Academic Programs

Here’s the deal: Colleges are looking for students with an unusual set of experiences.  Admissions committees want to see a diverse resume, with community service hours, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities.  Therefore, summers should be used productively.

In the next few weeks, we’ll give you lots of ideas on how to make the most of your summer. And don’t worry, although you might be thinking that volunteering, working and studying isn’t exactly your idea of summer fun, it doesn’t have to be miserable.  Jump into activities that you enjoy and we guarantee you’ll have a blast!

We’ve done some Googling and brainstorming, and have come up with our list of summer programs in Texas and out-of-state that we find interesting. This list is by no means exhaustive, so we encourage you to get out there and do your own Google exploring! [hint: google “summer program high school” + any college you can think of]  Also, please note that some applications deadlines are approaching quickly.


Texas Christian University (TCU)

  • High School Journalism Workshop
    Deadline: May 1, 2011
    Dates: June 13-23, 2011This is a high school writing camp to help students work on their reporting skills. They learn the ins and outs of news reporting, writing, editing, photography, design, and ethics. At the end, they create their own newspaper, which goes out to the students’ schools and is also published online.

    Admission is competitive, and the program is free to selected participants. This is the link to the application:


  • TCU High School Investor Challenge
    Deadline: April 11, 2011
    Dates: June 12-17, 201This is a super-cool program, in which students learn the basics of investing. For an entire year after the program, the participants manage a $100,000 virtual portfolio. The following spring, they will return to TCU to present their results.

    This is the link to more information:


University of Texas

Texas A&M

  • Business Careers Awareness Program
    Deadline: April 1, 2011
    Dates: June 5-10, 2011This program is for rising seniors, to help them explore the possibilities offered by pursuing a degree in Business.


  • Camp ARCH
    Deadline: May 15, 2011
    Dates: July 10-16, 2011This is for kids who might be curious about a career in Architecture.

    The website describes it as “a week-long interdisciplinary experience designed to acquaint students with the study of and potential careers in professions utilizing architecture, visualization, construction science, landscape architecture, and urban planning.”


  • Women Explore Engineering
    Deadline: March 30, 2011
    Dates: July 17-20, 2011As the title clarifies, this program is just for females who express an interest in Engineering.  Applicants need to be rising juniors or seniors with A’s and B’s on their transcripts.


  • Texas A&M Sea Camp
    Deadlines varyThis program coordinates with Texas A&M Galveston to integrate the ocean with summer studies. Dates vary throughout the summer, but there are many programs, ranging from Marine Biology to Veterinary Science to Fishing Expeditions.


Southern Methodist University (SMU)

  • College Experience Program
    Deadline: ??
    Dates: June 29-August 1, 2011Through this program, motivated students gain up to six hours of college credit and get a solid exposure to the demands of college. This is definitely a challenging option, so don’t even think about it if you’re not serious.


  • Girls Talk Back Program
    Deadline: May 1, 2011
    Dates: July 17-22, 2011This is a really exciting option for girls who are entering 11th grade. In this program, students attend a writing seminar each morning. In the afternoons, they attend public speaking and professional etiquette classes. This would look awesome on a college application.



Vanderbilt University

  • Vanderbilt Summer Academy
    Deadline: March 14, 2011
    Dates: Sunday, July 10 – Friday, July 29, 2011Three-week residential program for students entering 11th or 12th grade in Fall 2011.


Cornell University

  • Cornell Summer College
    Deadline: May 6, 2011
    Dates: 3-week and 6-week programs, held between June 25 and August 9 on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York.Students may choose from a number of insanely cool program topics, such as “The Digital World and You,” “The Business World,” and “Democracy and Its Discontents.” They learn from college professors and study their topics from all angles, really getting the multidisciplinary exposure that is becoming a hallmark of the 21st century.


Stanford University

Emory University

  • Emory Pre-College Program
    Deadline: May 1, 2011
    Session A: June 27-July 8, 2011
    Session B: July 11-July 22, 2011
    Session C: July 25-August 5, 2011There are so many awesome sessions to choose from here! Go to the following website to see where your child might fit.

    There is also a 6-week program that offers college credit, but it’s such a gigantic commitment of time, and it might put so much pressure on the kids, that I didn’t include it here. You can find it through the same link.


Boston University

  • Research Internship
    Deadline: April 1, 2011
    Dates: July 4-August 12, 2011Research looks better on an application than just about anything else. It’s pretty amazing to be able to conduct research at an internationally recognized university, under world-class mentors, and then present a poster at the end.

    This is for rising juniors and seniors. It’s a long program, but research is an intense commitment.


  • Summer Challenge
    No set deadline
    Session 1: June 19 – July 1, 2011
    Session 2: July 10 – July 22, 2011
    Session 3: July 24 – August 5, 2011This is a two-week residential program that offers a preview of college life, while non-credit coursework allows students to concentrate on a high level of learning and achievement alongside their peers, without focusing on grades. It’s open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


University of Georgia

Davidson College

  • July Experience
    Deadline: April 4, 2011
    Dates: July 3-23, 2011This is a pre-college program for rising juniors and seniors. It’s all about the college preview. Your child will take two courses from different subject areas. With Davidson high on the academic horizon these days, a summer program there would look amazing! The course offerings include such offerings as, “Three Pounds, One Quadrillion Synapses: Discovering the Frontiers of Neuroscience” and “The Family and Justice.”