Jump Start 2019

The Jump Start Program will invite 50 rising high school juniors and seniors to participate in a week-long summer science immersion program at the University of Maryland. The program was developed through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is now sponsored by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland. Students considering a career in the sciences will have the opportunity to learn the tools of modern life sciences research and experience the excitement of discovery. In addition to carrying out laboratory investigations, students will participate in seminars and professional development workshops. 

The theme for the Summer 2019 Jump Start program is biomedical science. Students will learn how cellular and molecular techniques are changing the way we diagnose and treat disease. 


Program Schedule

Each one-week session runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day (M-F). Students will have a lunch break from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, during which they may purchase lunch from one of the many vendors at the Stamp Student Union. Participants are responsible for transportation to and from campus each day; no on-site housing is available.

  • Session 1: July 15-19

  • Session 2: July 22-26


Who can apply

The program is open to high school students who will be entering their junior or senior year in the fall of 2019 (i.e., those who will graduate in 2020 or 2021). Applications from freshmen and seniors will be considered on a space available basis. Please note that in past years, the number of applicants has far exceeded the number of spots in the program, so we have been unable to accommodate freshmen and seniors.

Participants will be selected on the basis of a personal statement, high school coursework and grade point average (GPA), SAT or PSAT scores (if available), and teacher recommendations. Recommendations may come from teachers in any discipline; they need not come from science teachers.

Applicants will also be evaluated on the strength of their preparation in the biological and chemical sciences. We recommend having completed Advanced Placement Biology or its equivalent and a year of Chemistry.


How to apply

  • Fill out the online application form (available December 15 through March 15)

  • A personal statement, totaling no more than 1000 words and submitted as part of the online form, addressing one of the following topics:

    • Describe a person or pivotal event that helped define your interest in science.

    • Tell us about something that stimulates your curiosity. Where has your curiosity led you?

  • High school transcript (unofficial photocopy is acceptable)

  • Courses in progress and semester grades (if not included on transcript)

  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher. Although letters from science teachers are preferred, they are not required.

The online application form must be submitted and all supporting materials postmarked by March 15, 2019. Applicants will be notified of the admissions committee's decision shortly after April 15, 2019.



The program fee for 2019 is $200. This fee helps defray the costs of the program and  is required to confirm your participation. All participants will receive readings, laboratory protocols, all necessary laboratory materials/reagents, and a Jump Start t-shirt. Participants will receive additional information regarding payment of the program fee upon acceptance.


Send application materials to:

Dr. Kaci Thompson, Director
Jump Start Program
1313 Symons Hall
College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742