Pre-College Programs

Courses Starting the Week of July 06, 2014 (37)

Our Summer Pre-College Program residence halls are filling, but we still have some room: 

  • Men’s halls have space during all one week sessions
  • Women’s halls have space only for those one week sessions beginning July 20 and July 27
  • Space is available for both men and women during the last two week session beginning July 27

Wait-list Protocol

To ensure we have residence hall space for students wishing to enroll in terms where residential space is limited, we've instituted a course waitlist: this is why you may have seen in the course catalog that the course you’re interested in is “waitlisted.”  If you've paid your deposit, you may put yourself on the waitlist and if there’s room for you in the appropriate residence, we’ll move you into the course. If you want to find out whether there is still room in a course and the residence hall before your pay your deposit, please contact our office.

Courses listed as “Open” or “Waitlisted” still have space available, but the latter may be contingent on appropriate space in our residence halls.

"Full: Waitlist Closed" means there is no space in a course, the waitlist already full, and so not open to new registrants.

For course announcements and updates, please Join our Mailing List »

The Wars Within: Patriotism and Protest in Twentieth-Century America

Why do Americans go to war? How do conflicts abroad shape politics at home? In this course, students will study debates concerning freedom of speech, civil rights, and political repression during the two World Wars, the early Cold War, and the Vietnam era. Reading a range of primary sources, including political speeches, journalism, and literature, discussions will reflect...

One Section Offered »

So You Want to be a Laboratory Scientist? - Junior SPARK

Have you ever wondered what DNA looks like? Are you curious about what it is like in a laboratory, working to solve problems in the medical field? Have you ever wanted to solve a crime?

This course is designed to expose middle school students to basic laboratory research in the fields of biotechnology, microbiology, medicine, forensics and general laboratory techniques....

One Section Offered »

Conservation of Endangered Species - Junior SPARK

We always hear about endangered species all over the world. What exactly is being done to protect these animals and their habitats? Most people do not realize it, but every endangered species has a recovery plan that maps the road to successfully increasing populations and saving habitats. Zoos are a huge part of these recovery plans by being a place for breeding and increasing...

One Section Offered »

Understanding the Human Body: An Exploration of Anatomy - Junior SPARK

Have you ever wondered how your body does all the things that it does?

Our bodies contain 206 bones and over 600 muscles, all coordinated by a central computer called the brain. In this course, you will learn how your body's components work as one, to keep you going everyday.

This exciting hands-on course will provide an opportunity to answer your questions...

One Section Offered »

DNA Science and Biotechnology - Senior SPARK

The field of Modern Biotechnology explores breakthrough technology that has revolutionized pharmaceutical, agricultural, and biomedical research. Scientific researchers in DNA Science work to understand diseases, develop treatments and cures, and to address concerns with the environment and our food supply. This laboratory-based course is designed to expose students to the...

One Section Offered »

Fatal Infections: Why are Some Diseases Incurable? - Senior SPARK

How do germs invade the human body? How does our body fight these tiny invaders and in some circumstances lose the battle? Why do some diseases affect humans and not animals or vice versa? In this course, you will learn why certain infections cannot be cured and what makes a germ infectious to humans. Ever curious how vaccines work to protect us from deadly microbes? We will...

One Section Offered »

Scholar-Athlete: Sport Physiology

To understand the organ systems integrated response and adaptations to the stress of exercise.

This topic is interesting to anyone who wants to understand what their body is actually doing during exercise and post exercise at the biological level. The course will introduce and demystify training regimens and diets. Students will be introduced to sciences' evolving...

One Section Offered »

DNA Science: Forensics, Food, and Medicine

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

DNA can solve a crime, identify a future disease, and distinguish our common ancestors. A remarkable molecule, it has often been referred to as the “building block of life.”

Advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to an explosion in our understanding of DNA and how it impacts us, both as individuals and as a society. This course will introduce...

Two Sections Offered »

From Brain to Sensation: Neurobiology of Perception - Senior SPARK

Taste! Smell! Sound! Sight! Touch! Balance! How is all of this information turned into sensation? Hint: it involves the brain! Students will learn how our brains make sense of the world around us, and they'll learn a little brain anatomy along the way too!

Through a combination of individual and small group experiments, students will about the sensory systems...

One Section Offered »

Neuroscience in Action: Understanding Our Brains and Nervous Systems

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

The human brain has more than 85 billion nerve cells, also known as neurons. Ever since the original description of the neuron by Santiago Ramon y Cajal in the 19th century, neuroscientists have known that understanding the neuron is key toward understanding how the brain works. This course is an introduction to neuroscience in which we will examine the inner workings of the...

