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Michigan Summer Programs for High School Students

Background Information – Summer Programs for High School Students

University of Michigan summer programs for high school studentsThis page of the directory includes information about Michigan summer programs and camps for high school students. In the state, there are a wide variety of program opportunities for students. As a result, students who are interested in participating in a structured summer program have a number of options. The programs vary by topic, length, structure, housing, and cost. It is important for students to research and learn about different summer programs in order to try to find the opportunities that best fit with their interests and plans for the summer. This page includes background information about Michigan summer programs and descriptions of specific summer opportunities, including programs at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Michigan Summer Program Locations

Summer programs for high school students in MichiganMichigan has a large number of colleges and universities that are spread throughout the state. The most well-known are the University of Michigan and Michigan State. According to the World Atlas, Michigan is a state that ranks in the top ten with regards to the number of public and private universities. These institutes of higher education along with reputable organizations often sponsor and run summer programs for high school students.

Due to the variety of sponsoring entities, students can find summer programs in a range of locations throughout the state. Michigan summer programs are offered in locations that include, but are not limited to, East Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Sault Sainte Marie, and Detroit. The range of locations provides more options for high school students interested in taking part in a summer program.

Why Participate in a Summer Program in Michigan?

Michigan State summer programs for high school studentsA structured summer program is one type of beneficial activity for high school students. There are actually many ways that students can have a productive summer. For example, they can explore careers through job shadowing, volunteer in an area of interest (e.g. a local humane society), work part-time, spend time with family, visit colleges, do community service in an area of need, provide assistance to younger students or older adults, as well as engage in many other valuable activities.

While participating in a summer program is just one option for high school students, it can provide valuable experiences. Each program is somewhat different. However, in general, structured summer programs can enable students to continue their education from the academic year, learn about a topic at an in-depth level, connect with new friends, develop new skills, gain knowledge from instructors and experts in an area, prepare for post-secondary education, explore college majors, and become more familiar with career opportunities. These are just some of the way in which summer programs can benefit students.

It is important to note that the summer programs in Michigan do vary. As a result, high school students are encouraged to research and gain information about different programs to help them determine those that would align most effectively with their interests.

Summer Pre-College Programs in Michigan

Summer programs for high school students at Central Michigan UniversityIn general, pre-college programs are those opportunities that involve helping students preview a college environment and prepare them for a higher education setting. For college-bound high school students, pre-college programs can play a role in easing the transition from high school to college.

There are many different pre-college programs in the state of Michigan. These tend to be highlighted by Michigan State’s summer pre-college programs and the University of Michigan’s summer programs. There are also a variety of other pre-college programs held at private colleges such as Lake Superior State and public universities like Western Michigan. For additional general information on pre-college programs, there is a blog article on this directory entitled ‘what is a pre-college program?

Michigan’s pre-college summer programs typically enable students to get a feel for life on a college campus and /or assist with gaining understanding the academic opportunities as well as the expectations in a college setting. Pre-college programs can enable students to learn about college, meet and interact with professors and faculty members, become familiar with potential college majors, gain a better understanding of the types of academic and social opportunities that can be found in a college environment, and get a glimpse of life on a campus.

Michigan State University summer programs for high school studentsIn terms of housing, there are typically two types of pre-college summer programs, residential and commuter. Residential programs enable students to stay in college dorms, eat in campus dining halls, and utilize campus resources outside of the educational activities that take place during the day. Residential programs tend to be beneficial for students who would like to begin learning about college life as well as for students who are coming from a out of state or from a distance in-state.

Commuter pre-college programs are designed to have participants spend the days on a campus for educational and social opportunities and then return home each evening. Commuter-based programs tend to be educationally beneficial and be less expensive because there is not a fee for housing.

There are also pre-college programs that are resident-optional. These programs enable students and families to select the housing that would work best for them. It depends on the specific program with regards to being residential, commuter-based, or optional. 

As a note, if a residential program would be financially difficult to participate in, it is recommended that students and / or a family member contact an official representative of the program to explain the situation and inquire about possible options.

