2017 Courses

High School Summer College more than 145 courses allow students to explore, collaborate, and challenge themselves while gaining confidence and meeting new peers.

Students in our programs should always refer to this list; these are the only courses available to the students we admit for the Summer Quarter. Current Stanford students have additional options available for summer enrollment. An academic advisor will verify students enrollments. 

  • Observational Astronomy Laboratory

    Introduction to observational astronomy emphasizing the use of optical telescopes. Observations of stars, nebulae, and galaxies in laboratory sessions with telescopes at the Stanford Student Observatory. Meets at the observatory one evening per week from dusk until well after dark, in addition to day-time lectures each week. No previous physics required. Limited enrollment.

    Course Code
    PHYSICS 50
  • Introduction to International Relations (INTNLREL 101Z)

    Approaches to the study of conflict and cooperation in world affairs. Applications to war, terrorism, trade policy, the environment, and world poverty. Debates about the ethics of war and the global distribution of wealth.

    Course Code
    POLISCI 101Z
    Instructor(s)
    Tomz, M.
    Units
    4
  • Political Power in American Cities

    The major actors, institutions, processes, and policies of sub-state government in the U.S., emphasizing city general-purpose governments through a comparative examination of historical and contemporary politics. Issues related to federalism, representation, voting, race, poverty, housing, and finances.

    Course Code
    POLISCI 121Z
    Instructor(s)
    Nall, C.
    Units
    4
  • Ethics and Politics in Public Service

    Ethical and political questions in public service work, including volunteering, service learning, humanitarian assistance, and public service professions such as medicine and teaching. Motives and outcomes in service work. Connections between service work and justice. Is mandatory service an oxymoron? History of public service in the U.S. Issues in crosscultural service work. Integration with the Haas Center for Public Service to connect service activities and public service aspirations with academic experiences at Stanford.

    Course Code
    POLISCI 133Z
    Instructor(s)
    Coyne, B.
    Units
    4
  • Comparative Corruption (SOC 113)

    Causes, effects, and solutions to various forms of corruption in business and politics in both developing regions (e.g. Asia, E. Europe) and developed ones (the US and the EU).

    Course Code
    POLISCI 143S
    Instructor(s)
    Young, P.
    Units
    3
  • Thinking Strategically

    This course provides an introduction to strategic reasoning. We discuss ideas such as the commitment problem, credibility in signaling, cheap talk, moral hazard and adverse selection. Concepts are developed through games played in class, and applied to politics, business and everyday life.

    Course Code
    POLISCI 153Z
    Instructor(s)
    Acharya, A.
    Units
    4
  • Genes, Memes and Behavior

    Examines how natural selection operates to shape successful genes in the gene pool, how cultural selection operates to shape successful "memes" in the pool of cultural ideas, and how selection by consequences operates to shape successful behaviors in our repertoires. Topics include cases in which selection produces undesirable consequences (e.g. genetic mutations, cultural problems, and aberrant behaviors in children). Emphasis on understanding the role of modern natural science in complex behaviors and why study of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective is important.

    Course Code
    PSYC 54N
    Instructor(s)
    Hall, S.
    Units
    3
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods: Precalculus (STATS 60, STATS 160)

    Techniques for organizing data, computing, and interpreting measures of central tendency, variability, and association. Estimation, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, t-tests, correlation, and regression. Possible topics: analysis of variance and chi-square tests, computer statistical packages.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 10
    Instructor(s)
    DiCiccio, C., Ren, Z., Tsao, A.
    Units
    5
  • Introduction to Neuroscience

    Introduction to structure and function of the nervous system. The course first surveys neuroscience research methods, physiology, and gross anatomy. We then study the brain systems which produce basic functions such as perception and motion, as well as complex processes like sleep, memory, and emotion. Finally, we examine these principles in cases of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 102S
    Instructor(s)
    Leong, J., Miller, C.
    Units
    4
  • General Psychology

    In what ways does the scientific study of psychology increase our understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors we observe and experience in everyday life? What are the main areas of psychology and the different questions they seek to answer? This course will give you an introduction to the field of psychology and its many different areas. You will learn about the central methods, findings, and unanswered questions of these areas, as well as how to interpret and critically evaluate research findings.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 105S
    Instructor(s)
    Howe, L., Leibowitz, K., Turnwald, B.
    Units
    3
  • Introduction to Social Psychology

