Excellent Summer Programs For Students

Mar 19, 2021

Online summer programs for students

Most colleges now consider how applicants spend their summertime when in high school. Parents have gone ahead to invest in some of the summer programs to help their children get a feel of the University. Although this might not be a guarantee to differentiate your child from the application pool, it can help your child get how campuses work. 

A ton of colleges now offer at least one pre-college program to allow high school students to explore campus life and familiarize themselves with some of the University's programs. But it would help if you were very careful when selecting summer programs because most colleges use their summer programs as cash cows while offering nothing meaningful. 

And like I said earlier, summer college programs will not give you an upper hand during the application, but at least you will have gotten some experience of the college activities. That said, let's dive into some of the online summer programs you can take. 

1. Ohio University Online Summer Programs 

Ohio University online summer programs come in handy, especially to high school students who want to improve their portfolio work, get credit for them, and enhance their artistic voice. Additionally, students can brainstorm ideas and make them unique in a couple of media through these online summer programs at Ohio University.  

Each program at Ohio University has different requirements - both in terms of technology and schedules. But don't fret about that because I have put all the requirements for each program in one place. There is even more financial aid available to each program, and you can apply it from the course registration form. 

i) Art and Design 

Schedule: 9 a.m.–12 p.m. online

This program is meant to walk students through an introduction to typography, enhance hands-on activities with digital skills, and create beautiful graphics and books. Additionally, students can discuss with their colleagues, create their narratives, and come up with a book project collaboratively with this 2-week program. 

ii) Digital Art + Fabrication

Schedule: 1:00–4 p.m. online

With this summer program, students will get an opportunity to brainstorm some of the trends in digital art, and then use them to create final products from scratch. Using the available software at the University, students will improve their media skills as they leverage tech's role in design works and contemporary art. Finally, students will also get the hang of vector graphic designing and 3D modeling. 

iii) Dancing

Schedule: 9 a.m.–12 p.m. online 

This program offers two weeks of pre-college seminars, specifically for online learning. Students will meet Alexander Beller, the NYC dancer, as well as Anna Vira Sullivan, a somatic practitioner. These two dancing enthusiasts will help build students' dancing skills for a promising future. Finally, it is essential to note that this program is for pre-professional dancers 15 years old and above. 

iv) Film

Schedule: 1:00–4:00 p.m. in class online 

If you have an interest in filmmaking, this should be your perfect match. This program enables students to create short videos, edit to turn them into final pieces in this two-week program. During this period, students will be introduced to film professional tools. Additionally, students will enhance their filming skills while topping it up with creativity, critical in the film production industry. 

The program will kick-off with how students can develop narratives, scriptwriting, and help students get the best shots, edit their clips using the available innovative ways. Also, students will be able to get feedback from their works and make corrections where necessary. And because shooting and editing clips are usually the biggest nightmares to most students, be rest assured that your child will come out better if they devote their time to this program. 


This program outlines some of the requirements. They are worth checking out and make sure you conform to them. Besides internet access, your child will need a camera best for video production (smartphone cameras could help), as well as a personal computer with the following specs: RAM of 4GB, 256GB storage space, and this computer be loaded with the DaVinci Resolve software. Your child might also need a simple tripod stand. 

v) Graphic Design Intensive

Schedule: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. online 

The Graphic Design Intensive summer program walks students through how they can create beautiful graphics using real-world applications. Additionally, students will learn about typography, digital image manipulation, branding, as well as design for the web. It is also essential to note that creative thinking, user experience, and more will be expanded upon registering for this program. 


You won't need any design experience to take this program. You must have access to a fully functional computer, as well as Adobe Photoshop software or GIMP and Inkscape as alternatives. Your child must also have a smartphone with a clear camera because this is what they will use to submit their assignments online. 

2. Columbia University Online Summer Programs 

Cost and Session Information: 

  • You will pay $3865 for 3-week programs. 
  • You will pay $1551 for 1-week courses. 
  • Session 1 begins from June 29th to July 17th. 
  • Session 2 starts as of July 21rst to August 7th. 
  • Session 3 starts from August 10th to August 14th. 

