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Immersion

UChicago's gothic rooftops against a backdrop of the Chicago skyline

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 through 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 workshop discussions, research projects, and other activities.

Whether you’re looking for creative writing workshops, preview courses in STEM fields, or to explore theories of ethics, philosophy, and free expression, the University of Chicago’s summer Immersion courses offer you the opportunity to explore a topic of interest in-depth. 

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

DETAILS

Courses are all three weeks long. Students should expect to spend at least 6 hours on coursework everyday. Read each course listing carefully.

Each summer course is the equivalent of a full, quarter-long (10 week).

  • Once you choose the course(s) for which you would like to apply, make a note of the department code and course number (ex. ANTH 21501).
  • See individual course descriptions for prerequisites, if any.

Eligibility: Current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, who are at least 14 years old.

  Session I Session II
Course Dates June 21 - July 08 July 13 - July 29
     

To search for courses based on your grade level and academic interest, check out the course finder.

Courses in Program

Biological Inquiry

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  In Biological Inquiry, students will learn about current research in molecular genetics and cell biology. As a class, we will read and talk about biotech methods used in research labs. In lieu of hands-on experiments, students will use simulation software to learn current techniques (CRISPR, synthetic biology, next generation sequencing) as well as more well-established techniques (cloning, PCR, cell culture and pharmacology of medicines).

Session(s)

Session I

Biology and Its Modern Applications (Session 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course aims at developing the basic concepts that form the crux of life from both structural and functional perspectives. It will cover cellular functioning and organization and the transformation of energy. In addition, concepts of evolution and natural selection will be investigated. The course also introduces the student to the continuity of life from genetic and molecular perspectives. The course will extrapolate to demonstrate how cells communicate through cell signaling and how defects in such communication often lead to diseases.

Session(s)

Session I

Biology and Its Modern Applications (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course aims at developing the basic concepts that form the crux of life from both structural and functional perspectives. It will cover cellular functioning and organization and the transformation of energy. In addition, concepts of evolution and natural selection will be investigated. The course also introduces the student to the continuity of life from genetic and molecular perspectives. The course will extrapolate to demonstrate how cells communicate through cell signaling and how defects in such communication often lead to diseases.

Session(s)

Session II

Biotechnology for the 21st Century (Session 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course is designed to provide a stimulating introduction to the world of biotechnology. 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. Lectures and the corresponding activities will include microbial biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, biofuels, cloning, bioremediation, medical biotechnology, DNA fingerprinting and forensics.

Session(s)

Session I

Biotechnology for the 21st Century (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course is designed to provide a stimulating introduction to the world of biotechnology. 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. Lectures and the corresponding activities will include microbial biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, biofuels, cloning, bioremediation, medical biotechnology, DNA fingerprinting and forensics.

Session(s)

Session II

Collegiate Writing: Awakening into Consciousness (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*   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?

Session(s)

Session II

Communicating Effectively: Free Expression, Civic Argument, and Public Advocacy

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  Communication shapes our lives – personal, professional, and political. Communication skills are also highly correlated with college and professional success: critical thinking, argument, writing, perspective-taking, and research skills are all foundational to a liberal arts education and life beyond college. The objective of this course is to help students develop these essential skills through an introduction to the principles and practices of public discourse: advocacy, argument, and speaking.

Session(s)

Session II

Contagion: Infectious Agents & Diseases (Session 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  COVID, 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.

Session(s)

Session I

Contagion: Infectious Agents & Diseases (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  COVID, 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.

Session(s)

Session II

Creative Writing

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Culture and Immigration

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  Immigration defines our past and present: from refugee crises to diasporic communities old and new, from the increasingly globalized nature of higher education to tech giants employing skilled laborers of diverse nationalities, immigration has shaped and continues to shape our reality.

Session(s)

Session I

Democracy's Discontents

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Developmental Psychology: Theories and Techniques

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session I

Economics from an Experimental Perspective

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Explorations in Neuroscience: Neurons, Behavior, and Beyond

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session I

Fairy Tales and the Construction of Childhood

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  In this course we will study fairy tales within the broader context of the history of childhood and practices of education and socialization. Today, fairy tales are commonly considered the stuff of children’s literature and film. But as historians such as Philippe Aries remind us, before the Enlightenment children were seen as little adults and childhood was therefore not considered as a distinctive period of life.

