Course Directory


Our students choose any two courses on the following pages, one as a MAJOR course and one as a MINOR (WORKSHOP in New York). Major courses meet six mornings a week and, depending on the course, include in-class time for fieldwork, labs, workshops, guest speakers, group discussions, and one-on-one instruction. They also include homework and require project and preparation time outside of class. Minor courses meet three afternoons a week, with no homework and all work contained within the class session. A Minor course offers a sample of a different subject than the Major and most students find their Minor a welcome opportunity to try a new subject for the first time.

COURSE GUARANTEE DATES

There is no final application deadline. We accept applications on a rolling basis until a program is full, but we do have Course Guarantee Dates. Students who apply to The Cambridge Prep Experience on or before February 3, 2017 and are accepted to the program have their first choice of courses guaranteed, subject to enrollment minima. As we begin receiving applications in September, we recommend that students apply as soon as possible for courses that may fill early.

Humanities

  • 1789 revolutionized the language of politics just as industrialization was beginning to revolutionize the way mankind lived. Working from primary sources, students discover how different parts of Europe reacted to these twin challenges, focusing on revolutions, on the devastating conflicts that, so often, pitted new against old and, in the twentieth century, descended into madness and mass murder. At the same time they discover how society adapted to change, with the emergence of universal education, parliamentarianism, and massconsumerism. As a final project, students debate the future of Europe in the wake of Brexit and the ongoing refugee crisis.

  • This fusion of international relations, law, political science, and war studies challenges students to understand the order and disorder of the modern world. Technological connectivity and the spread of democracy has streamlined and strengthened global culture. But the rise of rogue states and the clash of civilizations in the Middle East has presented more challenges to the unity of nations than ever before. The Major course builds toward a Model UN.

Sciences & Social Sciences

  • Addressing the omnipresence of advertising and marketing, students assess the power of suggestion, persuasion, and product placement. Using a range of case studies and creative examples, they explore early salesmanship, modern advertising, branding, and the use of new media. Balancing creative skills with business acumen, they engage in branding exercises, interactive sales games, and the design and development of their own advertising campaign.

  • In this hands-on course, through a mixture of experimentation and problem-solving, students are initiated to college-level chemistry and introduced to fundamental
    concepts such as stoichiometry, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gas laws, atomic structure, the periodic table, and chemical bonding.

  • Students learn the fundamentals of the true language of the 21st century – coding. Following an introduction to programming and its core concepts, they learn to code via hands-on projects in robotics, video games, and web and app design. Students are exposed to a variety of programming languages, including Python, Ruby on Rails, and C++, and choose one language to focus on for a final project. Students visit university computer science laboratories and local tech start-ups. Lab fee of $150 US for the Major, $75 US for the Minor.

  • How did the universe come into being, and how will it end? What is the universe made of? What is space, and what is time? Cosmology takes as its subject nothing less than the entirety of the universe – its evolution, origin, and structure. Students examine the development of galaxies, the shining of stars, and the Big Bang theory. They also venture into the unresolved mysteries of space, including black holes and dark matter. Cambridge has hosted an unbroken chain of cosmologists from Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking. Where better to gain a foundation in this fascinating subject?

  • Through workshops, debates, and visits to police stations and criminal courts, students explore individual and social theories of crime, philosophies of punishment, criminal profiling, incident analysis, and basic forensic science. They consider the causes of crime, the influence of the media upon crime, and issues of race and gender within the context of the British and American criminal justice systems.

  • Students learn the principles of engineering science. Both world-renowned and local examples are examined as students apply them to a variety of case studies to solve mechanical, structural, and architectural problems. They complete the course by designing a model engineering project of their own.

  • Students discover what makes and drives entrepreneurs, what rules they should follow, and which ones to defy. They learn how to identify demand, generate a business plan, canvas for support, calculate overhead, determine fixed and marginal cost, estimate break-even and future value, and manage debts and depreciation. They identify a gap or need in the market and produce their own business and marketing plans before launching pop-up businesses.

  • At the University from which the Cambridge Five were recruited, and in which the world’s most famous fictional spy, James Bond, studied, this course, which blends politics and history with practice, examines the methods and techniques of the great intelligence services – Mossad, the KGB, the CIA, MI5, and MI6. Students address the future of intelligence operations, the challenges of field work, and the ethics of espionage in terms of international cooperation, competition, and conflict.

  • Students explore the tools and structures of international commerce, focusing on free enterprise, economic development, and engagement with the global marketplace. Visiting the renowned Cambridge Judge Business School, students obtain first-hand experience of a cutting-edge business education. Course projects include real-life case studies, a stock exchange investment game, and the design of a start-up venture.

  • Students discover how the British and American legal systems reflect the values and institutions of their respective societies. They consider precedent-setting cases and delve into various branches of legal practice. Through meetings with lawyers, legal scholars, and human rights advocates, and through visits to working courtrooms, they discover how lawyers turn theory into practice. The Major course culminates in a formal moot court competition.

