UChicago Immersion

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Summer Immersion Programs for High School Students

Immerse yourself in one of your passions, and take advantage of the rich educational resources offered by the University and the city of Chicago when you sign up for one of our summer immersion programs for high school students. In these undergraduate-level courses, you will get personalized attention from faculty, researchers, and other professionals who will lead you through labs, workshop discussions, field observations, research projects, and other hands-on activities.

“The biggest advantage of this program is its caliber in teaching. The depth and style of teaching was perfect, keeping a perfect balance of serious work and an exciting atmosphere. Despite having to read tons and writing an essay, I was still eager to jump out of bed and dash into class.”


Lawrence X.
Western Academy of Beijing
Beijing, China

“I plan on going to law school, so the Law and Litigation course gave me a good insight into what my future career may be like. Visiting the courthouses, participating in mock trials, and having a prestigious lawyer teach the class really allowed us to see into our possible future profession.”


Adam B.
Charles Henderson High School
Troy, AL

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

Whether you're looking for creative writing workshops, preview courses in psychology, or a summer law program for high school students, the University of Chicago's summer immersion courses offer students the opportunity to explore a topic of their interest in-depth. Interested in learning more? Contact us today to request more information about our immersion courses.

Summer 2017 UChI Courses

Students interested in the Collegiate Writing or Contagion courses may also be interested in the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars program.

American Law and Litigation (Sessions I & II)

Explore how the American legal system operates, and hone your critical thinking skills through extensive reading and analysis, as you learn to think like a litigator. After an overview of how the American common law system developed into the court structure that exists today, you will read the full text of actual U.S. landmark Constitutional cases, while learning how to decipher legal terminology and to conduct legal analysis. Through critical examination, you will gain insight into the ways in which law is continually interpreted and reinterpreted, and how courts attempt to dispense justice while balancing competing social interests. Rigorous and respectful discussion of contentious issues raised by the cases we are considering will make up the morning part of this class. In the afternoon, students will practice oral advocacy, learning courtroom skills that they will use in the course's culminating mock trials where each student will be expected to perform a direct examination, a cross-examination, and either an opening statement or a closing argument. A previous U.S. history course is strongly recommended, but not required, prior to taking this course.

This class will include a field trip to the state and federal courts. All students must bring a photo ID; if you are an international student, a passport will be required to enter Federal court. Make sure to pack professional-looking attire to attend court (both on our field trips and during our mock trials). If you own a suit, bring it. If not, pack dress pants or skirts (no minis), dress shirts, and dress shoes. Jeans, sneakers, shorts, miniskirts, and flip flops will not be allowed in court.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft - subject to change)

Course Code: SOSC 25301 94 (Session I) or SOSC 25301 95 (Session II)
Session: I or II
Dates: 6-19 to 7-07 or 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Elizabeth Scott

Biotechnology for the 21st Century (Sessions I & II)

This course is designed to provide a stimulating introduction to the world of biotechnology, including recent breakthroughs and the bioethical issues raised. Starting with an overview of the basic concepts of molecular biology and genetics that serve as a foundation for biotechnology, the course will segue into the various applied fields of biotechnology, such as microbial biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, biofuels, cloning, bioremediation, medical biotechnology, DNA fingerprinting, and forensics. Students will engage in planning and executing hands-on lab experiments using cutting-edge molecular biology methods that provide the basis of most biotechnological advancements in agriculture and human healthcare, as well as solutions to environmental problems. Students will also take a field trip to a biotechnology industry or a fermentation lab.

Prerequisite: Students must have successfully completed one year of high school biology.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft - subject to change)

Course Code: BIOS 11140 94 (Session I) or BIOS 11140 95 (Session II)
Session: I or II
Dates: 6-19 to 7-07 or 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Christopher Schonbaum and Christine Andrews (Session II); Navneet Bhasin

Collegiate Writing: Awakening Into Consciousness (Session II)

How might we, as individuals and societies, sometimes remain unaware or ignorant? How can our lives – psychological, social, political, and spiritual – be reshaped by awakening from this lack of awareness? What does it mean to achieve true consciousness? This intensive course in analytical writing at the collegiate level will offer a chance to think through these questions and to craft rhetorically-effective essays that explore the enduring struggle to understand what it means for us to awaken into consciousness. This exploration will take us on a journey through many fields – from religion and mythology to politics, philosophy, literature, and the arts. In our seminar sessions, we will consider how thinkers and artists have envisioned human consciousness and our efforts to achieve a truer understanding of ourselves and the world. Writing by TS Eliot and Ralph Waldo Emerson will be paired with the influential Indian spiritual text, the Bhagavad-Gita, and works of political philosophy by Karl Marx and Plato. These written texts will be complemented by some of the most striking visual and filmic art of the last centuries, from Surrealist painting to experimental film and beyond. In our writing sessions, we will work closely to develop and refine the techniques of writing and revision that will allow you to transform your ideas and insights into powerful essays, using rhetorical instruction materials and small group workshops that replicate the intensive writing seminars taken by University of Chicago undergraduates.

