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Gifted Summer Programs: Residential

Gifted Programs

This list presents residential summer programs available to students across the nation. Links to websites are provided so that parents and students may investigate more about an individual program. While the Davidson Institute does not endorse any specific programs, this list includes programs that have been recommended by parents, professionals and young people associated with the Davidson Institute. Each listing includes the program’s location, a short description and a link to a website.

See also:
Gifted Summer Programs: Listed by Topics of Interest >
Summer Programs: Day Camps >

Alabama – Space Camp
Space Camp provides a number of camp options for students of different ages who are interested in space exploration, aviation and aerodynamics.

California – Academic Talent Development Program
This program offers challenging summer classes for K-11 students. ATDP courses offer students opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge of the subjects that interest them. Taught by outstanding university, public, and private school instructors, classes are designed to engage students’ hearts as well as their minds. Admission is based on the student’s overall academic profile. Grades, achievement test scores, an essay, and teacher recommendations are all considered.

California – (ATS) California State University at Sacramento – Academic Talent Search
Academic Talent Search (ATS) provides academically challenging, fast-paced courses to highly able and motivated students.

California – Research Mentorship Program – UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions
This competitive summer program engages qualified, high-achieving high school students from all over the world in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research. Students will be paired with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) and choose a research project from a long list of disciplines offered by the program each year.

California – Summer Research Academies – UC Santa Barbara Summer Sessions
This dynamic summer experience engages qualified high school students in project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will take a 4-unit university course in which they choose and develop a research topic specific to the track they select, under the direction of an instructor who is conducting active research in that field.

California – Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes
The Summer Institutes provide an opportunity for these students to enrich and accelerate their academic pursuits and to meet other students who share their interests and abilities.

California – Stanford Youth Orchestra
The Stanford Youth Orchestra provides participants with exceptional orchestral training in the new state-of-the-art Bing Concert Hall, and includes academic workshops in composition, music theory, musicology, and technology. Students can choose between residential or commuting options.

California – Stanford Summer Humanities Institute
Stanford Summer Humanities Institute is a three-week residential program that offers rising high school juniors and seniors with a strong interest in the humanities an opportunity to explore the field at a college-level.

California – Star League
This is a learning center teaching Math, Computer Science, and Physics courses to gifted and highly motivated students during summer/winter camps and fall/spring semesters.

Colorado – Aspen Summer Words
Each participant will be involved in four classes per day plus evening options. Two of the classes are designed to enhance leadership abilities. In addition, students will assist a teacher in the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) class of their choice.

Colorado – Center for Bright Kids (CBK) – Summer Programs (Boulder)
Students with exceptional ability entering grades 4-12 or ages 8-17 are offered a varied selection of enrichment and/or acceleration courses on campus at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Colorado – Crow Canyon Archeological Center
This Center hosts archaeology summer camps for middle school students ages 8-12 and high school students. Attendees can be part of an ongoing research project working alongside professional archaeologists, learn excavation techniques by digging at a real archaeological site and work with artifacts in the lab. The camps are held for one-week with a three-week High School Field School option for students to earn high school or college credit.

Colorado – Prove it! Math Academy
Prove it! Math Academy is a residential summer math camp at Colorado State University for talented students 14 to 18 years old. This camp serves as a bridge between programs/contests that emphasize computational abilities and those that expect students to be well-versed in proof writing.

Colorado – Summer Enrichment Program (Young Child Program at Northern Colorado)
Each participant will be involved in four classes per day plus evening options. Two of the classes are designed to enhance leadership abilities. In addition, students will assist a teacher in the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) class of their choice.

Connecticut – Manchester Community College in Connecticut
These programs are offered for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. This program is designed for gifted, talented, and high-achieving students will have the opportunity to take a variety of college courses during the first two weeks of August.

Connecticut – Talcott Mountain Science Center Summer Program in Avon
In addition to a school and saturday programs for “intellectually excited” students, the Talcott Mountain Science Center also offers a summer day camp. The summer program theme varies each year.

Connecticut – University of Connecticut Confratute
This program is for educators to take summer classes about gifted and talented education.

Connecticut – Yale Young Global Scholars
This summer academic enrichment and leadership program brings together outstanding high school students from around the world for intensive two-week sessions on the Yale campus.

