If you’re interested in coding, enrolling in a programming summer program is a great way to launch your academic and career readiness in computer science (CS). Unique to computer science, any independent or project-based coding work you engage at any age counts towards your professional development and hiring prospects quite directly. Below is a list of prestigious and rigorous coding summer programs for aspiring programmers. Empowerly is here to help you plan your summer.Although all require applicants to have a strong background and passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), options vary across summer programs in how much prior programming knowledge is required.
In addition to offering students a range of immersive and rigorous learning experiences, all of the below opportunities by state are highly selective and hosted by nationally recognized universities, nonprofits, and government institutions. Attending such programs not only provides students with heightened academic preparation and personal enrichment, but also demonstrates commitment to computer science (CS) and the ability to handle significant responsibility and challenges.
Here are a few noteworthy programs, followed by a complete list of Coding Summer Programs categorized by state below.
- BlueStamp Engineering is a coding summer program available in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and New York. Students choose all of their projects to work on. The 6-week summer program starts in June. Students may also apply to a 2-week prerequisite program. The program engages a 3-to-1 student to staff ratio, entrepreneurship guest lecturers, and the opportunity to build working programming prototypes, document them, and retain ownership over them. This also means that students can use their original working programs to enter them into academic competitions or evolve them at their leisure. Learn about a day in the life of many types of software engineers.
- Penn Engineering Summer Academy offers coursework in computer science, robotics, nanotechnology, and networks. The program runs for three weeks in July, and tuition is $7375 with financial aid available.
- The MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP) is open to female rising high school seniors. It is a 4-week summer wherein students explore engineering through classes, labs, and projects. Focuses offered include Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Mechanical Engineering. Admission to WTP is quite competitive, with a tuition price of $3,500. Students demonstrating certain financial need can attend for free.
- The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute is a 4-week residential program for rising high school seniors to navigate a race-car. The program wraps up in a race day to test prototypes. Qualification requires a teacher nomination, and an online application. This program is free.
- Google Computer Science Institute is a 3-week intro to coding for high school seniors. The program aims to train emerging tech leaders and innovators, held in multiple states each summer, with an inside look into Google operations. Participation is free.
- AI Scholars 2020 is a pre-college enrichment program developed and taught exclusively by Stanford PhD students. The program focuses on experiential learning and guides students to work on a mentor-led socially impactful AI project in their field of interest. Their 2-week summer program will be conducted in Palo Alto in June and is also available for grades 9-12 in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York and at international locations (including India and Dubai).
These following provide an intro for high-performing female students less familiar with CS:
- Girls Who Code
- MIT Women’s Technology Program
These two programs provide a stipend for participants:
- NASA internships
- The Science & Engineering Apprenticeship Program
A Computer Science Coding Summer Programs List by State
- 42 coding camp HackHighSchool
- Boston Leadership Institute - BIG DATA
- Boston University - AI4ALL
- MIT - Women's Technology Program
- Wolfram High School Summer Camp
- Self-study AP Computer Science Principles online class
Applying to summer programs is similar to applying to colleges. You should apply for reach, target, and safety programs. For tips about engaging self-directed summer research activities instead of summer program attendance, see this article.
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