Georgia Tech Summer PEAKS Program – A Full Guide



If you’re still undecided on what to major in or you think your profile is not strong enough for your dream university, then you might want to consider a summer program at Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech is ranked 10th among the top public schools in the country. Spending your summer at one of the best public universities in the country will give you a rich experience that will help you make the best choice for your major and the university you end up at.

If that sounds important to you, continue reading to get the full scope of how to apply and possibly land several scholarships.

What is THE Summer PEAKS Program?

The Summer PEAKS Program is an initiative by the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) at Georgia Tech. It offers immersive, hands-on STEM learning experiences for students in grades 4–12 during the summer months.

The program is one week long. It takes place at Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. It aims to improve students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills through various STEM activities and projects. Each week-long program is designed around a specific theme, allowing participants to delve deep into topics such as coding, robotics, engineering, game design, and science.

One of the key features of the Summer PEAKS program is its experiential learning approach. Students don’t just sit in a classroom and listen to lectures. They actively participate in interactive workshops, lab experiments, and collaborative projects. They get to apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios, fostering a deeper understanding of STEM subjects.

For high school students, Summer PEAKS offers limited residential programs, allowing them to experience life on a college campus while immersing themselves in STEM education.

What can I study at PEAKS?

The program offers a variety of courses to choose from. Each course part of the program runs for a week and no more than two courses are held in a single week. You can opt for multiple courses if you’d like!

Summer PEAKS Program 2012
  1. Code With the Yahboom Smart Robot: You will learn the basics of coding through Microsoft’s MakeCode application and use these skills to program a Yahboom robot. Code the robot to avoid obstacles using ultrasonic sensors and navigate a map using infrared sensors. 
  2. Seth Bonder Program in Computational and Data Science: This course introduces you to the basics of programming. You will learn about machine learning, optimization, computational social science, and genomics using Snap!, a programming language, and use it to program a robot to navigate a grid.
  3. Energy Unplugged: Learn about how different kinds of energy are generated and the environmental impact. Deep dive into solar energy and electric vehicles, participate in discussions with clean energy researchers, and find out about careers in energy.
  4. iEXPERIENCE: Go on field trips to learn more about the work industrial engineers do and participate in learning sessions with them.
  5. Cinemagination Film Program: Working in teams, explore film production through all its stages, from pre-production, filming, and post-production. At the end of the program, your team must shoot a short film or advertisement.
  6. The Science of Psychology: Learn about how the brain works through research projects and lab demonstrations — uncover how our personalities can influence decision-making, how psychology affects individual and group behavior, and much more.
  7. The World of Materials: Explore the principles, applications, and various innovations in materials sciences and engineering, and their importance in different fields.
  8. Coded Beats: Use coding to learn about how music beat-mixing and production works.

PEAKS also offers limited week-long residential courses:

  1. GT G.I.R.L.S.: This residential program introduces grade 9-11 girls to STEAM and the various careers in it through hands-on activities (lab experiences, projects, etc), lectures, and other experiences.   
  2. Robotics Institute: In this week-long program for current 9-11 graders, you will program a robot to navigate a racetrack and learn and apply techniques and principles like design optimization, localization, and camera recognition sensing. You will also participate in a VR game to better understand situational awareness in changing environments.
  3. 2024 First Generation College Institute Residential Program: This residential course introduces Georgia’s first-generation learners to STEM, connects them with college students, and guides them through the college application and FAFSA process. You pay only $25 as a registration fee and must be in grades 8-12 and a first-generation learner to apply.     

Pros and Cons of the Summer PEAKS Program


  1. You can choose from a variety of programs  Summer P.E.A.K.S. offers many different programs to introduce you to STEAM: you can learn to code, investigate energy generation, follow industrial engineers, and even study film production!
  2. You can opt for multiple courses within the program  The courses are spread out throughout July and August with no more than two in a single week, allowing you to register for up to eight courses!
  3. You can avail of scholarships  Georgia Tech offers need-based scholarships and grants that cover up to 75% of the program cost.  
  4. You don’t need to have a minimum GPA to apply The P.E.A.K.S. program is designed to give students an introductory and holistic view of opportunities in STEAM — you only need to show your interest in the program!


  1. You need to live near the Georgia Tech campus Most courses are commuter-only, which can make it difficult to attend if you do not live in Atlanta or within reasonable distance from the Georgia Tech Atlanta campus
  2. You don’t earn any credits The Summer P.E.A.K.S. program is meant to introduce STEAM to students and only runs for a week. If you’re an ambitious high school student, you could consider longer, more intensive summer programs that offer you college credits.

What are the program dates?

When does the program take place?

The program runs between June and July, depending on the course you choose.

When is the deadline for applying?

Application deadlines for each course vary and are generally open until two weeks before the start date or until seats fill up. For the residential programs, applications are due by the end of February.

