The Best Summer Programs in Maryland for High School Students

For students in Maryland, or in any state for that matter, attending a summer program can be a fantastic way to boost the resume for college applications.

The wide range of summer programs available to students may be overwhelming at first, but sifting through the options and identifying those that align with one’s interests and goals will be well worth the effort once they have enjoyed the opportunities afforded by the camp or program of their choice.

Whether interested in opportunities to explore STEM fields, the arts, business, or leadership, many organizations in Maryland offer programs for interested students to learn fundamental skills while exploring their options before graduating from high school.

In order to help Maryland high school students find the right program or camp for them, we have compiled the following list of several of the best summer camps and programs available in the state. 

Offered by universities, private organizations, or other institutions, these programs provide an excellent array of opportunities for students living in Maryland to consider.

University of Maryland Terp Young Scholars

University of Maryland
Wispeye, University of Maryland, CC BY-SA 4.0

The University of Maryland’s Office of Extended Studies offers high school students, from rising sophomores to graduating seniors, the chance to explore the UMD campus while earning college credit through its Terp Young Scholars program

Along with an online option, students can commute to the campus and attend class in person for three weeks. The summer session starts on July 10 and ends on July 28. 

Courses in environmental biology, computing, forensic science, and architecture are just a few of the options available to students. Students will need to specify a first and second choice course they would like to attend in the event of course cancellation or insufficient room.

University of Maryland VetSummer

VetSummer offers students aged 12 to 17 the chance to learn about veterinary medicine and gain hands-on experience in the field through its Animal Camp hosted on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park. Students have the choice of a residential or day camp experience.

Students will learn about common canine and feline diseases and how to prevent, diagnose, and treat these diseases. They will also learn how to perform physical examinations and suture wounds.

The UMD program will also take students on a tour of the Smithsonian National Zoo as they learn about veterinary practice and the steps needed to become a veterinarian. On days that do not include a field trip, students will learn about animals and veterinary science from a series of guest speakers.

Georgetown University 3-Week Medical Academy 

Georgetown University
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Georgetown University’s Hoya Summer High School Sessions include a three-week medical academy for students in or entering the 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades. The program offers students the opportunity to get a preview of medical school before entering college.

Students in the academy will learn from Georgetown University School of Medicine faculty and graduate students and can choose from one of three tracks: Anatomy & Physiology, Emergency Medicine, and Neuroscience Medicine.

Admission is competitive. Students are encouraged to apply early in order to ensure their spot in the academy.

Application materials include a recommendation, personal essay, and application fee, unless the application is submitted before January 31. 

Biotechnology for Science & Health Academy

The Biotechnology for Science & Health Academy is another one of Georgetown’s Hoya Summer High School Sessions and aims to educate high school students with a scientific background about the methods and applications of biotechnology.

Before moving to the laboratory, students will learn background information in lectures to conduct exercises such as cloning a gene, exploring the role of DNA in forensic science, and exploring the applications of DNA and protein diagnostics in modern healthcare.

Along with classroom lectures and laboratory exercises, students at the academy will take field trips to research laboratories, institutes, and companies in the Washington, D.C. area.

Georgetown Creative Writing Academy

Georgetown University also offers a summer academy for students interested in creative writing.

The week-long course runs from July 16 to July 22 and gives students the opportunity to learn from Georgetown graduate students and literary figures from the DC area.

Students in the academy will workshop their fiction with their peers and also learn about the publishing process and professional opportunities. 

Students will visit sites like the National Gallery of Art and read their works aloud at one of DC’s famous literary hubs, Busboys and Poets.

Additionally, students at the camp will have their works published in the academy’s annual literary magazine, Three Stars.

Students can attend the academy as a residential program or as a commuter program.

Smithsonian Youth Teach Assistants 

Students interested in art, science, and history who would like to gain experience for college applications while serving as role models for younger children will find the chance to serve as a Youth Teaching Assistant for summer camps put on by the Smithsonian Institution an excellent opportunity.

Youth Teaching Assistants will support camp instructors by monitoring the attendance and well-being of campers, leading games and activities, and managing camp packets, alongside other responsibilities. 

The Smithsonian will need Youth Teaching Assistants from June through August for week-long camps. Students must be at least 15 years old in order to serve as a Youth Teaching Assistant.

At the same time that students are serving as role models for younger children, they will learn about new subjects while earning valuable community service experience.

Army Educational Outreach Program High School Apprenticeships 

The Army Educational Outreach Program offers high school students interested in STEM fields the chance to learn from practicing scientists and researchers through one of its High School Apprenticeships

Students in the program can learn in university or Army research laboratories as they gain valuable experience from mentors in the field.

The apprenticeships are designed for commuters, and students in Maryland will be particularly interested in the trainings currently offered at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Adelphi Laboratory Center.

Unlike many other summer programs or camps, AEOP Apprenticeships are free, and apprentices will earn a stipend for their work during the program.

Applicants will need to provide their GPAs, transcripts, resumes, and answer a number of essay questions. 

Essay questions seek to understand why applicants wish to participate in the program and gain insight into a student’s educational background.

Exelon Foundation STEM Leadership Academy

Offered to young women in the 10th and 11th grades, the Exelon Foundation STEM Leadership Academy provides opportunities to learn from leaders in STEM fields and business. 

During the week-long program, students will explore issues like climate change, energy efficiency, and renewable energy as they attend educational sessions and complete a week-long project.

There is no cost to attend the academy, and meals and housing are provided for students in the academy.

Admission into the academy is competitive. Students will apply online and must provide an email address of an educator who can provide a recommendation for the program.

Additional questions on the application form inquire about students’ interests in STEM fields, leadership experience, and career goals.

National Aquarium Youth Exhibit Guide Program

Students interested in marine biology and environmental science will find the opportunity to participate in the Youth Exhibit Guide Program at the National Aquarium an exciting opportunity to explore the field while acquiring work experience and connecting with others interested in the field.

The program is open to high school students who have completed the 9th grade and demonstrate an interest in marine biology or similar areas.

Participants will interact with guests of all ages and must complete two five-hour weekly shifts and log a minimum of 85 hours in the program.