Named in honor of Carter G Woodson, the Woodson Summer Scholars program brings talented Black/African American students to the University of Chicago to get an early taste of an exceptional college experience. Thanks to the support of the Women’s Board, this program, formerly known as UChicago Summer Scholars, launched in 2019, and the College is excited to continue this program in Summer 2021.
The program will be conducted remotely and is comprised of 2 parts:
- Phoenix Week, a one-week series of workshops and activities; and
- 3-week academic course remotely taught online.
For Summer 2021, Phoenix Week will be conducted online and is designed to introduce students to UChicago, prepare them for college-level work, provide insight to the highly selective admissions process, and allow for students in the program to get to know each other prior to the start of class. Topics covered during Phoenix Week include: essay writing, application case studies, and applying for financial aid. Students should expect to be engaged in work or online activities 2-4 hours per day.
Following Phoenix Week, students will spend 3 weeks immersed in an online academic, credit-bearing course. These courses typically require 5-6 hours of work daily, comprised of engagement with faculty, teaching assistants, or peers, and also including time spent on homework, problem sets, papers, or other independent work. For the academic courses, students will be in class with students from other scholarship programs. Students will be graded for their work and receive a grade for the course.
In addition, all Woodson Summer Scholars will have the opportunity to explore what campus life is like in sessions led by our student peer mentors and our staff. Students will make new connections and lifelong friendships with peers across the country and get to know current undergraduate students who are there to provide guidance and mentorship.
Students will also explore the unique kinds of opportunities available in a large urban center for academic work and professional development through fun activities like:
- Virtually visiting different neighborhoods and world-class museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, among many others.
- Networking with current students, alumni, and local employers in the City of Chicago
- Learning about "yes, and..." through an improv comedy workshop with the famed Second City Improv Troupe
Attendance at all scholarship program events is required of students to receive their certificate of completion.
Outstanding Black/African American students who are a current junior in high school, enrolled in a high school in the United States, and who are at least 14 years old, are invited to apply.
Application materials include:
- Online application
- Transcript (official or unofficial)
- Writing sample
- At least one teacher recommendation
- At least one parent confirmation email received
Applicants must complete the Summer Session Application, and all the related requirements which can be reviewed in the How To Apply section. Students who wish to apply for this program should select it as their first-choice program, and then identify which courses from the list below they are most interested in.
All courses will be taught remotely online for Summer 2021. These are the courses offered as part of this program:
- Collegiate Writing: Awakening into Consciousness
- Confronting a Political Economy in Crisis: Examining Causes, Creating Change
- Freedom of Expression and the Politics of Social Media
- Pathways in Molecular Engineering
- Science, Technology, and the Body
Course details can be found here.
The order in which the courses are selected will be considered the order of preference. Students who wish to be considered for this program do not need to complete the rest of the Scholarship Application or provide financial documentation.
Applicants will be asked to respond to the following essay questions in the application:
- Why did you choose the particular program/courses for which you have applied? How are they related to your current interests and future plans? Please be as specific as possible, and make sure your response covers each of the courses you elected. (Limit: 500 words)
- Chicago is a city of diversity and each one of our 77 neighborhoods has its own unique culture. Tell us what your culture means to you. How will this program impact your life and your community? (Limit: 500 words)
- There are more than 4,500 colleges and universities across the United States. Why would you like to spend your summer with the University of Chicago? What about our academic community excites you the most? (Limit: 250 words)
Applications will be accepted online beginning in early December. The Regular deadline to apply is March 1, 2021. Rolling admissions is not offered for this program. There is no application fee to apply.
All questions should be directed to Lauren Barlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition & Fees
All costs, inclusive of tuition and fees, for the program are completely covered. Students will need access to wifi and to provide their own device to participate in the program for Summer 2021.
JUNE 14 - JULY 9
Phoenix Week: June 14-June 18 (Required of all participants)
Class starts: June 21
Class concludes: July 8
Closing session: July 9