    This course aims to blend a comprehensive overview of social psychology with in-depth lectures exploring the history of the field, reviewing major findings and highlighting areas of current research. The course will focus on classic studies that have profoundly changed our understanding of human nature and social interaction, and, in turn, have triggered significant paradigm shifts within the field. Some of the topics covered in this class will include: individuals and groups, conformity and obedience, attraction, intergroup relations, and judgment and decision-making. The course, overall, will attempt to foster interest in social psychology as well as scientific curiosity in a fun, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 108S
    Instructor(s)
    Griffiths, C., Lempert, S., Muragishi, G.
    Units
    3
  • Abnormal Psychology

    This course will provide an introduction to abnormal psychology. It will be targeted towards students who have had little or no exposure to coursework on mental disorders. The course will have three core aims: 1) Explore the nature of mental disorders, including the phenomenology, signs/symptoms, and causal factors underlying various forms of mental illness, 2) Explore conventional and novel treatments for various mental disorders, 3) Develop critical thinking skills in the theory and empirical research into mental disorders. The course will explore a wide range of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, eating disorders, and personality disorders.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 111S
    Instructor(s)
    Miller, C.
    Units
    3
  • Developmental Psychology

    This class will introduce students to the basic principles of developmental psychology. As well as providing a more classic general overview, we will also look towards current methods and findings. Students will gain an appreciation of how developmental psychology as a science can be applied to their general understanding of children and the complicated process of growing into adults.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 113S
    Units
    3
  • Personality Psychology

    This course will focus on current empirical and theoretical approaches to personality. Lectures will be organized around the following questions central to personality research: How and why do people differ? How do we measure individual differences? Does personality change over time? How does personality interact with sociocultural factors to influence behavior? What makes people happy? What are the physical, mental, and social consequences of personalities?

    Course Code
    PSYCH 115S
    Instructor(s)
    Bencharit, Y., Raposo, S.
    Units
    3
  • Psychology of Women

    Women comprise half of the human population, yet throughout much of history, the study of human thought and behavior has been largely male focused. In fact, some of the earliest psychological studies of women were conducted primarily to argue for the evolutionary supremacy of men. During the past fifty years, the field of psychology has made significant strides towards considering women and men equally worthy subjects of inquiry. In this course, we will discuss this growing body of research related to gender and the female experience. We will focus on six main themes: social and biological approaches to studying gender, evidence for gender similarities and differences, gender stereotypes and sexism, gender and language use, women in the workplace, and female sexuality. We will explore these themes through lectures, in class demonstrations, analysis of empirical work, and student led discussion.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 139S
    Instructor(s)
    Chestnut, E.
    Units
    3
  • Introduction to the Psychology of Emotion

    Our emotions influence how we perceive the world, inform how we make critical life decisions, and connect us with other people. Affective science, the scientific study of emotion, investigates how emotions shape our lives. In this course, we explore how emotions arise as feelings we experience, behaviors we commit, and physiological reactions to our environments. Across these levels of analysis, we will consider how emotions interact with our personalities, past experiences, future goals, stages of development, and socio-cultural surroundings. We will learn how affective science has clarified the nature of emotion, how emotions evolved across diverse animal species, and how emotions impact our health and relationships with others. You will leave this class with an improved, scientifically-informed understanding of your own and others emotions, and strategies for how to effectively use and manage your feelings in daily life.

    Course Code
    PSYCH 147S
    Instructor(s)
    Williams, W.
    Units
    3
  • Writing Well: An Introduction to College Writing

    Offered only to participants in the Summer College for High School Students. Develops critical reading, writing, and research skills applicable to any area of study. Emphases include close reading, analysis of varied texts, development of strong theses, revision strategies, and introduction to research-based argument. Classes are small, encouraging extensive interaction between students and instructors. Discussions of readings, peer work, and individual conferences with instructors. Each section has a thematic emphasis developed by the instructor; students choose sections based on their individual interests. Does not meet the Stanford first-year writing requirement.

