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Summer Pre-College at UMass Amherst

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We'd love to see you at UMass next summer. Just fill out the form below to receive updates about Summer 2017!

2017 Pre-College Session Dates (Program Offerings Coming Soon!)

Session 1: Research Intensives June 25 - August 5

Session 2: July 9 - 15 (1-week programs); July 9 - 22 (2-week programs); July 9 - 29 (3-week programs)

Session 3: July 23 - 29 (1-week programs); July 23 - August 5 (2-week programs)

See Our 2016 Offerings Below

1-Week Programs

Special Dates - June 26th-July 2nd

The Equine Management Program is a one-week intensive program for motivated young adults seeking to explore what it takes to succeed in the horse industry, and in doing so, challenge themselves to become better horsemen and future leaders in the equine profession.

Each day, students will join a small group of their peers for hands-on practicums and workshops at the university’s Hadley Farm Equine Center. UMass faculty, visiting equine professionals, and of course, the horses themselves will all play a role in the learning experience. The program will begin with instruction on horse behavior and safety training. Students will explore topics in equine veterinary medicine, breeds and conformation, stable and pasture management, nutritional regimes, foaling basics, and equine business concepts. In addition, each student will adopt one of the farm’s horses for the duration of the program and work intensively with that horse on a variety of equine care, training, and management topics. Students will develop their horsemanship skills through both ground work and riding.

Throughout the program, students can expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of modern business and equine management skills required in the horse industry. 
  • Recognize how the principals of equine behavior, anatomy, nutrition and reproduction are applied to the daily management of an equine facility.
  • Develop their horsemanship skills through daily work with horses both in-hand and under saddle.
  • Explore educational opportunities and career pathways in the equine profession.
Important Safety Information
  • Every student must wear an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet and boots with a heel. Riding pants, tall boots or paddock boots with half chaps, and riding gloves are recommended. Students must bring their own riding apparel.
  • All students must sign an equine liability release form and attend a safety training session on the first day.
  • Pants and boots must be worn when working with horses.

In your letter of interest, please describe your interest in the equine industry, and explain what you hope to gain from the Equine Management Summer Pre-College Program. We invite applications from all and hope to gather students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Dr. Cassandra Uricchio, Director of Equine Management, Stockbridge School of Agriculture



Session 1 - July 10th-July 16th

What do medicine, agriculture, energy, and the environment all have in common? The answer is Biotechnology. Are you interested in learning how scientists manipulate living systems to develop products that better serve humankind? Do you enjoy critical thinking and problem solving? Does the idea of performing experiments in a laboratory sound exciting to you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then consider Biotech Boot Camp.

Biotech Boot Camp is designed for high school students interested in gaining hands-on research experience in molecular biology and biochemical techniques. Working in small groups, students will conduct experiments with real world applications including forensics science, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, and epidemiology. An emphasis will be placed on experimental design, conducting experiments, interpreting results, and discussing experimental outcomes. In addition, the class will take field trips to different core facilities at UMass including the genomics sequencing facility, the microscopy suite, and the animal imaging facility.

The goals of Biotech Boot Camp are to create awareness for biotechnology and its uses, spark interest in scientific research, introduce students to basic laboratory techniques, and to develop critical thinking skills. At the end of the program, students will prepare a group poster and present their research findings to parents and members of the Microbiology Department.

A pre-requisite of high school biology is required and high school chemistry is highly recommended. Applicants with demonstrable financial need may apply for a partial scholarship. See Program Fees for more information.

Jeff Kane, Lecturer, Department of Microbiology & Kelley Strickland, Technical Assistant, Department of Microbiology

The Equine Management Program is a one-week intensive program for motivated young adults seeking to explore what it takes to succeed in the horse industry, and in doing so, challenge themselves to become better horsemen and future leaders in the equine profession.

Each day, students will join a small group of their peers for hands-on practicums and workshops at the university’s Hadley Farm Equine Center. UMass faculty, visiting equine professionals, and of course, the horses themselves will all play a role in the learning experience. The program will begin with instruction on horse behavior and safety training. Students will explore topics in equine veterinary medicine, breeds and conformation, stable and pasture management, nutritional regimes, foaling basics, and equine business concepts. In addition, each student will adopt one of the farm’s horses for the duration of the program and work intensively with that horse on a variety of equine care, training, and management topics. Students will develop their horsemanship skills through both ground work and riding.

Throughout the program, students can expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of modern business and equine management skills required in the horse industry. 
  • Recognize how the principals of equine behavior, anatomy, nutrition and reproduction are applied to the daily management of an equine facility.
  • Develop their horsemanship skills through daily work with horses both in-hand and under saddle.
  • Explore educational opportunities and career pathways in the equine profession.
Important Safety Information
  • Every student must wear an ASTM/SEI approved riding helmet and boots with a heel. Riding pants, tall boots or paddock boots with half chaps, and riding gloves are recommended. Students must bring their own riding apparel.
  • All students must sign an equine liability release form and attend a safety training session on the first day.
  • Pants and boots must be worn when working with horses.