  • How does math arise in and apply to nature? Students look at algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, and then examine the presence of math in the world by exploring phenomena like Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Ratio. Students are introduced to topics such as Newtonian physics and chaos, quantum, and string theory – Cambridge is at the forefront of thinking in all these subjects.

  • This hands-on course introduces students to key aspects of medical science and modern medical practice. Combining specialist lectures with experiments and class discussions, students learn the principles of human anatomy and physiology, the pathology and significance of certain diseases, the main challenges that medical science faces today, and are introduced to the wide and growing range of possible careers in medicine.

  • After reviewing molecular structure, cell biology, and the function and operation of genes and proteins, students analyze the factors underlying diseases and explore topics such as genetic engineering, cloning, and gene therapy. They visit laboratories, undertake experiments such as DNA extraction, and meet local experts.

  • Students discover how the earliest humans lived; how they adapted to and developed their environment; why they created art, the functions it served, and the purposes of the first religions. The course ranges from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age. Students explore approaches to unraveling humanity’s origins and gain hands-on experience of prehistoric collections at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.

  • This course addresses cutting-edge issues at the fringes of science. Participants study advances in diverse areas, including atomic and molecular physics, artificial intelligence, astrophysics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, particle physics, space travel, and stem-cell research. They identify the possible futures that science and technology are creating for humankind, and debate how these will affect our daily lives, our society, and our planet.

  • This course focuses on human behavior and individual development within a social context. Students are introduced to major themes, including stereotyping and prejudice, cross-cultural differences, the dynamics of cooperation and conflict, conformity and persuasion, attraction, and the role of the individual within the crowd. Through case studies and interactive experiments, participants gain an introduction to psychology and learn to analyze their own peer-group dynamics.

  • Combining specialist lectures with experiments and class discussions, and led by professionals, students discover some of the key elements of veterinary science, such as how inquiry into animal behavior, biochemistry, biology, nutrition, reproduction, and physiology, improve animal health, productivity, and welfare. They also address the main challenges the discipline faces today, and learn about the variety of careers in the field.

Production & Workshop

  • Thanks to the digital revolution, a medium once mocked as the poor cousin of film has become a crucial component of the entertainment industry. Participants study the genre’s history from flip-books to Flash, via film, digital video, clay, and GIF. Alongside they write, story-board, and create their own animated short in a medium of their choosing under the guidance of a professional animator. Lab fee of $150 US for the Major, $75 US for the Minor.

  • Cambridge’s beauty provides students with the perfect environment in which to find inspiration, appreciate architectural history and aesthetics, and improve their design and model-making skills. They develop a portfolio of sketches before turning ideas and designs into three-dimensional models to display in the program’s Arts Exhibition. Lab fee of $150 US for the Major; $75 US for the Minor.

  • Students compose fiction and poetry under the guidance of a published writer, with Cambridge’s rich literary history as their inspiration. They explore their own potential by experimenting with new forms and styles of writing. Successful poets and writers give workshops in which students learn about the creative process and the practicalities of publication. Students develop a portfolio of their best writing and collaborate to design, edit, and publish a literary magazine.

  • Taught by classically-trained actors and directors, and addressing areas as diverse as improvisation, mime, movement, script analysis, technique, theory, and voice, students master the nuances of Shakespearean verse and interpretation in order to prepare for a full performance at the end of the program. From auditions and casting to rehearsals and the final curtain call, Major class students participate in a full-scale Shakespeare production in the same way as a professional repertory company. Production fee of $125 US for Majors only.

  • With instruction from professionals, students work in small groups to brainstorm, conceive, write, and produce short films (fiction, non-fiction, documentary, or experimental), which they shoot with digital video cameras and edit with professional software. Students screen their films at the end of the program. Lab fee of $300 US for Majors; $150 US for Minors.

  • Students receive guidance in artistic, landscape, and portraiture photography. This helps them record their exploration of England and its culture, and to produce a comprehensive photographic record of their experiences. The class culminates in a formal exhibition. Students need their own DSLR camera with USB cable, charger, and at least one 8 GB memory card. Materials fee of $175 US for Majors; $75 US for Minors.

  • In 21st-century working life, everyone will at some point be asked to deliver a presentation, regardless of their occupation. Being an effective and persuasive speaker requires flawless communication skills – verbal, nonverbal, and written. Students learn how to prepare and deliver compelling speeches to a large and critical audience. The syllabus covers the core principles of communication, the history of rhetoric, and techniques for overcoming speech anxiety. Students gain a sense of how to structure and organize information, skills of decision-making and leadership, and knowledge of how to present their ideas effectively.

  • Students on this course spend much of their time outside the studio. They sketch medieval towers, capture pastoral landscapes, practice their portrait skills, and discover masterpieces in locations like the Fitzwilliam Museum. Meanwhile they receive formal, professional instruction in sketching and painting in a variety of media. Their best work is exhibited at the end of the program. Materials fee of $250 US for Majors; $150 US for Minors.