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High School Students: Spend Summer 2016 exploring USC Dornsife majors

Enrich your summer and jump start your entry into university life.  Earn 3 units of USC elective credit with peers from across the country and around the world in Summer@USC taught by instructors from the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.  Courses offer a preview of some of the most popular majors in USC Dornsife. 

Whether you commute daily to the USC campus or stay in the freshman dorms, summer's your chance to explore interdisciplinary approaches and college-level topics.

APPLY NOW for Summer 2016:

Sample Summer 2016 Course Offerings:

Creative Writing Workshop

New to creative writing, or haven’t tried it yet? Experience the intensive yet inspiring environment of a writers’ workshop. Learn four different literary forms and analyze the literary techniques of accomplished authors in these forms. Through your own study and input from fellow workshop participants, you will learn to “read as a writer” and “write for a reader.” Above all else, this course will encourage you to experiment in order to define and refine your own voice.


  • Produce a portfolio of your own work, including a polished personal essay suitable for college applications
  • Experience the environment of a writing workshop, including peer review.


Future Physicians

Interested in becoming a physician? Gain insights into the academic preparation necessary to become a successful medical school applicant. Learn about medical training and issues affecting the practice of medicine today. "Shadow" physicians on the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.


  • Classroom experience complemented by labs, clinical sessions, and observations
  • Learn at a world-class hospital and teaching site for the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
  • Hear talks by practicing physicians about preparing for medical school, life as a resident, and career options in health care

Recommended: 2 years of high school science with grades of B or better


International Relations

Are you interested in what causes war and how we can make the world more peaceful?  Are you considering a career in diplomacy, law, conflict resolution, humanitarian aid, environmental protection, human rights, or politics?  In this course, you will examine the causes of war and what constitutes successful conflict resolution.  Examine the different stages of conflict and then apply them to the areas of the globe that have experienced war and violence.  Study the economic causes of conflict, and explore the role of individuals, popular culture, peace initiatives, governments and international organizations.  You will develop a case study of a real conflict in the world, examining its causes and proposing a peace agreement and suggestions to resolve the conflict.


  • Engage in active learning with simulations, role playing, and negotiation exercises, including a Model UN simulation
  • Examine case studies that will help you make sense of news headlines and the history of conflicts internationally
  • Visit the Museum of Tolerance as part of your exploration of genocide
  • Develop an individual case study with an eye toward practical steps in conflict resolution, a writing assignment that will prepare you for more advanced college work
  • Analyze popular culture and its role in either promoting conflict or peace (including movies, television, music, literature, and art)


Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Argumentation

Interested in learning the skills it takes to be a successful lawyer? Have you ever wondered how lawyers think, and why they think, differently from other people? Learn the skills necessary for success in legal thinking, including legal reasoning and how to relate this knowledge to everyday problems.  Attend federal and state appellate court proceedings and see these skills applied (and mis-applied) in real life. At the end of the course, you will have a portfolio of legal documents that demonstrate your experience with legal analysis and writing.


  • Analyze real legal cases
  • Attend U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and CA 2nd District Court of Appeal proceedings
  • Prepare and deliver closing oral arguments
  • Create a portfolio of legal documents that shows what you have learned
  • Hear from guest speakers who are experts in the field
  • Learn how to prepare for, apply to, and succeed in law school
  • Meet with law school admissions officers
  • Talk with USC alumni currently attending law school


Logic is the basis for how we make rational decisions in everyday life. In this course, you will learn to evaluate and structure arguments using principles of logic and reasoning. Students will engage in structured debates and analyze important contemporary issues as well as topics in philosophy and science. 


  • Classroom experience enhanced with discussions, debates, and group assignments
  • Strengthen your ability to present your ideas in essays, debates, and presentations
  • Build your analytic and argumentative skills for a competitive edge in school or a future career in almost any professional field, including law and business