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Best Summer Programs in Chicago for High School Students

Are you one of the high school students who desire to enroll in a summer program but you are yet to know which of the programs will be okay for you and your future career? Then, you are on the right track.

We have compiled the list of 10 amazing summer programs in Chicago in this article to assist you in selecting the best summer program that will be okay for you and also equips you to be ahead of your competitors during university admission. Let’s get started!


We guarantee you will be surprised by the diversity of Chicago’s summer program options for high school students.

In addition to typical offerings in STEM, writing, and general college preparation, there are unique opportunities to develop leadership skills, take part in ecological research, and also expose participants to various artistic mediums, museums, and methods.

Naturally, some of Chicago’s best summer programs for high school students are located at the University of Chicago, Loyola University, and nearby Northwestern University. However, there are plenty of opportunities outside of these schools.

Some programs are more selective than others, requiring a portfolio or minimum GPA, while others are first-come, first-served.

One element that all of the Chicago summer programs on our list share is the support of professional mentors. See Best Summer Programs in Arizona for High School Students.

In most of the initiatives described below, students are matched with an invested college professor, lab researcher, or business executive with ample knowledge to impart.

Keep on reading to find a high school summer program with the potential to ignite your future college or career path! Here are a handful of the best summer programs in Chicago for high school students.

  • Loyola University PreCollege Summer Scholars
  • The University of Chicago RIBS
  • iD Tech Java Coding for Game Development at GEMS World Academy
  • SAIC Early College Program Summer Institute
  • Academy of Art University Pre-College Art Experience Program
  • Wheaton College Summer Institute
  • Medill Cherubs Northwestern Journalism Institute
  • DePaul University Game, Cinema, and Animation Summer Academy
  • Saper Law Immersion Program
  • University of Chicago Stones & Bones

Loyola University PreCollege Summer Scholars

Loyola University’s PreCollege Summer Scholars program encourages students to immerse themselves in one-week deep-dives into potential career tracks.

In the Pre-Health and Wellness track, for example, students go on field trips to see professionals performing surgeries, consulting with patients, and using the most up-to-date medical equipment and devices.

Alternatively, the Psychology track introduces participants to various psychological principles and psychotherapeutic approaches, which can effectively treat many mental health conditions.

Courses meet for five hours daily during the work week and typically are at most 15 students. See University of Chicago Transfer Acceptance Rate.

The University of Chicago RIBS

While we regret to inform you that while this summer experience does not include a barbecue tasting menu, the RIBS at the University of Chicago – Research in the Biological Sciences program, that is – it is sure to satisfy your brain’s appetite for knowledge!

Open to rising juniors and seniors with prerequisite coursework in biology, chemistry, and math and a strong love of science come from all over the nation to participate in this four-week intensive.

Participants spend most of their time conducting research in a laboratory setting, which requires them to practice techniques like micro-pipetting, cell culturing, and fluorescence microscopy.

Heavy emphasis on writing is a core component of the program, which culminates in a research forum.

Here, each student presents the findings of their independent research endeavors, which can focus on topics as specific as the effects of actin-inhibiting drugs on wound healing in Clytia jellyfish.

iD Tech Java Coding for Game Development at GEMS World Academy

One of the longest-running summer programs for high school students in the Chicago area, GEMS World Academy operates stimulating summer camps in robotics, coding, and video game development.

Instructors hail from elite institutions like Stanford and New York University in a massive 322,000+ square foot tech playground equipped with a library, robotics laboratory, gymnasium, and rooftop playground.

The Java Coding for Game Development course is one week long and open to students ages 13-17. Whether beginner or advanced in experience, all can participate.

From learning coding languages like Java and constructing basic arcade-style games, students frequently lose themselves in the exciting, hands-on content of the GEMS curriculum.

An impressive 97% of iD Tech alums attend a four-year college or university, while nine out of ten major in a STEM subject and nine of ten report iD Tech’s significant impact on their enduring career goals.


All you’ve read was written on the best summer program in Chicago, with the sole objective of helping you to identify the various summer programs offered in Chicago, so as to enable you to select the one that is fit for your future career or goal.

Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Admin

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