In your letter of interest, please describe your interest in the equine industry, and explain what you hope to gain from the Equine Management Summer Pre-College Program. We invite applications from all and hope to gather students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Dr. Cassandra Uricchio, Director of Equine Management, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

It’s the digital age of journalism, and there’s never been a more exciting time to learn and practice digital reporting as a high school student.

Spend a week in UMass Journalism’s state-of-the-art digital facilities learning and practicing multimedia journalism with faculty members who have extensive teaching and professional journalism experience.

Work in our cutting-edge broadcast studio and multimedia classrooms, and learn to use the latest video, audio and photography equipment in a team-based environment. By the end of the course, students will produce an online news project to start their portfolios. Come join us for a week of challenging and fun hands-on learning as you learn the craft of digital journalism!

Greeley Kyle, Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, Journalism Department Olga Kyle, Part-time Lecturer, Journalism Department; UMass Amherst IT; Apple Certified Trainer, Adobe Education Trainer

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We’ve all seen it portrayed in science fiction: memories can be erased from or implanted in the human brain instantly and effortlessly. You might not have realized it, but in recent years we have come much closer to turning this fiction into reality. In this one-week program, students will explore the basic working principles of the brain and build a cohesive understanding of how brain functions can be manipulated. Students will be asked to conduct experiments on invertebrate animals to validate what they have learned in lectures. Motivated high school students with a strong interest in neurobiology are encouraged to apply. An AP course in physiology is highly recommended.

Asst. Professor Geng-lin Li, Department of Biology

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Are you interested in learning more about where your food comes from? Or how does your food get to your plate? And where does the waste go afterwards?

Join one of the leading university Sustainable Food and Farming programs in the nation for an immersion in sustainability and food systems. In this one-week course, students will gain hands-on experience in the local food system as well as comprehensive understanding of the U.S. Food System. This program will focus on three areas in our food system: sustainability and systems thinking, social justice, and agricultural leadership.

With a focus on sustainability, students will explore and analyze inequities present in our food system using systems thinking tools like concept mapping and iceberg models. Students will simultaneously gain hands-on experience at local farms and work with UMass projects like the Student Farming Enterprise. We will immerse in both theory and practice of organic food production and discuss the role of community engagement in revitalizing our food system.

Finally, students will have an opportunity to articulate their personal relationships to food, and lead each other in activities to deepen understanding of our personal actions and their impact our food system. We look forward to a fun and meaningful week together! Applicants with both demonstrable financial need and academic merit may apply for a partial scholarship. See Program Fees for more information.

Sarah Berquist, Lecturer, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

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Session 2 - July 24th-July 30th

Arboriculture is the art, business, and science of caring for trees in residential areas. Trees provide many benefits like shading houses and cleaning the air and water; they also improve our quality of life. Planting trees in our towns and cities is a great way to make them nicer places to live and work.

Students in the Urban Forestry program will learn the importance of and how to care for trees. Students will take a proactive approach to climate as they learn what they can do now and in the future to make their communities greener. Arboriculture and urban forestry are core aspects of environmental conservation.

This program covers a number of earth science-related topics including: botany, physiology, soil composition, run-off, and pollution. Students will also receive hands-on experiential training in: identifying trees, identifying disease in trees, climbing trees (knot tying, ascension, limb walking, tree worker safety), pruning, plant health care, and pest management.

Our 1-week intensive will balance academic study of the science and business of arboriculture while offering an introduction to the basic skills required to work in the field.

Arborists are in great demand in many towns and cities because it is important to properly plant and maintain trees. There are currently multiple career opportunities for graduates with either a two- or a four-year degree in Arboriculture at UMass Amherst.

Assistant Professor Brian Kane, Department of Environmental Conservation

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What is genetic engineering, and how does it work?  What are genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Is it safe to eat them?  What ethical issues are raised by making GMOs?  This one-week program for high school students will explore the manipulation of DNA and its relationship to genetically modified organisms.  The program aims to increase participants’ understanding of ideas and tools used in modern biotechnology and to explore the pros and cons of modifying an organism’s DNA.  Through a combination of hands-on activities and laboratory experiments, we will investigate the structure of DNA, techniques for DNA engineering, and the transformation of genetic material into host organisms to modify their biology.  Possible projects include transforming a jellyfish gene into bacteria and testing foods from the grocery store for the presence of transgenes.  Participants will have the opportunity to focus on a topic of their choice for group presentations at the end of the week.  Here is your chance to explore the science behind the news headlines!

Prior completion of high school biology is helpful, but not required.

Ludmila Tyler & Becky Miller, Lecturers, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Here’s your chance to think critically about what stories get told in mainstream media and which do not, and decide on how you will tell your own story. Participants in this program will explore ways that words and images are combined through the use of technology and digital media to create and share stories.

