Summer College Courses for High School Students at Lesley University

Calling all rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors—looking for a better way to spend your time this summer? Here's an idea: Take courses in topics that interest you at Lesley's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Art and Design. 

Through Lesley University's Pre-College Courses, spend up to two weeks commuting to our campus to explore your passions alongside people who are as driven and creative as you are. Study in the center of one of the world's best college towns—Cambridge, Massachusetts—just minutes from Boston. And get a head start on your future by earning up to four transferable college credits.

    Pre-College Lesley Summer Course Schedule

    Course Descriptions

    Choose from topics in the arts, creative writing, media studies, and more. Courses begin on July 15 or July 22, and may run for one or two weeks. We've made it easy for you to enroll in more than one course by providing Week 1 and Week 2 sessions as well as morning and afternoon scheduling options. Select courses are in an all-day format.

    The cost and number of credits per course are included within course descriptions. 

    July 15-19

    • Art Therapy Perspectives

      This course provides an introduction to the history, philosophy, and theory of art therapy. Students will learn about the creative process and visual expression through experiential exercises, readings, lectures, and film. This course will focus on the use of art therapy in studios and communities. No artistic ability or training is necessary.

      Schedule

      • July 15-19 | 1 credit 
      • Mornings | 9:30 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit 
      • $30 registration fee
      • $10 materials fee
    • Math Around the World

      In this class, students will take an imaginary trip around the world, stopping at points along the way to explore mathematical concepts in cultural and historical context, through games, puzzles, art, music, and other activities connected to historic persons or mathematical events from the designated cultures. Students will also learn about the very practical mathematics involved in traveling around the world as they complete this journey, including map projections, money exchange, and the international date line.

      Schedule

      • July 15-19 | 1 credit
      • Mornings | 9:30 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Screenwriting

      Writing a great screenplay begins with great characters. In this one-week class, learn how to create unforgettable characters, introduce the protagonist’s goal, set the tone for the film, and establish the dramatic situation. Begin with an overview of narrative structure and character arcs. Explore different genres and story types. View scenes from films and television shows. From there, develop characters and write scenes that set up the story world and hook the reader into wanting to know what happens next. Learn to create well-rounded and complex characters and write authentic dialogue. Examine ways to use visual imagery to convey action, and discover ways to integrate exposition and character backstory in the opening sequence of a screenplay for a short film, feature, or television pilot.

      Schedule

      • July 15-19 | 1 credit 
      • Mornings | 9:30 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Fiction Writing

      Do you love reading? Ever dreamt of crafting stories of your own? In this introductory course, faculty will guide you through the major elements of fiction writing. You’ll learn how to craft killer plots that’ll keep your readers from ever putting your book down. We’ll explore how to create memorable characters through the use of dialogue, action, thought, and the mixing and matching of all three. And we’ll even tackle the trickier aspects of telling a story: things like how to choose a suitable point of view and how to build a world so lifelike that readers will swear they’ve been there themselves.

      Schedule

      • July 15-19 | 1 credit
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
    • Science and Pop Culture Icons

      Studying popular fictional characters provides a fun and engaging alternative to textbook case studies. In this class, we will use pop culture characters like superheroes, zombies, TV series/movie icons to understand anatomy and physiology. Through lectures, discussions and activities, students will explore what it means to be a modern Dr. Frankenstein or a super villain trying to find ways to beat our superhero.

      Schedule

      • July 15-19 | 1 credit
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee

    July 22-26

    • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

      GIS are computer-based systems used to collect, store and analyze geographic information. This course will present the basic concepts and applications of GIS. Through lectures and labs, the student will gain an understanding of GIS and how it can be used to create maps, how to analyze data and how to tell stories using data. Other related technologies, such as spatial data acquisition, basic data structures, data sources, data quality, map projections, spatial cartographic layout will be explored.

