Exploration Course Proposal

We accept course proposals year-round. For consideration for a particular semester, course proposals should be submitted by the deadlines included below. If you have any questions regarding the exploration course proposal process, please contact Becki Baker, Director of Pre-College Programs, at b.baker@wustl.edu.

  • Summer: December 1
  • Fall: April 1
  • Spring: August 1

About Exploration Courses

Exploration Courses provide high school students the opportunity to experience Washington University from home. Students explore a topic or subject through a series of interactive activities, lectures, and discussions with pre-college peers from around the world. These noncredit, online courses offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in an innovative and collaborative learning experience. 

Courses are offered asynchronously and are expected to include a total of 30-40 hours of content which can include any combination of lectures, discussions, and assignments. Exploration Courses may be offered as two-, three-, four-, or five-week courses over the summer or ten weeks in the fall. Instructors are expected to offer one synchronous office hours/help session each week for students to check-in and ask questions about course content. Additional optional synchronous sessions may be scheduled. All course instruction is to be delivered via Canvas.

Although the focus of these courses is on the academic experience and not assessment, instructors may choose to require projects, papers, and other assignments to help evaluate the student. Instructors assign a grade of L (successful completion) or Z (unsuccessful completion). Students must complete 80% of the course content to qualify for a grade of L.

Instructors for Exploration Courses should be Washington University affiliates; graduate students and lecturers are welcome to submit a proposal. Instructors are all paid $4,000 a course.

All members of the Washington University community, including students, faculty, and staff, are expected to be positive role models in their interactions with minors by behaving in a caring, honest, respectful, and responsible manner. Washington University has adopted the Youth Protection Policy which outlines expectations for the safety and well-being of minors on campus. Exploration Course instructors will be expected to abide by this policy and its corresponding procedures which will include a background check and training program.

Please include both preferred first/given name as well as family/surname.


During the fall and spring semesters, courses run for 10 weeks starting the first day of the academic semester. For summer, courses may run for two, three, four, or five weeks during Summer Session II.