High School and Pre-medical Student Stanford Summer Internship

The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center's Stanford Summer Internship is designed to educate high school and pre-medical students considering careers in science, medicine, and public health in cardiovascular anatomy and physiology as well as medical and surgical techniques that will be utilized in pre-medical and medical school.  


This summer internship is an elective course for high school and pre-med students that will provide exposure to the steps in basic and advanced cardiothoracic surgery technique (e.g., knot tying, dissection, suturing, coronary artery bypass graft, and aortic valve replacements). Throughout this course, a strong emphasis will be placed on interactive, hands-on learning to achieve the following goals:                                                         

  1. Providing hands-on practice of fundamental cardiothoracic surgery skills

  2. Introduce and practice key cardiothoracic surgical procedures

Curriculum details

Minimum Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age on the first day of the program. There is no grade requirement and no exceptions to this rule.

How to Apply

Deadline: CLOSED

Application requirements to be completed online:

  1. General information online application (the application deadline has passed)

  2. Resume/CV (pdf format, uploaded within the online application)

  3. Short Essay (pdf format, uploaded within the online application): The Admission committee strongly encourages you to share unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment, socioeconomic status, or life or work experiences. Please discuss how such factors have influenced your goals and preparation for a career in medicine. Please limit to no more than 1,000 words.

  4. A minimum of two letters of recommendation (pdf format). Please forward the following online submission link to your referees: (the application deadline has passed)

Application requirements to be completed via mail:

  1. Official copy of transcript from most recent high school or university

  2. Official results of PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores (Not required but highly recommended)

  3. Application fee of $95 (check or money order only)

Please send to:

Ja'Vonne Smith
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University
870 Quarry Road Extension
Falk, CVRC, 2nd FL, CV2C-163
Stanford, CA 94305-5407

For general questions regarding the application, please contact Ja'Vonne Smith.

For technical questions regarding the online application or letter of recommendation forms, please contact Danielle deLeon.

NOTE REGARDING MEDICAL INSURANCE: Accepted students are required to be covered by their parent’s medical insurance, which will be used if medical care is required. A copy of the student’s current medical plan coverage card must be on file prior to the start of the Summer Internship Program. Parents will be contacted if medical attention is required. This information will be requested only of students who are accepted into the program --- please DO NOT send this in with the initial application.

More information

    Application FAQs

Important Forms


The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide pre-med and medical school level education and training to those high school and pre-medical students passionate about the field of cardiothoracic surgery as a potential career. We do require a non-refundable application fee of $95 USD, and, if accepted, there will be a program fee of $6,200 USD. (Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily)

NOTE: Please make checks payable to: Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University
In the memo section, please write: CSSSI Application Fee or CSSSI Program Fee (whichever you are making payment for)

Teaching Facilities

Lectures and labs take place at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge—which, by design, bring together cutting-edge medicine, modern education, and advanced technology—and the Falk Cardiovascular Research Bldg. Both are located at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Scholarship/Financial Aid

We offer scholarships for students who show academic excellence but also demonstrate financial need. To be considered for a scholarship, the student must be a U.S. citizen and meet one or more of the economic need indicators listed below:

  • Student's annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the Federal Government.

  • Student is enrolled in a federal, state or local program that aids students from low-income families.

  • Student's family receives public assistance.

  • Student lives in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or is homeless.

  • Other request from high school principal, high school counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader that explains a student’s financial need.

Scholarship/Financial aid requests must be submitted in a written letter along with the application and must include parents' previous two years federal and state tax returns for review. Scholarship funds are limited, and we want as many students to have access to our program as possible. Please do not apply for scholarships unless you are truly in financial need.


Please consider partnering with us to further enhance this summer program. First and foremost, we strive to make this program more readily accessible to all individuals, including those with less opportunity, through a robust scholarship and assistance program. We also wish to expand the scope and impact of the program by adding several new educational modules. Donations above and beyond the program fee are also greatly appreciated, but not required. Please do not send application fee or program fee through this webpage.

Donations can be made online through our secure donation webpage.


Application FAQs

General FAQs

Important Dates

Application deadline: CLOSED

Notification of application acceptance status will be sent starting April 15, 2020

2020 Summer Internship begin/end dates:

Program 1 begins:  June 29, 2020

Last day of Program 1:  July 10, 2020

Program 2 begins:  July 20, 2020

Last day of Program 2:  July 31, 2020