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Top 20 Summer 2023 Internship Opportunities for High School Students

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Many college counselors agree: it takes more than great grades to get into a great college. Extracurricular activities are also important in the college admissions process. Why? They can demonstrate the kind of “citizen” one is or is capable of being. In particular, the more responsibility and leadership a student demonstrates in an internship position, the more likely they are to catch the eye of an admissions office. As you look for an internship, bear in mind that some will offer a stipend while others will not, and still others may require an application fee.

Here is a list of 20 Summer 2023 internships for High School students listed in alphabetical order as many do not indicate an application deadline. That said, the more prestigious the internship, the sooner it will fill up!

If you are searching for a virtual summer opportunity, you can also consider doing a project through Polygence, where you can create a research project that's tailored to your interests and schedule.

Alternatively, you could consider doing a research program for high school students. To help you understand your options, we've created a handy guide to decide whether an internship or research program is the right way to spend your summer.

You call the shots

Polygence matches you with an expert mentor in your field of interest. Together, you work around your schedule to create a one of a kind research project that you can call your own

1) KP Launch

Hosting Institution: Kaiser Permanente
Format: In-person (Northern California)
Application deadline: December 23, 2022  

Designed to introduce underrepresented and low-income participants to careers in health, this program provides paid opportunities in California. While high school students will not participate in medical treatment or procedures, they will learn about the administrative and support aspects of the medical profession and they will build a professional network through workshops, community service projects, and social events. 

2) Student Leadership Program

Hosting Institution: Bank of America
Format: In-person (Washington, DC)
Application deadline: January 13, 2023  

Through paid internships with local nonprofits and participation in a national leadership summit, students gain practical work and life experience. Participants see how nonprofits, governments and businesses collaborate to meet local needs by participating in the national Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

3) Expanding Horizons

Hosting Institution: Constitutional Rights Foundation
Format: In-person (Los Angeles, CA)
Application deadline: January 31, 2023  

This Internship provides first-generation, college-bound high school students in the Los Angeles area with an intensive experience of skill development and personal growth that prepares them for college, career, and civic life. The program kicks off in the spring, with interactive seminars concluding with a paid summer internship within a variety of fields from a law firm to corporation or even government agency, or non-profit organization.

4) Adler Planetarium Summer High School Internships

Hosting Institution: Adler Planetarium
Format: In-person (Chicago, IL)
Application deadline: TBA in February 2023   

This internship allows Chicago high schoolers to engage with STEAM fields while preparing for a career. Participants connect with peers from around the city as they explore similar interests in a variety of museum roles. The specifics of the current year’s program will be released in February. 

5) Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

Hosting Institution: American Fisheries Society
Format: In-person (Various)
Application deadline: February 14, 2023  

This eight week paid summer internship aims to stimulate interest in fisheries and aquatic science among underrepresented groups. Participants receive a $3,000 stipend and an all expense paid trip to the Hutton Scholars Summit. The organization aims to place students within a 45 minute commute of their home. This program offers hands-on fisheries science experience in a freshwater and/or marine setting both in the lab and the field.

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6) Student Historian Internship Program

Hosting Institution: New-York Historical Society
Format: In-person (New York, NY)
Application deadline: TBA - after mid-February for Summer session  

In this internship, high school-aged students use the resources of New-York Historical to conduct research and share their scholarship through digital projects. Interns meet with professional staff to learn about careers in the museum, library, and history fields; work collaboratively with fellow students to develop their public speaking and leadership skills; and engage in hands-on work to deepen their understanding of American history. Each internship cohort has a different focus. 


Hosting Institution: Johns Hopkins 
Format: Virtual & In-person (Baltimore, MD)
Application deadline: March 1, 2023  

This eight-week unpaid internship is for students who want to discover a career in the neurological sciences. The program matches interns with a scientist to work on a research project in a laboratory setting. Interns will also be exposed to other program activities such as professional development workshops, college prep classes, mentorship training, scientific presentations, networking activities, among others. There is also a five-week virtual internship offering a $500 honorarium. 

8) Plant Genome Research REU

Hosting Institution: Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI)
Format: In-person (Ithaca, NY)
Application deadline: March 3, 2023  

Students get hands on experience to help determine if a biological major is right for them. Opportunities in plant science research and computational biology require no prior lab experience. This six-week program includes seminars and workshops as well as lab work alongside undergrads in professional development lectures and discussions. 


Hosting Institution: Scripps Research
Format: In-person (La Jolla, CA)
Application deadline: March 28, 2023  

This 10-week unpaid internship offers school credit or transcript notation at the culmination of the work. The Scripps Research Translational Institute (SRTI) engages in translational research, focused on personalized health care through the genomic, proteomic and metabolomic correlates of health and disease.  Interns work with and learn from a multi-disciplinary team of scientists. 

