2022 High School Summer Academy Courses

Program Schedule

High School Summer Academy students start their day with breakfast and their for credit course. Students choose one 3-unit credit course that meets from 9:00-10:45am, 11:00am-12:45pm, or 1:00-2:45pm. Courses meet Monday-Friday. Topics include humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. In the late afternoon, all Academy students attend the noncredit research development course from 3:00-4:45pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

When not class, students have time to grab lunch, participate in independent or group study, and attend optional enrichment activities

Evenings are spent in academic support activities and dinner. After dinner, optional community events provide students the opportunity to reflect and relax at the end of a busy day. 

Weekends are spent socializing with peers, studying, and exploring St. Louis.

Credit Courses

Credit courses are taught by Washington University instructors which include faculty, graduate students, post docs, and adjuncts from across campus disciplines and research fields including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. These courses are undergraduate courses offered by the College of Arts & Sciences and are open to pre-college, undergraduate, and visiting students. Introductory-level curriculum provides an opportunity for students to create a strong foundation for future undergraduate studies.

When offered during the regular school year, these courses are given over 16 weeks, so the pace during the summer is quite accelerated. Courses may include lectures, discussions, and group work. Students should expect any combination of daily assignments, readings, exams, quizzes, papers, and presentations. For every hour spent in class, students should expect at least two hours of work outside of class.

When choosing a credit course, students should select a course that will complement their research interests.

About Course Listings

These course listings are subject to change and cancellation without notice. A student must meet any prerequisites listed for the course to be approved to enroll. Once admitted to the program, students should submit their registration materials as soon as possible to ensure a spot in their first choice course selection. Registration is processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If a course is full, it will be indicated below.

Copies of last summer's syllabus are included in each individual description. Please note 2021 courses were offered remotely. Instructors do not remain the same every summer. You should expect similar content, but readings and assignments can vary. 

Times will be announced beginning in December.

Biology of the Brain (L41 120)

This course is for students who wish to learn about the biology of the nervous system, and the scientific process of understanding how it works. Biology of the Brain will include lecture, discussion, and analysis of cutting edge research, so active participation will be important. We will discuss the gross anatomy and cellular composition of the brain. We will analyze how the brain develops, changes with experience to create memories, and recovers from injury. Along the way, we will discuss nervous system dysfunction a range of contexts such as Addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Prerequisites: one year of biology. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Biomedical Ethics (L30 233F)

A critical examination, in light of contemporary moral disagreements and traditional ethical theories, of some of the moral issues arising out of medical practice and experimentation in our society. May include euthanasia, genetic engineering, abortion, medical malpractice, the allocation of medical resources, and the rights of the patient. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Conspiracy Theories and Online Hoaxes: The Rhetoric of Disinformation (L59 205)

New Addition for 2022! Why do people believe in conspiracies, and what can we do to quell disinformation? This course will build on foundational information literacy skills by studying conspiracy theories and hoaxes that originate and are circulated online and that are then used for political advantage. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, we will read texts in composition and rhetoric, media studies, philosophy, history, sociology, political science, and psychology to understand how conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and other forms of disinformation are amplified through social media networks and come to be believed by millions. Working with case studies such as QAnon, climate change denial, the anti-vaccination movement, and the Flat Earth Society, this course will explore the rhetoric that convinces people to believe in disinformation and the networks that contribute to its proliferation, while also studying ways to combat disinformation, from methods for debunking conspiracy theories and hoaxes to the actions that journalists, educators, and others can take to resist the spread of disinformation. Prerequisites: None. 

Time: TBA

International Politics (L32 103B)

This is an introductory survey course. Its goal is to familiarize students with the basic concepts of International Relations (IR) as a subfield of political science and to introduce them to important issues, such as cooperation and conflict, independence, in the era of globalization, human rights and human development, and the environment. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Cultural Anthropology (L48 160B)

This course covers the basic concepts and theoretical principles of sociocultural anthropology. Course material is presented from Asia, Africa, Melanesia, Latin America, and North America. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Human Evolution (L48 150A)

This course is a survey of the fossil evidence for human evolution. The course includes discussion of the genetics of human variation and evolution, the study of living nonhuman primates, and the fossil record and its interpretation. An evolutionary perspective is used in an attempt to understand modern humans from the naturalistic point of view. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Macroeconomics (L11 1021)

Business fluctuations: inflation, recession; monetary and fiscal policy; economic development. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Microeconomics (L11 1011)

Determination of prices; distribution of national income; theory of production. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Psychology (L33 100B)

Survey and analysis of concepts, research, and theory covering the areas of learning, memory, motivation, personality, social, abnormal, clinical, and biological psychology. Introduces the diversity of questions, areas, approaches, research, and theories that compose the study of mindand behavior. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Intro to Statistics (L24 1011)

Data collection: sampling and designing experiments. Data organization: data, tables, graphs, frequency distributions, numerical summarization of data, and consumer price index. Inference: elementary probability and hypothesis testing. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Logic and Critical Analysis (L30 100G)

This course is an introduction to first-order logic. Logic is the study of the formal properties of arguments. In this course we learn how to make arguments precise by formalizing sentences and applying methods of deductive reasoning to prove conclusions. We also discuss the relations between logical reasoning and informal reasoning, and logic and rationality. Why study logic? Logic gives you principles and techniques to distinguish good forms ofreasoning, helps you to construct correct arguments, and (to some extent) think orderly. Additionally, logic is essential in other fields that you might also be interested in studying (e.g., mathematics, computer science, linguistics, and analytic philosophy). And of course, logic is a fun and interesting subject in its own right. The course presumes no background in philosophy or logic. Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: TBA

Research Development Course

In addition to the traditional undergraduate classroom experience, Academy students will enroll in a noncredit research development course. This course is designed for students to hone critical thinking skills while they navigate complex text and research documents and learn to create powerful arguments. Over the five weeks, students will conduct research on a topic of their choice, which means that when possible, they will focus on practical, applied work with primary and secondary sources, which should provide a good foundation for advanced research and writing. This is not a lab-based research program. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

The course meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00-4:45pm.

Course Materials

Students can visit the Campus Bookstore (High School Summer Academy courses are Section 21) to view and purchase books online. Textbook information is typically posted 2 weeks before your class start date. Don’t be alarmed if a textbook isn’t listed for a course. Some instructors don’t use textbooks or will wait to share textbook information with students until the first day of classes. Instructors will also share course materials via Canvas, WashU's learning management system. 

Students should plan to bring a laptop or tablet for use during class sessions and to complete assignments. The program will provide you with a spiral notebook, pens, and folder. 

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