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Undergraduate Courses

Students in front of Kent

Join us this summer to explore new subjects, delve into a current interest with intense focus, and broaden your powers of perception when you earn college credit with undergraduate courses at the University of Chicago. As a Summer Session student, you can enroll in undergraduate courses drawn from the regular curriculum of the College at the University of Chicago. 

You will have access to the same exceptional educational resources that are available to all students during the regular academic year. All of our classes are taught by distinguished professors and experienced lecturers. In these smaller class settings you will be able to receive personal attention from your professors and get to know other students in your class well.

Details

Courses can be three or five weeks long. Read each course listing carefully.

Each summer course, regardless of length, is the equivalent of a full quarter-long (10 week) course, and meets for a least 30 contact hours.

  • 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)
  • Make sure you don’t choose courses with conflicting schedules, or courses that take place during different sessions.
  • To qualify as a full-time student, you must take 2 courses in the same session. Students who want to live in the residence hall and/or obtain a student visa must be full-time.
  • See individual course descriptions for prerequisites, if any.
  • For language courses and admission information, please visit the Summer Language Institute website.

Undergraduate courses are open to current College undergraduate students; visiting undergraduate students; and, unless otherwise stated, current high school sophomores and juniors, 14 years and older.

To search for undergraduate courses available to high school students, use the Eligibility filter and select "High School Students."

Course(s)

20th Century American Short Fiction

This course presents America's major writers of short fiction in the 20th century.  We will begin with Willa Cather's "Paul's Case" in 1905 and proceed to the masters of High Modernism, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Porter, Welty, Ellison, Nabokov, on through the next generation, O'Connor, Pynchon, Roth, Mukherjee, Coover, Carver, and end with more recent work by Danticat, Tan and the microfictionists.  Our initial effort with each text will be close reading, from which we will move out to consider questions of ethnicity, gender and psychology.

Session(s)

Session II

A Brief History of Doom: Ragnarok & Other Apocalypses

This course examines the idea of the “end of the world” as conceived in Old Norse, biblical, and other traditions, ancient and modern. Topics to be discussed include visions of the apocalypse and afterlife in Norse Mythology (Snorri’s Edda, The Poetic Edda, The Saga of the Volsungs), the Book of Revelation, Shakespeare’s King Lear, Wagner’s Ring cycle, and Marvel’s Thor franchise. Students will consider how thinking about “the end” has shaped the present in varied historical and cultural contexts. 

Session(s)

Session II

Academic and Professional Writing

Academics and professionals need advanced writing skills if they are to communicate effectively and efficiently.  In this intensive, pragmatic course, students master the writing skills they need by first studying and then applying fundamental structures of effective writing.  In each class session, students first meet in a small-group seminar to discuss each other's papers and then attend a lecture on a new principle.  Discussion, editing, critiques, and rewrites ensure that all students sharpen their ability to write with clarity and power.

Session(s)

Session I

Acting Fundamentals

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation.  Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

Session(s)

Session I

Acting Fundamentals

This course introduces fundamental concepts of performance in the theater with emphasis on the development of creative faculties and techniques of observation, as well as vocal and physical interpretation.  Concepts are introduced through directed reading, improvisation, and scene study.

Session(s)

Session I

Basic Mathematics and Statistics

This course covers selected topics in mathematics which are relevant for computing and it provides an introduction to statistics with emphasis on the analysis of linguistic, cultural, and historical data. Comprehension of these topics is reinforced by the Python programming exercises in DIGS 20001; thus it is recommended that students enroll in both DIGS 20001 and DIGS 20002, if possible. No prior background in mathematics beyond the high school level is required for this course.

Session(s)

Session I

Beginning Poetry Workshop

This course invites students to explore the most basic elements of writing poems.  We'll practice traditional poetic devices, such as rhythm, figurative language, diction, and syntax, at the same time that we explore basic practices for generating and revising creative work.  The class will consist of roughly 50% lecture / discussions and 50% workshop discussions of student writing.  Readings will include a mix of canonical and contemporary poetry and essays on elements of poetic craft.

Session(s)

Session II

Comprehensive General Chemistry 1

This is the first in a three-course sequence that is a comprehensive survey of modern descriptive, inorganic, and physical chemistry for students with a good secondary school exposure to general chemistry. We cover atomic and molecular theories, chemical periodicity, chemical reactivity and bonding, chemical equilibria, acid-base equilibria, solubility equilibria, phase equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and nuclear chemistry. Examples are drawn from chemical, biological, and materials systems.

Session(s)

Session I

Comprehensive General Chemistry 2

This is the second in a three-course sequence that is a comprehensive survey of modern descriptive, inorganic, and physical chemistry for students with a good secondary school exposure to general chemistry. We cover atomic and molecular theories, chemical periodicity, chemical reactivity and bonding, chemical equilibria, acid-base equilibria, solubility equilibria, phase equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and nuclear chemistry. Examples are drawn from chemical, biological, and materials systems.

Session(s)

Session II

Comprehensive General Chemistry 3

This is the third in a three-course sequence that is a comprehensive survey of modern descriptive, inorganic, and physical chemistry for students with a good secondary school exposure to general chemistry. We cover atomic and molecular theories, chemical periodicity, chemical reactivity and bonding, chemical equilibria, acid-base equilibria, solubility equilibria, phase equilibria, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and nuclear chemistry. Examples are drawn from chemical, biological, and materials systems.

Session(s)

Session IV