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For everyone’s health and safety, Summer Session will not host students on campus for residential programs this summer. Many of our courses will be taught remotely online so that you can still explore your intellectual interests, gain insight into college life, and be a part of our distinctive learning community. We hope you will join us online this summer! Our Summer Session team is here to help via email at summersession@uchicago.edu.

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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.

“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

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. 

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

  Session I Session II
Course Dates June 22 - July 09 July 14 - July 30
     

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

Courses in Program

América and Its People, A Survey

Canceled for Summer 2020

Session(s)

Session II

Biology and Its Modern Applications (Session 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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 2020*  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 2020*  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 2020*  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 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*   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 I

Collegiate Writing: Awakening into Consciousness (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*   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.

Session(s)

Session II

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

*Online for Summer 2020*  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 I

Contagion: Infectious Agents & Diseases (Session 1)

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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

Session(s)

Session I

Contagion: Infectious Agents & Diseases (Session 2)

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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

*Online for Summer 2020*  Building directly on best practices developed at the College over the spring quarter, this remote learning workshop helps students find a voice and develop a sustainable writer's practice through a series of creative exercises in fiction, essay, and poetry. By the end of the course, each student will have revised and completed several significant pieces of writing.

Session(s)

Session II

Democracy's Discontents

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  Most would agree that in recent years the very idea of democracy has taken it on the chin, but might we also be learning that democracy has a glass jaw? There have certainly been those over the past two-hundred-plus years who thought so. In this course we will read a number of major thinkers who have called the value and very possibility of democracy into question.

Session(s)

Session II

Developmental Psychology: Theories and Techniques

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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.

Session(s)

Session I

Economics from an Experimental Perspective

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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.

Session(s)

Session II

Experimental Animation: Handmade Motion

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  How can we make everyday objects come to life or turn a small corner of a bedroom into a film-making studio? Can a world be built, or a story be told, with nothing more than a marker and post-it notes?  What do GIFs have in common with a toy from the 19th century? These and many other questions will be considered in this intensive three week online production course, where students are invited to bring their creative energy and invent new possibilities in animation.

Session(s)

Session I

Explorations in Neuroscience: Neurons, Behavior, and Beyond

*Online for Summer 2020*  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.

Session(s)

Session I

Happiness in Western Thought, Art, and Culture

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  This program will explore “happiness” as a set of ideas, artifacts, and problems in the cultures of Europe and the Americas. We will study works ranging from ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to modern short stories, lyric poems, and films, by authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Seneca, Kant, Mill, Keats, Shelley, and Dickinson.  As we do so, we will examine the different definitions and understandings of happiness put forward by these texts.

Session(s)

Session II

Mathematical and Computational Research in Biological Sciences

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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

Media and Image

Canceled for Summer 2020

Session(s)

Session I

Power and the Presidency

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  What are the foundations of presidential power, and how should it be applied? These questions have been topics of debate from the founding of the U.S., and have become of particular interest in recent years.

Session(s)

Session I

Religion: Big Questions

Canceled for Summer 2020

Session(s)

Session II

Science, Technology, and the Body

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  How do new frontiers in science, medicine, and technology impact how we understand what bodies are, what they are becoming, and how they relate to each other? How does culture take up these concepts across time and reflect them back? During this three-week course, we will touch on a variety of issues this question raises, ranging from dolls to robots, machine learning to virtual communities, and from pharmaceuticals to family-making.

Session(s)

Session I

The Global Political Economy: Power, Inequality, and Globalization

*Online for Summer 2020*  Between World War II and the election of Donald Trump, the world economy has undergone a number of crucial transformations. This course introduces students to the trends that have produced today’s political economic order and to useful conceptual tools such as "moral hazard," "tragedy of the commons,” “race to the bottom,” and “collective action problem." Its main argument is that problems in economics are inextricably tied up with politics and the distribution of various kinds of power.

Session(s)

Session II

The Good Life

Canceled for Summer 2020

Session(s)

Session I

The Physics of Climate and Weather

Canceled for Summer 2020

Session(s)

Session I

The Physics of Stars

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  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 a black hole.

Session(s)

Session II

The Psychology of Learning

*Taught Online for Summer 2020*  Humans’ ability to learn from and teach others is a feature that sets our species apart. In this online course, 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.

Session(s)

Session II