in Massachusetts and it can be used to find productive opportunities that extend beyond the school year. In addition to the programs in MA, this directory also provides a chance to explore additional options. The summer programs on the directory are organized by state and by topic. The following represents a sample of the opportunities that are contained in this directory.

    • 10 exciting summer programs in the field of journalism and news broadcasting.
    • Opportunities to enhance writing skills and enjoy being creative.
    • A variety of alternatives to examine business and begin to explore what is like to be an entrepreneur.
    • 10 unique summer camps that enable students to investigate mathematics at an in-depth level.
    • 10-plus options for high school students with an interest in learning more about the field of pharmacy.

A Variety of Locations and Options for Summer Programs in Massachusetts

Summer program for high school students at the University of Massachusetts, AmherstMassachusetts summer programs are available in different locations around the state, including places such as Amherst, Babson Park, Boston, Cambridge, Medford, Worcester, and many other locations. The locations provide many different options for students in regards to where they would like to participate in a structured summer program.

Some of the programs are designed to be residential experiences and attract students from both in and out of the state. Other programs are intended for commuters and take place only during the day.

Harvard summer program for high school studentsThe summer programs in Massachusetts also vary widely with regards to length, structure, subject area of emphasis, learning activities, academic rigor, cost, as well as other factors. As a result, it is important for students to research summer programs in the state to find those that are in line with their goals, interests, opportunities, and other summer plans. Students are encouraged to think about their goals for the summer and then determine which activities or programs would help them reach their goals.

For those students who are interested in participating in a structured summer program, it is recommended that they research different programs, read about these opportunities, and contact official program representatives to ask questions that may arise. The blog article on searching for and finding summer programs may be helpful for students.

Exploring a Topic of Interest Through a Summer Program

Massachusetts college summer program for high school studentsThe summer programs in Massachusetts have a variety of different subject areas for students. The programs can focus on topics such as writing, STEM fields, business, medicine, the arts, computer science, ecology and more. As a result, students are encouraged to research and examine different summer programs to determine which ones will best align with the subject area or areas that they would like to explore.

Additionally, it can be helpful for a student and/or a parent to contact an official representative of a summer program to ask questions and find out detailed information about items such as daily schedules, logistics, and learning activities.

Massachusetts Summer Pre-College Programs

College campus for a Massachusetts summer program for high school studentsThere are a number of pre-college programs in the state of Massachusetts. Many summer programs for high school students are considered to be pre-college opportunities because they provide students with a chance to begin to prepare for life on a college campus and/or the academic expectations in a higher education setting.

There are a variety of summer programs that are held on college campuses in Massachusetts.  These include Boston University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Northeastern. These programs gives students a chance to gain experience in a college setting.

Boston University summer programs for high school studentsAlthough life at a college can be different during the summer as opposed to the academic year, the summer still provides an opportunity to learn about the resources on a campus, interact with faculty members, and learn about learn academic opportunities. In addition, some of the pre-college programs are residential in nature and provide high school students with a chance to stay in a college dorm and dine in on-campus facilities. This can give students a preview of life on a college campus.

Other pre-college programs that are held at colleges are commuter-based and these do enable students to gain experience on a campus. Whether a pre-college program at a college is designed to be residential, commuter, or to provide options, high school students can gain experience on a campus and this may be useful in considering the types of colleges that they feel would be good matches for them.

Overall Notes on Summer Programs in MA

Summer pre-college programs for high school students at HarvardOverall, attending a Massachusetts summer program is not something that high school students should feel obligated to do. There are a variety of activities that can be useful to participate in during the summer, such as having a part-time job, developing skills for an extracurricular activity, or going on a family trip. These types of activities have a lot of merit and can be helpful in preparing for college. However, for some high school students, a structured summer program can align with goals such as exploring a topic of interest at a deeper level, interacting with new peers and instructors, spending time on a college a campus, and / or extending their educational experiences beyond the school year.

Due to the variety of programs in the state, it may be possible for students to attend a summer program while also engaging in other productive activities during the summer.

If students are interested in attending a coordinated summer education opportunity, there is information, below, on this page about specific summer programs for high school students in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Summer Program Spotlights

Bard College summer writing program for high school students

Young Writers Workshop
Bard College at Simon’s Rock

University of Massachusetts Amherst summer writing program for high school students

Juniper Summer Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Boston Summer Leadership Institute’s Summer Programs

The Academies at Harvard

Summer Academy Programs at Harvard

Boston University summer program for high school students

Boston University Summer Honors Institute

Scroll down to view more Massachusetts summer programs and camps for high school students

Summer Programs in Massachusetts

Babson Summer Pre-College Program

Babson Summer Study Program – Babson Park, Massachusetts

Babson College offers a summer study program to help students learn more about the field of business and acquire entrepreneurial skills. The program is residential and it gives participants a chance to have experiences on a college campus.