Students will be introduced to audiovisual media tools and techniques, and will think critically about the uses and possibilities of media for and about youth. Emphasis will be placed on responsible media use, information gathering, personal and creative expression. The instructional format and style will be team-based, collaborative, fun, and educational. No specific prior experience with cameras or computers is required or expected.

Dr. Alison Butler, Lecturer, Department of Communication

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An introductory course on many aspects of light. The course will include discussion and classroom demonstrations of important aspects of light, shadows, reflection, light in nature (rainbows, mirages, etc.), lenses, image formation, reading glasses, photography, the eye, perception, polarizing materials, where color comes from, color in nature, color mixing (lights and pigments), lasers, among other things. You will also learn about how light can fool the eye to create illusions.

The course is designed for anyone with an interest in the physical and natural worlds, but should be of particular interest to anyone who wants to better understand light, especially artists, photographers and those involved with lighting, e.g. theater lighting. There will be many classroom demonstrations.

Paul Bourgeois, Lecturer, Department of Physics

With little more than a computer, a microphone and a midi keyboard it is possible to explore all the wonderful ways of making music electronically. In this one week course we will focus on the principles of recording, editing and mixing digital audio as well as electronic synthesis and sequencing. In the process we will consider the basics of composition and arranging. No prior experience is required, but more advanced music students are welcome as well. We will all compose our own music in our favorite and other styles! Mornings will be spent in lab class, learning software and techniques, and afternoon sessions will be devoted to individual work on projects/compositions. Each student will have his/her own workstation. There will also be a field trip to a professional recording studio in the area. Come with open ears and a willingness to experiment and play!

Robert Eisenstein, Senior Lecturer, Director of the Five College Early Music Center

Love sports? Love broadcast journalism? You’ll love this one-week hands-on sports broadcasting program at UMass Journalism.

Learn the basics of sports broadcasting in our new state-of-the-art broadcast studio with experienced UMass Journalism faculty as your teachers. You’ll learn about story idea generation, game preparation, interviewing, script writing, camera work, video/audio editing and on-air presentation. And you’ll cover summer sports camps and training games hosted at both UMass Amherst and Amherst College to gain experience in the field. You’ll learn how to use our cutting-edge cameras and equipment, too—and have a great time with new friends in the process.

Greeley Kyle, Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism, Journalism Department

Steve Fox, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Sports Journalism Concentration, Journalism Department

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2-Week and 3-Week Programs

Session 1 - July 10th-July 23rd

This hands-on course will guide students to see that entrepreneurship is everywhere and for everyone. Students will be given frameworks to think about creating something new that solves a problem in the world, such as a product, a business, a nonprofit, or any new kind of organization. Working in teams, students will then be given access to resources to begin implementing their ideas. We will cover all stages of the entrepreneurial process, from gathering intel in the “real world” to pitching ideas and working with mentors to finding sources of funding. A visit to the UMass 3D printing lab and field trips to local incubators and accelerators such as Valley Venture Mentors and TechSpring in Springfield, MA are included. Graduation from this course will be a demonstration of each team's solution to fellow summer program students and UMass Entrepreneurship mentors.

Birton Cowden, Associate Director, Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship

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Have you ever wondered how business works? How businesses make decisions ranging from what new markets to enter, to how big should a new factory be? What the different activities are that happen inside a company (e.g., management, marketing, accounting, finance), and how they are coordinated in order to be successful? This course provides the framework for all future business courses. It is a broad-based introductory course designed to give you exploratory experiences in all aspects of business. It will acquaint you with the dynamic business world of the 21st century. Economics, management, globalization, startups, marketing, finance, accounting, operations, and careers in business will be included. The use of technology and its impact on business will also be stressed. By gaining an understanding of the world of business and its related terminology, you will be able to:

  • Consider the ethical and social responsibility issues involved in the current business environment
  • Evaluate the global economy and its impact on U.S. economy
  • Identify and define the functions of and challenges facing management
  • Describe the responsibilities and significance of human resource management
  • Explain the basic accounting process
  • Outline the marketing function and describe its significance
  • Describe the United States’ financial and investment systems and their role in business

Anurag Sharma, Associate Professor, Isenberg School of Management

Did you know that in order to feed the world's population in the next 50 years we will have to produce as much food as that produced throughout the entire history of mankind? A key to meeting this challenge is to decrease food spoilage as we now throw away over 40% of the food produced on farms. Are you interested in learning more about how food science can offer a solution to these challenges? Large and small companies alike are in search of food science professionals and are becoming increasingly aware of the need to build sustainability into new product development. This is your opportunity to learn from the top ranked PhD Food Science program in the nation. In this two-week intensive course students will examine the "science" behind food and explore some of the key aspects involved in the development of a sustainable food product.

