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Top 10 Psychology Research Opportunities for High Schoolers

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If you're a high school student with a passion for understanding the human mind and behavior, numerous psychology research opportunities are waiting for you. These programs offer a chance to gain valuable research experience, learn from experts, and explore the fascinating field of psychology. In this article, we've compiled a list of 10 summer undergraduate research fellowship opportunities in psychology.

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1.   Vanderbilt University’s Research Experiences for High School Students (REHSS)

  • Location: Nashville, TN

  • Cost: Free

  • Deadline: Spring semester of Junior year

  • Description: The Research Experience for High School Students (REHSS) Program is for current Interdisciplinary Science and Research students. Students engage in an independent research project under the mentorship of a research faculty member at Vanderbilt, completely immersed in the Vanderbilt campus.

2.   National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) High School Summer Research Program

  • Location: Various NIDA locations

  • Stipend: $15/hour; housing and travel stipends are available

  • Deadline: Friday, February 2, 2024

  • Description: NIDA offers a high school summer research program focused on addiction research. Participants work with leading scientists, engage in research projects, and learn about the effects of drugs on the brain and behavior.

3.   Stanford Clinical Summer Internship Program

  • Location: Stanford University

  • Cost: $6,380 on campus; $4,380 virtual

  • Deadline: February 25, 2024

  • Description: The Stanford Clinical Summer Internship Program is an intensive six-week experience that provides high school students with the opportunity to work in clinical psychology and psychiatry settings. Participants engage in research, shadow professionals, and learn about the mental health field.

4.   Psychology Summer Courses at Yale University

  • Location: Yale University or Virtual

  • Cost: $5,070 per course; $3,945 room and board per session

  • Deadline: April 1, 2024

  • Description: Yale University offers psychology summer courses that introduce prospective students to the direct study of psychology and research methods. Participants explore psychological theories, conduct experiments, and gain insights into the human mind and behavior.

5.   AIM: Introduction to Experimental Psychology

  • Location: Boston University

  • Cost: $5,212

  • Deadline: Rolling admissions

  • Description: This program is designed for current students in high school who are interested in psychology research. You'll work with faculty on ongoing research projects, attend lectures, and explore the field of psychology through hands-on experience.

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6.   University of Chicago Pre-College Connect Program in Psychology

  • Location: University of Chicago

  • Cost: $6,350

  • Deadline: January 18, 2024 (Priority Deadline); March 5, 2024 (Regular Deadline)

  • Description: The Summer Psychology Pre-college Program at the University of Chicago (Foundations of Psychological Research) offers high school students the opportunity to work on psychology research projects, attend seminars, and gain a deeper understanding of cognitive science.

7.   Tufts Summer Research Experience

  • Location: Tufts University

  • Cost: $8,000 (Commuter); $11,250 (Residential)

  • Deadline: February 15, 2024 (Priority Deadline); May 1, 2024 (Regular Deadline)

  • Description: The Tufts Summer Research Experience offers a summer program that allows high school students to engage in psychology research through the Children and Community Context (C3) Lab. Participants will participate in active research in the lab throughout the summer.

8.   Illinois Institute of Technology: Psychology in Everyday Life

  • Location: Illinois Institute of Technology Mies Campus

  • Cost: $795

  • Deadline: Rolling admissions

  • Description: The Psychology summer program is designed for high school students who want to glimpse how psychology is a science. Learners will get a good idea of what taking a psychology major will be like at the collegiate level, how the study can enhance the learner’s understanding of themselves, and some idea of how it feels to be a therapist.

9.   American Psychological Association (APA) High School Summer Internship Program

  • Location: Remote or in Washington, DC

  • Cost: Paid and for-credit opportunities

  • Deadline: Rolling admissions

  • Description: The APA High School Summer Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for high school students to work with professional psychologists and engage in hands-on psychology research. You'll gain insights into cognitive psychology, and health psychology, among other various areas in the field, as well as learn about potential career paths within.

10.   Wake Forest’s Psychology Institute Summer Immersion Program

  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC

  • Cost: $3,000

  • Deadline: Rolling admissions

  • Description: The Wake Forest Summer Immersion Psychology Institute offers an unforgettable experience for high school students. Explore the mind's and behavior's intricacies by engaging in hands-on brain dissection. Delve into the impact of illusions, emotions, and biases on our perception and interactions with the world. Through conducting your own independent study, gain a deeper understanding of the world and the people around you, questioning the reliability of everything you see and hear.

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Making the Most of Your Psychology Research

Once you’ve participated in any of these valuable programs, you’ll want to think about what you gained from the experience and the skills you developed. Learn more about the importance of showcasing your research on college applications.

Middle and high school students can also create their psychology research opportunities. Polygence has many psychology research mentors who are available to provide current students with guidance and support along the way. Exploring these opportunities can be a significant step toward pursuing a rewarding career in psychology and making a positive impact on our understanding of the human mind and behavior.

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