Session(s)

Session I

Happiness in Western Thought, Art, and Culture

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests. 

Session(s)

Session II

Introduction to Creative Coding

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Introduction to Proof-based Discrete Mathematics

*Taught Online for Summer 2021This course will introduce you to higher-level mathematical argumentation and proof, an understanding of which is crucial to making the transition from high school to undergraduate math coursework. What we take as given early on in the study of mathematics actually has reasoning behind it, and this course will show you how to begin to uncover and articulate that reasoning for yourself.

Session(s)

Session I

Justice, the State, and the Individual

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session I

Making Art in the Age of the Internet

*Taught Online for Summer 2021Through your everyday use of conventional technology--taking photos on your phone or controlling avatars in a gaming platform--you have already laid the foundation for creating cutting edge art. In this course, students will investigate a range of new media art that uses this technology, building a theoretical and visual vocabulary that will inform their own artwork, critiquing each other’s work along the way toward a culminating, final project.

Session(s)

Session I

Mathematical and Computational Research in Biological Sciences

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  Using computation to model and study biological systems is one of the leading edges of current scientific 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 quantify their behavior.

Session(s)

Session I

Pathways in Data Science

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Pathways in Economics

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session I

Pathways in Economics (Calculus-Based)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This program introduces students to the approaches to economic research and experimentation that make UChicago a world leader in the field. Full-time lecturers in the Department of Economics teach classes on topics in macroeconomics, microeconomics, game theory, and field experiments, drawing on research that applies the tools and insights of the field in new and exciting ways.

Session(s)

Session II

Pathways in Human Rights

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  What are “human rights”? How are they different from “civil rights”? How do laws, treaties, and norms work in practice to protect rights? Are human rights truly universal, applying to all? Students will explore these questions and more, addressing human rights on a local, national, and global scale. Course materials will include philosophical essays and historical analyses, contemporary court decisions, films and other artistic representations, as well as virtual visits with outstanding human rights advocates and artists.  

Session(s)

Session I

Pathways in Molecular Engineering (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  The emerging field of Molecular Engineering brings together concepts from chemical and mechanical engineering, materials science, physics, and nanotechnology to innovate across a wide range of areas, such as energy storage and harvesting, water purification, and manufacturing electronic, biomedical, and mechanical devices. Molecular engineers may build new materials or objects from the molecule up, or even create new molecules that do not exist in nature.

Session(s)

Session II

Pathways in World Politics

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

Poetry and Popular Music

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  What are the boundaries of poetry and music, and what role do they (or can they) play in our lives? Although the origins of lyric poetry are in music and performance, much of that connection has been lost. As a result, many of our critical discussions of poetry remain divorced from its connection to voice, presence, and performance, and many of our discussions of lyrics in hip-hop, rock, and other popular music have neglected a discussion of their connection to literary language.

Session(s)

Session I

Power and the Presidency

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  What are the foundations of presidential power, and how should it be applied? These questions have been topics of debate since the founding of the U.S., and have become of particular interest in recent years.

Session(s)

Session II

Revolution and Resistance in the Modern World

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course introduces students to the history and theory of rebellion, revolt, and resistance. From peasant rebellions to urban uprisings, from heretical movements to nationalist struggles, the course examines how communities resisted and negotiated structures of power, be they bureaucratic, religious, social, or political.

Session(s)

Session I

Talking to Others: The Psychology of Communication

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session I

The Global Political Economy: Power, Inequality, and Globalization

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for a second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

The Physics of Stars: An Introduction

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

The Psychology of Learning

This course is currently at capacity. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

Session(s)

Session II

What is Community? Making Sense of Social Connection in a Disconnected World

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests. *Taught Online for Summer 2021*  Why is social connection so important? What threatens our sense of relatedness to others? How can we thrive as social beings while spending so much time in front of screens?

Session(s)

Session II