Finding Summer Programs in Michigan

UMich summer programs for high school studentsHigh school students, who are interested in participating in a Michigan summer program, are encouraged to spend some time researching, reading about, and comparing opportunities. It is important to consider aspects of programs such as dates, cost, location, topic of focus, housing, and daily schedule.

In general, students who research summer programs are more likely to find those that match with their goals, schedule, and interests. This page includes, below, information about specific Michigan summer programs. Examining the specific programs, below, can be helpful in regards to finding out about summer opportunities of interest.

Michigan Summer Program Spotlights

Michigan State

Michigan State High School Engineering Summer Institute


University of Michigan ArcStart Summer Program

Scroll down to view more Michigan summer programs for high school students

Michigan Summer Education Programs

Lake Superior State

Lake Superior Academic High School Summer Camps – Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
The Lake Superior State offers week-long summer programs for students. The programs are designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about high-interest topics. The topics in previous years have include aquatic ecology, criminal justice, medicine, forensics, creating writing, and careers in natural resources. Participating students engage in hands-on experiences, learn about subjects at an in-depth level, and interact with peers. There is a residential and commuter option.
Participants: High school students.


ArcStart at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan
ArcStart is a program for students who have an interest in architectural design. Through the program, students participate in workshops that emphasize skills related architecture and problem solving. Students also have a chance to visit architectural projects in the Ann Arbor area. Additionally, students have the chance to use digital tools and other resources involved in the architecture field.
Participants: High school students.


STAMPS Summer Pre-College Art Summer Program  – Ann Arbor, Michigan
This Portfolio Prep Program, offered by the University of Michigan’s STAMPS School of Art and Design, enables students to learn about careers associated with art and design. Students have the opportunity to develop a portfolio that can be used while pursuing higher education in the arts. Participating students engage in multidisciplinary classes and go on field trips relating to the field of art and design. The program culminates by having students share their work with friends and families.
Participants: High school students in grades 9, 10, and 11.


Math and Science Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. – Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Math and Science Scholars Summer Program offers sessions that give students the opportunity to learn from faculty members and explore real-world topics in the area of math and science. Students also have the opportunity to participate in field trips to learn the ways in which math and science are applied in real world settings. Additionally, the program emphasizes the importance of research and provides students with a chance to learn about the types of research being conducted in the math and science fields. The program has residential and commuter options.
Participants: High school students.


MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes at the University of Michigan  – Ann Arbor Michigan
The MPlulse Program is designed for students who have an interest in musical theatre and drama. Students have the opportunity to explore musical performance, music technology, musical theatre, dance, and theatre. Participating students receive intensive training from faculty members as well as alumni.
Participants: High school students

Michigan State

CSI Summer Program at Michigan State – East Lansing, Michigan
The CSI and Forensic Science Program is designed for gifted and talented students. Students work with professionals in the areas of CSI and forensic science. The program includes hands-on active learning experiences and students have the opportunity to participate in activities and simulations related to criminal investigations.
Participants: Students in grades 7-9.

Michigan State

Michigan State Summer Engineering Programs – East Lansing, Michigan
Department of Engineering at Michigan State offers a variety of summer engineering programs for students. The High School Engineering Institute is a residential program for students in grades ten through twelve who have an interest in the field of engineering. Making a Game of It is for students in grades eleven and twelve who would like to learn about using python to develop video games. Sparton Lego Robotics is a commuter program for students in grades three through six that involves working in teams to build robots and engage in problem-solving activities connected to engineering. Spartan Engineering and Robotics for Teens is a commuter program for students seven through nine who would like to explore sensors and robots while working with faculty members in engineering. Renewable Energy Systems is a residential program for students in grades ten and eleven who have an interest in learning how engineering connects renewable energy systems.
Participants: High school, middle, and elementary students.

Western Michigan

Western Michigan University Summer Camps – Kalamazoo, Michigan
Western Michigan University offers summer camps for students of a variety of ages. The summer camps include the option to engage in academic and athletics programs. The summer camps are designed to focus on high-interest topics for students. In prior years, the topics for the academic summer camps have included  writing, aviation, business, art, web design, forensic science, and more.
Participants: High school, middle school, and elementary students.