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All programs

Full-Day Programs


Our full-day programs are three weeks in length and focus on one area of study and are reflective of Rochester’s most popular majors. Students will learn from academic departments about different paths within that subject matter. Full-day programs are open to rising 11th through rising 12th graders.

What is pathology? In partnership with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, this program offers a unique experience exploring the multifaceted discipline of pathology, a cornerstone of modern medicine. Students will get firsthand experience with laboratory processes, organ dissection sessions, independent coursework, and mentoring by a department physician.

Enrollment is limited to 10 students; selection to the program is competitive.

This unique and selective program is open to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine. Through rigorous academic immersion, you will gain firsthand experience with practical hands-on intervention, research, public health, and service learning. Do you have what it takes to find out what medical school is all about?

Enrollment is limited to 12 students; selection for this program is competitive.

Students can develop their independence, eye for invention, and advanced research and problem-solving skills in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This hands-on engineering series of courses allows students to investigate a topic area each week including biomedical engineering, data science, and optics, using the vast resources of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students; selection for this program is competitive.

This dynamic three-week experience has been carefully crafted to optimize exposure into the wide field around “The Development of New Ideas.” New ideas are at the core of every business’s health. Within a highly-experiential curriculum, students will learn and test-out business tools that generate, screen, prioritize, and improve raw concepts into feasible business cases. Such leadership skills are critical in any setting; from social improvements and not-for-profit endeavors to classic garage start-ups, struggling small companies and behemoth corporations.

Half-Day Programs

Half-day programs are offered for one or two weeks and give students the opportunity to choose from a variety of disciplines to mix and match their interests. Students can apply to up to two half-day programs, one morning program and one afternoon program. Half-day programs are open to rising 9th through rising 12th graders.

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What’s it like to be a physician? What does it take to become a doctor? Meet with practicing physicians, medical students, and other experts and learn more about what it takes to be in the medical field. Explore hands-on medical procedures, examine equipment, and discuss medical ethics and the role of the physician. Learn what it takes, academically, to prepare for medical school, and how to decide if medicine is the right path for you. Examine the current pros and cons of being a doctor.

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Bring your ideas to life with XR (the umbrella term for augmented and virtual reality)! Students will start with XR basics, including their history and application. They will use design thinking, storytelling, world building, and low-fidelity prototyping to brainstorm and design a VR mini-game or digital story. They will then learn the basics of 3D tools such as Blender and Unity through hands-on workshops to develop their own unique project. Students will also engage in critical discussion of XR, including topics on privacy, accessibility, and empathy. All learning levels welcome. No experience necessary. Just bring your creativity and big ideas!

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Through stimulating lectures, interactive labs, and informative field trips, this class introduces you to the many disciplines of engineering. You will get an overview of the necessary tools for analysis and problem solving and will use your creativity, energy, and interpersonal skills while participating in several in-class design projects. Additionally, you will learn the importance of mathematics, science, and technology in everyday engineering situations.

By the end of the course, you will have a better-defined idea of engineering, its requirements, and your options for a future within this field.

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What was it like to be queer in New York in the 1970s and 80s? Queer New York will make use of Rochester’s extensive collection of archives, books, magazines, oral history interviews, digital media, and more in hopes of answering this question. The first week of the course will introduce students to key topics relating to gender, sexuality, and the history of the LGBTQ+ community in New York State (with a special emphasis on the city of Rochester); the second week will give students a chance to explore the University’s Libraries and build research skills through a guided exploration of a course-related topic of their choosing.

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What matters in life? What values should guide how we live? Pleasure, friendship, happiness, achievement, knowledge, justice, or something else? And how are these values reflected in popular culture—in movies, TV, social media, music, and even in the food we eat? This course investigates how philosophical reflection and argumentation can inform, and change, how we live. Should we reject the values of the culture we live in? Or embrace them? The aim of this class is to help students develop their own thoughtful answers.

 9-12th graders | Session A | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the fields of visual and media studies. We will examine a variety of media including painting, photography, film, television, video, and social media. We will define and compare these media to one another, asking how each has impacted ways of visually perceiving, understanding, and relating to the world across the 20th and early 21st century. Example of questions we will address are: why do photographs look and feel more real to us than paintings? What does it mean for television to present us news updates in real time? Is social media good or bad, and how has it shaped contemporary society? Students will practice critically applying course readings to the study of visual objects, through writing prompts as well as group discussions. The course will include a fieldtrip to the George Eastman Museum.

9-12th graders | Session A | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the dark passageways, locked rooms, and creepy basements that comprise the haunted house film. Through in-class screenings, discussions, and lectures, students will learn the fundamentals in film analysis and the horror genre. We will begin with an overview of the basics of close reading in film, identifying key elements of cinematography, editing, and mise-en-sćene. We will then shift focus to a discussion of horror, devoting particular attention to the tropes and themes that characterize the haunted house subgenre. Our ultimate aim is to discuss how the visual elements of film inform our experience of the dark places of the haunted house.

