Economics summer programs are a great way to gain exposure to economics outside of the classroom before college. Many economic concepts are abstract and theoretical, so participating in a summer program can help you see how these concepts are applied in the real world. Here, we’ve curated ten of the best economics summer programs available for high school students, each offering a unique blend of learning, networking, and hands-on experience. 

#1 Economics for Leaders

  1. Hosting Institution: Foundation for Teaching Economics

  2. Location: Campuses across the US

  3. Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors

  4. Application Deadline: February (Early), March (Priority), and April (Final)

  5. Cost: $2,300

Economics for Leaders (EFL) is a selective program designed to cultivate economic and leadership skills in high schoolers. Through dynamic lectures, group discussions, and engaging simulations, students can develop a profound understanding of economic principles while honing their critical thinking ability while leading effectively. Concepts covered include economic growth, opportunity cost, labor markets, and more. 

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#2 Wharton Global Youth Program: Leadership in the Business World (LBW)

  1. Hosting Institution: University of Pennslyvania, Wharton School of Business

  2. Location: Philadelphia, PA

  3. Eligibility: Juniors

  4. Application Deadline: January 31 (Priority), April 3 (Final)

  5. Cost: $10,999

Wharton’s LBW is a transformative experience for budding economists. Participants delve into the intricate world of business leadership through rigorous coursework, real-world case studies, and interactions with industry professionals. This program equips students with a profound understanding of corporate economics principles, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills commonly needed in economics roles. 

#3 Yale Young Global Scholars: Politics, Law & Economics

  1. Hosting Institution: Yale University

  2. Location: New Haven, CT

  3. Eligibility: Between 16-18 years old

  4. Application Deadline: November 1 (Early), January 10 (Regular)

  5. Cost: $6,500

The Yale Young Global Scholars program invites high school students to explore the intersection of economics, politics, and law. Through an interdisciplinary lens, participants explore the role of economics in everyday policy and law-making decisions. From in-depth discussions to hands-on projects, students gain a comprehensive understanding of economic principles and their applications in our government’s day-to-day operations. 

#4 Stanford Summer Humanities Institute

  1. Hosting Institution: Stanford University

  2. Location: Stanford, CA

  3. Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors

  4. Application Deadline: February 1

  5. Cost: $8,250

Similar to Yale, the Stanford Summer Humanities Institute offers an interdisciplinary approach to economics, covering other topics such as policy and literature as well. Participants will engage in lively discussions and hands-on activities to bridge economic theory with practical applications. Additionally, students will have the chance to explore the vibrant Silicon Valley due to Stanford’s prime location, allowing students to gain economic insights in one of the world’s leading innovation hubs.

#5 University of Chicago: Voltage Scholars

  1. Hosting Institution: University of Chicago

  2. Location: Chicago, IL

  3. Eligibility: Current sophomores

  4. Application Deadline: March 1

  5. Cost: Free

This three-day, two-night, accelerated program offered by UChicago is an opportunity for high school students to attend UChicago lectures alongside current undergraduate students. Under the guidance of esteemed faculty, students participate in lectures and gain valuable insights into the economics education process at one of the world’s best economics schools, all while having the opportunity to network with current UChicago economics students. 

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#6 Harvard Summer School: Economics, Finance, and Public Policy

  1. Hosting Institution: Harvard University

  2. Location: Cambridge, MA

  3. Eligibility: Current sophomore or junior

  4. Application Deadline: January 10 (Early), February 14 (Regular), April 10 (Late)

  5. Cost: $14,250

Harvard’s seven-week pre-college summer program takes on an interdisciplinary approach with its economics, finance, and public policy course. Students can design their own summer experience by choosing two courses to take over the duration of the program in any of the three subjects. Some courses include principles of macroeconomics, microeconomic theory, game theory and strategic decisions, among more. The program not only provides a solid foundation in economic theory but also encourages critical thinking. 

#7 UC Berkeley: Pre-College Scholars

  1. Hosting Institution: UC Berkeley

  2. Location: Berkeley, CA

  3. Eligibility: 16-17 years old at start of program

  4. Application Deadline: March 11

  5. Cost: $14,500

The UC Berkeley Pre-College Scholars Program invites high school students to experience the vibrant academic atmosphere of one of the world's leading public research universities. Participants engage in intensive coursework, exploring economic theory and policy analysis under the guidance of distinguished faculty. Beyond the classroom, students can immerse themselves in the rich cultural and intellectual landscape of Berkeley. Standing at a length of six weeks, this is one of the longest programs on this list. 

#8 LaunchX Summer Program

  1. Hosting Institution: LaunchX

  2. Location: Ann Arbor, Bay Area

  3. Eligibility: High school

  4. Application Deadline: November 15 (Early), January 7 (Regular), April 24 (Late)

  5. Cost: $9,970

LaunchX’s summer program offers a unique blend of economics and entrepreneurship, providing high school students with hands-on experience in developing and launching their own ventures. Through a combination of workshops, mentorship, and team projects, participants gain a solid foundation in economic principles while experiencing firsthand how these theoretical principles are applied in the real world. 

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#9 London School of Economics (LSE): Summer School

  1. Hosting Institution: London School of Economics

  2. Location: London, UK

  3. Eligibility: Current seniors

  4. Application Deadline: Rolling

  5. Cost: £2,950 (One session), £4,950 (Two sessions), £5,760 (Three sessions)

The LSE Summer School in Economics offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school seniors to experience the academic excellence of one of the world’s leading social science universities. Participants engage in rigorous coursework, exploring a range of economic topics from global macroeconomics to behavioral economics. Additionally, with London as the backdrop, students gain a global perspective on economic issues while immersing themselves in a rich cultural experience. 

#10 Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP): Summer Session

  1. Hosting Institution: Duke University

  2. Location: Durham, NC

  3. Eligibility: Current sophomore or junior

  4. Application Deadline: June 17

  5. Cost: $2,840

Duke’s TIP Summer Session is designed for academically talented high school students eager to explore the complexities of economic and financial systems. Through dynamic seminars, case studies, and collaborative projects, participants will delve into topics ranging from financial markets to economic policy over the span of one to two weeks. 

Each of these 10 programs offers a unique gateway into the fascinating world of economic principles, policy analysis, and entrepreneurial thinking. Whether you envision yourself at the heart of economic research in Chicago or experiencing the hustle and bustle of NYC’s financial district, the opportunities in economics are boundless. These programs not only provide a solid foundation in economic theory but many times show you how these concepts are applied in the real world. So, seize the opportunity to immerse yourself in these programs, broaden your horizons, and embrace the intellectual adventure that awaits!

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