Students interested in Collegiate Writing may also be interested in the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars program.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: HUMA 20904 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Michael Subialka

Contagion: Infectious Agents and Emerging Diseases (Session II)

Zika, Ebola, HIV, SARS…in our increasingly globalized and mobile world, infectious diseases can emerge and spread faster than ever before, making epidemics, even pandemics, a real possibility. That, together with increasing antibiotic resistance, makes understanding where these threats come from and how we can control their spread one of the most urgent issues of our time. In this three-week course, students will learn about the origin, biology, and evolution of some of the most feared viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, and Influenza, and lethal bacteria such as E. coli. We will explore the nature of emerging diseases and will use particular examples to discover how we can predict and control their spread. Our dependence on microbes from an evolutionary point of view will also be discussed. Students will have access to the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at the University of Chicago for hands-on activities such as PCR, CRISPR, DNA sequencing, DNA sequence analysis, viral culture and antibody studies all applied to the study of infections and immunity (and will not be exposed to dangerous materials).

Prerequisite: Students must have successfully completed one year of high school biology.

Students interested in Contagion courses may also be interested in the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars program.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: BIOS 15105 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Beatrice Fineschi

Creative Writing: Fiction (Sessions I & II)

This workshop helps students find their writing voice through a series of creative exercises that explore fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. By the end of the course, each student produces several new pieces of writing. Daily sessions begin with morning lectures and presentations, followed by afternoon workshops in which students write, revise, and have their pieces discussed by peers. Students have the opportunity to meet working writers in different fields through in-class visits. Students write in and out of the classroom and complete daily reading assignments. Active class participation is required.

Course Code: ENGL 14700 94 (Session I) or ENGL 14700 95 (Session II)
Session: I or II
Dates: 6-19 to 7-07 or 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Patrick Reichard (Session I) or Benjamin Lytal (Session II)

Developmental Psychology: Theories and Techniques (Session II)

In just a few short years, infants go from helpless beings who cannot even hold their heads up to walking, talking, thinking people who are able to understand complex games, infer intentions in others, and even engage in reflexive thought (i.e., thinking about thinking). In this class, we will explore this transition by studying major theories of developmental psychology, examining how the mind (and correspondingly, the brain) changes from infancy through adolescence. We will focus on primary empirical sources investigating the development and integration of perceptual, cognitive, and social skills. Lecture and discussion will emphasize the complex interplay between biological, psychological, and sociocultural elements throughout the life span in domains such as language, emotions, morality, and intelligence. Students will conduct guided observational studies with young children and then will develop and execute their own experimental research projects in small groups.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: PYSC 21650 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Katherine O’Doherty

The Psychology of Learning (Session II)

Humans’ ability to learn from and teach others is a feature that sets our species apart. Students will investigate learning across the lifespan. What hinders learning and what enhances it? We will learn about engagement, memory, analogical reasoning, executive function, social-emotional components of learning, mindset, “grit”, insight, stereotype threat and more. Students will observe learning in formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal settings (e.g., museums) and then conduct their own study of learning with human subjects. Students will produce an APA-style research paper and formal presentation as their final project. We will leave with evidence-based tips to improve our own learning!

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: PYSC 22680 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Katherine O’Doherty

Explorations in Neuroscience: Neurons, Behavior, and Beyond (Session II)

How does the brain work, and how do changes in brain structure and function give rise to neurological conditions and deficits? Developing a deeper understanding of the brain has been deemed one of the 21st century’s Grand Challenges, and this course will draw on different research methodologies to begin unraveling one of life’s greatest mysteries. Through inquiry-driven investigations that include close examination of primary data, we will explore the mechanisms by which electrochemical and circuit activity in nervous systems give rise to sensation, perception, and behaviors including, but not limited to, movement, language production, spatial navigation, emotional responses, sleep, and learning and memory. Laboratory investigations will parallel those done in modern neuroscience research labs and include molecular (DNA and protein) sequence analysis, fluorescence microscopy of nervous tissue, and behavioral assays. Finally, through our tour through nervous systems across phyla, we will begin to illuminate insights into the evolution history and inner workings of our own brain.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: BIOS 14000 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Megan McNulty

Design Thinking: Games and Social Impact (Session II)

“Gamification” is the notion that business, education, law, and public health can achieve their ends by tapping into the elements of games that motivate and engage people. This course will introduce students to the design process as they explore game design concepts and how games can address particular problems involving human behavior. Students will critically discuss the elements of various types of games, and then work in teams, using paper prototyping, rapid iteration, and user testing to develop their own board or card game which will motivate players to respond differently in a particular situation than they would have before. Guest lecturers from fields such as economics and psychology will address the larger implications of gamification, and prompt students to examine the pros and cons of this increasingly popular approach to problem-solving and driving social impact. Students are not expected to have any prior training in game design or design thinking, just a commitment to teamwork, an interest in creative problem-solving, and a spirit of experimentation.