Florida – Seacamp
Seacamp is a non-profit, marine science education facility located in the Florida Keys. The organization offers marine science education and summer camp experiences including SCUBA, sailing, board sailing, and arts & crafts to students from 12-17 years of age.

Florida – Stetson University HATS Program
Stetson sponsors a variety of classes for high achieving students that stimulate their unique interests and challenge them in their strongest subject areas.

Illinois – Columbia College – Summer Arts Camp
Classes offered include media, performing and fine arts for students entering grades 3-8.

Illinois – Northwestern University Center for Talent Development
Through their Leapfrog, Apogee, Spectrum and Equinox course series, this program serves outstanding students from PreK through grade 12, facilitating high achievement, self-confidence and a love of learning among all participants. Programs are available for students who wish to be residents or commuters. Program sessions last one to three weeks, and students can apply for one, two or three sessions, depending on the program.

Indiana – (GERI) Gifted Education Resource Institute: Summer Youth Programs
The Summer Residential Programs sponsored by the Gifted Education Resource Institute offer “accelerated and enriched learning experiences in mathematics, science, the humanities, and the arts” for academically talented youth. Enrichment programs for ages 4 through 4th grade, as well as residential summer camps for students in grades 5-12 are available. The program also presents the opportunity for students to interact and establish lasting friendships with cognitive peers.

Iowa – Summer Art Residency – University of Iowa
Students in grades 9-11 may apply for this an immersive 3–week residency at The University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center. Learn from world-class faculty on a premier arts campus. Participate in classes, workshops, evening tours, lectures, and events. The residency concludes with an art and reading show and a portfolio review.

Iowa – Junior Scholars Institute (JSI) – University of Iowa
Iowa students currently in grades 6-8 may nominate themselves for the Junior Scholars Institute (JSI), a one-week residential summer academic program. Experiencing college life while living, studying, and playing in university classrooms, laboratories, dining halls, and recreational centers, students take a single advanced level course for the entire week.

Iowa – Summer Writing Residency – University of Iowa
Students in grades 9-11 may apply for the Summer Writing Residency (SWR), an immersive 3–week residency. Learn from world-class faculty on one of the premier arts campuses in the US. Participate in classes, workshops, evening tours, lectures, and events that will stretch you as a writer. The residency concludes with an art and reading show and a portfolio review.

Iowa – Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) – University of Iowa
Iowa students currently in grades 10-11 may nominate themselves for the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP), a five-week residential summer research program at The University of Iowa. Students conduct scientific research in university laboratories under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students will also produce a research project/paper as a part of the program.

Iowa – Perry Research Scholars Institute (PRSI) – University of Iowa
Students in grades 8–10 may apply for this two-week residential summer academic program at the Belin-Blank Center. Students will participate in seminars with university faculty, tour their research facilities, and study their publications. Students will develop an understanding of research that extends well beyond bench science through exposure to research in fields such as anthropology, business, education, engineering, medicine, psychology, sustainability, etc. Students will engage in a curriculum that integrates the knowledge construction process across these varied and diverse disciplines.

Kentucky – The Center for Gifted Studies – Western Kentucky University (WKU) 
For gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, the Summer Camp for Academically Talented Students (SCATS) is a two-week camp designed for campers to explore new ideas, develop concepts, make friends, and share experiences.
For gifted students who have completed 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th grade, the Summer Program for Verbally & Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) is a three-week residential camp that offers a life-changing world of both learning and friendship for students who crave knowledge and academic challenge.

Massachusetts – Boston Leadership Institute
This program selects outstanding high school students for three-week programs each summer. Students develop high-level research skills and subject matter expertise that strengthen credentials valuable for college admission. Students excelling in honors or advanced STEM classes are encouraged to apply.

Massachusetts – Boston Museum of Science – Day/Summer Programs
The Boston Museum of Science offers hands-on, minds-on science learning and fun during six one-week sessions.

Massachusetts – College Gate & College Academy
This program provides students in grades K-8th the opportunity to participate in project-based learning activities. Camps are broken up by age group.

Massachusetts – Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSiM)
This is a rigorous math program that is both demanding and expanding. Participants are expected to spend a major portion of each day actively engaged in learning, doing, and sharing mathematics.

Massachusetts – Programs in Mathematics for Young Scientists – PROMYS
PROMYS is a challenging program designed to encourage ambitious high school students to explore the creative world of mathematics.

