PreCollege Study Program 

The Summer 2020 curriculum will be posted by Dec. 1, 2019.

The Summer 2020 curriculum is designed to focus on writing and to offer an array of courses within the liberal arts and sciences that will engage students and prepare them for the college experience. For reference, here is the course information from summer 2019: Full course descriptions for all courses can be found at the bottom of this page.

Focus on Writing:
We strongly recommend that PreCollege Residential Scholars enroll in one of these writing courses.
The Art of the Personal Essay

Focus on the Arts:
El Greco to Picasso: Modern Art's Passion for Golden Age Spain
Digital Art

Focus on the Sciences and Social Sciences:
International Politics
Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach
Introductory Chemistry II (prerequisite required, enroll with special permission only. For more information, please send email to


Course Options

  • ARHA/FIST126: El Greco to Picasso / Melissa Katz
    This course examines the life and afterlife of the Spanish artists of the Golden Age, whose achievements reached unprecedented heights in the 17th century. Centuries later, their works took on new roles as artists of other times and cultures found their own inspiration in works of the past: Manet copied Velazquez, Picasso copied El Greco, and ( famously on "Project Runway") Christian Soriano copied Murillo. What allowed these complex works to resonate so strongly in another era? Is such influence automatically a sign of success? And why have the works of Francisco Goya inspired more filmmakers than any other artist? Students will be introduced to the reading of visual art for stylistic, historical, and political content and develop a critical understanding of art and society in Golden Age Spain, as well as insights into the role of art as a cultural currency.
  • ARST190: Digital Art / Christopher Chenier

    This experience will introduce students to the digital arts, an area of creative practice encompassing computer-based art from GIFS and graphics to cutting edge digital fabrication tools. While developing the critical and methodological tools to engage problems in our digital culture, students will acquire the practical skills necessary to create and communicate digitally. Sessions will emphasize the ways software is used for project development, prototyping, and experimentation. Most of our time will be spend in Adobe Creative Cloud. The core elements of CC will be covered through workshops in image editing, graphics, layout, and type. Translating digital files into physical objects, students will work with a laser cutter, large format inkjet printers, and a CNC mill.

  • ENGL259/WRCT228: The Art of the Personal Essay / Meg Weisberg
    The personal essay is short-form, first-person, narrative nonfiction that encompasses many genres: memoir, reflection, humor, familial and social history, and cultural criticism. Yet even these boundaries often blur within a single essay, and the personal essay can expand to include almost any topic. Writing personal essays--what author and critic Philip Lopate calls "the self-interrogative genre"--helps us find out what we think, often makes us change our minds, and, ideally, leads us to new insights. In class, we will discuss the assigned readings, participate in group responses to each others' writing (workshops), and write in response to prompts. We will study both traditional and unconventional techniques of nonfiction, focusing on the elements of craft: structure, voice, clarity, the use of descriptive detail, and revision.
  • GOVT155: International Politics / Giulio Gallarotti

    This introduction to international politics applies various theories of state behavior to selected historical cases. Topics include the balance of power, change in international systems, the causes of war and peace, and the role of international law, institutions, and morality in the relations among nations.

  • PSYC200: Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach / Chenmu (Julia) Xing

    This five-week course is an introductory-level statistics course for students interested in conducting psychological research and/or considering a psychology or neuroscience undergraduate major. The course will introduce the concepts and methods most commonly used in the analysis of quantitative data in psychological research such as behavioral experiments and life observations. Lectures will be provided to introduce the concepts and/or mathematical procedures of the core statistical topics and methods, including descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, t-tests, analysis of variance, correlation, simple regression and nonparametric tests such as chi-square tests. The course will emphasize activity-based learning by engaging students into practices of statistical methods and analysis procedure using statistical software for social sciences and task-based problem solving activities. The course will also include periodical reviews and unit tests to consolidate learning. Performance will be assessed using homework assignments, projects, and tests with objective problem items and objective scoring guides. To register, the prerequisite of other coursework (e.g. PSYC105) as a requirement for eligibility to enroll in my course section will be waived.

  • CHEM 142: Introductory Chemistry II / Andrea Roberts

    This course is a continuation of CHEM141. This course emphasizes rigorous descriptive reasoning. While intended for students with little or no previous background in chemistry, the course is taught at a relatively high level. The topical coverage emphasizes the relationships between electronic structure, chemical reactivity, and the physical properties of the elements and their compounds.

    CHEM152, the associated laboratory course, may be taken concurrently. CHEM152 will span over Summer Session I and II. 

    Please note: prerequisite required for CHEM142. PreCollege students may enroll with special permission only. For more information, please send email to

Focus on Leadership

Social Justice Leadership

Acclaimed for its proactive stance on issues of justice, diversity, and social progress, Wesleyan is an ideal place for students with interests in these areas to receive firsthand training. Professional staff from Wesleyan's Office of Residential Life have created a four-part social justice training program that will prepare you to manage interpersonal and social conflict. You will be better prepared for leadership roles, increasing your impact on your next college campus, and engaging with your community as a world citizen. Students who participate in all sessions will receive a certificate.