9-12th graders  |  Session B  |  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course examines how advertisers use language to sell products and how it affects our perception of the products and ourselves. This course will appeal to those who are curious about the central role language plays in the art of persuasion. The course touches upon the structure of language only insofar as it is relevant for understanding advertising as a form of social action. The acquired linguistic tools will help us to understand how commercial messages achieve their effect in business, culture, or even grass roots movements.

9-12th graders  |   Session B  | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Were children dangerous in the 1800s? If you are interested in the answer, join us to explore history in a different way. Students will have an immersive and hands-on experience, as we engage with historical artifacts like asylum record books, indenture contracts, letters, postcards, and film. This course will use movie adaptations of nineteenth-century novels to encourage student discussion regarding popular representation of orphans and asylums.

The aim of this course is for students to not only find answers to larger historical questions, but to gain research skills that continue to spark curiosity and creativity.  Experience a hands-on approach to history where curiosity guides students rather than textbooks.

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Have you ever wondered how humans have the propensity to behave in ways that are astonishing, confusing, violent, or outside of the norm? How are humans capable of performing egregious acts toward others? Is déjà vu real? How do humans sense when someone they’re close to is in danger? If you’ve ever wondered about these things, then this might be the right class for you. Contemporary psychology includes the study of yet-unsolved mysteries of the mind and human behavior. Some of these mysteries include historic examples of mass hysteria – such as whole towns that took to dancing in the streets for days until they passed out or died. Other human mysteries include the experience of phantom limbs, déjà vu, and ‘twin-tuition.’ Despite the research efforts in fields of study including neuroscience, forensic psychology, and developmental, abnormal, and social psychology, researchers and society as a whole still grapples with understanding those things we categorize as ‘deviance’ from normal. The human mind is, and perhaps always will be, a mystery in many ways.

We will use a combination of discussion, in-class social experiments, games, videos, guest speakers, and direct teaching. Your curiosity has no limit in this class – discussion and questions are welcomed. We’ll start the day with ‘Fun Facts’ you Googled about a topic from the previous day (that’s your only homework!). Be open to surprises from your instructor that may include a social experiment used on you and your classmates.

9-12th graders  |  Session B |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This class introduces the many disciplines of finance, what to expect during academic training at a university level, and potential career paths.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an investment banker, a financial advisor, or a private equity, hedge fund, or real estate investor? Examine the pros and cons of various career paths within the world of finance. Learn about different types of investments, build your own hypothetical investment portfolio, speak with professionals in the industry, and more.

This class will also introduce several aspects of personal finance (things we wish we thought about when entering college).

9-12th graders  |  Session B |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Thinking of majoring in business? A business degree can be beneficial in nearly every industry and open the door to many different career paths. This course will examine different business principles like accounting, analytics, finance, entrepreneurship, information systems, and marketing.

9-12th graders  |  Session B | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Nursing is the largest workforce in the health care setting. The roles that nurses fulfill in the hospital, public health, research, and advanced practice are vital to the success of a patient’s health.

This course will show you what it takes to be a nurse. With engaging discussions and interactive exercises, you will learn about the profession’s foundations and specialties, the history and future of nursing, and potential careers that might interest you.

Whether you are interested in clinical research or patient care, come explore if nursing is for you.

9-12th graders  |  Session B |  8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This course teaches you the underlying physiology of crucial human organ systems and the process of recording the biological signals that dictate how they perform. You will learn about vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and electrical signals produced by the muscles and heart. You will also learn to interpret and integrate these signals with biological processes and diseases.

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

What is it like to be a dentist or a dental specialist such as an orthodontist, pediatric dentist, prosthodontist, periodontist, or oral surgeon? This course will explore hands-on dental procedures, examine the latest equipment, and take a close look at the skills and educational requirements necessary to become an oral health professional. Students will learn firsthand how to conduct an oral examination and to make diagnostic plaster models of teeth for use in treatment planning. Students will meet with dentists who are pursuing careers as faculty in educational programs and with researchers working in the basic sciences or translational arenas. Dental specialists working in diverse and emerging areas of treatment, including dental implants and cosmetic dentistry, will interact with the students. There will be site visits taken to the ambulatory care dental unit and the Center for Oral Biology at the University’s Medical Center. The course will focus on the changing field of oral health and the high demands for dentists to meet the oral health care needs of local, national, and international patient populations.



9-12th graders | Session B | 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ethical and moral dilemmas in the healthcare field impact everyone, including patients, family members, clinicians, communities and the population. Many of these complex issues arise at the bedside, but others occur as a result of social and economic difficulties. It is here that the application of bioethics can provide a framework for understanding these issues. In this course, students will engage in case discussions, participate in mock ethics committees, and explore current events in order apply these theories and principles of bioethics to real life situations. Such topics include the patient-clinician relationship, end-of-life care, organ transplantation and donation, and public health.

Instructor: Nicholas R. Mercado, DrPH, MCHES, HEC- Assistant Professor, Department of Health Humanities & Bioethics Director, Bioethics Curriculum



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