If you want to get a dynamic online learning platform, Columbia University has got you covered. 9-12 grade students can select at least one curricular and pursue them for one to three weeks. 

Your child will be required to attend online classes two times a day for 1-hour sessions to help them better their academic skills and other essential activities, such as group projects, individual projects, debates, and simulations. 

Students will also get an opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, such as programming and community outreach, among others during the midday break. Additionally, students can carry on with special lectures and awareness activities. 

With this combination of academic activities and extracurricular activities, students will be able to discover their passion and improve them. Passion is one of the determinants of a better life in the future, so it will be a big stepping stone for your child to join this program. 

Finally, it is essential to note that students will not be awarded grades when taking this program. Still, Columbia University will issue them with an official "Columbia University Statement of Completion." 

3. Boston Leadership Institute Online STEM Programs

At Boston Institute, majors in the field of STEM comes in handy. These include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Also, courses such as Forensics, Anatomy, and Physiology of Fitness, Origins of Mental Illness, Pre-Med Task Force, and Medicine are available online. In addition to the online courses, Investment 101 courses and the Photography Task Force are also offered.  

Cost and Session Information: 

  • One-week tuition fee - $599
  • The one-week upfront fee to secure your seat - $200
  • Three-week tuition fee - $2200
  • The three-week upfront fee to secure your place - $500
  • For registrations done after the 15th of May, payment is scheduled for two weeks after an advance payment that's up to date. 

i) Pre-Med Task Force

The rising number of COVID-19 Epidemics has affected most activities globally. And because learning has been suspended, use the opportunity to conduct in-depth online research on some of the challenges faced by medical professionals. This will help you learn about the global situation and how a pandemic can impact the Pre-Med Task Force.  

ii) Forensics

Today, there are tons of TV shows that showcase Forensics films, and as such, Forensics has become a vital discipline in the field of Science. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn something they aren't taught in school. This can be a plus to students who are passionate about crime, Anatomy, and Biology as Forensics offers these subjects at its best.     

iii) Investments 101

If you're passionate about investments, this course is for you. Investments 101 is an online summer program that lets you learn the basics of banking as you also prepare yourself for a business career. Also, establishing your online business portfolio with Investment 101 is a no brainer. Not only does it allow you to track your investments, but it also helps you identify some of the competitive businesses. What's more? Investment 101 lets you explore profitable opportunities in the marketing industry.   

iii) Origins of Mental Illness

You should be probably wondering how possible it is to identify the etiology of mental illnesses. Well, courses such as Clinical Psychology include fascinating topics about sociopathy, brain disorders, and more. You can also do a comprehensive online search on a specific mental disorder as there are tons of medical articles that are available online.  

iv) Photography Task Force

With the advance in technology, nearly all mobile phones have cameras. This is an excellent opportunity for students to dig deeper into the Science and art behind photography. Learn everything about photography and cameras by exploring the history of photography. This will enhance your photography skills and help you learn how to capture photos that convert. 

v) Anatomy & Physiology of Fitness

Boston Leadership Institute takes pride as the best school for the Anatomy and Physiology program. As such, students who enroll in this program participate in a series of activities, including enhancing their physical fitness, as well as inflating their knowledge of the human body. And because Boston offers this program online, students can remain active while also keeping fit in their comfort.  

vi) Sports Medicine

Like I mentioned before, the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected tons of activities globally, and as such, gyms have been closed. However, you may still keep fit through the Sports Medicine program at Boston Leadership University that's available online. 

Sports Medicine comes in handy with a variety of physical exercises, including the benefits and recovery methods. The best of all is that this program lets you explore the human body's knowledge and the essential nutrients to fuel your body. 

4. Cambridge Online Summer Programs 

Online services, reliable tutor, and convenience are some of the benefits you enjoy upon registering for Cambridge online summer programs. However, it is worth noting that these programs are only available for students between the ages of 12 and 18. While it's a renowned University with up to 15 years of experience, it is worth enrolling in its online programs.  

How does it work?

  • Step 1: Select the major you intend to pursue. 
  • Step 2: Head over and fill in the personalized learning form. 
  • Step 3: Plan on a free one-on-one session with any Cambridge's experienced advisors. 

