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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

25 Best Internships for High School Students in 2024

Updated: Apr 5

Topics We Cover:

  1. Why Do Internships in High School?

  2. How to Find Internships for High School Students

  3. 25 Best Internships for High School Students

  4. Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships (This is especially helpful if you don’t live near New York, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Boston, or Chicago!)

  5. Email Template for Finding a High School Internship

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into the best internships for high school students in 2024, 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 Internships for High School Students


The best way to find official programs to apply to 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, as does the Collegvine blog.


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.


25 Best Internships for High School Students


We have chosen the opportunities below based on reputation among university admission officers, selectivity, and student reviews.


All of these high school internship programs have an acceptance rate of 15% or lower, so we recommend choosing at least 10 opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!



Ages: 16-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: Summer or School Year

Deadline: Various Deadlines


NASA Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) paid internships allow high school and college-level students to contribute to agency projects under the guidance of a NASA mentor. Applicants for this internship must be U.S. Citizens and meet a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement. There is also a program for international students.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Washington DC

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: State-dependent


The United States Senate Page Program introduces students from diverse backgrounds to many interesting and challenging experiences in the nation’s capital. Living away from home with students from across the country allows pages to experience a myriad of new ideas, perspectives, and issues. Pages learn the value of public service while meeting some of our nation’s most prominent leaders and witnessing firsthand the political debates of the United States Senate.



Ages: 15-19

Location: Virtual

Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

Deadline: Various Deadlines


StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships. 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: 16-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: January 10th 2024


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program offers stipend-paid summer internship opportunities to upper-level high school students. The selected interns gain valuable hands-on experiences working with full-time AFRL scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research and technology and are able to contribute to unique, research-based projects.



Ages: 15-16

Location: California

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: March 1st 2024


Externs 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. Applicants must be sophomores in high school and full-year residents of either: East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks, or Redwood City.



Ages: 16-17

Location: Massachusetts

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: February 1st 2024


The MITES Summer Program is a six-week, on-campus program that immerses US high school juniors in rigorous and rewarding mathematics, science, and humanities courses. Scholars will also have access to lab tours, social events, and college admissions counseling while developing the academic and personal skills essential for success. Students will engage with STEM professionals in seminars and tours of MIT labs and local companies employing MITES alumni.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: Contact for Deadline


As a Student Leader, you will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you will learn first-hand about the needs of your community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social, and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. where you will learn how government, business, and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: November 1st 2024


The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) places high school students in Department of Navy (DoN) laboratories where they take part in real Naval research for eight weeks during the summer. SEAP gives academically talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in STEM the opportunity to learn about Naval research and technology while receiving first-class mentoring by top scientists and engineers.



Ages: 15-17

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: October 23rd 2023


The Zuckerman Institute’s Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) program prepares today’s youth to become tomorrow’s scientists. BRAINYAC provides high-schoolers with an immersive, hands-on summer research experience in a Columbia laboratory. They emphasize opportunities to connect with real scientists, learn key skills required to work in a research environment and become part of the Columbia University community.



Ages: 15-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: February 29th 2024


The Hk Maker Lab is an intensive six-week summer program to learn the foundations of design. Focusing on addressing a health problem, participants will design, prototype, and test a biomedical device and develop an associated business plan. The program will culminate in a presentation to leading executives from the biomedical community. The Hk Maker Lab projects might then be incubated using the state-of-the-art facilities at Harlem Biospace.



Ages: 16-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: Summer


The Laboratory Learning Program is a full-time, free research experience in the sciences or engineering for high school students. Students are included in ongoing research programs where they are closely supervised by Princeton faculty and research staff. The participation dates are customized according to the schedules of the research personnel and the specifics of the project.



Ages: 16-19

Location: California

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: December 2024


Through KP LAUNCH, Kaiser Permanente offers young adults a variety of paid internship opportunities in the Oakland headquarters and medical offices across Northern California. Interns have the opportunity to work for an industry leader on projects that matter. Interns are provided with work experience that exposes them to administrative and supporting careers in healthcare environments.



Ages: 16-19

Location: California

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: Various Deadlines


Sandia applies science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate national 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: 15-18

Location: Massachusetts

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: Rolling


Today’s Interns, Tomorrow’s Professionals (TIP) is the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s paid work and learning internship program for eligible high school students who have completed their sophomore year in the Boston Public Schools. It starts with a developmentally rich summer work experience that includes job coaching and skill-building workshops. Then, based on available openings and individual interest, effort, and performance, some students are selected for an extended year-round internship program that can last up to three years.