This program will provide students with opportunities to apply food chemistry, microbiology and food processing principles through hands-on activities with food. Participants will also actively engage in group exercises to gain an understanding of some of the elements involved with new product development within the context of sustainability. A particular emphasis will be placed on idea generation & screening, ingredient sourcing, packaging, food safety, consumer preference sensory evaluation, identification of product niches, competitive analysis and labeling guidelines.

Included in the two-week intensive course will be several guest speakers to give students the opportunity to learn up close from academic and local business experts. Whether your future is as a food entrepreneur or as an employee of a top notch food company, an understanding of food science and what is entailed in the development of a sustainable food product is sure to offer a distinct advantage to students upon completion of this two-week intensive course.

Christina DiMarco-Crook, PhD Candidate, Department of Food Science

During this two-week particle physics program, you will have the opportunity to explore the exciting world of electrons, particles of light, the famous Higgs boson, and more. You will learn about the fundamental forces and conservation laws that govern this world of particles, and, by extension, our world. In addition to the underlying physics concepts, you will have a hands-on opportunity to learn about how modern science is done by actually doing it. You will work in teams analyzing real data from modern particle experiments such as the CMS experiment at CERN as part of a two-week project. In this project, you will decide what particle to focus on and, as part of your team, figure out how to separate collisions in which your particle is produced from background "look-alike" events. The skills you will develop, such as statistical analysis, are used not only by particle physics, but also by professionals in astronomy, genetics, epidemiology, and the new field of data science.

Brokk Toggerson, Lecturer, Department of Physics

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Over the past four hundred years, we have made Shakespeare into one of the most intimidating cultural icons in the world. Because of this, students often dread his plays – but this is in large part because they are often taught as books to be read rather than, as they were intended, scripts to be performed. On the page, his language is dense and often confusing; but on the stage, that language becomes engaging, moving, and truly alive. Performing Shakespeare introduces students to a theatrical approach to mastering the works of the greatest playwright in the English language. The course is for all students, including those who have no prior experience with performance and those who have no prior experience with Shakespeare.

While the two weeks culminate with student performances of scenes, the course is process-centered, with an emphasis on practical experience and collaboration. Students will analyze a Shakespearean character from an actor’s perspective, they will decode clues about action and emotion in Shakespeare’s verse and prose, they will map out the theatrical structure of the Shakespearean scene, and they will experiment with different ways of translating all of those into a compelling and original performance. Through improvisational games, exploration of the text, movement, production design, and experimentation and rehearsal, students will come away with the skills of cooperation, creativity, and critical thinking that will serve them when they approach any complex text or any great challenge.

Matteo Pangallo, Junior Fellow, Harvard University

Do you ever wonder goes on behind the scenes of the Olympic Games or what happens during the day-to-day operations of a professional sports team?

As a student participating in the Sport Management summer program, your questions will be answered through lively faculty-led discussions, guest presentations from leading sport managers, hands-on activities, and visits to area sport venues such as the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Through this experience, you will develop skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal & written communication
  • Critical & creative thinking

Additionally, you will come away with:

  • an introduction to the profession
  • an understanding of the activities and responsibilities of sport managers and marketers
  • an awareness of the current issues/challenges facing sport organizations
  • an introduction to the fascinating field of sport analytics
  • a desire to continue learning by applying to our Undergraduate program

Our Sport Management undergraduate program is widely respected for its diverse and exciting curriculum and industry-focused faculty. Graduates have careers in the spectator sport industry including professional sport teams and leagues, collegiate sport, international sport, facility management, sport marketing agencies, sport media, and athletic footwear and apparel.

Applicants with both demonstrable financial need and academic merit may apply for a scholarship. See Program Fees for more information.

Associate Professor Mark McDonald, Department of Sport Management, Isenberg School of Management

July 10 - 30

The UMass Amherst Summer Design Academy provides an opportunity for high school students interested in architecture, landscape architecture, urban or interior design the opportunity to experience the profession and see firsthand the kinds of activities that take place in a university design program.

The Design Academy's interactive educational experiences include design exercises, hands-on building, drawing, and model-making activities, a visit to an architecture office and a construction site, as well as lectures, discussions, and design reviews with visiting architects.

The three week intensive will be composed of two parts: Week One will provide an introduction to the design disciplines of Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Building Design & Technology, through guest speakers and mini design projects. Weeks Two and Three will focus on a conceptual approach to architecture, developing the design of a freestanding building; an Artist's Studio & Gallery. Students will build their own modular design system, develop a concept for their building, and learn how to draw, model, and present their ideas.

To see examples of last year's work, visit our Facebook page: UMass Amherst Pre-College Summer Design Academy.