The program is designed to enable students to have hands-on experiences, work collaboratively with peers, and learn from faculty and staff.

Participants: High school juniors and seniors.

Bard College at Simon's Rock summer writing program for high school students in Massachusetts

Young Writers Workshop – Bard College at Simon’s Rock – Great Barrington, Massachusetts

The Young Writers Workshop is held each summer on the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the nation’s only residential, liberal arts college designed specifically for early admission. Each year, based on an applicant’s personal essay and a detailed teacher’s recommendation, we select 84 students from around the country to participate in the workshop.

Central to the workshop is the belief that the best way to grow as a writer is by writing rather than by listening to teachers give lectures, no matter how inspirational. As a result, a significant portion of class time is devoted to activities that engage one’s imagination and model ways in which creative writers use language to construct meaning from their experience of the world, whether through journaling, poetry, fiction, drama, or creative nonfiction. This daily informal writing is frequently shared in small peer writing groups, with an emphasis not on evaluation but on helping the writer discover possibilities for revision.

By the end of the three weeks, students will have generated a rich portfolio of creative pieces in a variety of genres. The workshop sections are small, and the emphasis is on creating a non-competitive writing and learning community. Trusting one’s own language and voice, learning to think for oneself and in collaboration with others—these are the qualities and skills that the workshop strives to develop. Former students have gone on to attend a variety of colleges, from smaller ones like Bard, Williams, Kenyon, Smith, and Oberlin, to larger universities such as Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Princeton.

Participants: High school students in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade.

Boston College Summer Experience – Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Boston College offers a residential pre-college summer program for high school students. Students participate in academic and extracurricular activities to help them prepare for the transition to college and preview life in a college setting.

Students can also engage in service learning activities and explore the city of Boston through field trips as well as events.

Participants: High school students.

Boston Leadership Institute summer programs for high school students

Boston Leadership Institute Summer STEM Programs – Wellesley, Massachusetts

The Boston Leadership Institute has consistently been named one of the top STEM programs in the country. Offering one-week and three-week options in Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Business, top students come from all over the country and the world to learn from elite teachers and professors from the best schools around Boston. Programs include Neurosurgery Research, Electronics and Robotics, Chemistry Research, Investment Banking, and many more!

Three-week programs are competitive admissions, research intensive sessions, and one-week programs are available on a first come, first serve basis. Campuses are located at Dana Hall in Wellesley, Gann Academy in Waltham, and the Longwood Medical Area in Boston, where students have access to state of the art lab facilities, classrooms, and materials. Overnight and day only options are available. Programs begin the week of June 15th and run through the first week of August. For more information, email, or call 781-431-2514. 

Participants: High school students.

Boston University Summer High School Honors Program – Boston, Massachusetts

The High School Honors Program provides students with the opportunity to prepare for academics at the college level. The program has a residential or commuter option. The program enables participates to take college-level classes and learn about areas of interest at an in-depth level.

Students have a variety of course options to choose from and they can receive assistance in selecting courses that address their interests and goals. Students also have the chance to participate in social activities at the university and in the community. There is a limited amount of financial aid for this program, which is based on need and/or merit.

Participants: High school 11th and 12 graders.

Brandeis University in Massachusetts summer program for high school students

Brandeis University Global Health Summer Program – Waltham, Massachusetts

Brandeis offers a unique summer program that enables high school students to examine a variety of global health issues. In the context of international health, students learn about areas such as equity, science, law, policy, medicine and more. Students also gain insight into the way that professional fields that play a role in addressing global health are interconnected.

The week-long summer program features a variety of interesting educational activities. These include discussions, lectures, guest speakers, field trips, and experiential learning exercises. The international health topics that are explored include current issues that being addressed by professionals and the learning activities within the program allow students to explore issues through an interdisciplinary lens. Additionally, participants have a chance to become more familiar with potential career options that are connected to global health.

The global health pre-college program at Brandeis provides students with the opportunity to investigate and learn about important and timely issues. Students also have a chance to spend time on the campus, find out the types of academic opportunities that exist at the college level, and preview college life. Students can stay on the campus in university dormitories during the program. There is an application to complete for the program and there are some scholarship opportunities based on financial need.

Participants: High school students who will be going into the sophomore, junior or senior year.

Emerson College Summer Pre-College Programs – Boston, Massachusetts

Emerson’s Pre-College Program offers one, three, and five week workshops to help students expand their learning beyond the school year. The workshops are designed to help students enhance their knowledge and skills in areas such as communication, creativity, and the arts. 

