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Pathway Program in Molecular Engineering

We are no longer admitting high school students to the 2018 Summer Session.

The emerging field of Molecular Engineering brings together concepts from chemical and mechanical engineering, materials science, physics, and nanotechnology in order to innovate across a wide range of areas, including energy storage and harvesting, water purification, and manufacturing electronic, biomedical, and mechanical devices. Molecular engineers build new materials or objects from the molecule up and even create new molecules that do not exist in nature. The Pathway Program in Molecular Engineering will provide an overview of the basic components of engineering – design principles, modeling, and optimization – and how they are applied at the molecular level to address real-world problems. Students will learn how to optimize molecules by following the engineering processes used by scientists with the Institute for Molecular Engineering in their research. They will spend their mornings in lectures and discussions with faculty and researchers at the university and their afternoons completing group-based projects in labs overseen by faculty and graduate student TAs. The TAs will also conduct occasional evening tutoring sessions. A computation unit will provide students with the opportunity to use super computers and create models, which will inform their optimization efforts, at the university's Research Computing Center. Students will also get the chance to tour Argonne National Labs and hear about the research being done there in areas that include nanofabrication and quantum mechanics. Overall, the Pathway Program in Molecular Engineering will lead participants beyond the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines and to the intersection of physical, chemical, computational, and engineering sciences – the forefront of technological problem-solving. Armed with this intersectional thinking, students will leave the Pathway Program in Molecular Engineering able to engage in the lateral, multi-disciplinary thinking that is needed to solve some of the most fundamental problems facing society today.

Course Code

PWAY 10310




High School Students



Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Primary Instructor

Aaron Esser - Kahn

Secondary Instructor

Shrayesh Patel


Session II

Orientation Date(s)

Start Date

End Date


  • Students who apply will be admitted using rolling admission and require a $50 application fee.
  • The Summer Session application deadline is May 1, 2018. Students may apply after this deadline, but will be required to pay an additional $100 rush processing fee.
  • For all courses still open, international students must submit all application materials before April 9.
  • For domestic students, rolling admissions will typically close by early May; this may be earlier for specific programs that fill.

Additional Details

  • This course is open to high school students only.
  • Enrollment is limited to 30.

Cost & Aid

Total Cost (includes Tuition, Housing and Dining, and Fees): $5,700.

Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for high school students can be found here.
Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for undergraduates can be found here.