Rachael Chase, Lecturer, Department of Architecture

The Summer Engineering Institute is a multi-faceted program that allows students to explore how engineers envision creative, practical solutions that benefit the everyday lives of people and the communities in which they live. Students will be exposed to selected topics in chemical, civil, computer systems, electrical, environmental, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

These areas will be examined through faculty-led presentations, hands-on, guided discovery, and a design project. Presentations will be made by practicing professionals and university faculty members. Students will attend field trips geared toward technical learning, team building, and enrichment activities; they will also tour active engineering labs on campus in order to experience current research projects in a variety of engineering fields. Finally, students will participate in group activities, research projects, and presentations.

The course will be conducted in the Integrated Learning Center, which offers a modern computer station for each student and state-of-the-art instructional technology, as well as several locations in the Engineering Quadrangle. Students are expected to develop skills in:

  • Engineering Design
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Research
  • Computer software (including AutoCAD and ArcGIS)

Students will also come away with:

  • an increased awareness of engineering and career opportunities
  • an improved understanding of the methods of application of the important skills associated with a successful career in engineering
  • an increased level of knowledge about some of the challenges associated with different branches of engineering
  • a better understanding of which pathways in higher education will prepare them for engineering-related careers

Dr. Paula Rees, Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center, Director, Engineering Diversity Programs

July 10 - 30

Now celebrating its 37th year, White Mountain Summer Dance Festival offers three weeks of intensive dance training at its new home on the campus of UMass Amherst. WMSDF is an exploration of movement and creativity for students, educators, and anyone looking to enrich and deepen his or her understanding of the moving body and the creative process. Classes include:

  • Ballet
  • Modern/Contemporary
  • Anatomy/Kinesiology
  • Repertory (with weekend concert performance opportunities)
  • Choreography/Composition
  • Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis
  • Yoga
  • Pre-technique (strength, flexibility and conditioning)

Enrollment is limited to 40 resident participants to ensure a four-to-one student-to-faculty ratio.

For more information, visit the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival official website.

Assistant Professor Paul Dennis, Department of Music and Dance



Session 2 - July 24th-August 6th

Did you ever wonder how the computer generated worlds of major motion pictures and video games are made?

Autodesk Maya, the leading generator of 3D animation assets, has come to dominate the entertainment industry.  This two-week course will introduce you to the basics of computer animation and 3D modeling. For anyone interested in developing a career as a 3D animator, this course provides the necessary foundation from which all specialties are launched.

Maya has been used to create graphics for many cinematic films, including Academy Award winners The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Avatar, Hugo, Rango, and Gravity.  It is also used to create visual effects for television programs, including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Bones, and Boardwalk Empire.  Maya is involved in creating visual effects for video games, including Halo 4, Tomb Raider, and many more.

Our course provides a thorough introduction to Autodesk Maya's modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering capabilities that will help new users make the most of this sophisticated application.

In this course, you will learn about the Autodesk Maya user interface, and you'll learn to work with lighting, shading, and polygon and NURBS modeling.  You will receive an introduction to Mental Ray in Maya, and you will learn to work with the UV Texture Editor.  In addition, you will learn how to apply the tools of other programs like Photoshop CS6 and Adobe After Effects to the Autodesk Maya software.

You will:

  • develop a complete understanding of the Autodesk Maya interface
  • create several 3D polygon models
  • learn lighting, materials, and shading using Photoshop CS6 to add textures
  • learn how to use cameras and rendering using Adobe After Effects to finalize your projects
  • learn how the Maya program is used in the entertainment industry as well as in fine art
  • watch films that have used the tools of Maya
  • complete a short animation

Ryan MacDonald, Lecturer, Department of Art

This hands-on course will guide students to see that entrepreneurship is everywhere and for everyone. Students will be given frameworks to think about creating something new that solves a problem in the world, such as a product, a business, a nonprofit, or any new kind of organization. Working in teams, students will then be given access to resources to begin implementing their ideas. We will cover all stages of the entrepreneurial process, from gathering intel in the “real world” to pitching ideas and working with mentors to finding sources of funding. A visit to the UMass 3D printing lab and field trips to local incubators and accelerators such as Valley Venture Mentors and TechSpring in Springfield, MA are included. Graduation from this course will be a demonstration of each team's solution to fellow summer program students and UMass Entrepreneurship mentors.

Birton Cowden, Associate Director, Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship

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Do you love crime shows? Do you love science? Have you ever wondered “How do forensic scientists do that?” If so, then the Summer Pre-College Forensic Chemistry program at UMass Amherst is perfect for you!

This program emphasizes current scientific techniques in the areas of forensic chemistry and biology. Students will learn and apply the scientific principles behind the crime-solving techniques used by real forensic scientists. Students interested in a career in forensics will gain an understanding of the education, training, and other requirements needed to get hired. Attendees will conduct experiments, interpret their results, and communicate the results of their tests. Topics explored during the course may include: drug chemistry, fire debris analysis, toxicology, biology, DNA analysis, and fingerprint analysis. The differences between fictional forensic shows and what happens in real life will also be discussed.