Through the program, students have the opportunity to develop their research and presentation skills within the context of a subject of interest. Participants also have the chance to develop a portfolio that may be used for college admission. The Emerson Precollege Programs include options such as film making, journalism, acting, political leadership, sports communication and more.

Participants: High school students.


Epiic Solutions Summer Programs – Boston, Massachusetts

Epiic Solutions summer program, held at Boston University, offers workshops for high school students. The workshops enable students to learn professors, professionals, and current college students.

Students can participate in the Social Impact Startup Programs or the STEAM Startup Program. Through the workshops, students learn about entrepreneurial and collaborative skills. Students also have the chance to share and present their ideas.

Participants: High school students.

School of Fashion Design

School of Fashion and Design Summer Program – Boston, Massachusetts

The Teen Fashion Clinic provides students with the opportunity to learn more about career pathways in the industry of fashion design. Students have the opportunity to explore all aspects of fashion design through the summer program. Participants also have the chance to develop a portfolio of fashion drawings and projects.

Participants: High school students.

The Academies at Harvard

The Academies at Harvard Summer Programs – Cambridge, Massachusetts
he Academies at Harvard offers five-day academic precollege programs for high achieving high school students. Students have the option of participating in academies that focus on coding, business, politics, and pre-med.

Through the programs, students gain hands-on experience and explore career pathways in a field of interest.

Participants: High school students.

Summer Writing Program for High School Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers at UMass Amherst – Amherst, Massachusetts

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers provides students with opportunities to learn more about writing fiction and poetry during the summer. Participating students have the chance to participate in field trips to integrate their experiences within their writing pieces.

Workshop instructors provide individual and small group assistance for students, as they work on developing their writing skills. Students also have the opportunity to participate in studio sessions that involves sharing work in creative ways.

Participants: High school students.


Massachusetts College of Art and Design Summer Pre-College Program – Boston, Massachusetts

This pre-college summer studio art program provides an opportunity for upper level high school students to gain experience at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The program enables students enhance their art skills and get a feel for what it like to study art in a college setting.

The program structure reflects the experiences of a first-year art student at the college. Students take fundamental courses as well as a class in area of choice such as graphic design, fashion, painting, and more. In the courses, students have a chance to learn from experienced instructors, develop their own art pieces, and receive beneficial feedback in order to continue to progress as an artist.

Participants also have the opportunity to get to know other students who share an interest in visual art. The summer program provides students with insight into being a college student and learning in a post-secondary educational environment.

This pre-college summer opportunity provides students with the option of staying on-campus or commuting during the program. Students who opt to reside on the campus can stay in a university-run dorm. There is application for admission to program. There are limited number of scholarships available based on financial need.

Participants: High school students who are rising juniors and seniors.

Northeastern University in Massachusetts summer programs for high school students

Northeastern University Coastal Ocean Science Summer Academy – Massachusetts

The Coastal Ocean Summer Academy is designed to enable students to learn about marine science, coastal habitats, and ecology. Students also learn about type of research that is conducted in local coastal areas and participate in field-based activities. There are two summer high school programs as well as a summer middle school program.

One the high school programs is designed for first-time participants. This program provides background knowledge and experiences that are designed to help students learn about marine science and research. Participants gain an understanding of coastal habitats, water quality, and protecting coastal organisms.

There is also a program for high school students who have previously participated in this summer opportunity. This program enables students to examine ecology and coastal habitat at a more in-depth level. Through this program, students actively participate in in research-based activities and fieldwork.

There also middle school program that provides students with the chance to participate in field trips and engage in hands-on activities. Through the program students can gain an understanding about different facets of coastal habitats and marine life.

Participants: High school students and middle school students.


Tufts Precollege Summer Pre-College Program – Boston, Massachusetts

The pre-college program at Tufts offers students with the opportunity to participate in college-level courses and college prep workshops. The program enables students to prepare for the transition to college and experience life in a college setting. The six-week residential program is designed to prepare students for higher education by taking college courses and residing on campus. T

he college intensives typically run two to three weeks and enable students to learn about areas of interest such as coding, medicine, leadership, and more. There is also research opportunities for high school juniors and seniors, which involve working on research-based activities and preparing poster presentations to share their work.

Participants: High school  students (grade level varies depending on the program).

Wellesley College in Massachusetts summer pre-colege program for high school students

Wellesley College Summer Pre-College Focus Program – Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wellesley offers several pre-college summer programs for high school students. One of the programs is known as the Pre-College Focus Program. Participating in this opportunity provides students with the chance to explore a subject of interest while also gaining experience in a higher education setting.

