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.


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

  1. Understanding principles of cardiac and thoracic diseases and surgery

  2. Providing hands-on practice of fundamental surgical skills

  3. 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. The only exception we make for students below 16 years old is if they are a Junior in high school. There is no grade requirement.

We do accept international students.

How to Apply

Application window: CLOSED (no late applications will be accepted)

Application requirements to be completed online:

1) General information online application (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): The Admission Committee strongly encourages you to share unique 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 500 words.

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

7) Application fee of $95 USD (non-refundable).

For general questions regarding the application process, letters of recommendation, or application fee payment, please contact Lucy Neves.

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

More information

    Application FAQs


Application fee (non-refundable): $95 USD

Due to the pandemic, the Summer 2021 Programs 1 and 2 will be online only. If accepted, the program fee is $3,750 USD, which includes the necessary surgical instruments and supplies for the student to keep.

Teaching Facilities

Due to the pandemic, the Summer 2021 Programs 1 and 2 will be held virtually via Zoom with daily interactive lectures from 9 am to 12 noon (Pacific Time) Monday to Friday.

Daily skills sessions are conducted from 1 pm to 3 pm (Pacific Time) via Zoom. The skills session is also interactive with skills demonstration by the instructor concurrent with feedback to the students regarding their performance (via computer camera or smartphone). All surgical instruments and supplies are provided.

There is additional time for tutorials and office hours. 

Interns are expected to attend all sessions.

For future in-person programs, lectures and labs take place at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge and the Falk Cardiovascular Research Bldg. Both are located on the campus of 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 requests 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. 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 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.

Donations can be made online through the Stanford Medicine - Make a Gift website. Choose "Other Stanford Designation" and "Describe your gift in the Comments area below" and type "Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center" in the text box. Please do not send application fee or program fee through this webpage.


Application FAQs

General FAQs

Important Dates

Application window: CLOSED (no late applications will be accepted)

Notification of application acceptance status will be sent starting April 15, 2021

Upon acceptance, deadline for tuition payment is June 4, 2021

2021 Summer Internship begin/end dates:

Program 1 begins:  June 28, 2021

Last day of Program 1:  July 9, 2021

Program 2 begins:  July 19, 2021

Last day of Program 2:  July 30, 2021