Students will have the opportunity create their very own professional scientific poster based on research they conduct about an area of forensics of interest to them. The poster will be presented to their peers on the last day of the course. In addition to lab work, students may have the opportunity to visit a real crime laboratory and hear guest lectures from experts in the field of forensics.

A pre-requisite of high school chemistry is required. Applicants with both demonstrable financial need and academic merit may apply for a partial scholarship. See Program Fees for more information.

Raina Kittilstved, Department of Chemistry


The Human Health and Movement (Kinesiology) program is a two-week hands-on program that explores exercise science, health and fitness. This activity-based curriculum will introduce the concepts that students in the field of Kinesiology will need to master to become certified physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and fitness professionals. Participants will have short lecture sessions to introduce testing techniques such as blood pressure, body composition and flexibility and will then practice their skills with their peers. Student will complete their own health profiles and will have a personal trainer assist in designing and implementing an individualized exercise program that will help them achieve their fitness goals.

The format of the program is a few introductory lectures followed by several hands-on lab experiments that will provide student-centered team learning experiences. Some of the labs will include off-site locations were we can test different variables in the surrounding community.

The nutrition component of this program includes identifying foods that fuel the body for effective training and a potential creative cooking competition.

Throughout this program, students can expect to:

  • Gain a working knowledge of muscles and bones
  • Explore their fitness levels through testing
  • Develop a personalized fitness plan
  • Gain an understanding of training and mobility techniques
  • Identify current fitness trends and establish a practice for safe exercise
  • Experience nutrition through menu planning and healthy eating
  • Apply the principles of health and fitness to create a lifetime plan for healthy living
  • Understand the future pathway for education and career opportunities in the field of Kinesiology

Important Safety Information
Due to the physical activity involved in this program, students will be required to complete a medical health history and sign an additional “informed consent” form prior to attending this program. Participants under the age of 17 years old will need a parent signature for the informed consent.

Thomas St. Laurent, Lecturer, Department of Kinesiology

During this two-week program, we will build a ground-up understanding of observational astronomy to explore the nature of observations and the foundations of astronomy as a modern science. We'll learn to understand observations from both space and ground telescopes, surveying the state of current observations to better understand all the constituents of the universe. We'll have the opportunity to take images with the 16 inch telescope at the UMass Orchard Hill Observatory during several night observing sessions. We'll examine the Universe as a zoo, studying different unique objects in the universe, from planets to stars to black holes to galaxies to the Universe itself. Students will spend time in interactive lectures that are problem-solving based and in labs, doing experiments and getting a hands-on understanding of what professional astronomers do.

Prof. Stephen Schneider, Department of Astronomy

Where does water go when it rains? Where does your drinking water come from? Where does water end up when you flush a toilet? In this 2-week course we will explore these questions and the nature of hydrology from a Geosciences perspective.

You will spend half of your days in the field across the Pioneer Valley learning about the geologic and hydrologic processes that shape the watersheds around us, developing an understanding of how watersheds function, especially the interplay between the different types of surface and subsurface storage reservoirs for water. We will actively take measurements of water flux and water chemistry in forests, wetlands, and from monitoring wells in the subsurface. We will take advantage of laboratory facilities in the Geosciences Department and across campus to analyze and interpret data collected during our field experiences.

Students will come away from the course with a wide variety of hands-on field experiences and a real-world understanding and appreciation of the role of geologic processes that shape how water across the Commonwealth moves on, through, and beneath our feet.

Associate Professor David Boutt, Department of Geosciences

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6-Week Research Intensives

June 26th - August 6th

Our competitive 6-week summer Research Intensives program places high-achieving high school students in professional working labs alongside distinguished faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in state-of-the-art labs. We offer placements in Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Conservation, Physics, Psychology and Food Sciences.

Students eligible to apply should have grades of B or above in mathematics and science courses as well as an interest in majoring in the biological Sciences. Applicants should indicate their top 3 lab choices and reason for interest in the personal statement portion of the application.

Interested in research but can't make the 6 week commitment? Try a 1-week program such as Neuroscience: Understanding Your Brain, Genetic Engineering & GMO's, or Biotech Boot Camp; or a 2-week program such as Particle Physics, Science of Water & Watersheds, or Forensic Chemistry.

Click for Available Labs

Why Pre-College at UMass Amherst?

UMass Amherst is a top research university located in the scenic Pioneer Valley. We offer courses in all kinds of topics with outstanding faculty. Our facilities are top notch, featuring award-winning dining, brand-new accommodations, and cutting edge facilities.

Pre-college programs at UMass combine all the major elements of college, including great academics, living in a residence hall, and eating in our award-winning dining commons. Of course, it takes a little help to adjust to life on a college campus, so we have great live-in program assistants who are specially trained to help you get used to a new environment, both geographic and social. We have lots of great events in the evenings and on weekends that help you connect with other pre-college students.

