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Polygence blog / Research Opportunities and Ideas

History Summer Research Programs for High School Students: The Top 10 in 2023

6 minute read

If it is true that history repeats itself, then a knowledge of history facilitates an understanding of the world as it is today. With that baseline, history can also impact the future - or perhaps even predict it! Studying history gives students communication and critical thinking skills that can be applied to a variety of careers (think: banking, communications, journalism, writing, and many others) as they become adept critical thinkers.

There are so many history research opportunities for high school students available throughout the year - many students ask us where they can go to get hands-on research experience - you asked and we listened!

Here is a list of 10 Shortlisted History Research Opportunities for High Schoolers in History listed in order of application deadlines. If you are searching for a virtual History research opportunity, you can also consider doing a project through Polygence.

International Relations Academy

Hosting Institution: World Scholars Academy

Cost: $2,495 USD

Format: Online

Application deadline: March 1, 2023

International Relations Academy is delivered virtually over two weeks in (i) ten live and interactive online classes, and (ii) two one-on-one personalized academic tutorials led by the instructor. The program follows the International Relations Academy curriculum and includes: Government and Leadership Theories, Diplomacy and Crisis Management, Revolutions and Political Change, Politics and the Economy, and International Law and Organisations, among other topics. 

Interested in conducting your own history research project?

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own. We also offer options to explore multiple topics, or to showcase your final product!

Ancient Civilizations, History, & Myth

Hosting Institution: Smithsonian Institute

Cost: $8,290 USD + airfare

Format: In person (Europe - various cities)

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Traveling to Greece and Italy, students dive into the history and traditions of these countries on this high school summer program in the Mediterranean. Participants explore the legacy of the Greek and Roman empires as they travel through the countries where the history was made. Athens, Crete, Santorini, Naples, and Rome among others.  Students learn, see, feel how history and the present coexist in Rome, where Renaissance architecture and Roman ruins are integrated in a dynamic modern city.


Sea Changes: A History of the World's Oceans

Hosting Institution: Skidmore College

Cost: $1,500 - $2,999 USD

Format: Online and in-person commuters only (Saratoga Springs, NY)

Application deadline: April 1, 2023

This survey course in global history takes the world’s oceans as its subject. Students explore themes ranging from naval history to legal history, from environmental history to zoological history, and from the history of exploration and adventure to the history of imperialism and conquest. Students will work with primary and secondary sources and develop their analytical and writing skills.

BEGINNINGS: Inquiring into the Origins of Politics, Poetry, and Mathematics

Hosting Institution: St. John’s College

Cost: $1,200

Format: In person (Santa Fe, NM)

Application deadline: May 1, 2023

For the student interested in the ultimate origin story! Through classical works of history, philosophy, religion, mathematics, and poetry, participants in this week-long experience will explore the idea of the beginning. Looking at beginnings as diverse as political and religious foundings, to mathematical and philosophical first principles, to the creative and imaginative powers of poetry. The course culminates in demonstrating how these disparate “beginnings” all interconnect. 

Hoya Summer High School Sessions

Hosting Institution: Georgetown University

Cost: $2,500 - $6,950 USD

Format: In-person; commuter and residential (Washington, DC)

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

From 1-week options like “International Relations Academy,” “U.S. Campaigns & Elections Academy,” and “Washington & the World Academy,” to the 3-week “Foreign Policy Academy,” students are invited to think bigger and discuss more thoughtfully, as they dive deeper into the respective field of study. Participants attend seminars, taste college life, and can earn college credits. 

Your Project Your Schedule - Your Admissions Edge!

Register to get paired with one of our expert mentors and to get started on exploring your passions today! And give yourself the edge you need to move forward!

Pre-College Program in American History

Hosting Institution: Wiliam & Mary and National Institute of American History & Democracy (NIAHD)

Cost: $2,500 - $5,000 USD

Format: Online and in-person (Williamsburg, VA)

Application deadline: May 31, 2023

These three-week sessions are a rigorous prep for college. Students participate in class discussions with a maximum of 12 students; are expected to read 30-60 pages of college-level articles and primary source documents each night; and will submit written work each week. Course work includes “Artifacts of American History,” “The Road to the American Revolution,” and “The Road to the United States Civil War.”

American Civil War Camp

Hosting Institution: Gettysburg College

Cost: $1,395

Format: In person (Gettysburg, PA)

Application deadline: June 1, 2023

Steeped in history, students at Gettysburg learn about the American Civil War in this immersive environment. This one-week camp invites participants to dive deeper into a pivotal aspect of US history through seminars, discussions, and observations.

National History Academy

Hosting Institution: Foxcroft School

Cost: $9,995 USD

Format: In person (Middleburg, VA)

Application deadline: June 15, 2023

This four-week curriculum is designed to challenge students to participate and interact with each other and the historical sites they visit.  The experiential curriculum is built around four components: (1) Case Method Institute history cases; (2) parliamentary debates; (3) a speaker series and (4) visits to the defining sites of American history. Participants also explore campus life as full time residents. 

Summer Sessions

Hosting Institution: Boston University

Cost: ~$10,000 USD (depending on number of credits)

Format: In person (Boston, MA)

Application deadline: N.A.

The history enthusiast can select from course work such as “The Emergence of Modern Europe,” “The Emerging United States,” and “Catastrophe and Memory,” among others. Residential students experience college life, attending class alongside undergraduate students from BU and can earn up to 8 college credits. Online courses are also available. 

Summer Career Explorations

Hosting Institution: Calvin University

Cost: $550 - $1,660 USD

Format: Online or in-person (Grand Rapids, MI)

Application deadline: N.A.

A history research opportunity specifically for high school students. Participants are invited to discover careers related to history and contribute to a collaborative class blog through personal interviews and research. Students will visit organizations such as local museums, and meet professionals who have put their historical training to work in diverse fields.

Bonus Heads Up for Summer 2024: Stanford Summer Humanities Institute

Hosting Institution: Stanford University

Cost: $8,250 USD for 2023

Format: In person (Stanford, CA)

Application deadline: February 2024 (applications open in the Summer/Fall)

For the ultimate planner, think a year in advance in order to apply for the opportunity to study at Stanford University. Coursework includes Ancient Rome, The Greeks, Revolutions, The American Enlightenment among others. Students explore the humanities at a college level, investigate philosophical questions, and pursue exciting research topics that are chosen by each participant.

Are you looking for a more customized history research opportunity for high school students? (check out some of the previous history research ideas that our students have been able to work on!) At Polygence, we offer students the opportunity to get 1:1 project mentorship from expert mentors and researchers. Students are in the driver’s seat of their education here, and whatever project you want to do, we will help you make it happen! 

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