Massachusetts – Research Science Institute (RSI)
Selected from the United States and other nations, these students participate in a rigorous academic program which emphasizes advanced theory and research in mathematics, the sciences, and engineering.

Michigan – (ACE) Academics Camps of Excellence at Calvin College
ACE offers summer camps for gifted middle school students in math, science, literature, computer science, and economics.

MichiganMichigan State University – GATE Summer Programs
Michigan State University’s GATE program offers several summer programs: GUPPY: Gifted University for Parents and Precocious Youth;  MST@MSU – Math, Science, and Technology; MSTL – Math, Science, Technology & Leadership; IS4GT – Intensive Studies for Gifted and Talented (IS4GT); and SuMO – GATE Summer Mathematics ONLINE.

Minnesota – Concordia Language Villages
From pre-kindergarten enrichment, sleepaway camps and high school credit programs to programs the entire family can enjoy together, Concordia brings language to life for young learners ages 2 to 18 and family members of all ages.

Minnesota – Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY)
MITY provides an educational community where a diverse group of talented students can expand their academic visions and experience the joy and excitement of learning. The Institute has earned a reputation as Minnesota’s premiere summer academic enrichment program. Classes range in size from 10 to 16 students which encourages individualized teaching and a friendly learning environment. The following courses are available: Expand Your Mind, for students in grades 7-12; and ExplorSchool for students in grades 5-6.

Mississippi – Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies – Summer Program for Academically Talented Youth (Hattiesburg, MS)
This three week residential program is designed for very bright students who are currently enrolled in grades 7, 8, 9 and 10. It is designed to provide a balance of educational, cultural and recreational experiences.

Missouri – Missouri Scholars Academy
A three-week residential academic program for Missouri’s gifted students who are ready to begin their junior year in high school held on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

Missouri – Missouri Fine Arts Academy
A three-week residential scholars program at Missouri State University in Springfield for artistically gifted youth who are ready to begin their junior or senior year in high school. School districts and private schools are responsible for nominating students to attend; students may not self-nominate.

Missouri – College for Kids
Summer program for gifted and talented children. Courses are designed to challenge and advance general skills already possessed by the student.

Missouri – Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS)
Students and Teachers As Research Scientists (STARS) is a program that introduces both rising high school juniors and seniors and teachers to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise.

New MexicoCampersand (Albuquerque, NM)
Campersand is a one week residential family camp for precocious mathematicians 9-16 years of age. At Campersand, students arcampersand logoe encouraged to dive deep into the subject they love and explore new areas of interest. Campersand also wants them to just be kids and to find peers like them.

New York – Cornell University Summer College (Ithaca, NY)
Cornell University offers an annual Summer College for high school students. At Summer College, high school students take Cornell courses for credit, live on campus, explore academic and career opportunities, and find out what college is all about.

New York – Long Island University Center for Gifted Youth
The Long Island University Center for Gifted Youth conducts a four-week, non-residential summer program for gifted children, which offers students a unique combination of academic and recreational activities within a university setting.

New York – Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo)
This program offers students the ability to do summer scientific research at America’s Cancer Research Center.

New York – Syracuse University Summer College for High School Students
Offers high school students the opportunity to explore their passions and experience college life for one to six weeks with over 40 credit and noncredit pre-college programs. These programs are for high school students aged 15-19.

New York – The Gifted and Talented Development Center – Challenge Camps
This day camp, located in Westchester County, New York, offers enrichment opportunities where children can realize their own potential.

New York – Usdan Summer Camps (Long Island)
Usdan’s 1,700 young musicians, dancers, artists, writers and actors establish lifelong friendships with those who share their passion for creative exploration. Usdan offers you a world class faculty and an incredible campus.

Nevada – Davidson THINK Summer Institute
Gifted students interested in a challenging academic summer program should consider attending the Davidson THINK Summer Institute on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. This intense three-week residential summer program offers exceptionally gifted 13- to 16-year-old students the opportunity to earn up to six college credits that may be transferable.

North Carolina – Coast Trek
Join MarineQuest to travel back in time to the age of giant prehistoric sharks and discover how North Carolina’s coast has changed over the years. While time traveling through their coastal habitats back to the future, Trekkies will use the tools of oceanography, meteorology and paleontology to experience first-hand how hurricanes and other forces of nature have created the coastline that we see today. The program is for students ages 10-12; participants must have completed 4th grade and turn 10 by May 1st. Residential and commuter programs are available.