The bulk of the weekdays are focused on your academic subject. Our offerings are below. You can see there is a wide range of great courses to choose from. UMass faculty and grad students represent the dedication of UMass Amherst to top-quality research and teaching. These courses will make you think. They will also give you a chance to try out various fields before having to decide on a major when you get to college. What is it really like to be a chemist? What kinds of engineering options are there? What is it like to perform Shakespeare at the college level? We hope you follow your curiousity and join us this summer at UMass Amherst!

Comments from Students

I loved everything about it. I made so many friends and made so many great memories.

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I just wish it was longer!

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I loved my teacher.

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Apply

Applications for Summer 2017 will open in late December.

We accept applications from rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school who are in good academic standing and have no academic or disciplinary suspensions on their records. High school seniors who will graduate in the spring of 2017 are also welcome. Please check the course descriptions carefully for eligibility requirements.

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, but it is best to apply early as programs fill up quickly.

To apply for Summer Pre-College Programs, we require

  • A written statement of interest: a brief, one-page statement describing why you want to attend Summer Pre-College at UMass Amherst and specifically the program you have chosen. For Research Intensives, please include your top 3 lab choices and why you're interested in each one.
  • An unofficial high school transcript (PDF) including grades from fall 2016. Rising sophomores should attach a middle school transcript as well as fall grades from 2016.
  • A letter of recommendation written by a teacher or guidance counselor who can speak to your skills, abilities, maturity level and academic accomplishments that make you a suitable candidate for the program you are applying to. Letters of recommendation should be obtained by the applicant and uploaded into the online application system.
  • A $35 non-refundable application fee

White Mountain Summer Dance Festival applicants must submit a Dance History (statement of interest is optional). Your Dance History should include: your dance experience, dance education, and goals at the festival, as well as a video link (YouTube or Vimeo) - see Guidelines.

International students will be asked to provide additional information regarding TOEFL scores.

 

Student Life

Residential

Summer Pre-College students stay in a freshman residence hall in the brand-new, fully air-conditioned Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community. Each floor is assigned two Program Assistants (PAs), experienced UMass undergrads who work as RAs during the school year. The PAs act as mentors, get participants situated on campus, lead them in various activities, and give them the scoop on Res Life. A Residence Hall Director lives in the residence hall throughout the program and is on-call at night. The Residence Hall Director is a trained member of the UMass Res Life program and offers support, guidance, and night-time supervision. Residence Hall floors are single sex, and each student is assigned a roommate. We enforce an 11pm nightly curfew.

Check out a 360° room tour.

Dining

UMass Amherst is ranked #1 in the country for campus food by the Princeton Review!

Students can choose from several dining commons and cafes on campus for meals. The University’s award-winning food service provides a variety of choices (including vegetarian and vegan options) for each meal. It’s not unusual at one meal to have a choice between sushi, pho noodles, create-your own stir-fry, pizza, a pasta bar, or the deli station. Not to mention the soft-serve sundae bar. Three meals a day are included in room & board. Students can use their meal card swipes at campus cafes as well as the dining commons.

UMass Amherst Dining

Amenities

  • Recreation Center – take a break from the summer heat and enjoy a fitness class, work out in the weight room or on the exercise machines, or try the indoor jogging track.

  • W.E.B. DuBois Library – did you know UMass Amherst has the largest academic research library in Massachusetts? With 28 stories, it’s also the 2nd tallest library in the world, and has a special peregrine falcon nest on its roof. The library also features a Learning Commons with computers available for student use.

Security

All UMass Amherst residence halls are locked 24 hours per day, and campus is patrolled 24/7, seven days a week, by the UMass Police Department. Access to the Summer Pre-College residence hall is restricted to Summer Pre-College students and staff only by use of an electronic key. The residence hall security desk is manned from 5pm – 11pm Monday – Thursday, and 5pm – 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. Bed checks are performed nightly after curfew by our Program Assistants.

Co-curriculars

Twice a week, students are given an opportunity to boost their college preparedness through evening workshops in several key academic skills. Workshops may include visits from UMass and local college admissions officers.

  • Free, optional SAT and ACT Prep from Method Test Prep with yearlong access to online platform
  • College Applications

Our experienced Program Assistants will create weekly schedules of fun & inclusive evening activities – leaving room for impromptu soccer games or dance parties, of course. Sample activities include:

  • T-shirt tie-dying
  • Frisbee
  • Karaoke
  • Visit to downtown Amherst
  • Talent show
  • Spa night
  • Mason jar decorating
  • Pizza party
  • Board game night
  • Movie night

Optional Trips

We offer fun-filled weekend field trips for students to take a break from their studies and see New England. There is an additional fee for these trips. Please contact us for more information.

  • Six Flags New England – featuring several rollercoasters, thrill rides, and a water park, Six Flags is a summertime classic and makes for an excellent day of relaxation and fun with new friends.

