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  • Alisha Mashruwala Daswani

Engineering Edition: Effective Summer Programs for High School Students

If you’re an engineering student looking to spend a summer at a US university deep diving into an engineering project and learning more about what studying engineering at college looks like as well as exploring careers and learning from industry professionals, then exploring one of these summer programs maybe a good option for you. We share the 7 best options for you to consider.




Program focus: The program is, in part, designed to provide exceptional math and science students the opportunity to explore the field of Engineering before applying to college. Situated on Penn’s historic campus right in the heart of the city, students can also take advantage of the vast array of activities and resources available to the Penn community.

Participants of ESAP enroll in one of seven offered courses.

Cost: $8500

Eligibility: Grade 9-11, A minimum 3.0 GPA, or equivalent, is required for all applicants with a preference for strong performance in math and science subjects, as well as honors and advanced coursework.

Location: UPenn Campus - Philadelphia

Dates: July 7th - 27th

Deadline: Priority Deadline - March 1st, Final Deadline - April 5th


Program focus: The Summer Engineering Exploration Camp (SEE Camp) is a one week, residential, co-ed camp hosted by the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Michigan. This camp is for high school students entering grades 10-11, especially those with limited access to engineering resources. Campers will learn about various engineering disciplines and industries, as well as learn more about engineering at the University of Michigan. 

Cost: $650

Eligibility: High school students of all genders going into grades 10-11, especially those with limited access to engineering resources

Location: UMich Campus

Dates: July 7th to July 13th

Deadline: Friday, March 1st, 2024

Cohort: 40 students


Program focus: Allows students to explore how engineers envision creative, practical solutions that benefit the everyday lives of people and the communities in which they live. Students will be exposed to numerous and varied topics and the application of science and engineering principles in biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

Cost: $3,636

Eligibility: Rising sophomore - senior 

Location: UMass Amherst campus (MA)

Dates: July 14 - 27

Deadline: May 15th, 2024


Another Option at UMass Amherst for Civil Engineering Students: Building & Construction Technology: BuildingLab


Program focus: USC Viterbi's SHINE students have the chance to join a research team for seven weeks. As part of the program, you pick your top three engineering tracks that you would like to pursue in the program, and SHINE will pair you up with a mentor (professor) that's the best fit for you.

Cost: $6,330

Eligibility: Open to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with a GPA of 3.4 or more on a 4.0 scale 

Location: USC Campus, Los Angeles (No Housing Allocated)

Dates: 10th June to 26th July

Deadline: February 16, 2024 

Cohort: 60 Students


Program focus: Learn about pursuing engineering majors in college, work with professors, graduate students and undergraduate student on design projects and hands-on activities, Meet mentors and learn about engineering degrees, research and careers

Cost: $750 (Three-day residential programs) - Topic-wise options

Eligibility: Open to all 10th-12th graders passionate about engineering

Location: University of Arizona campus

Dates: Many option  June 10th to July 25th

Deadline: 29th March 2024


Program focus: As an ESTEEM/SER Quest participant, you are expected to engage in an intensive 4-week research-focused program. At the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, you will develop a research proposal on a topic of your choice, complete a literature review, and conduct a research project in engineering.

Cost: Fully Sponsored

Eligibility: minimum 3.2 GPA, demonstrated interest in and aptitude for a career in engineering (minorities preferred)

Location: University of Maryland campus (No housing available, commuter-only)

Dates: July 12 - August 6, 2024

Deadline: Apply by May 13


Program focus: Use engineering design software and materials to construct rovers, Go-Karts, or rockets. The Engineering Experience an introduction to engineering design while building teamwork and communication skills and examination of engineering majors offered at UCLA and of engineering careers. Completion of hands-on engineering design projects, preparation of short report describing projects, and presentation of results. Specific project details and relevant majors explored vary with instructor.

Cost: $2,799.00

Eligibility: 9th-11th grade in Spring 2023; Ages 15-17

Location: UCLA campus (No housing available, commuter-only)

Dates: June 24, 2024 – July 12, 2024 OR July 15, 2024 – August 2, 2024

Deadline: June 1st 2024



To understand which of these programs is ideal for you, speak to your mentors at OnCourse who will be able to make the most effective recommendations keeping in mind your interests, your current academic standing and your resume. If you are not enrolled with OnCourse, reach out to set up a consultation meeting to understand more about our mentoring programs for students from Grade 8 to Grade 12. 


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