Four Sections Offered »

Developing Young Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Pitch

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

Are you full of great business ideas? Do you love sharing these ideas with your friends and family? Does your imagination wander when you think about how a product or service could be developed or improved? If so, you may be on your way to becoming the next great entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurship is a creative endeavor, in which innovators put their ideas to the test in the...

One Section Offered »

Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

The Bust of Nefertiti. The great Pyramids of Giza. Karnak Temple. Book of the Dead Papyri.

These are just a few of the places and things students will examine in this course. During this course, students will be introduced to Egyptian material culture, art, and architecture, from over 3,000 years of Egyptian history. We will begin at the moment of political unification...

One Section Offered »

Writing for College and Beyond

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

Are you ready to start writing the way college students write? Challenge yourself intellectually and creatively as you explore writing as a form of inquiry, and a part of social conversation.

The first half of this course offers you the chance to think carefully about writing narrative prose, which is in effect a form of storytelling. Thus you begin the course thinking...

Three Sections Offered »

Storytelling in the Digital Age

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

In 2008, Nicholas Carr asked everyone on the internet, “Is Google making us stupid?” The answer seems to be yes, and no. The immediate availability of boundless stores of information gives us all a crutch to lean on when we need quick answers; if you have a smartphone in your pocket, you are a walking encyclopedia. But only so much information will fit on a smartphone...

One Section Offered »

Putting Yourself into Words

This week-long workshop will explore the balance between self-expression and effective communication essential to writing powerful personal narratives, college admissions essays, and creative reflections. As you write and receive feedback daily, you’ll learn not only about purpose, revision, and style, but also about writing as a means of exploring, learning, figuring...

Three Sections Offered »

Nanotechnology: The Small Wonder from Atom to Space - Senior SPARK

In this hands-on course, you will learn about nanotechnology and its broad spectrum of applications in current life. You will experience the fundamental rules behind nanotechnology through interesting experiments, activities and games. You will also see how scientists at Brown conduct leading nanotechnology research. In addition, you will get a chance to design your own nanotechnology...

One Section Offered »

Aerospace Engineering and Rocket Science - Junior SPARK

Have you ever looked at an airplane and wanted to know how it works? Do the words; rocket, space, and satellite excite your imagination? Have you even wanted to know how NASA shoots up satellites into outer space and reach their final destination millions of miles away? Or how to build an airplane that can travel faster than the speed of sound? If these questions excite you,...

One Section Offered »

Engineering and Design: Fluid Mechanics from Underwater to the Sky - Senior SPARK

Have you ever wondered how airplanes and submarines use fluids like water and air to move? What physical principles and design skills do you need to know to design them to be more efficient? These questions will be tackled through exciting hands-on-projects. So beware: for this course you will not only need an intelligent brain but also skillful hands! Each class will be...

One Section Offered »

Materials Engineering: Using Nanotechnology to Design a Space Elevator

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Three Weeks

Nanotechnology is one of the most cutting-edge fields of science and engineering. It allows scientists to observe, touch, design, and fabricate matter as small as atoms and molecules. Can you imagine working with material that is only 1/100,000 the width of a human hair? Nanotechnology creates new materials and devices for use in a variety of applications, including physical...

One Section Offered »

Renewable Energy: Wind Turbine Design

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Three Weeks

World energy consumption is expected to grow 30% by 2030. What role can engineers play in developing renewable energy sources? In this course, you will explore some of the science, math, and technology that is used to extract energy from renewable resources, and learn how to apply engineering concepts and principles to solving renewable energy issues. You will:

* Create...

One Section Offered »

Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Are you curious to learn more about how computers work? Do you want to build your first Android Application? Are you fascinated by Laptops and Smartphones and have an interest in learning how engineers use the iterative design process to make these technologically amazing products? If you answered yes to these questions, this introductory course on electrical and computer...

One Section Offered »

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Sustainable Development

BELL is a unique outdoor learning laboratory. The courses draw their curricula from many different disciplines: biology, chemistry, geology, environmental studies, leadership theory and experiential education. As students live and learn together on the shores of Narragansett Bay, they are challenged both physically and intellectually.

This program is based on the 372 acre...

Two Sections Offered »

Modern Greek in Naxos

This three week course is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of Modern Greek and is aimed at developing the ability to speak Greek, to understand spoken Greek and comprehend and extract information from written texts, within a specific framework of topics and functions. Through a variety of resources, the students will be given the opportunity to learn...

One Section Offered »

Exploring the Planets and Moons of our Solar System - Junior SPARK

Now is the time to get involved in planetary science! NASA is sending out mission after mission of unmanned spacecraft to investigate the mysteries of our solar system. Come and explore the latest high-resolution datasets and learn how to plan a mission to one of our inner planets.

