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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Computer Science Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

Updated: Apr 23

Why do internships in high school?

Before we jump into a long list of computer science internships for high school students in San Francisco, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.

How to Find Computer Science Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

The best way to find computer science internships for high school students in San Francisco is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships

However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.

10 Computer Science Internships for High School Students in San Francisco

Most of the computer science internships for high school students in San Francisco below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!

  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines

StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.

  • Ages: Sophomore

  • Location: Menlo Park, California

  • Timeline: June - July

  • Deadline: March 

Students of Meta Summer Academy (formerly known as Facebook Summer Academy) will have the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of one of the world’s leading social media networks by being part of a dynamic workforce.Students will learn coding, explore careers, and develop soft skills that will help propel them into successful careers. Our goal is to inspire and motivate young people to achieve economic success, stability, and mobility through skills development and early career exploration in the tech industry.

  • Ages: Sophomore or Junior

  • Location: Berkeley, California

  • Timeline: June - July

  • Deadline: April

Participants will engage in hands-on projects, an engaging computer science short course, and weekly discussions with STEM professionals. Projects will focus on building 21st century research skills such as problem-solving, communication, and collaboration while building a vibrant STEM network. Participants who successfully complete the apprenticeship summer will have the opportunity to participate in additional short courses, workshops, and special seminars at Berkeley Lab throughout the following fall and spring. Students in good standing prior to the next summer will receive an invitation to participate in a traditional laboratory internship. An on-site internship is dependent upon public health policies.


  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: Berkeley, California

  • Timeline: June - July

  • Deadline: April

Experiences in Research (EinR) is an internship program for high school students to gain hands-on experience with professionals at Berkeley Lab. Students spend six weeks over summer working directly on cutting edge projects alongside experts in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) and STEM adjacent careers. Projects are focused around different aspects of STEM professions such as administration, science communication, data science, experimental research, and more. Students will be able to express their interests and project preferences in the application process to develop skills in their preferred field.

  • Ages: 14 -17

  • Location: Berkeley, California

  • Timeline: One week in the Summer

  • Deadline: TBD

Science Accelerating Girls' Engagement in STEM (SAGE) is a one-week summer camp for Northern California high school students  hosted by National Laboratory scientists and engineers to share what life is like in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professions. This program aims to foster innovation, grow the STEM community, and engage intelligent, creative, and passionate young women and other marginalized genders in the everyday life of scientists and engineers.

  • Ages: Freshman - Senior

  • Location: San Francisco, California

  • Timeline: Year-round

  • Deadline: April

On Saturdays during the school year and weekdays in the summer, all interns conduct fieldwork outdoors and facilitate learning experiences for Academy visitors on the public floor. Interns also attend interactive training sessions twice a month to develop science communication skills, learn about careers from practicing STEM professionals, and receive guidance on topics like financial literacy and the college application process. In addition, interns attend college tours, present at STEM conferences and festivals, and help inform the design of Academy exhibits and educational materials. As interns advance through the program, they'll participate in project groups, in which small groups of students work on a science research or environmental action project led by an Academy researcher or partner. Interns will also serve on the CiS Leadership Council and are eligible for individualized mentorships with Academy experts.

  • Ages: 15 - 18

  • Location: Berkeley, CA

  • Timeline: April 3 - 6

  • Deadline: February 11

The SeA Bilingual STEM Camp, sponsored by Berkeley Lab K-12, is a free four-day program designed for English learning/Spanish-English bilingual students in grades 10-12 who are interested in STEM and Berkeley Lab career opportunities. The program includes tours of Berkeley Lab facilities, professional career talks with scientists, and workshops at both Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. The SeA program is a hybrid program, starting online on April 5, then moving on-site at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley on the 6-7th and 8th, respectively. Participants will be picked up from downtown Berkeley and all materials and meals will be provided. Berkeley Lab K-12 also offers other programs for various grade levels and virtual programs as well.

  • Ages: 16 - 19

  • Location: Livermore, CA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Contact for Deadline

National security is our business. We apply science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate threats. Sandia welcomes student interns – from those in their final years of high school, to undergraduates, to researchers obtaining PhDs. As an intern, you will work on real-world, challenging projects that contribute to Sandia’s mission.

  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: San Francisco, CA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: February 29

An internship with SFUSD is a paid opportunity for high school students to expand their learning outside of the classroom and explore careers in an hands-on environment.

  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: San Francisco, CA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: February 20

The City and County of San Francisco offers various internships and summer programs for high school students through several departments and programs (Airport, City Attorney, Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Department of Elections, District Attorney, General Services Administration, Office of Economic Workforce Development, Public Utilities Commission, Opportunities for All [San Francisco Students Only], and Public Works). 

Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding computer science internships for high school students in San Francisco is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 

How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 

Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 

How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 

You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.

How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 

For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 

Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 

If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 

Template for Finding an Internship

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Mr./Ms.____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


[Your name]

Template for Finding a Research Position

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Professor/Dr. ____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


[Your name]

Computer Science Internships for High School Students in San Francisco
Computer Science Internships for High School Students in San Francisco


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey! 


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