Opportunities abound for high school students in Arizona who wish to broaden their horizons through a summer camp or program while making friends with students who share similar interests and passions.
Universities and other institutions across the state offer eager students a wealth of opportunities to learn about new and exciting subjects while making lasting connections and gaining valuable academic and work experience.
Many summer programs offered by universities in the state give high school students a chance to earn college credit before high school graduation while exploring potential career paths before committing to a particular university or major.
At locations across Arizona, high school students are provided opportunities to learn about medicine, science, flying, astronomy, business, biology, and other fields through exciting camps and programs.
While the idea of spending summer days idling away the hours playing video games or just relaxing will tempt many to pass by these opportunities, those who choose to spend their summer break in camps or programs like these will find themselves in an enviable position when it comes time to apply to competitive university or college programs.
In order to help students make the best choice, we have put together this list of 10 of the best summer programs available to high school students in Arizona.
University of Arizona Med-Start Health Careers Program
The University of Arizona’s Med-Start Health Careers Program offers high school students interested in medicine or other healthcare careers the opportunity to learn about the field over a six-week residential program.
The course starts at the beginning of June and runs through the middle of July.
The program is available to students with at least a 3.0 GPA and who have completed their junior years in high school.
Students will be able to earn five college credits through college-level courses in English, Chemistry, and Math while living on the University of Arizona campus.
The program also provides students with hands-on demonstrations, lectures on careers in health professions, and tours of healthcare facilities.
KEYS Research Internship
The Keys Research Internship at the University of Arizona offers students interested in bioscience and related fields the opportunity to become scientifically literate and work with University of Arizona researchers on a project determined by a student’s interest.
The program spans seven weeks and is open to students 16 years and over who have lived in Arizona for at least one year.
Students in the program will participate in a week-long crash course in the basics of bioscience before participating in a five-week internship that includes seminars and scientific research.
The program culminates in a week of project showcases presented in a conference style to members of the public.
The program is free to students, and the University of Arizona offers financial assistance to offset incidental costs such as parking, meals, and transportation.
Business Career Awareness Program
Students interested in careers in the business sector will be interested in the University of Arizona’s Business Careers Awareness Program.
The program is open to high school students currently in their junior years, and students can choose a one-day program on June 2 or a week-long program from June 4 to June 9.
The program covers entrepreneurship, accounting, business communication, and marketing. Students will also participate in a business plan competition, with the winners receiving a scholarship to offset the cost of their books.
The University of Arizona has partnered with global accounting firm EY to offer the program, and the EY scholarship pays for the cost of attending the program. Students in the week-long residential program will have the opportunity to network with EY staff and will visit the EY office in Phoenix, AZ.
Arizona State University Barrett Summer Scholars Program
Arizona State University offers high school students entering the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades its Barrett Summer Scholars Program.
The program provides students the opportunity to learn about the university and its honors college while taking classes based on a student’s interests.
The week-long programs run in June and July, depending on a student’s grade level. Students will live on one of ASU’s campuses at ASU Polytechnic, ASU Downtown, or ASU Tempe.
Students will be assigned courses based on their ranked interests, and ASU will work to ensure that students are in their preferred courses whenever possible.
The program will cost $1,000, and this covers the costs of room, board, and classes. Scholarships are available to students with financial need.
There is no minimum GPA to apply for the program, but applicants are encouraged to have at least a 2.7 GPA.
ASU César E Chávez Leadership Institute
The César E Chávez Leadership Institute seeks to encourage Arizona youth to continue their education after high school and become leaders in Arizona and the world through participation in its week-long residential camp for students entering their junior or senior years in high school.
Students in the camp will learn about leadership, civic engagement, and community service by volunteering with local organizations and learning from civic and business leaders.
The camp will also help prepare students to enter college by translating interests into careers and drafting personal statements.
The program accepts 60 students interested in leadership and social justice every year. Unlike many other summer camps or programs, there is no cost to participate in the César E Chávez Leadership Institute.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Flight Exploration
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers students interested in aviation the opportunity to begin entering the field while still in high school through its Flight Exploration camp.
The camp is open to students ages 12 to 16, and they can choose from four week-long sessions beginning in May and ending in July.
The camp will introduce students to topics such as air traffic management, safety analysis, night operations, and cross-country operations.
Students at the camp will train in a flight simulator and log 4.5 hours of flight time in a C-172S aircraft.
In order to be eligible to fly, students will need to undergo an FAA medical exam to be cleared to operate an aircraft.
Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills
The Leadership Society of Arizona offers students aged 12 through 18 the chance to become better leaders through its Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills summer program held on Arizona State University campuses.
The program lasts four days, and classes run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.
Topics at the camp include decision-making, goal-setting, conflict resolution, managing stress, public speaking, and many other aspects integral to being a successful leader.
Program instructors have received PhDs in fields like engineering, supply chain management, and project management. Additionally, all instructors have completed at least five years of industry training and licensing.
The program costs $350, and students will participate in an awards ceremony, receive booklets and training materials, and receive a Leadership Training Certificate upon completion of the program.
Offered by the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, the Summer Scrubs Sessions offers high school students the opportunity to learn about medicine and healthcare through a variety of day and residential camps.
Students entering the 12th grade can participate in day or residential versions of the Explore Medicine Program, while students entering the 10th and 11th grades can participate in The Healthcare Team.
The Explore Medicine Program is aimed at students who are considering becoming a physician. The Healthcare Team is aimed at students who are interested in healthcare at large, but do not know which career they wish to pursue.
Summer High School Internship Program
The Barrow Neurological Institute offers students aged 16 and above an exciting opportunity to gain scientific skills and knowledge through its Summer High School Internship Program. The internship begins on the 1st of July and ends on July 31.
Students will learn about the biological principles underlying diseases as well as how to evaluate and present scientific literature.
Students are encouraged to choose one of the laboratories that most suit their interests and submit an application for the internship. The institute’s research areas include the spine, neuroimagery, neuroepidemiology, brain tumors, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Along with the age requirement, students must be full-time high school students and be able to work 20 to 40 hours per week during the internship. Qualifying students may also be eligible for scholarships.
TGen Bioscience Leadership Academy
The TGEN Bioscience Leadership Academy is open to students who will be at least 16 years old at the start of the academy and who will be entering their junior or senior years in an Arizona high school.
The academy aims to provide students with an intensive study of bioscience while developing leadership skills.
The academy spans two weeks, and students who graduate from the program will earn a $1,000 scholarship.
Applicants face a selective admissions process as the program only accepts 20 students into the academy each year. Students will primarily be evaluated on the strength of their personal application essays and letters of recommendation.
Students will learn about bioethics, experimental design, and genomic medicine while gaining research expertise and laboratory skills from TGen researchers and staff.