Course Code: SOSC 25310 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Ashlyn Sparrow

Economics from an Experimental Perspective

A growing field in which the University of Chicago has been a leader, experimental economics uses experimental methods – observing everyday interactions and decisions made by people either in the lab or in the field -- to explore economic questions ranging from how markets and other exchange systems work to what motivates people to make decisions about matters such as conserving environmental resources or donating to charitable causes. The course will introduce students to the foundations of economics analysis, using experiments as a means of assessing the external validity of various economic theories. Students will participate in laboratory experiments and discuss the results, thereby learning the underlying economic principles and the economic questions that the experiments were designed to address. They will also engage in solving specific economic problems both individually and in a group.

Course Code: ECON 09700 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Min Sok Lee

Mathematical and Computational Research in the Biological Sciences (Session I)

Using computation to model and study biological systems is the leading edge of current research. In this hands-on exploration of the latest techniques, students will learn how macromolecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, perform their functions, and how to visualize and model their dynamical behavior. This course will provide an introduction to the basics of computer coding for biological data analysis, and how to apply cutting-edge high performance computation to biological questions using the super computers at the University of Chicago Research Computing Center (RCC).

Course Code: BIOS 10007 94
Session: I
Dates: 6-19 to 7-7; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructor: Esmael Jafari Haddadian

The Physics of Stars: Their Structure and Evolution (Session II)

Understanding how stars work—what makes them shine—is one of the great accomplishments of 20th-century science. The theory of stellar structure allows us to investigate the interiors of stars, even though what we observe is radiation from their outer atmospheres. This theory also helps us determine how old stars are, how they create heavier nuclei from lighter nuclei in their centers, and how they evolve from birth to death, ending as a white dwarf, a neutron star, or perhaps a black hole. This course introduces you to the concepts behind and applications of this crucial breakthrough. We will review the basic physical principles that help us understand how stars work—gravity, pressure, radiation, and how radiation interacts with matter—and apply them to further our understanding of stellar structure. Two field trips are planned: one to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the second a four-night stay at the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, where we will collect our own measurements of stellar properties, such as the masses, sizes, and luminosities of stars, using robotic telescopes controlled via the internet and those at the observatory. Using these and other data, we will test the theory of stellar structure and explore what it can tell us about the universe.

While it is not required, students who have taken this course in the past have found it beneficial to bring their own laptops to class if they have them.

View Sample Syllabus (PDF) (not the final draft, subject to change)

Course Code: PHSC 11901 94
Session: II
Dates: 7-10 to 7-28; MTWRF daily schedule varies
Instructors: Rich Kron, Richard DeCoster and Elizabeth Ramseyer

    

Course Details

  • Once you choose the course for which you would like to apply, make a note of the department code and course number (ex. ENGL 14700 94) and begin the online application.
  • Courses may be offered Session I or II only, or both sessions, so read the course listings carefully. All courses are three weeks long.
    • Session I dates: orientation June 17–18, classes begin June 19.
    • Session II dates: orientation July 8–9; classes begin July 10.
  • Students may be residential (live on campus in the dorm) or commuters (live at home, if local)
  • Class schedules can vary, but usually meet Monday through Friday, for both morning and afternoon sessions, with a one-hour lunch break; see the sample syllabi for more detailed information.
  • One Immersion course equals full-time enrollment for residential and visa purposes.
  • Because Immersion courses are full-time, you cannot take them at the same time as another course (although you may register to take one after another, during a different Session – please note that you would have to pay tuition for two courses if you do this).

Tuition & Fees

Residential Students Commuter Students

Total Program Fee: $6,275
(without student health insurance)

Tuition
$3,975 (one course)

Student Life Fee
$389*

Housing & Dining
$1,911 for one 3-week session

Insurance**
$195* per 3 week session

Total Program Fee: $4,364
(without student health insurance)

Tuition
$3,975 (one course)

Student Life Fee
$389*

Insurance**
$195* per 3 week session

* Estimate; final cost for 2017 to be determined.

** Students who cannot prove that they have adequate health care coverage in the U.S. must enroll in the University Student Health Insurance plan (USHIP), and will be billed accordingly.

Scholarships are available for this program; see the Tuition, Scholarship, & Billing page for details.

Neubauer International Summer Scholars: Thanks to the vision and the generosity of the Neubauer family, top students from Brazil and Mexico can now participate in select University of Chicago Summer Session courses free of charge. Students selected as Neubauer International Summer Scholars will receive a full scholarship to participate in either UChicago Arts and Sciences in Chicago or UChicago Immersion. To apply, go to prospects.uchicago.edu/register/neubauerintlsummerscholar. Please note that this is a separate program from the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars program.

Admissions

  • Eligibility: current high school freshman, sophomores, and juniors, 14 years and older
  • See individual course descriptions for prerequisites, if any.
  • Applications accepted online beginning mid-November.
  • Rolling admissions: courses fill quickly, so submit your complete application as soon as possible.
  • International students must submit all application materials before April 10 for Session I, and before April 24 for Session II.
  • US students must submit all application materials by May 1, 2017.
  • Students interested in the Collegiate Writing or Contagion courses may also be interested in the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars program.
  • Review Application Overview pages for detailed information.

Additional questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions and Apply pages for more information.

Contact Us

SUMMER SESSION

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Second Floor
Chicago, IL
60637

 

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