    Course Code
    PWR 1D
    Instructor(s)
    Heredia, A.
    Units
    3
  • Who Am I? The Question of the Self in Art, Literature, Religion, and Philosophy

    In 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary declared selfie to be the word of the year, as researchers revealed that usage of the term had increased 17,000% since the previous year. By 2014, the New York Times, following on the heels of a study conducted by the Pew Research Foundation dubbed millennials the selfie generation. And today, identity politics have moved to the forefront of public discussion in unprecedented ways. It seems that everyone is talking about the self, but what or, better yet, who is this mysterious entity we speak for each time we use the first person pronoun?nnThis seminar engages the question of the self through the exploration of art, literature, religion, philosophy, and pop culture. Through close, guided readings and analysis of classic, contemporary, and popular materials, we will attempt to understand and complicate the notion of the self and inquire into the personal, social, and political relationships that define its contours and boundaries.nnCourse content will be drawn from a diverse but complementary range of works including those by: Plato, Plotinus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, James Baldwin, William Blake, Guy Debord, Christopher Noland, and Friedrich Nietzsche. We will also interrogate what films such Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, artists such as Ana Mendieta and Barbara Kruger, and countercultural musical movements such as punk rock and black metal have to add to our inquiry. Short lectures will contextualize the topics treated; but the focus will be on fostering robust and substantive discussion while developing the philosophical skills needed to think through and debate the notion of the self and its attendant issues in a reflective and nuanced manner.nnBy drawing from different eras and cultural contexts, we will gain a new appreciation for the historical background of the existential questions that concern us today, while confronting the radical diversity of possible responses. However, since the question of the self must necessarily be raised in the first person, you will be the most important subject of this course. In this spirit, the seminar¿s ultimate aim is to engage with multimedia materials that help you develop, articulate, and ultimately live out your own personal response to a very pressing question: Who am I?nnAll are welcome. No previous experience with philosophy, literature, art, or religious studies will be assumed.

    Course Code
    RELIGST 38S
    Instructor(s)
    Gentzke, J.
    Units
    3
  • Comparative Corruption (POLISCI 143S)

    Causes, effects, and solutions to various forms of corruption in business and politics in both developing regions (e.g. Asia, E. Europe) and developed ones (the US and the EU).

    Course Code
    SOC 113
    Instructor(s)
    Young, P.
    Units
    3
  • Ice Cream Sales Don't Cause Shark Attacks: Debunking Pseudoscience and Conducting Good Research

    Conducting good research requires careful design and analysis, but much of the research we consume from media and political outlets often presents spurious correlations as causal relationships. What do we need to do and why to rule out spuriousness? The focus will be on using our intuition about what information we would need to properly answer questions about social life. We will find that apparently complicated statistical tests are simply following the same logic necessary to reach conclusions about social science's most interesting questions.

    Course Code
    SOC 118D
    Instructor(s)
    Munoz, J.
    Units
    3
  • The Power of Social Networks in Everyday Life

    Why do some people have better ideas than others? Why are some more likely to be bullied in school, get a job, or catch a disease? Why do some innovations, apps, rumors, or revolutions spread like a wildfire, while others never get off the ground? Why are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Spotify so good at recommending people, news, pictures, or songs we might know or like? What do a power outage, the collapse of the Roman Empire, a human stroke, and the Financial Crisis of 2008 have in common? What explains the success of Silicon Valley? And why are there only six (or less) people between us and any other human on this planet? While these questions may seem totally unrelated to each other on first glance, they can all be explored with the help of a single, yet powerful framework: social network analysis. In this class, you will learn to see the world as a web of relations: not only are people, ideas/concepts and things all increasingly connected to each other; the pattern of these relations can tell us a great deal about many phenomena in our social world that defy traditional explanations. At the end of this class, you will not only see networks everywhere; you will have taken a big step toward connecting some of the dots in (y)our world: this is the power of thinking in relations.

    Course Code
    SOC 119D
    Instructor(s)
    Hahn, M.
    Units
    3
  • Sociology of Gender

    The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the sociological conceptualization of gender. Through the sociological lens, gender is not an individual attribute or a role, but rather a system of social practices that constructs two different categories of people men and women and organizes social interaction and inequality around this difference. First we will explore what ¿gender¿ is according to sociologists and the current state of gender inequality in the labor market, at home, and at school. We will then investigate how gender structures our everyday lives through the individual, interactional, and institutional levels. Finally, we will discuss avenues for reducing gender inequality. Throughout the course, we will prioritize reading, evaluating, and questioning sociological theory and research on gender."