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered how the Moon got there? Why...

One Section Offered »

Habitable Worlds: Possible Places for Life in the Solar System and Beyond

Does life exist anywhere else in the Solar System or galaxy? If you have ever looked at the sky and wondered if habitable worlds like (or unlike) ours exist elsewhere, then this is the class for you. This week-long course explores possible habitats for life on Mars, the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and exoplanets (planets around other stars). Along the way, you will learn...

One Section Offered »

Lessons in Leadership: What History's Great Leaders Can Teach Us Today

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Three Weeks

What makes a great leader? What is your own leadership potential, and how can you increase it? Do you have a passion -- such as literacy, the environment, or equal rights -- and hope to make an impact one day?

Great leaders often possess several key leadership skills. Based on one of Brown University's most popular political science courses, this course offers students...

One Section Offered »

Greece and the World

“Greece and the World” traces Greece’s evolution from ancient to modern times. The core course is divided into three 1-week course modules that explore the defining eras of Greek history.

Week 1: Ancient Greek World
In this first week, we will trace the history, politics and culture of the fifth century BC(500-400 B.C). The century began with the two...

One Section Offered »

The History of Television: News Coverage through the Looking Glass

We will cover the evolution of television news coverage from the 1950's to the present day, from 15 minute newscasts sponsored heavily by advertisers to today's 24 hour cable channels, owned by major corporations. News content, news coverage, news delivery, and news consumption has changed significantly from the early days of visual media. Are we better off today,...

One Section Offered »

Star Wars Physics - Senior SPARK

Do you love the Star Wars movies? Did you know that all of the coolest stuff in Star Wars (tractor beams, force fields, invisibility, lightsabers!) are based on basic ideas of physics and astronomy? Does the idea of learning about how a blaster bolt might work, and where the idea for it comes from, sound interesting to you? Then this might just be the course for you. In...

One Section Offered »

The Art of Statics: From Physics to Safe Engineering Structures at Rest - Junior SPARK

Every day, we come across many familiar structures, such as skyscrapers, bridges and towers, which are fundamentally at “rest” " i.e. stable and unmovable. These structures are designed to be in a state of equilibrium. But how is this vital state achieved? What prevents the Brooklyn Bridge from shaking? What keeps the Seattle Space Needle upright?

One Section Offered »

Leadership in Science, Technology and Medicine

Scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, and emerging technologies have a major impact on our everyday lives in the 21st century. They provide new insight into our complex world and address a range of global needs and problems. However, these innovations also reveal conceptual, philosophical and ethical questions about the nature of matter, the existence of facts, and...

One Section Offered »

World Philosophy

What does Confucius have to say about what career to choose? Does Buddhist or Islamic philosophy have anything to say about how to live your life? Examining the ideas from other cultures can be overwhelming and confusing. This courses provides a basic overview of the context and major ideas from cultures around the world.

This course will give students a very broad...

One Section Offered »

Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Conflict is ubiquitous. We encounter it in our daily lives with friends, family-members, and colleagues; in our communities between different interest or identity groups; and at the global level between state or non-state actors. Good leadership is essential at any and all of these levels to ensure that conflicts are dealt with constructively rather than destructively, to...

One Section Offered »

Social Media and Social Change

Can Twitter save the world? Did it topple dictators in the Arab Spring? Will social media be driven more by progress or profits? And is access to all of this--basic internet access--a universal human right?

This class will investigate the possibilities of using social media for leadership in social change. We'll look at the history of social media, it's uses (and,...

One Section Offered »

Leadership and Global Engagement

World leaders have the same styles, skills, and setbacks as leaders in any walk of life. However, the challenges they face are often much more visible, and the impact of their effectiveness more broadly felt. In this course students will explore complex international issues including security and terrorism, immigration, HIV/AIDs, human rights and sustainable development. From...

One Section Offered »

Current Controversies in Mood Disorders

Can bipolar disorder be accurately diagnosed in children? Do certain antidepressant medications increase risk of suicide? Can alternative remedies such as fish oil stabilize mood swings? These questions address only a few of the recent controversies that surround the study of mood disorders, such as major depression and bipolar illness. Using these disorders to illustrate key...

One Section Offered »

Mind the Gap: Leadership in an Unequal World

Income inequality in the United States, which has been rising since the 1970s and is now among the highest of all developed countries, has recently been called “the defining challenge of our time” by President Obama and “a quiet crisis” by newly elected New York City mayor de Blasio. But what explains this inequality, and what are some of its effects?...

One Section Offered »