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MedSTEM Explorers

Building a foundation for college and careers

In this six-week, paid summer pre-internship program at Rush University Medical Center, rising high school sophomores and juniors explore careers in STEM and health care, developing academic and workplace skills and researching real-world health issues in their Chicago communities. Students who succeed as MedSTEM Explorers will be considered for the MedSTEM Pathways internship program.

“My time interning at Rush inspired me to make preventative health services accessible and cost-efficient for all. I believe it is going to take both creative and artistic thought, as well as an understanding of medicine, to accomplish this goal.”

Alexis B. – Temple University (Class of 2022)

As a MedSTEM Explorer, you will:

Explore careers through workshops, research and discussions with working professionals.

Get ready for college with academic enrichment, guidance on coursework, and opportunities to develop college readiness skills like critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, time-management and self-motivation.

Develop your workplace skills through courses and training that help you learn fundamental healthcare skills, earn basic certification and strengthen work readiness.

Connect and network with professionals and other students from across Chicago through career panels and community service opportunities.

Program Information

MedSTEM Explorers builds confidence, job readiness and leadership skills. In addition to skills development for higher education and careers, students will have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials such as first aid/CPR.

The 2024 program runs from June 24th, 2024 to August 2nd, 2024. Students will take classes from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Rush University Medical Center, and must be able to attend the entire summer session.

Summer Session

Current Freshmen and Sophomores at time of application


  • Minimum 2.5 weighted GPA
  • Rising Sophomore or Junior by Summer of 2024
  • 80% Attendance Record
  • Chicago Resident

Also Accepting:

  • Undocumented/ DACA / Refugee Students
  • Oak Park & River Forest Residents ( Zip Code 60302, 60303, and 60305)

Important Dates

December 2023
Applications open

March 2024
Applications close

Mid-February – Mid-April

Early May
Explorers are notified of acceptance

June 21, 2024

June 24, 2024 – August 2, 2024
Program activities

August 2, 2024
Capstone project showcase

How to apply

  • Meet the requirements
  • Gather a résumé, a letter of recommendation and an unofficial transcript
  • Click “Apply” to fill out and submit your application
  • You will receive an email notification if you have been selected for an interview. After your interview, you’ll receive an email notification if you have been selected for the program.
  • Interview Tips Guide

If you’re accepted

  • Submit an After School Matters application (for payment purposes)
  • Attend orientation
  • Must have COVID vaccine
  • State ID or Passport
  • Complete Secondary Application