      Schedule

      • July 22-26 | 1 credit
      • Mornings | 9:30 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
    • It’s Not Easy Being Green

      In this class we will evaluate the science behind common actions we take to “be green” to understand the true costs and benefits of our choices. Explore what it means to recycle, to go vegetarian, to buy local.

      Schedule

      • July 22-26 | 1 credit
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee

    July 15-26

    • Design Your Personal Brand (Graphic Design)

      Have you ever wondered what it takes to design a brand? Or how to make information visual (and meaningful)? This hands-on intensive course offers you the opportunity to develop your own personal brand and design an infographic poster about yourself. The goal is to translate who you are as a person into a conceptual and visually dynamic design. Guided by faculty, you’ll be immersed in the complete design process including conceptual development through professional design execution. Projects will incorporate hand-based sketching processes and digital design tools such as Adobe Illustrator.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 8:45 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Designing Playful Interactions for Mobile Devices (Interactive Design)

      Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a mobile app? Or how to create a digital interface that humans will use? This hands-on intensive course teaches basic interactive design skills to create fun and playful experiences for a mobile device. Students will learn how to sketch, design, prototype and user-test an interactive app that seeks to engage and delight the people who use it. Guided by faculty, you will be exposed to a variety of prototyping techniques using materials such as paper, cardboard, and digital design tools (including Marvel and Adobe XD). Knowledge of coding and/or programming is not necessary for this course.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-6:15 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Digital Animation 3D

      This course is an introduction to 3D vector-drawn modeling. Basic techniques of modeling, lighting, texture-mapping, and animation are covered. This powerful application allows the student to create hyper-realistic virtual worlds, which can be navigated with ease.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 8:45 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Drawing & Drumming

      This course introduces the fundamental aspects of drawing with a unique twist. Many visual artists, such as Piet Mondrian and Jean-Michel Basquiat, were influenced by rhythmic patterns and music in general. Using these visual and musical connections as inspiration, this course will explore both the visual and aural characteristics of a range percussion instruments. Basic drawing techniques such as contour line, blocking/planar analysis, and value will be taught using the percussion instruments as still-life subject matter. As part of the course, we will also learn to play the instruments with a focus on basic Afro-Cuban rhythms. The class will end with a critique of the finished drawings and a drum circle/ensemble performance.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 8:45 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Experimental Handmade Photography

      Students make handmade photographs using Alternative Process techniques. Images can be sourced from digital files or film. The focus of the class will be on how the process changes the meaning of the photograph through its alteration. Possible processes utilized include: Cyanotype, Salt, Van Dyke, Ziatype, emulsion lifts, and Purell transfers. Experience in photography is not necessary, although enthusiasm is. Students must have their own photographic digital files or negatives. Students will leave with a grasp of multiple photographic processes and a small portfolio of unique prints. Two college credits will be awarded after successful course completion.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 8:45 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Science on Film: Documenting Urban Ecology

      Amy Mertl & Shaun Clarke (visiting Professor from Emerson College) In this interdisciplinary course, students interested in science, art, film and public education will work together to produce short documentary pieces focused on aspects of current environmental topics relevant to the local community. Students will study and research the science while also learning the basics of planning, filming and editing documentary pieces though hands-on practice. Students will collaborate to produce digital stories focused on teaching aspects of their scientific topics through local stories and interviews. This course will involve active group work: planning and conducting shoots, reviewing footage, editing and re-editing pieces, and preparing a final piece.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 9:00 am-12:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Storyboarding for Animators

      This course will cover the history of storyboarding in animation and how it has developed and is used today. Students will see examples of storyboards from the early age of animation through current film and television production. Throughout the course, the language of storyboarding mechanics will be discussed and shown and students will create multiple boards using these theories and principles. The relationship between writing, boarding and directing will be explored in depth also.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Mornings | 8:45 am-1:00 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Animation Essentials

