Past Summer Session Tracks


Learn what makes UChicago one of the most innovative and impactful universities in the world with the Pathways Program, a three-week program where students are introduced to the way UChicago approaches a rigorous discipline. The Pathways Programs cover a wide array of topics, and each features a series of guest lectures by faculty members from across the University who specialize in the particular field. Pathways Programs this summer will be offered in the following subjects:

  • Economics I and II: Professors from UChicago’s globally ranked Economics Department discuss topics from explorations of cutting edge economic research to experimental economic theory.
  • Neuroscience: UChicago Neuroscience researchers give lectures on their work, including defining the mechanisms of perception and behavior and developing groundbreaking treatments for neurological disease and illness.
  • Molecular Engineering: UChicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering shows how they are solving global technological problems through a course that teaches how to apply computational and mathematical methods towards problem solving.
  • Human Rights: UChicago’s Pozen Family Center for Human Rights faculty discusses issues including health and human rights, human rights at home, and arts and advocacy.

Research in the Biological Sciences (RIBS)

Unlock your inner researcher in this four-week intensive program. This unique opportunity exposes students to a project-based immersive experience through basic lab techniques, application of current molecular techniques, and lectures providing background and introduction to concepts. Students will dive into a broad range of molecular, microbiological, and cellular biological techniques used in research laboratories. Students work directly with researchers, documenting their work through lab notebooks and peer presentations. At the end of the program, all students make a final presentation.

Successful completion of the course gives participants the experience and confidence to work in a research laboratory. On a space-available basis, students who excel in the program are invited back the following year to work in the lab of a University of Chicago research scientist.


Look for the next Sue with researchers from Chicago’s Field Museum during a four-week hands-on paleontology experience in the classroom in Chicago and out in Wyoming! Students go behind the scenes of one of the world’s great natural history museums, as well as into the field, to learn about how fossils are collected, analyzed, and conserved.

In Chicago, Field Museum scientists will take you into the labs and galleries where they work and study as they introduce you to important concepts in geology, paleontological method, stratigraphy, and earth history. You will examine methodological concepts such as fossil preparation, illustration, and description. After acquiring the fundamental scientific background needed to discover and understand the significance of fossils, you’ll be ready to head out into the field.

In Wyoming, you’ll get your hands dirty at the Green River Formation. This site is one of the world's most productive fossil sites and contains an entire 52 million-year-old community of extinct organisms. Previous expeditions to the Green River Formation have uncovered thousands of fossils, including plants, insects, mammals, crocodiles, birds, lizards, turtles, and fish, many of which are currently on display at the museum. Spend the day digging for fossils from the Cenozoic Period and prepare meals with your fellow excavators in the evening before sitting around the campfire with the museum's researchers and their families.


Live the life of a college student for a summer through UChicago’s Chicago Immersion courses! These undergraduate-level courses introduce you and other high school students to discussion-based lectures, labs, and research projects. Immersion courses provide a balance of a college level experience and a sun- and fun-filled summer in one of the United States’ most exciting cities—Chicago!

In UChicago Immersion courses, you can:

  • Test the theory of stellar structure by collecting your own data about the masses, sizes, and luminosities of stars
  • Determine the rate of resistance in a particular strain of bacteria
  • Cross-examine witnesses and present closing arguments in a full-length mock trial
  • Design and execute your own psychological research experiment on how actual children think, speak, or make ethical choices

These undergraduate courses are designed especially for high-school students. Whether your interest is in creative writing, psychology, or a summer law program, the University of Chicago's summer immersion courses offer students the opportunity to explore in-depth a topic of interest.

Summer 2017 Sample Courses

  • American Law and Litigation (Sessions I & II)
  • Biotechnology for the 21st Century (Sessions I & II)
  • Collegiate Writing: Awakening Into Consciousness (Session II)
  • Contagion: Infectious Agents and Emerging Diseases (Session II)
  • Creative Writing: Fiction (Session II)
  • Developmental Psychology: Theories and Techniques (Session I)
  • The Psychology of Learning (Session II)
  • Explorations in Neuroscience: Neurons, Behavior, and Beyond (Session II)
  • Design Thinking: Games and Social Impact (Session II)
  • Economics from an Experimental Perspective (Session II)
  • Mathematical and Computational Research in the Biological Sciences (Session I)
  • The Physics of Stars: Their Structure and Evolution (Session II)


Get straight to the core of UChicago’s academic philosophy via this intensive pre-college summer program. Inspired by UChicago’s renowned Core curriculum, the Arts and Sciences in Chicago summer program interweaves material from the sciences, humanities, and the social sciences in order to cultivate critical thinking, innovative problem-solving, and effective communication skills among its students. Students will have the chance to take one of two courses taught by teams of faculty and graduate student instructors.

What is Nature?

The central questions asked in What is Nature? are: What is nature, and what counts as natural? This course is aimed at students interested in examining the relationships between individuals and the natural world and will examine different approaches to nature, starting with the ancient Greeks and key scientific thinkers including Bacon, Galileo, and Darwin and then continuing on to the modern environmental movement. Nature will be examined through a wide range of disciplines – history, science, and literature, to name a few – and we will use a variety of texts and objects. Students will be able to apply their new perspectives beyond the classroom through visits to the Field Museum and Rainbow Beach.

From the Country to the City: The Experience of Urbanization in the Modern World

What happens as the world becomes increasingly urban? As a global urban population of 746 million in 1950 has jumped to 3.9 billion today? This course will, through a wide variety of disciplinary approaches, examine urbanization, a source of momentous change in the modern world. It will look at the ways in which waves of urbanization change our senses of belonging, as well as the architectural and political challenges urbanization poses. Students will read classic texts in political economics, geography, and philosophy, while also engaging with architecture, art, literature and film from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Then, we will take advantage of our biggest classroom, sending students on field trips around Chicago to visit sites such as the Art Institute and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

2017 Admissions Academy Sessions

All students will take part in the Admissions Academy, workshops that help students gain insight into the holistic admissions process and preparing a college application.


Many more additional courses are in development. Please check our website for updates.