 

Daily Life

Summer Pre-College classes run from 9am – 4pm Monday – Friday. Our programs offer a balance of lectures and hands-on learning in classrooms, labs or outdoors. A typical day might look like this:

  • 9am – 12pm: Lecture
  • 12pm – 1pm: Lunch
  • 1pm – 4pm: Project, activity or group exercise based on morning lecture

Or the day might be spent on a field trip, observing the principles of the previous day’s topic in practice.

  • 4pm – 6pm: Free time
  • 6pm: Dinner (dining Commons close 8pm)
  • 7pm – 11pm: Co-curriculars / College prep workshops / Free time

Amherst Area

Amherst, Massachusetts offers the perfect blend of New England charm and cosmopolitan culture and energy – that’s why it’s been named one of the “top college towns in North America.” As a large, bustling university in the heart of a small town, UMass Amherst has the best of both worlds, and summer is the best time to visit. Amherst is home to the Emily Dickinson museum, the Eric Carle Museum, the Yiddish Book Center, and a host of restaurants, independent bookstores and cinemas.

 

Program Fees

*2017 Program Fees Coming Soon*

2016 PROGRAM FEES

Application Fee $35 - All Applicants

Fees for One-Week Intensives

  • Program fee (with one academic credit): $725
  • One time Registration fee: $45
  • Housing and full meal plan: $502
  • Total for one week: $1,272

Fees for Two-Week Intensives

  • Program fee (with two academic credits): $1,450
  • One time Registration fee: $45
  • Housing and full meal plan: $997
  • Total for two weeks: $2,492

Fees for Three-Week Intensives

  • Program fee (with three academic credits): $2,175
  • One time Registration fee: $45
  • Housing and full meal plan: $1492
  • Total for three weeks: $3,712

Fees for Six-Week Research Intensives

  • Program fee (with six academic credits): $4,350
  • One time Registration fee: $45
  • Housing and full meal plan: $2,977
  • Total for six weeks: $7,372

Please Note: The Summer Design Academy and 3D Animation & Video Production programs have an additional $100 dollar materials fee to cover the cost of necessary tools and supplies. These come pre-packaged through the Departments of Art and Architecture.

Commuter Option
Students living in or near Amherst, MA may apply to attend as commuter students. Commuter students must have their own transportation to and from campus. A lunch-only meal plan, UCard and Rec Center access are included. Fees for 1-week programs are $870, 2-week programs are $1,647, 3-week programs are $2,425, and Research Intensives are $4,757.

For UMass Employees
Full and part-time benefited employees of the UMass system are eligible for a tuition waiver benefit for their dependents (program fees only). Full time employees receive a 50% reduction in tuition; part time employees receive a 25% reduction in tuition. The UMass system includes benefited employees at: UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, UMass Dartmouth &UMass Medical.

VISA Fees for non-immigrant, non-US residents/passport holders
I-20, SEVIS & Delivery: $350

Scholarships
A limited number of partial scholarships are available on a program-by-program basis. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit. Programs currently accepting scholarship applications are: Forensic Chemistry, Biotech Boot Camp, Sport Management, Summer Engineering Institute, and Sustainable Farming & Food Systems.

To apply for a scholarship, with the help of your parent or guardian, please write a statement addressing how receiving a scholarship would affect your ability to attend the program you have applied for. We cannot process your scholarship application until you have completed and submitted your online application (with all supporting materials). Your scholarship essay should include your application number, name, date of birth, and the name and email address of your parent or guardian. Send scholarship letters to: summerawards@provost.umass.edu

A letter of verification from a community member who is aware of your family's financial situation is helpful as we review your application. Letters from high school principals, guidance counselors, community or religious leaders, or a representative from a social service agency are all acceptable. The letter should describe the nature of your relationship and a statement verifying your financial need. This letter should be emailed to: summerawards@provost.umass.edu

Payment and Refund Policy

Confirmation of Attendance
Once accepted, housing, meal, and registration fees must be paid to hold a student’s space in the program. Payment of the housing and meal costs represents the student’s confirmation of attendance and is non-refundable. The full balance of total fees is due 2 weeks prior to the program start date.

Refund Policy
If UMass Amherst Summer Pre-College cancels a course for any reason, students receive a full refund of program, housing, meal, and registration fees. If a student withdraws from the program, refunds for the Program Fee only are provided according to the schedule below. Housing, meal, and registration fees are non-refundable.

Summer Pre-College Refund Schedule 2016

Research Intensives and Equine Management (Special Dates): June 26
Before June 12: 100%
After June 12: No refund

Session 1: July 10
Before June 26: 100%
After June 26: No refund

Session 2: July 24
Before July 10: 100%
After July 10: No refund

Withdrawals must be submitted in writing to: summercollege@provost.umass.edu

Contact us

Please don't hesistate to get in touch! We are easily reachable by email at summercollege@provost.umass.edu and by phone at 413-577-2112.