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 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 and staff. Cardiothoracic surgical residents will assist in some basic science lectures and skills sessions. Throughout this course, the emphasis is placed on interactive 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.

Other Information for 2022

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sessions in 2020 and 2021 were conducted online in a virtual format, and students who participated were from various geographic locations. We hope that the 2022 sessions will be in-person on campus. Since there remains uncertainty as to status of the pandemic and the local policies for Summer 2022, we will proceed at this time with application review and processing, giving preference to those students who live locally. Additionally, our program will not be providing housing assistance because of concerns regarding the pandemic.

We will continue to update the program information (in-person vs. virtual) as pandemic guidance evolves and per University recommendations and policy. If virtual, we will make adjustments to the application process, curriculum, and tuition cost.

How to Apply

Application window: January 10, 2022 (8am PST) to March 7, 2022 (noon PST) (Absolutely no exceptions will be made for late applications, including technical difficulties. Please apply early in anticipation of unforeseen events.)

Application requirements to be completed online:

1) General information online application (application opens January 10, 2022, at 8am PST)

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 via Eventbrite.

For 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: $95 USD

Currently, we hope that the Summer 2022 Programs 1 and 2 will be in-person, on campus. If accepted, the program fee is $5,500 USD, which includes snacks and lunch.  

Because of the uncertainty of the status of the pandemic, should the program be held virtually online, the program fee is $4,000 USD, which will include all the necessary educational supplies to be sent to the student.

Teaching Facilities

For in-person programs, lectures and laboratory sessions 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.

Students participate in daily lectures from 9 am to 12 noon, Monday through Friday. Skills sessions are conducted from 1 pm to 4 pm. The skills sessions are highly interactive with skills demonstration by the instructor concurrent with feedback to the students regarding their performance.

There is additional time for tutorials and office hours. 

Interns are expected to attend all sessions.

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. 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: January 10, 2022 (8am PST) to March 7, 2022 (noon PST). Please apply early. No exceptions will be made for late applications, including technical difficulties.

Notification of application acceptance status will be sent starting April 4, 2022

Upon acceptance, deadline for tuition payment is June 3, 2022

2021 Summer Internship begin/end dates:

Program 1 begins: June 27, 2022

Last day of Program 1: July 8, 2022

Program 2 begins: July 18, 2022

Last day of Program 2:  July 29, 2022