Application Tips

You can apply through this link here!

The Georgia Tech Summer PEAKS program offers an exciting opportunity to delve into the world of STEM. But before you dive in, let’s navigate the application process! Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth and successful application:

1. Eligibility Check:

  • Double-check the program’s website to confirm you meet the grade level requirements (rising 4th-12th graders).
  • Familiarize yourself with the specific course offerings and choose the program(s) that align with your interests.

2. Gather Your Materials:

  • Application Form: Locate the online application form on the PEAKS program website.
  • Transcripts (Optional): While not always mandatory, including transcripts for high school students can showcase academic achievements and commitment.
  • Teacher Recommendation (Optional): A recommendation from a science or math teacher can strengthen your application by highlighting your potential and enthusiasm for STEM fields.
  • Essay or Personal Statement: Some programs might require an essay or short statement. Use it to showcase your passion for STEAM, specific areas of interest, and why you’d be a great fit for the program.

3. Application Deadlines:

  • Mark your calendar! Application deadlines vary depending on the chosen course. Most deadlines fall two weeks before the program start date or when seats fill up.
  • Early application is encouraged! This ensures you secure your spot in the program of your choice, especially for popular courses.

4. Financial Aid Considerations:

  • Review Financial Aid Options: The PEAKS program offers BOOST grants and scholarships for need-based applicants, covering up to 75% of the program cost.
  • Gather Required Documents for Financial Aid: These typically include proof of income documents aligning with Georgia’s Free and Reduced Lunch program requirements.

5. Application Review and Follow-Up:

  • After submitting your application, allow ample time for processing.
  • Consider a follow-up email or phone call (within reason) if you haven’t heard back close to the program start date, particularly if you haven’t received a confirmation or require further information.

Cost and Financial Aid

Each Course$500
Residential Offerings$1,550
Source: CEISMC Georgia Tech
Financial aid

CEISMC offers BOOST grants and scholarships for all its summer programs that cover up to 75% of the cost. To qualify, your family must qualify for the Georgia Free or Reduced Lunch Program. The maximum annual income will depend on your household size you can visit the official website for more details.

Is the program prestigious?

The Summer P.E.A.K.S. program is moderately prestigious and selective. The program is paid and does not have a minimum grade to filter applicants.

Our review — what do we think of the program?

If you’re a high school student undecided on a major, the Summer P.E.A.K.S. program is a sound option to get introduced to STEAM and explore its different career options. You can choose from a variety of courses based on your interest, register for multiple if you’d like, and access scholarships if you need them. On the other hand, you may want to consider another program if you find commuting to the Atlanta campus daily difficult, or if you’re looking for a more challenging summer program.

Alternatives and Comparisons

Considering the Georgia Tech Summer PEAKS program is a great first step! However, you might also be interested in exploring other summer programs to find the best fit for your interests and location. Here’s a look at some alternatives, along with a brief comparison to PEAKS:

Atlanta-based Summer STEAM Programs:

  • AT&T Foundry Summer Camps: Located in Atlanta, these week-long camps delve into topics like coding, game design, and cybersecurity. Comparison: Similar duration and focus on technology, but caters to a slightly older audience (high school students).
  • The Woodruff Arts Center Summer Camps: Explore visual and performing arts through intensive workshops at this Atlanta institution. Comparison: Offers a broader focus on artistic disciplines alongside PEAKS’ STEM focus.
  • Georgia Tech Center for Robotics Education (GCRE) Summer Programs: GCRE offers robotics-focused camps for middle and high school students. Comparison: Ideal for students with a specific robotics interest, while PEAKS provides a broader range of STEAM options.

Nationally Recognized Summer STEAM Programs:

  • Stanford University Summer Institutes: Stanford offers a variety of intensive, multi-week programs across various disciplines, including STEAM fields. Comparison: Offers a prestigious and in-depth learning experience, but may be more intensive and potentially more expensive than PEAKS.
  • The Governor’s School for Science and Technology (Established in many states): These residential programs for high-achieving high school students offer a challenging and immersive summer experience in STEM fields. Comparison: Highly selective and rigorous, ideal for students seeking a top-tier academic challenge, but application processes can be competitive.
  • National Summer Science Institutes (NSSI): This NSF-funded program offers free, six-week residential programs for high school students focused on specific scientific research areas. Comparison: Excellent opportunity for deep dives into specific scientific fields, but highly competitive and geographically limited.

Remember, the best program is the one that aligns with your specific interests and goals! Consider factors like program focus, duration, location, cost, and residential options when making your decision. Researching these alternatives can help you find the perfect summer program to ignite your passion for STEAM.

You can check out our articles on Mathily and Jcamp.

Bonus Tip: Many universities and colleges offer summer programs beyond those listed here. Explore options in your area or research programs at universities you might want to apply to later!