7-Plus Psychology Summer Programs for High School Students

7-Plus Psychology Summer Programs for High School Students

Explore Summer Psychology Courses and Programs for High School Students

Introduction to Psychology and Summer Program Options

Psychology summer course with teacher helping high school studentsPsychology is an interesting subject area that is a popular major at many colleges. On a broad level, psychology involves examining behavior, the mind, and exploring factors that influence the actions of people. There are a number of psychology summer programs for high school students that are designed to provide insight into the field. Through these summer opportunities, students can examine a wide range of topics such as motivation, learning, thinking, connections among people, emotions, social interactions, and much more.

Learning about Psychology through a Summer Program

Learning about psychology in a summer program for high school studentsPsychology is a subject that is offered at some high schools and it can be a valuable class to take. Some students are not able to enroll in a psychology course during the school year because of other curricular requirements. As a result, a summer psychology program can give students the chance to develop their knowledge in this area and determine whether it may be a potential college major.

For those students who have taken a psychology class during the school year, a summer program can help them build upon their existing knowledge as they delve deeper into topics within the psychology field.

In addition, most psychology programs give students the opportunity to learn about the areas that faculty members are studying, become more familiar with the types of topics that are included within a college major and develop a better understanding of different career options in the field.

Pre-College Psychology Summer Programs

Psychology summer program on a college campus for high school studentsMany of the programs that focus on psychology are held on college campuses. These pre-college programs typically enable students to interact with professors, utilize the academic resources on the campus, and get a preview of learning in a post-secondary educational environment.

Some pre-college summer opportunities provide high school students with the opportunity to reside on the campus while they are participating in a psychology program. This can help students get a feel for what it is like to be a college student and to live on a college campus.

There is more information about pre-college programs in the following articles.

Examples of Summer Psychology Opportunities

This article is designed to provide information about some of the psychology programs that are offered to high school students during the summer. The programs vary with regard to length, structure, cost, topics of focus, daily schedule, and more. As a result, it can be helpful for high school students to read about program options to find those that would best align with their interests and match their goals for the summer.

Summer pre-college psychology programs for high school studentsAs a note, there are different options, outside of summer programs, for learning about the field of psychology. For example, students can inquire about speaking with someone in the field to find out about the nature of the work. Students may consider visiting a college and requesting to speak with someone in the Psychology Department to learn about the college major opportunities. Students can also read about careers in psychology through books as well as reputable online resources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The following psychology summer programs are designed to help students learn about the topics in the field.

Summer Psychology Programs for High School Students

Marist College Summer Psychology Program

Marist offers an exciting summer course for high school students with an interest in learning about psychology. The course is a part of the larger pre-college summer program that is run by the college. The psychology course emphasizes the questions that psychologists pose and the ways in which psychological concepts connect to real life. 

Psychology summer camp for high school studentsThe two-week course is broad enough to help students get a sense of many topics that are a part of the area of psychology as well as the different branches in the field such as clinical, social, adolescent, and more. Students also learn about important figures, who have contributed to the field. The program provides students with a preview of what it would be like to major in psychology when they enter college.

One of the features of the summer opportunity involves students learning to carry out a psychological experiment based on a question pertaining to psychology. Participants utilize resources at the college to collect data and study information to develop evidence to respond to a psychology-based question. Students share their findings, conclusions, and ideas with other participants.

Participating in the exploration of psychology also enables students to get a pre-college experience. High school students have the chance to reside in college-run dormitories, use the resources and facilities at the college, and develop an idea of what it is like to live on a college campus.

The program has been developed for students going into the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades.

Learn more: Marist Summer Psychology Program

Columbia University Pre-College Summer Program: Psychology Courses

Psychology program for high school students on a college campus in the summerColumbia offers a pre-college summer program that includes a variety of courses for high school students. Two of the summer courses provide students with a solid foundational base pertaining to the science behind psychological discoveries and findings. 

One of the courses, Intro to the Science of Psychology is designed to enable students to develop an understanding of the broad topics that fall under the umbrella of psychology.

  • Participants engage in a variety of learning exercises, which include discussions, collaboration with peers, and hands-on data collection for psychological research. Students learn about a diverse range of topics to develop their understanding of the types of concepts and ideas that are used in the field of psychology.
  • This program also helps students learn to pose questions about human behavior and cognition.
  • Participants have a chance to think of their own questions, work cooperatively with other participants to explore a psychology-based question, collect data and share thoughts on their findings.
  • This course is intended for rising high school freshman and sophomores.

Another course offered in psychology, the Science of Psychology, enables students to examine topics at an in-depth level and can be helpful to students who are considering studying psychology when they are in college.

