2021 High School Summer Institutes

Program Details


For the 2021 summer, the High School Summer Institutes are fully remote.

High School Summer Institute students attend a morning synchronous session from 10:00am-12:00pm (CST) and afternoon synchronous session from 2:00-3:30pm (CST) Monday through Friday. Attendance at these sessions is required. Sessions include lectures, small group work, discussion and interactive activities. Sessions are designed to spark new ideas, energize writing and research, and open students up to new perspectives. Each institute will have required readings, daily assignments, and final project to be completed outside of scheduled class time.

When not in class, students have time for optional enrichment activities including special lectures from WashU staff and faculty, panel discussions, and informal Q&As. There is also time to work on digital learning badges and participate in academic support activities. All of our enrichment activities are offered through the Pre-College Community Course.

Pre-College Community Course

All students participating in our High School Summer Institutes are registered for the Pre-College Community Course. This noncredit course is designed to introduce students to our pre-college community and college life as well as to support students as they make the transition to undergraduate course work. The course includes: orientation materials, academic support and advising, ways to connect with peers, and wellness resources. Students complete a series of required activities as part of the course.

College Readiness

Throughout the two-week program, we provide students a number of enrichment opportunities to support students with the college application process and to prepare them for success, both inside and outside of the classroom. These opportunities include seminars, panel discussions, and informal Q&As. In addition, students can build their resume by earning digital learning badges and a college readiness certificate. 


Academic Success

High School Summer Institute students gain invaluable experience networking, collaborating with peers and developing critical thinking skills. 

Our instructors and program staff are committed to the academic success of our pre-college students. Some of the ways we provide academic support include tutoring, advising, group study sessions, specialized workshops and academic support groups.  


Community Building

We create a positive, collaborative community by implementing educational, cultural and social activities for all students. 

Social activities and weekly group meetings encourage social involvement and community building. Regular one-on-one meetings with a program assistant ensure students are receiving the support they need to succeed and provide time for self-reflection.



Institutes are noncredit programs. Noncredit programs do not issue a traditional letter grade (A, B, C, D, F). Instead, students will receive an "L" for successful completion/audit or a "Z" for unsuccessful completion/audit. Students are evaluated based on attendance, completion of assignments, quality of work produced, participation in discussions, interaction with peers, engagement during activities as well as their ability to adhere to academic integrity standards and program policies. 

WashU does not mail out grades to students or parents. Grades are all accessed online through the WebSTAC system. Grades should be posted about two to threee weeks after the end of a course. As these are noncredit programs, no transferrable credit is earned.


Healthcare Continuum Institute

June 14-June 25, 2021

Orientation for students will open June 7.

Healthcare is an issue that affects us all. While we often think of healthcare as being confined to the walls of a hospital or doctor’s office, we all must realize that health does not exist in a vacuum. People leave their doctors’ offices and enter the real world, where numerous barriers to healthy lifestyles or access to treatment are common. In this institute, we will take a look at healthcare from a variety of perspectives, from community-based efforts to promote health and wellness to new advances in personalized medicine and therapeutics. We will use real-world examples and case studies to learn about the social determinants of health, and apply our knowledge of biology and public health to specific examples of challenges faced by our healthcare system. Students will gain a better understanding of how researchers, healthcare workers, social workers, policy makers, and public health professionals collaborate to address complicated problems with a multidisciplinary approach. 

Meet the instructor Dr. Sarah Chavez


Creative Immersion Institute

June 28-July 9, 2021

Orientation for students will open June 7.

In this institute, you will not only develop your storytelling and creative writing skills; you will also experience the impact of a university community on your writing. As you experiment in a number of creative writing genres (photo essays, poetry, memoir, scripts), you’ll share your projects with other students—and reflect on their projects. Morning workshop will be a place where we experiment with writing prompts and experience the power of workshop, as we share our projects. Afternoon workshop will be a place for us to engage with writers from across the Washington University campus. For instance: performing arts faculty might share an exercise in gesture & body language that inspires a line in your poetry. Environmental studies faculty will share perspectives that shape your fictional descriptions of place. Campus librarians will inspire your understanding of history and memoir as we learn from campus archives. Above all, you will experience creative writing at Washington University—and transform your writing as you explore these new perspectives.

Meet the instructor Dr. Kate Bloomquist


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