    Course Code
    SOC 142
    Instructor(s)
    Carian, E.
    Units
    3
  • Intermediate Oral Communication

    Emphasis is on interaction in Spanish locally and globally. Regional vocabularies and cultures at home and abroad. Interaction with local native Spanish speakers and communities globally via the Internet. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: first-year Spanish and demonstrated oral proficiency above the low intermediate level.

    Course Code
    SPANLANG 15S
    Instructor(s)
    Dancu, E.
    Units
    2
  • Accelerated First-Year Spanish, Part 1

    Completes first-year sequence in two rather than three quarters. For students with previous knowledge of Spanish, or those with a strong background in another Romance language. SPANLANG 2A fulfills the University Foreign Language Requirement. Prerequisite: Placement Test.

    Course Code
    SPANLANG 1A
    Instructor(s)
    Valderrama, P.
    Units
    5
  • Accelerated First-Year Spanish, Part 2

    Continuation of SPANLANG 1A. Completes first-year sequence in two rather than three quarters. For students with previous knowledge of Spanish, or those with a strong background in another Romance language. Prerequisite: Placement Test or SPANLANG 1A. Fulfills the University language requirement.

    Course Code
    SPANLANG 2A
    Instructor(s)
    Malik, C.
    Units
    5
  • Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences

    Introduction to statistics for engineers and physical scientists. Topics: descriptive statistics, probability, interval estimation, tests of hypotheses, nonparametric methods, linear regression, analysis of variance, elementary experimental design. Prerequisite: one year of calculus.

    Course Code
    STATS 110
    Instructor(s)
    Stanoyevitch, A., Sklar, M.
    Units
    4-5
  • Theory of Probability

    Probability spaces as models for phenomena with statistical regularity. Discrete spaces (binomial, hypergeometric, Poisson). Continuous spaces (normal, exponential) and densities. Random variables, expectation, independence, conditional probability. Introduction to the laws of large numbers and central limit theorem. Prerequisites: MATH 52 and familiarity with infinite series, or equivalent.

    Course Code
    STATS 116
    Instructor(s)
    Hwang, J., Soo, K., Tay, J.
    Units
    3-5
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods: Precalculus (PSYCH 10, STATS 60)

    Techniques for organizing data, computing, and interpreting measures of central tendency, variability, and association. Estimation, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, t-tests, correlation, and regression. Possible topics: analysis of variance and chi-square tests, computer statistical packages.

    Course Code
    STATS 160
    Instructor(s)
    DiCiccio, C., Ren, Z., Tsao, A.
    Units
    5
  • Data Mining and Analysis

    Data mining is used to discover patterns and relationships in data. Emphasis is on large complex data sets such as those in very large databases or through web mining. Topics: decision trees, association rules, clustering, case based methods, and data visualization. Prereqs: Introductory courses in statistics or probability (e.g., Stats 60), linear algebra (e.g., Math 51), and computer programming (e.g., CS 105).

    Course Code
    STATS 202
    Instructor(s)
    Patel, R., Greaves, D., Michael, H., Roquero Gimenez, J., Zhang, Y., Zhao, Q.
    Units
    3
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods: Precalculus (PSYCH 10, STATS 160)

    Techniques for organizing data, computing, and interpreting measures of central tendency, variability, and association. Estimation, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, t-tests, correlation, and regression. Possible topics: analysis of variance and chi-square tests, computer statistical packages.

    Course Code
    STATS 60
    Instructor(s)
    DiCiccio, C., Ren, Z., Tsao, A.
    Units
    5
  • Making of a Nuclear World: History, Politics, and Culture

    Nuclear technology has shaped our world through its various applications (e.g., weapons, energy production, medicine) and accidents and disasters (e.g., Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima). This course will examine the development of nuclear technology and its consequences to politics and culture at the global, national, regional and local levels from interdisciplinary perspectives. Some of the key questions addressed are: How did different countries and communities experience and respond to the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How did such experiences affect the later development of the technology in different national contexts? How have nuclear tests and disasters change the ways in which risks are understood and managed globally and locally? What kinds of political activism, international arrangements, and cultural tropes and imageries emerged in response to nuclear technology? We explore these questions through key works and recent studies in history, anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, as well as through films and literature.

    Course Code
    STS 123
    Instructor(s)
    Sato, K., Hsieh, J.
    Units
    4

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