  • Participants learn from instructors and speakers with expertise in the area of psychology. Students also engage in active learning through lively discussions, working with peers, and participating in lab work pertaining to topics in psychology.
  • Students collaborate with peers to pose a psychological question, collect and analyze data, and share findings with the instructor and other participants in the course.
  • This course is intended to be for students who are entering their junior or senior year of high school or for those students who have just completed high school.

High school students participating in a psychology summer programThe two courses are three-weeks in length and they are typically offered in more than one session of Columbia’s summer program. Through the pre-college program at the university, students have the option to stay on the campus in residence halls or commute by returning home or to an arranged location when the educational activities have concluded each day. Either way, the pre-college program enables high school students to learn on a college campus and get a preview of academics in a university setting.

One of the psychology courses is intended for students entering their freshman or sophomore year. The other is for students entering their junior or senior year in high school and for those who just completed their high school education.

Learn More: 

University of Auburn Department of Psychology Summer Program: Brain Camp

The Department of Psychology at the university runs a summer camp for upper grade-level high school students to help them learn about the brain. The summer camp particularly focuses on new research pertaining to the field of neuroscience, which provides information to psychologists about the way the brain functions in relation to human behavior.

Psychology summer programs held at a university for high school studentsThe program is approximately one-week in length. Participants have the opportunity to work with and learn from psychology professors at the university. Under the guidance of instructors, students gain insight into the way that the brain functions. Students examine pathways in the brain that influence behavior, create physiological models, and learn about the way that functional imaging gives psychologists and medical professionals information about the brain.

Through the program, students hear from experts in the field, learn about cutting-edge technology and research, gain insight into the types of resources being used at the university, and engage in hands-on experiential activities. Additionally, participants have the chance to make new friends, learn about potential educational and career pathways, and collaborate with peers.

The program at Auburn is a pre-college opportunity for students. Participants have the chance to stay on the campus, gain experience living in university dormitories and have meals in dining halls. This enables students to learn about what it is like to live on a college campus.

The summer brain camp is intended to be for high school students going into their junior or senior year and for recent high school graduates.

Learn More: Auburn Summer Brain Camp

University of Chicago Psychology Summer Program: Developmental Psychology – Theories and Techniques

The Immersion Summer Program at the university provides high school students with the opportunity to delve deeply into an academic subject of interest. One of the options within this program involves examining principles, concepts, and theories in the area of developmental psychology. 

Presentation in a summer psychology program for high school studentsThrough the psychology course, which is approximately three-weeks in length, students explore a variety of interesting topics pertaining to ways in which humans development occurs. In particular, participants discover, discuss, and learn about the development of babies through teenagers. Students examine research that been done to provide information on the development of children and they learn about the theories that are utilized guide psychologists as they work in this area.

Students also become more familiar with the methods that are used by psychologists to study child development. Participants have a chance to observe children in a social or educational setting and gain an understanding of the way that data is collected for research purposes. In addition, students have the chance to collaborate with their peers to set up their own small study that involves the collection and analysis of data.

The psychology summer course is a part of the university’s pre-college experience for high school students. As a result, students participating in the course have the opportunity to stay on the campus and get a preview of what it is like to be a college student.

The program is intended for high school students in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades.

Learn more: UC Psychology Summer Experience

Gettysburg College Psychology Summer Camp

The psychology summer camp provides an opportunity for upper grade-level high school students to develop a foundational understanding of key topics, principles, and ideas within the field of psychology. Students explore a range of topics such as social interaction, interpersonal connections, cognition, development, and much more.

During the week-long summer camp, students have the chance to collaborate with others, engage in interesting discussions, learn from professors, and become more familiar with the study of psychological principles. Participants also examine research findings to determine the ways in which psychologists address questions that involve human behavior. Students also engage in experiential activities such as collecting data, sharing ideas, and reporting on findings.

Psychology high school summer programOne of the interesting features of the psychology summer camp involves the interaction between high school students and undergraduates at the university. Current undergraduate psychological majors serve as supervisors and liaisons for the high school participants. The undergraduates also help the professors with activities in the camp. As a result, high school students have regular interaction with the psychology majors and can find out about the university as well as what it is like to major in the field of psychology.

The summer camp is a pre-college experience, which enables students to stay on the campus, get to know the university, reside in college-run housing, have meals in dining facilities, and more. These experiences can provide participants with a preview of living and learning on a college campus.

The program is intended for high school students who will be going into the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

Learn more: Gettysburg Summer Psychology Camp

Illinois Institute of Technology Psychology Summer Program

Illinois Tech offers an interesting summer program that provides high school students with an introduction to the field of psychology. The program focuses on helping students understand how topics in psychology connect to practical situations. 