10) Met High School Internships

Hosting Institution: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Format: In-person (New York, NY)
Application deadline: March 31, 2023  

This paid internship is offered to students who reside in or attend a high school or home school in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Participants connect one-on-one and in small cohorts with Museum professionals in a variety of fields, including editorial, marketing, social media, education, and others. Learning and networking occurs in career labs, bi-weekly cohort check-ins, final event planning, and celebration. 


Hosting Institution: The Zuckerman Institute at Columbia
Format: In-person (New York, NY)
Application deadline: April 1, 2022  

For students interested in neuroscience, The Zuckerman Institute’s Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) program provides high-schoolers with an immersive, hands-on summer research experience in a Columbia laboratory.  Students will have opportunities to connect with real scientists as they learn research skills while on a major university campus. Participants must reside in New York City. 

12) Library of Congress

Hosting Institution: Office of the Librarian
Format: Virtual and In-person (Washington, DC)
Application deadline: April 28, 2023  

For students interested in libraries and museums, working with peer audiences, interest in research and writing, exhibition development, outreach, and public programming, this four-week unpaid internship offers a unique experience. Participants are expected to have strong research and writing skills. Research will support the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement develop and create content to support the new participatory learning space for youth and families in the Library of Congress.

Want to Learn More?

Join Polygence and do your own research project tailored towards your passions and guided by one of our expert mentors!

13) USSS

Hosting Institution: United States Secret Service
Format: In-person (various)
Application deadline: ongoing  

Participants in the USSS Student Volunteer Program gain insight into the nature and structure of the Secret Service while gaining personal and professional skills. Students must be at least 16 years old and available to volunteer at least 12 hours per week. While the position is unpaid, they may receive academic credit. 

14) AFRL Scholars Program

Hosting Institution: Universities Space Research Association
Format: In-person (various)
Application deadline: Vary based on site  

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program offers students an opportunity to see what it’s like working with full-time AFRL scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research and technology. Students are also invited to social events to enhance their own networks. 

15) Geosciences Bridge Program

Hosting Institution: University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Format: In-person (Princess Anne, MD)
Application deadline: Ongoing  

The Geosciences Bridge Program is a 6-week paid internship hosted at this HBCU. Students can anticipate their learning to include lectures, field trips, hands-on activities, two for-credit college courses. In addition to a stipend, housing and meals are provided. Areas of study include atmospheric science, biogeochemistry, civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, physical oceanography, remote sensing/GIS and related fields.

16) Cincinnati Museum Center

Hosting Institution: Cincinnati Museum
Format: In-person (Cincinnati, OH)
Application deadline: Ongoing  

For recent HS grads, this unpaid internship invites students to learn about the professional opportunities available in museums and non-profits. The time commitment for internships is a total of 10 weeks. 

17) Microsoft High School

Hosting Institution: Various locations
Format: In-person + Virtual (worldwide)
Application deadline: Ongoing  

A somewhat bespoke experience, the hybrid in-person + virtual approach of these internships provide a unique collaborative experience. All of Microsoft interns are encouraged to co-create their experience, build community, and explore projects that matter to them.  

See our more comprehensive list of computer science research opportunities or our guide on how to get started your own computer science research project.

18) NASA Pathways Internship

Hosting Institution: NASA
Format: In-person (Four US locations)
Application deadline: Varies  

NASA offers a multitude of internship opportunities for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Internships vary in scope and are designed to help diversify the STEM workforce while providing participants opportunities to conduct research with a mentor at a NASA facility. 

19) Washington Performing Arts Internship

Hosting Institution: Washington Performing Arts
Format: In-person (Washington, DC)
Application deadline: Ongoing  

This internship for newly graduated high school students with an interest or background in the performing arts is tailored to the individual intern. This an unpaid opportunity, also invites interns to attend many Washington Performing Arts performances for free. Participants should have previous office experience, strong organizational skills, effective writing and communication skills, computer literacy, and the ability to learn quickly and to take initiative. NOTE: this is a Spring internship and dates are determined for the individual. 

We've put together a more complete list of arts research programs in 2023, as well!

20) US Department of Education Internships

Hosting Institution: US Department of Education
Format: In-person (Various)
Application deadline: Year-round  

The Department of Education (ED) offers internships for high school students interested in a career in government and federal education, policy, and administration. A variety of fields of interest include HR Management, Education Policies, Data Analytics, Project Management, among others. 

Looking for more ways to impress college admissions committees? Join Polygence and do your own research project guided by a highly specialized mentor! If you need inspiration, see our full set of research project ideas for high school students.

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 research project you want to do, we will help you make it happen with a customized research program!

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