During the summer, the program has two sessions and each session is two-weeks in length. High school students can choose subject areas of interest from a variety of options. The subject areas include STEM, social studies, the arts, leadership, and more. Within the subject areas, students are able to concentrate on learning about a high-interest topic during the program.

Through the summer program, high school students have a chance to interact with and learn from professors at the college, meet motivated peers, and examine a topic at an in-depth level. Participants also get to experience a preview of college life, as they have the opportunity to stay on the campus, utilize the resources at Wellesley, become familiar with the college, and get a sense of the academic expectations in a post-secondary environment. In addition, the program provides social and recreational activities, which include visiting sites in the Boston area.

Participants: Female high school students who are going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.

Walnut Hill Summer Music and Theatre Programs

Walnut Hill Summer Program in the Arts – Natick, Massachusetts

The Walnut Hill programs are designed to help students have a productive, summer while enhancing their skills in areas such as dance and theatre performance. The summer comprehensive dance program is taught by faculty members and culminates in a performance for friends and family.

There is also a youth dance program that culminates in a showcase performance. The summer theatre program is intended to help students develop their performance skills and participate in performances to showcase their learning. Depending on the program, there are residential and commuter options available.

Participants: Students ages 10-18.

Recommendations for Additional Summer Experiences

This summer program directory contains additional educational options for high school students to consider. The following are recommendations for more opportunities to engage in learning during the summer.

    • A diverse range of summer opportunities on college campuses in New York.
    • Productive educational options that enable students to explore subject areas of interest in the state of Connecticut.
    • Programs that provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the STEM areas (science, tech, engineering, and mathematics).
    • 5 top colleges that offer high school students the chance to learn by taking courses on the campuses.
    • Engaging opportunities to gain hands-on experiences through theater summer camps.

There is more information throughout this directory and there is additional information about compelling summer programs in our blog articles.

Featured College in Massachusetts with Summer Programs

The featured college section is designed to provide a brief overview of a college in Massachusetts that offers summer programs. This section includes information about a college that offers one or more summer programs for high school students.  The idea behind the featured college section is to enable students to read about a college where they may have an interest in attending a pre-college summer program.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a relatively large private university, that is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The university is known for the Northeastern summer programs for high school students in Bostonunique opportunities that it offers for undergraduate students. In particular, Northeastern has one of most well-developed co-op programs, which involves students engaging in coordinated full-time employment experiences that are interconnected to academics. This provides students with the chance to participate in real-world learning and to apply their knowledge as a part of their college experience. The university maintains connections with thousands of employers and this gives students many options for pursuing interesting co-op experiences.

Northeastern also emphasizes the opportunity for students to do research. Students can engage in research with faculty members in many different areas at the university. Based on Northeastern’s public information, there are hundreds of students that do research co-ops each year and there also students who participate in capstone research projects as a culminating way to complete their undergraduate education.

Northeastern University's campus with summer programs for high school studentsAnother area that Northeastern University highlights is service to the community. There are many opportunities for students to take part in service at the university. This allows students to work to make a difference in an area of interest. The university has a large variety of partnerships that enable students to quickly become involved in service. In addition, students can take courses that focus around service-learning and then apply their knowledge in real-world experiences.

Northeastern has over two hundred majors that are available. These include architecture, media and screen studies, pharmaceutical science, health science, business administration (with many options for specialization), international Northeastern University summer programs for high school studentsbusiness, cybersecurity, engineering (with many options for specialization), environmental studies, human service, and many others. In addition, Northeastern has over a hundred combined interdisciplinary majors for students, who have a strong interest in more than one subject area.

Overall, Northeastern University provides valuable opportunities for students to gain insight into subjects of interests and to engage in activities that enable them to apply their learning. The university highlights opportunities for experiential co-ops, research, global learning, and service to communities. There is more information about academics, practical experiences, and admission on the university’s website.

Summer Programs at Northeastern

Northeastern University pre-college summer programs for high school studentsNortheastern University offers summer programs for high school students. The Coastal Ocean Science Academy is included on this page of Massachusetts summer programs. The academy is designed for students with an interest in marine biology and ocean habitats. It is intended to provide students with the chance to participate in unique experiences and activities to enhance their learning about different facets of ocean and coastal environments. Northeastern also has the Accelerate Pre-College Programs, which provide high school students with the opportunity to explore topics of interest, gain experience on a college campus, and work with expert faculty members. Through the Accelerate summer programs, there are pre-college opportunities in subject areas such as entrepreneurship, engineering, physics, health sciences and professions, sustainability and more.

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