2022 High School Summer Institutes

Program Schedule

High School Summer Institute students start their day with breakfast, independent study and their morning session which meets from 10:00am-12:00pm. After morning session, students have time for lunch, optional enrichment activities, and independent or group study which is then followed by the afternoon session from 2:00-3:30/4:00pm. Sessions meet Monday-Friday and 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 a final project.

Late afternoons and 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.

Course Materials

There are no required textbooks for the High School Summer Institutes. Instructors will 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. No other supplies are required.

Creative Immersion Institute

June 19-July 2, 2022

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 sessions will be a place for us to engage with writers from across the Washington University campus and responding to prompts designed to focus on a particular skill. 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.

This program is ideal for students with a strong interest in creative writing or performing arts. While this program is designed to build confidence, students should come prepared to share their work and receive constructive feedback from peers and instructors. A copy of the 2021 program syllabus is available here (please note that in 2021 the program was offered online).

Prerequisite: at least two years of high school English.

Meet the instructor Dr. Kate Bloomquist


Environmental Studies Institute

July 10-16, 2022

How do we preserve the world for future generations? What can we do as individuals and as a society to minimize harmful effects on the environment?  Students answer these questions and more as they discover the ecological principles that are the basis of environmental studies and sustainability. Students explore how environmental studies incorporates concepts from politics, social sciences, anthropology, economics, ethics, and philosophy. A copy of a sample program syllabus is available here (please note this program was last offered in 2019).

This program is ideal for students with a strong interest in issues involving the environment. It is not a substitute for AP Environmental Science. 

Prerequisite: at least two years of high school science including biology.

Meet the instructor Dr. Kate Hanes

Healthcare Continuum Institute

June 19-July 2, 2022

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. 

This program is ideal for students with a strong interest in viewing healthcare with a broader lens not just clinical medicine. A copy of the 2021 program syllabus is available here (please note that in 2021 the program was offered online).

Prerequisite: A familiarity of biology is recommended, but not required.

Meet the instructor Dr. Sarah Chavez


Ready to Apply?


Apply Now