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10+ Best Summer Programs for LA High School Students and Teens

For Teens, Summer is a chance to work or work on their college application resume. Luckily, Los Angeles has many terrific Summer Programs for High School Students.

Many Summer Programs for Teens begin accepting applications and have deadlines in February and/or March. It’s never too early to start looking into the amazing opportunities out there – and to help get your Teen into a great program.

Check out these great Summer Camps for Teens, too.

Featured Summer Program

calarts summer program for high school students
photo courtesy of CalArts

CalArts Summer Art Intensive for High School Students
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

Students 14-17 years old participate in a series of workshops and critiques led by CalArts faculty and alumni, attend artist talks and screenings, explore methods and spend time in the studio developing skills and making art. Residential students will live in Chouinard Hall, CalArts’ BFA dorms, and both residential and commuter students will be able to participate in daily activities such as film screenings, games in the recreation hall or open swim in the CalArts pool. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Disneyland for an additional fee. All levels welcome to apply.

D.A.T.A. (Design, Art, and Technology Academy)
California State University Northridge (CSUN)
18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330

D.A.T.A. is an “immersive summer program dedicated to providing high school students with the opportunity to develop their career skills.” Students will learn and enhance skills in digital art, graphic design, web design, coding, game design, photography, videography, advertising, and digital marketing. Students may enroll in a full four-week session, or pay a la carte per week. Check the website for information on courses offered each week, fees, and more. 

There are so many amazing summer programs for kids in Los Angeles and some that take applications year-round. #losangeles #summer #summercamp #summerprogram

USC Summer Programs for High School Students
649 W. 34th St. Suite 108, Los Angeles, CA 90089

USC Summer Programs provide outstanding high school students with the opportunities to “balance academic and campus life as they prepare for college.” The program offers both 2 and 4 week summer courses which are taught by USC faculty and professionals of the USC academic community. Courses include lectures, hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and academic field trips throughout Los Angeles. Information about tuition, the application process, dates, and other details are available online.

Blueprint’s Pre-College Summer Program at UCLA
405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095

The Blueprint Summer Program is designed to prepare high school students for their future in college. Through on-campus experience and practical guidance, students learn about college selection, the application process, time management, and more. Additionally, students explore the city, meet new friends, and may study engineering, medicine, business, film studies, forensic science, and/or psychology. Sessions are one or two weeks long. Information on dates, tuition, and the application process are available online.

Youth and Government
YMCA branches including
Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA
26147 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

“The LA Y is proud to feature the largest Youth and Government (Y&G) delegation in the country.” Local branches of the YMCA provide high school students with the opportunity to participate in the Model Legislature & Court (MLC) to learn more about government processes by “debating issues, writing bills, playing the roles of government officials,” and more. Contact your local branch for more information about this six-month program. 

UCI High School Summer Institute in Law at UC Irvine School of Law
401 E. Peltason Drive, Suite 1000, Irvine, CA 92697

Offered in collaboration with UCI School of Law, students are introduced to the legal system in the context of students’ rights while they gain practice in public speaking, persuasion, negotiation and legal analysis. Law faculty and students will lead participants through cases and activities, including mock debates, hearings, and workshop-style sessions. Scholarships are available.

UCI Experience University Research at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697

Choose from hands-on courses in some of UCI’s most popular academic areas of study, including Engineering, Business, Environmental Policy & Technology, Finance, Writing, JavaScript, Esports, AI & Machine Learning, and more. Develop academic research, writing, and presentation skills through project-based learning.

Civic Youth Leadership Academy on Olvera Street in 2018

Civic Youth Leadership Academy
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

EmpowerLA is happy to announce the fourth year of the Civic Youth Leadership Academy. The program is designed to educate, engage, and empower young people to take active roles in their communities and speak up on issues that matter to them. Six summer sessions will be held Monday mornings at City Hall in June and July. Students aged 14-24 in Los Angeles are eligible to apply. Applications are due May 31st. Email [email protected] with any questions.

Summer Discovery at UCLA
Westwood, CA 

“Summer Discovery is a pre-college enrichment program for high school and middle school students that combine academics with fun, activities, and sports.” Students learn about college life while taking courses taught by university faculty. Summer Discovery has been hosting students for 53 years now. Courses are offered in business, sports, screenwriting, acting, and leadership. Students may select 2, 3, or 5 week programs. Information on program dates, tuition, and the application process are available online.

Summer of Art
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

The Summer of Art at Otis College of Art and Design is a program designed for high school students aged 15 and older. From July 1st through the 26th, students “build and develop creative and artistic skills while exploring a specific medium or aspect of art and design.” Classes are small and include hands-on studio courses and labs. 

Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

The Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement is a four-week summer intensive program for 26 high school students. “AYA strengthens students’ skills in writing, critical thought, public speech and debate, multimedia production, interviewing and ethnography.” Application information is available online. The program is scheduled to begin June 17, 2019 and conclude on July 12, 2019 (with no class on July 4th or 5th).

The Intern Project (TIP)
202 W. 1st St., Suite 160, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Intern Project (TIP) provides paid summer internships (of 4 or more weeks) to Los Angeles high school juniors and seniors. Priority is given to high-need students. Students work in a variety of specialized fields including the Arts; Media and Entertainment; Energy and Environment/Business; Health Science and Medical Technology; and Government, Philanthropy, and Social Impact. The application opens in January, closes in February, and by April interns are selected. In May, interns are matched with businesses, and from June through August, interns participate in orientation, ongoing coaching, and professional development and events.

Got a Favorite Summer Program for Teens we’ve missed? Let us know!


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Disclaimer: MomsLA has made every effort to confirm the information in this article; however, things can often change. Therefore, MomsLA makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy of the information published here. MomsLA strongly urges you to confirm any event details, like date, time, location, and admission, with the third party hosting the event. You assume the sole risk of relying on any of the information in our list. MomsLA is in no way responsible for any injuries or damages you sustain while attending any third party event posted on our website. Please read our Terms of Use which you have agreed to based on your continued use of this website. Some events have paid to be listed on MomsLA.

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N K Harmon

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Where in the LA area can a high school student find a summer school history course? Without paying a lot of tuition?

[email protected]

Yvonne Condes

Wednesday 10th of April 2019

I would try one of the community colleges. Some have free or nearly free courses for high school students over the summer. They fill up quickly so I recommend to start looking now.