2022 High School Summer Scholars Program Courses

Program Schedule

High School Summer Scholars start their day with breakfast and their for credit course. Students choose one or two 3-unit credit course(s) 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. 

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.

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 previous 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.

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: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

Differential Equations (L24 217)

Intro to ordinary differential equations: first-order equations, linear equations, systems of equations, series solutions, and Laplace transform methods. Computer-aided study of numerical solutions and graphics phase planes. Prerequisites: Calculus III. Copy of 2021 syllabus available here.

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

Elementary Probability and Statistics (L24 2200)

An introduction to probability and statistics. Discrete and continuous random variables, mean and variance, hypothesis testing and confidence limits, nonparametric methods, Student's t, analysis of variance, regression, and contingency tables. Graphing calculator with statistical distribution functions (such as the TI-83) may be required. Prerequisites: AP Calculus AB (Calculus II) or equivalent with a grade of B+ or better. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: MTWThF, 9:00-10:45am

Finite Mathematics (L24 220)

Topics from discrete mathematics will be explored with an emphasis on problem-solving and methods of proofs. Modules on counting; combinatorial tools; binomial coefficients and Pascal's triangle; Fibonacci numbers; combinatorial probability; integers, divisors and primes; and graphs will be covered as well as additional topics as time permits. Addressed mainly to college freshmen and sophomores; it would also be suitable to advanced high school students with an interest in mathematics. Prerequisites: A good understanding of high school mathematics. Copy of 2019 syllabus is available here (course was not offered in 2020 or 2021).

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

History of Western Art, Architecture & Design (L01 113)

A history of the visual arts, including architecture, sculpture, painting, and design, from the ancient world to the present with emphasis on the relationship of art to society and to political and cultural events. Prerequisite: None. Copy of 2019 syllabus is available here (course was not offered in 2020 or 2021)

Time: MTWThF, 11:00am-12:45pm

Improvisation (L15 233)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of improvisation. Students are provided with the tools and techniques to develop their artistic voice, both individually and within an ensemble, through various theater games, exercises, and techniques. Students will build self-confidence, develop creativity, hone presentation skills, and learn collaborative practices for working with others. Students will understand the applied benefits of improvisation toward their professional and personal lives. Prerequisites: None. Copy of 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

International Politics (L32 103B)

Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

Intro to Archaeology (L48 190B)

Archaeology plays a critical and unique role in understanding the human past.  Through study of the methods and theories of archaeology, and a survey of important firsts in the human past, this course introduces students to the way archaeologists use material culture to reconstruct and understand human behavior.  Chronologically-ordered case studies from around the globe are used to look at social, ecological, and cultural issues facing humans from the earliest times to the present.  Students gain practice reconstructing the past through hands-on participation in two 1-hour labs focusing on lithics and animal bones.  By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to think critically about how the past is presented, and why, and the importance of the past as it relates to the present and future. Prerequisites: None  Copy of 2021 syllabus available here.

Time: MTWThF, 11:00am-12:45pm

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: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

Intro to Linguistics (L44 170D)

Language is one of the fundamental capacities of the human species, and there are many interesting and meaningful ways in which it can be studied. This course explores the core components of linguistic theory: speech sounds (phonetics and phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), and meaning (semantics). It also provides an overview of interdisciplinary ideas and research on how language is acquired and processed, its relation to the mind-brain and to society, and the question of whether the essential properties of language can be replicated outside the human mind (specifically, in chimpanzees or computer programs). Prerequisites: None. Copy of the 2021 syllabus is available here.

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

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: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

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: MTWThF, 9:00-10:45am

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 of reasoning, 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: MTWThF, 11:00am-12:45pm

Public Speaking: Embodied Communication (L15 214)

The ability to speak well and to communicate effectively in the public forum is an essential skill for all students. This course aims to offer a comprehensive and wide ranging approach to developing the skills of the contemporary speaker. While acknowledging and utilizing traditional approaches to public speaking, this course will expand its reach to include applicable techniques from the world of the Performing Arts -- especially theatre and dance. The course does not intend to train the student as a dancer or actor, but it maintains that the successful speaker would do well to harness some of the transferable skill sets from these disciplines. The speaker, like the performer, must stand before an audience with an objective to communicate something well. Both should be dedicated advocates for the message. They share the common ground of requiring a strong voice for a sure delivery of the material, and an expressive physicality willing to fully embody and serve the message. Prerequisite: None Copy of 2021 syllabus available here

Time: MTWThF, 11:00am-12:45pm

Step by Step: Practical Chinese (L04 125)

New for 2022! This course is designed for students with little or no prior learning experience of Chinese. It offers not only practical Chinese language skills, but also a practical approach, with proven feasibility, of learning Chinese as a second language. By the end of this course, the students will acquire the Mandarin (the standard Chinese language) sound system, basic grammar rules, and 250-300 vocabulary items, with which they will be able to conduct conversations in basic Mandarin on topics such as introducing themselves, numbers and time, family, locating persons and things, etc. Students will also acquire learning strategies that benefit their future learning, no matter in a college classroom or on their own. Prerequisites: None

Time: MTWThF, 1:00-2:45pm

Course Materials

Students can visit the Campus Bookstore (High School Summer Scholars Program courses are Section 41) 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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