Ages: 16-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: January 2024


The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program is an intensive program that places diverse NYC public high school students with legal employers for the summer and provides them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.



Ages: 15-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: March 2024


The Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program is a rigorous internship that provides students with an insider’s view of the criminal justice system. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in workshops and discussions surrounding criminal justice, police brutality, civic engagement, leadership, and more. Program participants will take part in a series of presentations and conversations with staff in order to build a foundational understanding of how policies are developed and implemented, and of how academic and career paths can result in moving justice forward.



Ages: 16-17

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: February 2024


The Sotomayor Program has helped over 400 high school, college, and law school students gain experience with the legal system and develop their professional skills! The program helps cultivate and develop future leaders from underserved communities and diverse backgrounds as well as increase diversity in the legal profession.



Ages: 17-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: March 2024


Since 2005, the Temple of Understanding has implemented its commitment to the education of young people by hosting a Summer Internship. TOU’s student interns attend some open meetings of the UN Security Council, the General Assembly, and various committees. This program launches their careers as global citizens who care about the humanitarian goals embraced by the UN.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Connecticut

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: February 16th 2024


The Attorney General serves as Connecticut’s chief legal officer for civil matters, and the OAG serves as legal counsel to all state agencies. Internships are unpaid, volunteer positions open to graduate and law students, paralegal, undergraduate, and highly motivated high-school students.



Ages: 16-18

Location: California

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: Rolling


Volunteers have the opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system firsthand and work closely with all levels of staff, from deputy district attorneys to investigators to support staff, as well as have contact with other court and law enforcement staff. A high school volunteer student can be expected to assist with any of the following duties: Scanning, photocopying, and/or shredding of documents; answering telephones, typing, filing, delivering documents; assembling reports, documents or manuals; and other duties depending on education and skills.



Ages: 14-18

Location: Massachusetts

Timeline: School Year, Summer

Deadline: Contact for Deadline


The Mayor’s Youth Council is a program that engages Boston’s high school students in government and civic participation. The MYC has 86 council members, each of whom works in one of eight committees and a neighborhood working group. Each committee is led by two co-directors, and each neighborhood working group is led by two co-liaisons. The Council represents every neighborhood in Boston, with members who are confirmed by Mayor Wu through an application and interview process. Council members are selected for a one-year term and work with the Mayor’s Office, community leaders, and city officials.



Ages: 16-18

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: August 2024


Interns apply to the department that interests them most, and, if selected, will work within that department for the duration of their internship. In their positions, interns will have the chance to collaborate with staff and work on a range of projects. These projects may include conducting research, attending meetings, managing incoming inquiries, analyzing data, drafting briefings, staffing events, assisting with outreach, and supporting special projects.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Remote

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: Varies by Position


The Smithsonian Office of Internships provides high school students the opportunity to gain experience in the world’s largest museum, education, and research institution. There are a variety of virtual, hybrid, and in-person internship opportunities across the various different museums such as the National Museum of Natural History, National Portrait Museum, and National Museum of the American Indian, and a variety of others.



Ages: 16-18

Location: Remote

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: Varies by Position


FPRI offers internships for students during the Summer, Fall, and Spring terms. Interns have the opportunity to connect with members of the foreign relations community and gain experience working for a prestigious think tank. Each intern is paired with a scholar or professional in the field who will work with them to develop industry-specific skills as well as sharpen general skills that come from working in a professional environment such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and time management. Summer interns have the opportunity to attend weekly foreign policy and career-focused seminars with guest speakers. Additionally, interns have the opportunity to work on a research paper to be considered for publication on FPRI’s Intern Corner.



Ages: 15-17

Location: New York

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: March 2024


This internship experience is not limited to young people who have a passion for art! The High School Internship Program allows you to connect one-on-one and in small cohorts with Museum professionals in a number of related fields, including editorial, marketing, social media, education, and more. During your time at The Met, you have the chance to find the intersection of your interests as you gain insights from peers and professionals.


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 a high school internship 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!


Sincerely,


[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!


Sincerely,


[Your name]



Student searching for the best internships for high school students
25 Best Internships for High School Students in 2024


Conclusion


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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