North Carolina – Duke University Summer Session
10th or 11th grade students can earn college credit, choosing from Duke University courses from across the arts and sciences. A selection of six-week undergraduate courses in Summer Session Term 2 are available to academically qualified high school students. Participants must be 16-years-old by the first day of the term to be eligible.

North Carolina – Duke University Pre-College Programs
Duke TIP offers three residential summer programs. CRISIS (grades five and six) uses problem-based learning, allowing students to take on the role of a professional to solve a hypothetical community crisis. The Summer Studies Program (grades seven through 10) combines advanced academics with beloved residential programming during three-week courses. There is also a Summer Studies Program in China for eighth through 10th graders. And, Field Studies (grades nine through 12) boasts hands-on learning utilizing cutting-edge resources on college campuses and at unique field study locations.

Ohio – The Ross Mathematics Program
The Ross Program at the Ohio State University is an intensive course in mathematics for pre-college students.

Pennsylvania Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP)
This program welcomes highly motivated and talented students to explore engineering at the college level. The intensive, three-week programs combine sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience in cutting-edge technologies. Work with leading faculty while earning college credit, live on Penn’s historic campus, and connect with new friends from around the world.

Pennsylvania – Lehigh University Summer Engineering Institute (SEI)
This is a four-week summer residential program of intensive classroom study and research for exceptionally talented, rising high school juniors and seniors. SEI provides enrichment experiences in the fields of engineering and technology. A major goal of the program is to encourage young talent to pursue careers in these areas and other STEM disciplines, thereby fostering global competitiveness in engineering and technology and other STEM disciplines.

Pennsylvania – MathILy
Located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, MathILy is a summer program for high school students that is designed for students to spend five weeks in Pennsylvania honing their math skills with other students. The level of and intensity of MathILy is comparable to SUMaC, HCSSiM, PROMYS, and Ross Programs.

Pennsylvania – Lehigh University, Iacocca Global Entrepreneurship Intensive
This program brings American high school sophomores and juniors (ages 15-18) together with International high school students from all regions of the world for four weeks to live and learn together at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. Students learn about entrepreneurship, globalization, team building, project management, leadership and working within a culturally diverse environment.

South Carolina Clemson Space Camps
Clemson University, in partnership with Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, has developed a summer research experience for gifted and talented middle and high school students. Students use NASA built radio telescopes, research-grade optical telescopes, and one of the world’s largest archives of astronomical data to conduct independent and group research under the mentorship of astronomers and scientists. They also tour cutting edge astronomy research labs and hear guest speakers share their experiences working in space science.

Tennessee – Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth – Vanderbilt Summer Academy
For students entering grades 8 – 12, VSA offers accelerated courses in 1 – 3 week summer sessions. Students live on campus and take advanced level courses taught by VU faculty and graduate students in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Texas – Summer Wonders
Summer Wonders is a nonresidential, full or half-day program that allows students to explore diverse subjects in a challenging, creative environment through an integrative, hands-on, non-traditional approach.

Virginia – Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies (BCWS)
The purpose of the camp is to nurture in children and teens a respect and sensitivity to the natural world through greater knowledge of self and

Virginia – Summer Regional Governor’s Schools
Twenty Summer Regional Governor’s Schools are available throughout the state. Most often, groups of school divisions design these programs to meet the needs of their local gifted elementary and middle school students, providing opportunities in the arts, sciences and humanities. The schools are typically housed at a public school or on the campus of a college, community college, or university. The lengths of programs vary, with some lasting a week or less while others may last four or more weeks. Most students return to their homes at the end of each day’s activities.

Washington – Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington – Summer Programs
The Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington offers summer academic programs. All classes are offered on the UW-Seattle campus, and provide challenging and fun summer experiences for academically talented students.

Washington – Satori Summer Camp (Cheney, WA)
This camp allows academically and intellectually talented students to experience their first taste of college with others who share their enthusiasm for learning in an academic and social environment. Satori camp allows students to choose three mini-courses from a variety of offerings. Each course is held for approximately two hours a day over the five days of camp. This continuity allows for in-depth exploration of subject material, active inquiry and discussion, and hands-on participation by students.