Through the summer program, students have a chance to participate in diverse learning activities such as engaging in discussions, hearing from people with expertise in the psychology field, and participating in experiential-based learning exercises. The program also typically includes the chance for students to visit sites to gain more insight into the psychological topics that they have been discussing and learning.

Teaching in a summer psychology program for high school studentsDuring the program, students learn about the ways in which researchers find out about varying aspects of psychology (e.g. motivation, social interaction, human behaviors). Additionally, students have the chance to collect and analyze data about a topic in psychology and then share what they have found with other participants.

The psychology program is approximately one-week in length and it takes place on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. This is a commuter-based program and housing is not provided. However, participants have the chance to gain experience in a post-secondary educational environment during the day and utilize the college’s resources to enhance their understanding of psychology.

The program is intended to be for high school students going into the sophomore, junior, or senior years.

Learn more: IIT Psychology Summer Program

Syracuse University Summer Psychology Program

The Summer College program at Syracuse is designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to gain experience in a college setting. One of the options within the program involves taking a psychology course along with another liberal arts course. The opportunity enables students to learn about psychology as well as one other area during an experience on the university’s campus.

The summer program runs for six weeks and gives students the chance to become more familiar with academics in a college environment. In particular, the psychology class provides students with the opportunity to develop a solid foundational understanding of the field of psychology. 

High school students discussing topics at a summer psychology programThrough the class, students engage in discussions about topics such as human behavior, the mind, interpersonal connections, development, and more. As the program progresses, students enhance their knowledge of psychology as well as their understanding of the academic expectations in a higher education atmosphere. As a note, the university can award credit at the completion of the course, but it is the responsibility of each student to determine whether the credit will be accepted for transfer.

The summer college program offers the full pre-college experience. Students stay on the campus, utilize resources at the university, and become accustomed to life on a college campus. Participants can opt to commute as opposed to staying on the campus and they still gain significant experience on a university campus. The opportunity can serve as a preview for college and may help with the transition that occurs when high school concludes.

The summer college is intended for high school students, who are at least fifteen by the beginning of the program.

Learn more: SU Psychology Summer Course

University of Southern California Summer Psychology Program

USC offers a large summer pre-college program that enables high school students to investigate areas of interest, gain experience on a university’s campus, and extend their learning in a college setting. One of the courses offered in the pre-college program focuses on psychology. This course provides students with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of significant psychology theories and practices, become more familiar with what psychologists do, and find out about psychology as a major in college.

Summer psycholog program for high school student learningThe four-week summer course gives high school students the chance to study psychological concepts, engage in exciting discussions, and take part in a variety of activities to gain insight into the field of psychology. During the course, students learn about a variety of topics within psychology and discover the real-world applications of psychological principles. Through the course, students can become familiar with the types of questions that psychological researchers seek to answer and develop an understanding of the way that practicing psychologists apply evidence-based techniques to help people by utilizing different types of interventions.

Through the summer course, students interact and learn from an experienced instructor, engage in experiential activities, visit sites that connect to the field of psychology and receive guidance on collecting and analyzing data for a research activity. Additionally, the course includes information about high-interest topics such as development, learning, motivation, mindfulness, social connections, and more.

As a part of USC’s summer pre-college program, students can stay on the campus and get a sense of what it is like to be a college student. There is also an option to commute, which involves participating in the educational activities on the campus and then leaving the campus when the class learning exercises have concludes each day.

This summer program is intended to be for students, who have finished at least their freshman year in high school.

Learn more: USC Psychology Summer Experience

Additional Summer Psychology Opportunities for High School Students

Brown University Summer Pre-College Program: Psychology Courses

  • Brown offers an extensive pre-college program in the summer that is designed to provide the opportunity for high school students to extend their learning from the school year, examine topics of interest, and spend time immersed in educational studies in a college environment.
  • The Summer at Brown pre-college program offers a number of psychology-based courses that are open to high school students. The course topics include, but are not limited to, human development, biological psychology, neuroscience, memory, and culture.
  • Students who participate in the pre-college program can stay on the university’s campus and become familiar with life in a college setting.
  • This pre-college summer experience is intended for high school students, who will have finished at least their freshman year by the beginning of the program.

Learn more: Brown Summer Psychology Course Options


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Mike Uretsky

Mike has worked in the field of education as a teacher, school counselor, program coordinator, and consultant. As an educator, he has helped high school students find summer programs, pre-college programs, and colleges that align with their interests and goals. He has an interest in assisting students with the transition from high school to college. Mike is the manager of Student Education Programs, an online directory, that is designed to connect high school students with valuable summer pre-college opportunities.

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Donna Andrews

Donna has worked in the field of education in a variety of positions. She has been a high school teacher, college academic skills coordinator, and university professor. She has helped students achieve success in summer STEM programs and sports programs. She has also coordinator and taught in pre-college programs for high school students.

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