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    Smith Precollege Summer Programs: Summer Science and Engineering Program

    Smith Precollege Summer Programs: Summer Science and Engineering Program


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential, Online
    • Destination: United States
    • Provided By: College
    • Session Start: July, August
    • Session Length: Four Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
    • Gender: Girls Only
    • Category: STEM
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
    • Career Clusters: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Credit Awarded: No
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    The Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP) is designed for exceptional high school students with strong interests in science and engineering. Engage in hands-on research with Smith faculty in life and physical sciences and in engineering. 

    Established in 1990, the program annually serves more than 100 students. Since its inception, nearly 1,800 students have participated, representing 46 states and 53 countries. After the program, participants return to high school better prepared to tackle tough science courses and understand what to expect in college.

    Central to the summer science program is a learning environment that is rich in role models. SSEP offers hands-on, cooperative, investigative and challenging learning—where students get all of the faculty’s attention as well as the opportunities and encouragement to achieve their best. Smith undergraduate students with science majors also serve as teaching assistants.


    Smith College is among the top-rated liberal arts colleges in the United States and one of the nation’s largest colleges dedicated to educating women. In 1999, Smith became the first women’s college in the nation to establish its own program in engineering science, the Picker Engineering Program.

    Students choose two-week research courses; in these, groups of up to 17 students work alongside Smith faculty members, assisted by undergraduate interns. Informal lectures in the lab and out in the field encourage students to ask research questions, and they learn to conduct actual experiments.

    Past course titles include:
    Your Genes, Your Chromosomes
    Global Young Women's Health
    Food is My Medicine
    Sentinels in the Sky

    Most of the work is carried out as a cooperative team effort, with ample opportunities for individual contributions. SSEP participants learn how scientists and engineers formulate questions, work on sophisticated scientific instruments and develop valuable critical thinking and analytical skills.


    • "I have learned from the lab experiments what it was like to be a woman in the STEM Field as a chemist for medicine. During these past two weeks of this course, my global and local view of medicine continues to grow, and I have learned to love the process of growing as an individual."

      - 2021 SSEP Participant - October 26, 2021
    • "Getting to do hands-on activities in a non-competitive environment was really productive for me (and honestly for my confidence in a classroom setting)."

      - 2021 SSEP Participant - October 26, 2021
    • "The most valuable experience would be having a taste of college life before applying to college. This program enlightened me on what qualities I'm looking for in a college environment."

      - 2021 SSEP Participant - October 26, 2021