By: Ryan Kelly
“Summer break” is an oxymoron for pre-meds. Typically the only thing they’re “breaking” is a sweat, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
For pre-meds, summer is not a time to simply recharge and rest on their laurels. It’s a precious opportunity to FOCUS on a FEW areas of their lives or applications, since the school year is often a constant balancing act of staying afloat with coursework and a slew of extracurriculars.
So odds are you won’t be idle during the summer, but how should you spend that time? For some, it’ll be devoted to MCAT prep or taking a few difficult courses in isolation so that you can give your best effort to studying.
But for many other pre-meds, it will be a time to gain experience through summer internships, whether in research or a clinical setting.
Because all of your pre-med friends are doing it, and you MUST do one too, if you want to compete with them! Just kidding – there are better reasons than that!
Experience – step out of your comfort zone, take on greater responsibility, and enjoy scholarly freedom (oh yeah, and put it on your med school application!)
Networking – make connections with esteemed people at universities (often partners with medical schools); secure future research and clinical positions
Clarify Goals – discover what you do and don’t like; narrow and determine your future vision as a researcher and clinician
Accomplishments – many programs include the chance to present at conferences, co-author published results, or spearhead projects
Immerse Yourself – explore new communities, make new friends, and test the waters of life as a physician and/or physician-scientist
Trying to make an objective, all-encompassing list of the best pre-med summer internships is a difficult task, since it heavily depends on the location, qualifications, interests, and goals of each individual pre-med.
However, we wanted to provide a modest database of pre-med internship opportunities, categorized by type and location, with links and blurbs of information about each. We’ve tried to include diversity in location and discipline.
Bookmark this article now so that you can return to it as a reference when needed. We hope it helps you find the best internship for YOU and YOUR interests.
Note: Prestige is nice, but you should find an internship that genuinely speaks towards your passions; you will stand out more for what you actually accomplish and contribute!
The programs below are classified under four regions (with flexible geographic interpretation). The entries for each region are not listed in any particular order.
Deadlines are for 2020, but they are subject to change in future years.
USC Keck School of Medicine – Deadline: February 1st – Mainly for minority students.
USC Keck Graduate Institute – Deadline: March 1st – Innovative research in biotechnology and bioengineering.
USC Keck Graduate Institute – Deadline: June 1st – Two-week program of classroom and experiential learning.
UCLA – Deadline: February 15th – Academic enrichment curriculum and problem-based workshops on clinical cases.
UCLA – Deadline: March 3rd – Gain insight on medical school admissions, student life, and medical school curriculum.
UCSF – Deadline: February 3rd – Spend 10 weeks working with faculty members on research. Take part in seminars, lectures, and social events.
UCSD – Deadline: February 2nd – Eight-week project with a faculty member in the biomedical sciences.
University of Colorado – Deadline: March 30th – Shadow a world-class ER, earn your WFR certification, and learn from physicians around the world.
Oregon Health & Science University – Deadline: February 14th – Work directly with research mentors in cancer biology, immunology, cell biology, and biomedical engineering.
University of Washington – Rolling Deadline – Focuses on children with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and related disorders.
Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA – Deadline: January 14th – Designed for undergraduates with a commitment to biomedical research and an interest in genomics.
University of Massachusetts Medical School – Deadline: March 15 – Hands-on laboratory research with an investigator serving as a mentor, role model, and advisor.
Georgetown University School of Medicine – February 4th – Engage in clinical experience, guided research, and immersive community based learning.
Weill Cornell / Rockefeller / Sloan- Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program – Deadline: February 1st – Allows freshman and sophomore underrepresented minority and/or disadvantaged students to experience life as a MD-PhD student.
Weill Cornell Medical College – Deadline: February 1st – Designed to give students deeper insights into the field of medicine, including issues that greatly affect underserved groups.
New York Stem Cell Foundation – Deadline: February 17th – Provides students a rare glimpse into the fast-paced world of stem cell research.
Hartford Hospital – Deadline: February 6th – Offers an introduction to research methodology, patient treatment, and ethical issues in medicine.
Johns Hopkins University – Deadline: February 1st – Provides experience in research laboratories to students of diverse backgrounds.
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health – Deadline: March 1st – Complete a research project under the supervision of an experienced faculty mentor.
Atlantic Health System – Deadline: February 1st – Shadow professionals in the operating room, emergency department, hospital floors, and physician offices.
Various Locations – Deadline: February 28th – Meet with scholars in basic, clinical, translational, prevention, control, behavioral, and population research.
University of Chicago – Deadline: January 17th – Participate in either basic science laboratories or clinical research projects.
University of Chicago – Deadline: January 17th – Engage in group learning and team building, attend interactive lectures, and participate in clinical shadowing.
Northwestern University – Rolling Deadline – Explore the realities of individual healthcare in the context of the US healthcare system.
Cleveland Clinic – Deadline: March 13th – Work alongside reproductive scientists and clinicians in learning about basic laboratory techniques in a real laboratory setting.
OU-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine – Deadline: February 1st – In addition to traditional medical school curricula, the program focuses on case-based problem solving.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine – Deadline: February 3rd – Provides summer stipends to undergraduate students interested in cutting-edge research in several disciplines of neuroscience.
Des Moines University – Deadline: February 15th – For students interested in osteopathic medical careers.
Mayo Clinic – Deadline: January 11th – Develop research skills that include empirical methods, study design, data collection and analysis, and scholarly writing.
University of Michigan – Deadline: January 18th – Work full-time in a basic research laboratory under the mentorship of a research faculty member.
Vanderbilt University – Deadline: February 1st – Research seminars, enrichment activities, lectures, and social activities for undergraduates engaged in research.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine – Deadline: February 1st – Gives college students the opportunity to participate in both research and clinical patient care at an academic medical center.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN – Deadline: February 1st – Receive training in a superb academic environment with basic scientists, research-oriented physicians, and postdoctoral fellows.
Texas A&M University College of Medicine – Deadline: February 9th – Working closely with Texas A&M University College of Medicine faculty on research projects in basic or clinical science disciplines.
University of Mississippi Medical Center – Deadline: February 15th – In addition to the lab experience, attend seminars aimed at enhancing your understanding of biomedical research.
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine – Deadline: February 15th – Work with UAB faculty on mentored research projects and participate in clinical experiences.
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine – Deadline: February 15 – Be instructed in the techniques of modern biology while becoming an integrated member of a vibrant clinical and scientific community.
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – February 19th – Offers undergrad students an excellent introduction to current radiological sciences research.
Augusta University – Deadline: February 1st – Work alongside research mentors on exciting research and attend interactive workshops.
Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – Deadline: January 14th – Hands-on cancer research experience for 10 weeks over the summer.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for?
We found a database that’s organized by state, but it covers all pre-health careers and doesn’t provide much supplementary info.
Have any questions about pre-med summer internships? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll respond to you personally!