Get a sneak peek into the fascinating world of neuroscience. Learn the basics of coding to get a head start on a career in software. Study constitutional law or even the art of fairy tales.
These are just a few of subjects you could delve into at one of the Harvard Summer School college programs for high school students.
Harvard Summer School offers hundreds of different classes on a wide range of topics—from art to STEM and everything in between. It’s the perfect way to explore a potential major or career path, get a head start on college prerequisites, or simply learn more about a topic that interests you.
Preview the Summer 2022 course catalog to find the courses you might enjoy. These and other popular courses fill up quickly, so once you’re accepted, be sure to register early for the course or courses you want.
Here are some of the most popular courses our students took over the summer in 2021.
Most Popular Courses in the 2021 Pre-College Program
The Pre-College Program is an intensive two-week program in which students take one class that meets every day for three hours.
The course is ungraded, which means you can explore a topic that interests you and enjoy learning without the pressure of grades.
In 2021, the top five most popular classes were:
- Introduction to Cancer: Diving into Research [BIOS P-13511]
- Introduction to Neuroscience [BIOS P-13500]
- Introduction to Scientific Programming in Python [CSCI P-14320]
- Cracking the Code of the Human Brain: From Neuroanatomy to Behavior [BIOS P-13501]
- Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties [LSTU P-15115]
Other interesting classes that ranked among the most popular included:
- Speaking with Power, Passion, and Purpose [SPCH P-15250]
- International Political Economy [ECON P-16340]
- Democracy, Development, and Violence: An Introduction to Comparative Politics [GOVT P-16110]
If you apply by the early application deadline, January 26, 2022 at noon ET, you get the first pick of courses when course registration for admitted students opens for the Pre-College Program on February 24, 2022.
The course registration deadline for regular applicants receiving financial aid scholarships is April 8, 2022. Admitted students not receiving financial aid have until June or later depending on which session they’re attending; however, many popular courses may be waitlisted by that time.
Most Popular Courses in the 2021 Secondary School Program
The Secondary School Program (SSP) is a seven-week program that allows you to take one or two classes for college credit. In 2022, you’ll be able to participate in person as a residential or commuting student, or take courses entirely online.
Courses are taught by Harvard College professors and invited faculty from universities around the world.
In 2021, the most popular courses among high school students were:
- Foundations of Neuroscience [BIOS S-50]
- Law and Psychology [PSYC S-1870]
- Introduction to Psychology [PSYC S-1]
- Introduction to Organismic and Evolutionary Biology [BIOS S-1B]
- Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology [BIOS S-1A]
- Introduction to Computer Science with Python [CSCI S-7]
- Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics [ECON S-10B]
Interested in social justice? Take a course on War Crimes, Genocide, and Justice [GOVT S-1732] or Economics of Inequality [ECON S-1320].
Perhaps you’d like to explore Writing about Social and Ethical Issues [EXPO S-20D], Justice: Ethics in an Age of Pandemic and Racial Reckoning [GOVT S-1045], or The Culture of Capitalism [ENGL S-207].
The 2021 course catalog for the Secondary School Program offered almost 300 different courses to choose from, so if these courses don’t spark your interest, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
If you apply by the early application deadline, January 26, 2022 at noon ET, you get the first pick of courses when course registration for admitted students opens for the Secondary School Program on March 11, 2022.
Be sure to refer often to the SSP calendar for key application and registration dates and deadlines.
What’s New for 2022 at Harvard Summer School?
Both the Secondary School Program and the Pre-College Program have exciting new courses for 2022!
New 2022 Career Pathways Courses at SSP
In addition to our full course catalog, the Secondary School Program is offering six new classes designed to help high school students explore potential career pathways.
In these small, intensive classes, students will explore an academic topic through real-world projects and guest speakers offering career insights.
These six new courses are:
- Animal Transgenesis: A Laboratory Primer
- Becoming a Brain Scientist: Neuroscience and Psychology Research
- Basic Journalism in the Digital Age
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship
- Problem Solving and Project Design
- Start-Ups from the Perspective of Business and IP Law
New Course Options for 2022 in the Pre-College Program
- Nucleosynthesis: The Origin of the Elements (ASTR P-17225)
- Trace Fossils: Understanding the evolution and behavior of extinct animals (BIOS P-13526)
- Stories That Should Never Be Told: Banned Books in American History (HIST P-13075)
- Mathematical Elements of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (MATH P-12160)
- The Ethics of Disagreement (PHIL P-11165)
- Contemporary World Cinema (VISU P-18115)
Apply Now and Register Early
Applications for Harvard Summer School programs for high school students are open now. The new course catalog with the complete listing of possible courses for 2022 will be available in January.
Submitting your application to the Pre-College Program or Secondary School program is just the first step in your Harvard Summer School journey. Be sure to check on the application status frequently and to mark important dates on your calendar.
Many of our classes—especially the popular ones—fill up quickly. Once you are accepted to the high school program of your choice, register for your course or courses as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your top choice.