Barnard College, Columbia University

Summer Springboard program for high school students in New York

Campus Overview

Hailed as ‘the land of opportunity’, spend your summer living in the innovative and cultural metropolis of New York. Comprising five boroughs and a multitude of eclectic and entirely different neighborhoods, see the culture and learn about the fascinating history of this city. Iconic skyscrapers, and the world's major commercial, financial and cultural centers sit amongst iconic architecture where the Hudson meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are no end of places to explore as you experience the people, beauty and unique environment of this city.

This is a co-ed program for students that will be located at Barnard College, Columbia University.


Residential Tuition:

Commuter Tuition:


Session 1:
June 30, 2024 July 12, 2024

Session 2:
July 14, 2024 July 26, 2024


Barnard College, Columbia University
New York, New York


  • I learned amazing things that I didn’t think I would be exposed to before medical school! Summer Springboard helped me confirm my love of medicine!

    Megha J.

  • I came in knowing next to nothing about business and now I feel that I have flourished in business. This program is very beneficial and I feel that I am ready for college.

    Nathaniel C.

  • I was able to have experiences that I would not have gotten otherwise without Summer Springboard. Like visiting real newsrooms and talking to a handful of other journalists of all types.

    Erin B.

Academic Courses

At Summer Springboard we believe learning should be inspiring and interactive. We have worked hard to design courses, field trips and guest lectures that reflect the resources of the New York area. Whenever possible, classes are held outdoors, on-site or in a lab-type setting to allow students as many ’hands on’ opportunities as possible. Field trips and guest speakers take the learning experience beyond the classroom and leverage all that New York has to offer.

In addition to our academic morning courses, students spend the afternoon either in electives (i.e. Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Athletics, College Prep, Photography, and Community Service) or doing our True You program which explores elements of one's real self including strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.


Hands-on architecture project - building 3D design model

Are you considering a career in architecture or design? Are you working on your college application and portfolio? Or are you simply curious about what it is like to be an architect? The Summer Springboard architecture course for high school students introduces architectural ideas, design principles, and methods of exploring problems of the built environment in a collaborative studio setting. While working on a design project you will learn about the academic path to an architectural degree, the day-to-day work of an architect, and the career opportunities.

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Business & Entrepreneurship

In their first class, students will break into teams and come up with an original business idea. Over the course of the entire program they develop this idea into a business that they will ultimately pitch to investors. Along the way, teams need to develop a marketing plan and financial projections. By using an experiential learning approach, students will quickly engage in the topic, and the instructor introduces the underlying theory and concepts as students tackle these issues while trying to build their business. On the final day of the course the teams present their products to an expert panel of judges who provide professional and informative feedback to the students.

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Computer Science in New York City

Girls coding at Thunkable offices

This course offers an engaging introduction to coding through Python, suitable for beginners and those with some programming background. Students will explore Python fundamentals, covering key topics like variables, data types, control structures, functions, and loops, with a blend of theory and hands-on practice. Students will undertake projects designed to enhance problem-solving skills and coding proficiency. Those with previous experience in programming will find opportunities to challenge themselves further, while newcomers will gain a solid foundation in Python syntax and program design. The course culminates in a final project, enabling students to demonstrate their skills and add a significant piece to their programming portfolio. This course is structured to build confidence and competence in Python, paving the way for future programming endeavors.

Excursions in New York: During last summer’s program, students had the opportunity to explore Microsoft through a behind-the-scenes tour, gaining insights into cutting-edge technology, and engaged in immersive spy simulations at Spyscape. Visits may extend to other top tech companies like Salesforce and Justworks this summer. Furthermore, students will have the chance to learn from industry professionals, including computer programmers, software engineers, and game developers.

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Emergency Medicine

Girl simulation center medicine

Our summer medical program for high school students gives you a 360 degree view of the medical and healthcare field, as well as immersive learning through hands-on projects and simulations. Students will get the unique opportunity to hop on board and learn how things really operate in the back of an ambulance. In addition, they will get behind-the-scenes access to a hospital ward room, emergency or intensive care unit room, operating room or procedural training room.

