High School Student Stanford Summer Internship

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


The Summer Internship is an intensive course for high school students that will provide knowledge of and exposure to basic and advanced cardiothoracic surgery and technical skills (e.g., knot tying, dissection, suturing, coronary artery bypass graft, and cardiac valve replacement). Lectures and laboratory sessions are conducted and supervised by Stanford University faculty, surgical residents and staff. Throughout this course, the emphasis is placed on interactive learning to achieve the following goals:

  1. Understand principles of cardiac and thoracic diseases and surgery
  2. Provide hands-on practice of fundamental surgical skills
  3. Practice key cardiothoracic surgical techniques

Curriculum details

Minimum Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age on the first day of the program. The only exception we make for students below 16 years of age is if they are a junior in high school.

Updated Information for 2024

During the pandemic, the Summer sessions in 2020, 2021, and 2022 were conducted online in a virtual format. In Summer 2023 we conducted in-person sessions on campus at Stanford University with preferential admission for students who resided locally.  

Because of continued concerns regarding student health and safety and to provide a greater opportunity for students at various geographic locations to participate, we will proceed with a virtual online program in Summer 2024, similar to our approach in Summers 2020-2022.

Lectures are from 9am to 12pm (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday. Skills training exercises are from 1 pm to 4 pm Monday through Friday. There is additional time for tutorials and office hours. Interns are expected to log in/attend all sessions.

How to Apply

Application window: CLOSED

Application requirements to be completed online:

1) General information (Application window is currently closed)

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

3) Official copy of transcript from your most recent high school (pdf format, uploaded within the online application)

4) Official results of PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores (if available, not required) (pdf format, uploaded within the online application)

5) Short Essay (pdf format, uploaded within the online application): We strongly encourage you to share unique and/or challenging factors in your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment or life or work experiences. Please discuss how such factors have influenced your goals and preparation for a career in medicine. Please limit to 500 words.

6) A minimum of two letters of recommendation (pdf format).
(There are no restrictions as to who can provide a recommendation letter as long as the referee can speak to why the applicant is appropriate for the program. Full instructions on how to submit letters of recommendation are within the online application.)

7) Application fee of $95 (non-refundable). This is payable through the Eventbrite link within the online application.

For questions about the summer internship, application process, application status, letters of recommendation, or application fee payment, please contact Lucy Neves.

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

More information

    Application FAQs


Application fee: $95 USD (non-refundable)

For Summer 2024, the programs will be held using a virtual format (online). The program fee is $4,500 USD, which includes all necessary educational supplies.

Teaching Format

Students attend lectures from 9 am to 12 noon (PST), Monday through Friday. The scope of the lectures ranges from basic cardiothoracic anatomy and physiology to clinical cardiothoracic surgery, including valve surgery, coronary bypass surgery, thoracic aortic surgery, congenital heart surgery, heart transplantation, and lung surgery.

Technical skills sessions are conducted from 1 pm to 4 pm (PST), Monday through Friday. We will provide you with instruments, supplies, and simulation models to be used during the skills sessions. The skills sessions are interactive with skills demonstration by the instructor along with feedback to the students regarding their performance.

Scholarship/Financial Aid

We offer scholarships/financial aid for students who show academic excellence but also demonstrate financial need. To be considered for a scholarship/financial aid, 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 requests from high school principal, high school counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader that explain 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. All documents can be uploaded in pdf format within the online application in the How to Apply section above. 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. We strive to make this program more readily accessible to all individuals, including those with less opportunity, through a robust scholarship/financial aid program. Donations above and beyond the program fee are also greatly appreciated, but not required.

Donations can be made online through the Stanford Medicine - Make a Gift website. Under "Your Gift - Direct your gift," in the drop down menu, choose "Other Stanford Designation." Then, in the "Other" field type "Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center." Then continue to fill out the form as instructed. Please do not send application fee or program fee through this webpage.


Application FAQs

General FAQs

Important Dates

Application window: CLOSED

Notification of application acceptance status will be sent starting: April 8, 2024

Upon acceptance, deadline for tuition payment is June 10, 2024

Summer Internship begin/end dates:

Program 1 begins: June 24, 2024

Last day of Program 1: July 5, 2024

Program 2 begins: July 15, 2024

Last day of Program 2:  July 26, 2024