Scheduling an online meeting with Cambridge's advisory team is crucial as it helps them connect you to a perfect tutor to walk you through the entire program. And because Cambridge services are quality, rest assured of satisfaction guaranteed. If you don't find the first lesson worthwhile, feel free to request a refund.   

Meanwhile, below are the online programs offered at Cambridge University:

  • Personalized course on the major you selected for a specific number of hours. 
  • A professional tutor for your chosen online course.  
  • Enrichment courses based on Leadership and University skills (optional). 
  • Supplemental assignments offered for free only upon request. 
  • Workable schedules that are suitable for both the student and the tutor. 
  • A completion certificate for your Reach Cambridge personalized program. 
  • Significant discounts for Cambridge's residential applications. 

Cost and Session Information: 

Academic Courses: 

While these are personalized online courses, they are tested and approved by professionals in your specific areas of interest. Note that these courses are available in a bunch of 10, 20, and 40 hours. 

  • Medicine and Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Psychology
  • Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • English as a second language
  • English Literature
  • Law
  • Business Management
  • SAT Prep
  • Physics
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Economics
  • Journalism


  • 10 Hour Introductory - £ 850
  • 20 Hour Comprehensive Study - £ 1615
  • 40 Hour Improved Learning - £ 2995

5. Illinois Online Summer Programs 

Illinois Tech offers high school students the opportunity to advance their unending desire in STEM learning. This coming summer, Illinois will provide students with a chance to hone their skills in cybersecurity, computational science, game design and development, and mathematics. It is also important to note that this program has no experience, so all high school students are eligible to enroll in this program. 

Online programs at Illinois University take between 1 and 2 weeks throughout June, July, and August. These programs are meant to walk students through the various disciplines of computing and technology, which helps them in honing their skills. So if you want to take your computing skills to the next level, Illinois summer programs go you covered. 

i) Cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity is a program that walks through students the skills and concepts needed offensive hacking. With this program, high school students will have the opportunity to gain experience through hands-on practice. That said, this program will cover topics such as: 

  • Red teams. 
  • How to set up a virtualization environment to help with penetration testing. 
  • How to set up Kali Linux and other necessary tools, such as Social Engineering Toolkit, Wireshark, Nmap, John the Ripper, etc. 

ii) Game Development and Programming 

The second on this list of programs at Illinois University os Game Development and Programming. Now, in this program, students will learn how to create videos, including the video's components, such as music and audio. Additionally, students will learn: 

  • Students will learn how they can develop a game concept and create prototypes while testing their functionalities. 
  • Students will be able to expand their development environment through the addition of gameplay and multiplayer features. 
  • Students will learn JavaScript to enable them to create better videos. 

iii) Mathematics Camp I

Many students hate Mathematics because they feel that Maths is all about cramming numbers and equations. But what they might not have known is that Mathematics involves more than just numbers and equations. Most students are yet to learn how to use the infinitude of primes to solve web search problems. 

This program at Illinois University will equip students with skills to change the negative perceptions and help them appreciate the importance and power we all find when we learn Mathematics. Students will also get an opportunity to improve their problem-solving capabilities and be prepared to tackle real-world challenges they might not have learned in high school. Additionally, students will know how to present Mathematical ideas both in writing and orally. 

That out of the way, below are some of the topics covered in this program: 

  • Elementary number theory 
  • Methods of proof
  • Probability and counting

iv) Computational Science 

If you have ever thought of taking majors in Science, Mathematics, or Computation, you need to grab the opportunity offered at Illinois University to enhance your computational science skills and knowledge. The computational science courses at Illinois University are for high school students, and the program tends to combine Mathematics and Science. 

Students will also use tools, such as Mathematics, to brainstorm ideas or questions and find their solutions for a computer. Additionally, the program involves hands-on activities and lectures. Upon completion of this program, students will acquire better computational skills, which is now on-demand than never before. Also, students who complete this course will get two credit hours of SCI 111. 