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Fashion Merchandising in New York

Uncover your passion for fashion and explore diverse career opportunities in one of the world’s most reknowned fashion cities. Renowned for their rich history of top fashion events, leading designers, and a thriving fashion culture, these cities are legendary and exert tremendous influence in the fashion world. Prepare to use these cities as your living classrooms for an exciting journey of discovery.

Throughout the program, students will immerse themselves in the business aspects of the fashion industry, guided by insights from industry professionals. Drawing inspiration from Steve Madden, they will explore topics such as consumer behavior and fashion forecasting. This journey culminates in the creation and presentation of conceptual designs for the Steve Madden brand. As the course concludes, students will showcase their innovative Steve Madden bag concepts at the Steve Madden headquarters in NYC, with one standout design earning a prize.

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Finance & Investing

cryptocurrency blockchain

Students will break into teams with each team selecting a promising stock that the team will research throughout the course and ultimately pitch to a group of investors. Faculty will provide hands-on help to students throughout this process. Along the way; students will be introduced to core investment concepts including the characteristics of different asset classes, public vs private equity, the workings of the stock market, company financials, company valuation and portfolio design.

Excursions in New York – Students will visit to an investment company in the New York area.

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Students In New York City

In week one, students will learn journalism basics such as article structure and AP style formatting, practice writing exercises, and explore interviewing techniques. They will also engage in a course excursion to gain additional insights.

In week two, students will focus on feature writing, vignettes, and journalism in social media, including a dedicated “”TikTok Day”” exercise. The second week will conclude with a final simulation press conference to apply their learning.

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Psychology & Neuroscience

Through psychology simulations and hands-on neurology workshops, you will explore the relationships between the brain and human behavior. Whether you are interested in the physical aspect of the brain and central nervous system or more intrigued by human behavior and thought processes, connect with professionals that have a background in both psychology and neuroscience. 

Excursions ExamplesPrevious students enjoyed exclusive behind-the-scenes tours, such as a visit to the NYU Psychology lab. Here, they witnessed the operation of an fMRI machine and actively participated in research studies. Last summer, students explored the Alvarado lab, gaining insights into biology and encountering various animals. Our guest speakers have included experts from Harvard, UCLA, and Google.

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Activities & Trips

There is so much to do in New York! The city is full of excitement, charm and endless attractions.

  • Students In New York City
  • New York City Central Park

New York, NY

New York City as your classroom, we will explore the must-see sights: Central Park, Top of the Rock, Grand Central Station, World Trade Center, the high line, Vessel, and much more. Tours also include a visit to one or two prestigious universities in the area: NYU or Columbia University.

Track-Specific Excursions

Details for track-specific excursions coming soon!

Student Life

Your home with Summer Springboard at Barnard College, Columbia University will be actual university dormitories located on this vibrant city campus.


Just like a college student at Barnard, students will reside in a suite featuring a private bedroom alongside shared common areas like a living room, bathroom and kitchen. These suites are segregated by gender and equipped with an extra-long twin-size bed, desk, drawers, and a closet.

Your Summer Springboard staff (Mentor) will live on your hall to create a community, provide support, plan activities and help you get the most out of your stay in New York. Other members of the Summer Springboard staff also live on campus and are available to support students and tackle emergencies, 24 hours a day.


All dormitories have 24-hour security. University security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance during their time at Barnard.


Dorms are suite-style, four single rooms share a bathroom (4 students total). There are outdoor recreation/activity areas available for students as well as lounge spaces in the dorms. Laundry machines and wireless internet are free for students during their time at Barnard.

Classrooms on campus are beautifully renovated and modern with all the latest technology.


Most meals will be on campus at the dining hall, conveniently located near the dormitory. We can accommodate diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, halal, or specific food allergies.

Note: Summer Springboard programs are not run by our campus partners. Universities and their affiliated departments are not responsible for the Summer Springboard program in any way.

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Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program