Wisconsin – Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth
There is a variety of residential as well as online summer programs offered for students who have taken and passed specific tests and are of a specific age.

Various Locations – American Academy of Medicine & Surgery (CA & HI)
The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Internship is a two week course of study for High School and Pre-Med students to initiate the steps towards mastering basic and advanced cardiothoracic surgery. Students will progress from basic surgical skills to completing advanced cardiothoracic procedures normally performed at an attending level.

Various Locations – Camp Invention
Camp Invention is a weeklong summer enrichment day program offered at your local elementary school.

Various Locations – Emagination Computer Camps (CT, GA, IL, MA, PA)
This camp offers typical fun camp activities with a touch of technology. Students learn computer animation, web design, digital photography, Lego robotics and much more.

Various Locations – Epsilon Camp
Epsilon Camp is a two-week residential summer camp serving promising young mathematicians and their families through an intensive student program and parent workshop. They serve children 7 to not yet 12 years of age with extreme intelligence and a love of mathematics by identifying and exposing them to suitable content, pedagogy, peers, and mathematicians.

Various Locations – Explo
At EXPLO, young people unwind complexity through personalized, playful, and inquisitive project-based learning developed collaboratively with partners in industry—here, students make big-picture discoveries about the world, the future, and their place in it; they ignite their passions and consider what kind of life they want to live, questions they want to wrestle with, collaborations they want to build. From Pulitzer Prize winners to state Supreme Court justices, EXPLO faculty are excited to engage young minds. EXPLO alumni go on to be Forbes 30 under 30 awardees, Inventors of the Year, Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars, filmmakers, authors, and more.

Various Locations – Exploration Summer Programs
Exploration Summer Programs is an academic summer enrichment program where young people can expand their horizons, try something new, and learn in a pressure-free environment.

Various Locations – iD Tech CampsiD Coding & Engineering AcademyiD Game Design & Development Academy
This organization allows students to explore a top campus and make friends while mastering new tech skills and joining a community of more than 275,000 alumni. At iD Tech Camps, students ages 7-17 can learn to code, build websites, design video games, experience virtual reality, mod Minecraft, engineer robots, model and print 3D characters, and more! iD Tech also offers early-education STEM programs, all-girls tech camps, teen-only academies, and an online learning platform.

Various Locations – iMACS Hi-Tech Summer Camp (CT, FL, MO, NC)
This camp offers talented children a unique opportunity to explore and expand their intellectual world. Campers are immersed in academic pursuits such as playing strategic logic games, designing and building electronic devices and programming computers. Campers may either attend a full day program (grades 3 – 10) or individual one to two hour classes (grades 1 – 12).

Various Locations – LaunchX (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) & Northwestern’s Center for Talent Development (CTD))
Multi-week summer programs at either MIT or Northwestern designed to help rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors start companies.

Various Locations – MathPath
Summer camp for students, middle school age, showing high promise in mathematics.

Various Locations – Middlebury Summer Language Academy
A four-week language and cultural immersion summer program for 8th-12th grade students.

Various Locations – National Computer Camps (CT, GA, NY, OH)
This program offers both residential and non-residential options in curriculum that covers topics from video game design to computer languages and web page design.

Various Locations – Science Adventures
This program’s week-long science day camps and programs are offered throughout the summer in casual indoor or outdoor settings.

Various Locations – Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)
The Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) offers three-week academic summer camps for gifted and talented students ages 5 to 17. The program combines academics with social, cultural, and recreational opportunities for a truly engaging summer. Choose from 22 campuses including Yale, Princeton and the University of Miami. Residential, commuter, day, and online programs are available.

Various Locations – Summer Science Program (SSP) (CO, NM, & IN)
The Summer Science Program (SSP) is a residential enrichment program in which gifted high school students complete a challenging, hands-on research project in astrophysics or biochemistry.

Various Locations – Telluride Association Summer Programs (TASP) (MI & NY)
TASP is a six-week educational experience for high school juniors that offers challenges and rewards rarely encountered in secondary school or even college.

For more summer programs, visit Cogito’s Summer Programs Database and the National Conference of Governor’s Schools (NGoGS) summer residential governor’s school programs listed by state.

If you know of any other summer programs for gifted students, please email the information, including a link to the program’s website, to




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