6. Northwestern University (CTD) Online Summer Programs 

Northwestern University takes pride as the best centre for nurturing talent. As such, it offers a series of talent development online programs, including core essentials, honours, and AP® courses for students with abilities and talents. These online programs are referred to as Gifted Learning Links, and as such, their main objective is to ensure gifted students attain their educational goals. 

Regardless of age, homeschooled, elementary, and high school students can use this course to expand their knowledge at all times. Meanwhile, you can choose an online program of your interest from the list below.

i) Online Core Essentials (9 weeks)

Just as the name suggests, Core Essentials allows students to learn the essential subjects that aren’t offered in traditional learning. And because it’s a Center for Talent Development (CTD), students in grade 3 up to 8 are allowed to enrol.   

ii) Online Enrichment (9 weeks)

Like I mentioned earlier, this course is meant to nurture talents in gifted and talented students, and as such, students in grade 3 through 10 are allowed to enrol and explore tons of fascinating subjects. While these subjects are meant to cultivate creativity, they are also used to enhance students’ problem-solving skills. 

iii) Online Honors Electives (18 weeks)

Online Honors Electives at CTD is offered to high school students in grades 6 through 12. Students who register for this course are fortunate to learn exciting topics that aren’t available in traditional settings. Meanwhile, students are allowed to explore STEM-related subjects, including Social Studies and Humanities. 

iv) Accelerated Summer Option (ASO) (9 weeks)

Students who intend to register for the Accelerated Summer Option (ASO) are allowed to choose majors from Honors, Honors Elective, and Advanced Placement (AP®) within the first nine weeks of registration. If you’re an ambitious student searching for online opportunities to boost your academics, then you should consider enrolling to ASO courses.   

v) Online Advanced Placement (18 or 36 weeks)

Because it’s an advanced program, English and writing, foreign languages, STEM courses, social sciences and humanities come in handy. This course is available to high school students in grades 9 through 12 for a maximum of nine months. Also, upon enrolling to this course, you’re opportune to enhance your creativity and analytical skills. The AP® courses are tested and certified by the College Board and AP® officials. 

Additional Programs 

1. Research Science Institute 

Every summer, at least eighty high school students meet at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the RSI. The Research Science Institute is a free summer science and engineering course that tends to combine on-campus and off-campus activities. 

Students who decide to take this program will have to start and finish it. While taking this course, students will have a chance to browse through the most current and relevant literature, craft a research plan and then submit detailed reports based on their findings. 

Students who register for this program will take a week in the STEM classes; however, the intensive part begins in the 5-week research internship where students will be required to do their projects under the supervision of researchers and mentors. In the final week, students will have to prepare a detailed report based on their findings. 

2. Beaver Works Summer Institute 

Beaver Works Summer Institute is renowned for its first-class STEM programs, which is precisely offered to talented students in their senior years. It is a four-week program that tends to instil STEM skills through projects workshop-style courses. Back in 2016, BWSI offered a single class to 46 students - both daytime and residential students. In their first year of enrolling the program, students were able to come up with programmed robotic cars to steer a racetrack autonomously.    

In 2017, the BWSI program improved on its learning style and even added two other courses - Autonomous Cognitive Assistant and Autonomous Air Vehicle Racing. However, to enrol to these two courses, students were required to have a solid understanding of the STEM courses. Online tutorials were, therefore, developed to help students learn the STEM courses in depth before applying for the BWSI program. The number of applicants increased to 98 from 49 students in 2016.  

3. Community Science Academy (CSA)

The Community Science Academy boasts as the best learning community for science-based research programs, including urban planning, environment, and agriculture. 

The CSA program offers science-related and engineering skills to high school and university students who are passionate about research in the relevant areas. These research programs are later converted into educational and career opportunities with the help of Caltech researchers who partners with the CSA. 

What’s more? Assays, software, curriculum, custom instrumentation, perform outreach, professional development, community science, and educational science projects are some of the benefits to enjoy upon enrolling to this online summer program. 

Wrapping it Up 

This was a comprehensive list of the top summer programs for high school students. These programs are executed online, and it would help to check each of them and decide which is better for you. Additionally, you should draft a list of priorities that will make it easier for you to choose from this comprehensive list—otherwise, good luck in your summer program.


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