      Challenge yourself to explore a wide range of animation concepts, professional techniques, and principles to create movement and action. Apply professional animation techniques such as stop-motion animation, frame-by-frame animation, chalkboard animation, and paper puppetry. Gain a working knowledge of Dragonframe animation software and digitization terminals while also developing projects, participating in screenings, and engaging in class discussions. All studio materials are included. One college credit will be awarded after successful course completion.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | Animation Essentials
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-6:15 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Darkroom Techniques

      In Darkroom Technique students will explore the magic of the darkroom. This course is designed to introduce or expand students' understanding of traditional Black and White photography. We will discuss a variety of techniques in creating both negatives and prints, while also familiarizing ourselves with the creative and technical aspects of these processes. We will be developing film and learning to make traditional Black and White darkroom prints. Different format cameras, lighting scenarios and genres will be explored. By the end of the course you should have a thorough understanding of black and white photography, both technically and conceptually. Students will leave with a small portfolio of Black and White photographic prints. Two college credits will be awarded after successful course completion.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-6:15 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • Illustration Now + the Visual Narrative

      Take a look around, Illustration is everywhere in our world! You’ll find Illustration on book covers, and in graphic novels and comics, on food and beverage packaging, and heavily integrated into the fashion, film and gaming industries too!

      Illustration Now + The Visual Narrative, is an introductory course to the professional field of illustration and to creating visual forms that utilize a meaningfully connected series of images. The most basic of these is the simple narrative book, which tells a story moving through time from point A to point B in a linear sequence of words and/or pictures. But there are many ways to tell a story, and a narrative book may involve multiple points of view, flashback and flash forward, and or repetition and rhythm. Utilizing your knowledge of drawing, design, and style, you will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to visually communicate your ideas. As an artist/author you have innumerable tools to propel the story and compel a reader.

      Throughout this course you will be exposed to a diverse range of contemporary illustrators and illustration techniques. You’ll also engage in visual problem solving, experimentation and exploration through individual and collaborative-based projects. All studio materials are included.

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-6:15 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee
    • What You Should Know About the Media

      In a world where the mass media (internet, radio, TV, movies, books, etc.) are so influential, how do we know what is factual and what is not? In this course, we'll study the history of our major forms of media, learn about some pioneering journalists and broadcasters, and find out how to avoid being fooled by "fake news."

      Schedule

      • July 15-26 | 2 credits
      • Afternoons | 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee

    July 15-26 | All Day

    • Storyteller: Intro to Digital Filmmaking

      This course provides a basic understanding of how films are made and produced. Course instruction will provide technical training in film production and post-production software. Students will develop a foundation of skills and sensibilities specific to cinematography. Technical exercises, critiques of student work, and discussions of narrative film, art cinema, documentary, and experimental works--all created by artists--will inform each student's personal vision and craft. Elements of composition, lighting, editing, and sound will be presented in class as students work towards the creation of a final short film to be screened at the end of the semester critique. This is an introductory course for non-majors.

      Schedule

      • July 15-25 (M-TH only)* | 3 credits
      • All day | 9:00 am-5:30 pm

      Costs

      • $325 per credit
      • $30 registration fee
      • $20 materials fee

    How to Register

    Registration is easy—simply submit your course selections through one of the online forms below (after creating a quick and secure account). Limited spaces are available. Register soon.

    First, choose the right form:

    New students (you've never taken a Lesley course before)

    Step 1: Create a dynamic form account

    Step 2: Use the account login you just created to complete the pre-college registration form

    Returning students (you've taken a Lesley course before)

    Use your existing Lesley login to complete this form (if you don't remember your Lesley login, follow the links on the form to reset your password).

     

    After you submit your registration form, you will get two emails—the first will confirm that we've received your form. The second email will verify your registration and next steps.

    If you have any problems registering, please feel free to reach out to us directly.

    Thanks for choosing Lesley as one of your summer adventures. See you in July!

    Questions?
    Contact the Lesley Pre-College