Summer Business Programs for High School Students

Student reading and studying at desk

Discover In-Person and Online Business Courses for High School Students

For high school students considering a career in business, a great way to learn about this industry, and get a head start on the skills needed for a career in this field is to participate in an immersive business summer program. Many universities and other organizations offer summer opportunities for high school students to learn more about the business world and business professions. Here are some of the top programs.  

Business Programs Available to High School Students

High school is the ideal time for motivated students to try out college courses. Why invest time and money in a college major only to discover it’s not the right fit? After all, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 8 out of 10 college students in the U.S. change their major at least once during their college career. 

The field of business is a popular choice for many. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms: “Overall employment in business is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032, with about 911,400 openings projected each year, on average.”

Whether you have an interest in business, or perhaps understand that the fundamentals of business are critical across numerous industries, there are many highly respected universities that offer summer business courses to high school students. Some offer in-person courses, while others provide courses online. Depending on your needs and location, you have a wide variety of opportunities. Let’s review a few.

If you’re a high school student aged 13 and older, pre-college online courses are offered from a variety of renowned universities from which you will benefit in a number of ways:  

  1. The chance to try out the college experience before choosing a school or a major.
  2. Learning from top-notch professors. 
  3. Gaining a deeper knowledge of the business industry. 
  4. The ability to demonstrate you’ve successfully navigated college-level work. 
  5. The flexibility of studying anytime, anywhere, tailored to your busy schedule.

A few examples on pre-college online courses in business include:

Beyond pre-college online courses in business, you might also benefit from taking classes in-person at a college and experiencing college life during the summer. Here a few notable options,

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute

  • Stanford’s Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute offers not-for-credit, ungraded, 3-week summer business courses. 
  • Students can choose between courses in business and brand marketing, business strategy, business and entrepreneurship, or digital marketing, among other topics.
  • Students stay on campus with other like-minded students.
  • Daily schedule includes classroom learning, group projects and activities, and excursions around the San Francisco Bay Area. 
  • Though it varies by course, in general students must be in grades 8-11 and 14-17 years old to be considered for admission. 
  • Applicants must have a strong academic record and extracurricular experiences. 

Wharton Summer High School Programs

  • UPenn’s Wharton Business School has a number of business-focused summer programs for high school students. 
  • Courses include the essentials of finance and sports business academy, and last from one week to three weeks, depending on the program. 
  • Students in grades 9-11 may apply. 
  • Specific admissions requirements differ between programs, but all applicants should have a strong academic record. 

Georgetown’s Business Academy

  • Georgetown has a 3-week summer program available to those in grades 10-12. 
  • Students can choose between two tracks: business & leadership or global business.
  • The program consists of classes taught by Georgetown McDonough School of Business professors, business simulations, guest speakers, field trips, and student social activities. 
  • Applicants are required to write a 300-500 word personal statement and provide the contact information for a mentor who can attest to their readiness for the program and confirm their current GPA. 

Wake Forest Summer Immersion Business Institute

  • Wake Forest University’s summer business program covers topics such as finance, marketing, business law, and organizational behavior. 
  • Students will pitch product ideas to potential investors, work with WFU business faculty, meet business leaders who started their own businesses while in college, and visit nearby businesses. 
  • High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors and incoming college freshmen are eligible for this program. 
  • The program takes place on WFU’s Winston-Salem campus and lasts one week.

Columbia Summer Immersion Program

  • Students can choose from over 70 courses in 12 total subject areas. Business classes include Investment Portfolio Management, Globalization: Challenges in International Economics and Politics, and Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Social Justice, among others. 
  • In addition to classes, students participate in recreational and social activities, college preparedness activities, field trips, and volunteer work. 
  • Columbia’s Summer Immersion Program is open to those in grades 9-12 with high academic and extracurricular achievement.


  • Summer@Brown has 25 business and economics courses available, including An Introduction to Game Theory, How a Nation’s Economy Works: An Introduction to Macroeconomics, and The Entrepreneurial Process: Turning Ideas Into Commercial Realities. 
  • Program length varies from course to course, but ranges from 1 to 4 weeks. 
  • Students aged 15-18 completing grades 9-12 are eligible to apply, and include a 250-500 word essay, submit a transcript and recent grade report, and, in some cases, a teacher recommendation.

Berkeley Business Academy for Youth

  • This highly selective program accepts 50 high school students annually to spend two weeks on the UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School campus. 
  • Students have the opportunity to listen to presentations from guest speakers and Berkeley Haas professors, do independent research, present a business plan, and take business classes taught by Berkeley Haas professors, Ph.D. students, and undergraduate students. 
  • Application requirements include a 600-750 word essay, two teacher recommendations, and an academic transcript.

As you can see, there are a plethora of in person and online opportunities to help you sharpen your business acumen while in high school. So, what are you waiting for? Apply today.

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*Kaplan may receive compensation upon student enrollment in one of our partner programs.*