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TCNJ offers summer pre-college programs for high school students

pre-college programs

Want to give your student an edge on their studies this summer? Check out TCNJ’s programs for high-achieving high schoolers looking to explore careers in an intellectually stimulating environment. Experience learning on a beautiful college campus with peers interested in academic and community challenges.

Summer 2024 offerings include:

Design and Creative Technology Academy

June 23–28
Residential or non-residential
Program Website | Register

Calling all aspiring designers, innovators, and music producers. This camp offers four dynamic paths:

  • 1) Game Design for Everyone will challenge participants of all skill levels to design, program, and refine one small videogame. The academy will teach game design fundamentals, programming techniques, and play-based techniques.
  • 2) Graphic Design will explore the field of visual communication. Using Adobe Creative Suite on Apple computers in our state-of-the-art labs, participants will create projects in both print and digital media. Lessons will cover typography, image-making, historical trends, and multimedia design. 
  • 3) Digital Fabrication will introduce participants to the creative possibilities of a makerspace, teaching them about a broad range of activities including product design, physical computing, interaction design, and rapid prototyping. Students will create 2D and 3D shapes using industry-standard machines, software, and materials. 
  • 4) Music Technology will allow students to explore creative ideas in music composition and audio production. Participants will create their own songs, learn to make beats, and produce signature tracks that can be shared afterward.

This academy runs from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Audience: High school students (rising 9th grade through graduating seniors) with an interest in game design, graphic design, digital fabrication, or music technology.

Cost: $1,200 (residential) or $800 (non-residential)


Future Music Educators Institute

June 23–28
Residential or non-residential
Program Website | Register

Take daily classes, electives, and masterclasses taught by TCNJ’s esteemed music faculty and leading professionals, including Emmy-award-winning and Grammy-nominated composer Jake Runestad, nationally recognized composer and conductor Rollo Dilworth, and Broadway and YouTube star Natalie Weiss. The institute runs from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Audience: High school vocal or instrumental students (rising 9th grade through graduating seniors) interested in becoming a music teacher or conductor

Cost: $1,200 (residential) or $800 (non-residential)


Camp Innovate and Investigate

July 15–19
Non-residential only
Program Website | Apply

An electrifying week packed with hands-on experiments, mind-boggling puzzles, and cutting-edge discoveries at the intersection of math, physics, computer science, biology, and chemistry. Campers will experience science firsthand with activities designed to spark curiosity and ignite passion. Participants will explore design thinking and create innovative solutions to problems. They’ll also have the opportunity to hear from industry experts, tour state-of-the-art facilities, and preview the latest groundbreaking research. This program runs from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. daily, with an extended day option (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) available for a nominal charge.

Audience: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in the sciences.

Cost: Free, though costs may be associated with outside activities and if campers extend their day.


Engineering in Health and Medicine Summer Camp

July 21-26
Residential only
Program Website | Join the Waitlist*

Explore the diverse field of biomedical engineering through hands-on and design activities using the state‐of‐the‐art biomedical engineering laboratories and design facilities in TCNJ’s STEM Building. Projects ranging from medical imaging to drug delivery, from medical device design to neural engineering, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to meet biomedical engineers working in the medical device industry. 

Audience: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who rank in the top 30% of their class and have an interest in engineering or medicine. 

Cost: $1,850. This fee covers tuition, educational materials, room & board, and entertainment expenses. There is also a non-refundable $39 application fee.  

*Due to an overwhelming number of applications, we are only accepting waitlist requests at this time.


Artificial Intelligence and Wireless Communications Camp

July 28–August 2
Residential only
Program Website | Apply

During this week-long residential camp, participants will explore the realms of electrical and computer engineering. Students will delve into the development of intelligent handwriting and facial recognition hardware and software, as well as microstrip antennas — an integral component of contemporary wireless communication.

Audience: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who exhibit a passion for science, math, engineering, artificial intelligence, and/or wireless communications.

Cost: $2,000. This fee covers tuition, room and board, social and entertainment expenses, as well as hardware and laboratory kits required for the camp. Each student will be given an engineering experimentation kit with a value of $100/person for later home-use. There is also a non-refundable $40 application fee.  

Summer Field School in Archaeology 

August 5–19
Non-Residential Only*
Program Website | Register (see below)

Participants in this intensive, two-week field school will learn and apply the basic procedures and techniques used in archaeological excavation and recording. These include surveying, mapping, field walking, photography, and excavation, as well as post-excavation analysis and curation of artifacts. Participants will get hands-on experience digging at a real archaeological site on TCNJ’s campus. This field school is being offered for college credit through TCNJ’s summer session (Course: ANT363 Archaeological Field Methods). The class meets M – Sa, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Audience: Students of all ages, from high school to graduate school.

Cost: $2,171.32

To Register: High School students may register by emailing TCNJ’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology at (Current TCNJ students should enroll through their PAWS account. Visiting college and graduate students can find registration information on the Summer Programs website.) 

*Non-residential only for participating high school students. There is a residential option available for college and graduate students. See the Summer Programs website for more information.