Great Summer Political Science Programs for High School Students

Royce Hall, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
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If you have an interest in politics and leadership, a summer program could be a great way to expand your knowledge, meet like-minded people, interact with important political figures, learn about college, and, in some cases, earn college credit. Below are some popular summer political science programs for high school students.

National Student Leadership Conference on Political Action & Public Policy

The neoclassical McKinley building on the American University campus

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The National Student Leadership Conference offers this summer session on U.S. politics for high school students to explore the inner workings of the U.S. Congress and American politics. The program is hosted at American University in Washington, D.C. Participants have the opportunity to experience interactive simulations of a U.S. Senator's job, strategize in a presidential campaign simulation, meet important political figures, attend leadership workshops and college-level lectures on various aspects of the American political system, and tour political sites around the city including Capitol Hill, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Smithsonian Institution. This residential program runs for nine days and is open to students enrolled in grades 9-12. 

Women & Politics Institute Summer Session for High School Students

American University
American University. Jake Waage / Flickr

This non-residential summer session for high school students offered by the Women & Politics Institute at American University is centered around the role of women in politics and their representation in American government. The ten-day course combines traditional classroom lectures on women and politics, public policy, campaigning and elections, and political leadership with field trips around the city of Washington, D.C. The course also has several guest speakers. This program carries three college credits upon completion. 

Junior Statesmen of America Institutes

Nassau Hall, oldest building on Princeton campus, 1754, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
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These political institute programs sponsored by the Junior Statesmen of America allow politically aware high school students the opportunity to explore today’s governmental challenges and significant political issues. There are several institutes offered at the University of California Los Angeles, Princeton University, and other universities around the country, all of which focus on a specific aspect of modern politics and leadership. Institute attendees learn about the inner workings of government, participate in interactive activities and debates on current issues, and meet with government officials and other significant political figures.

Summer Immersion at George Washington University

George Washington University
George Washington University.

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George Washington University's location in the nation's capital makes it an excellent place to explore politics. The school offers several two-week summer immersion programs on a range of topics related to politics and political science. Options include Political Communication, International Law, Election Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, Public Policy on Capital Hill, and National Security. Courses provide a mix of lectures, guest speakers, and experiential activities. All GW programs are open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors age 14 to 18.

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Cody, Eileen. "Great Summer Political Science Programs for High School Students." ThoughtCo, Apr. 30, 2021, Cody, Eileen. (2021, April 30). Great Summer Political Science Programs for High School Students. Retrieved from Cody, Eileen. "Great Summer Political Science Programs for High School Students." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).