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.


There is no final application deadline. We accept applications on a rolling basis until a program is full, but we do have Course Guarantee Deadlines. Students who apply to The Cambridge Prep Experience on or before February 5, 2016 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.


  • How does one make a computer think like a human? Students will immerse themselves in the technological and philosophical questions facing the burgeoning field of AI by exploring how humans and machines represent and categorize knowledge, how they approach and solve problems, and whether machines can “learn” from previous processes. Working with experts, students will address emerging developments in predictive analytics and data science, and learn how recent developments in the field make self-learning robots and driverless vehicles a reality.

  • This course examines some of the great works of English literature amidst the evocative surroundings of Cambridge. Students engage with a wealth of writers in the literary pantheon to improve their skills in close reading and clear, persuasive writing. Each student engages in a close study of a Shakespeare play and presents a special project in the final week.

  • 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.

  • What makes a “terrorist”? What makes one person a freedom fighter and another a criminal?  Can terrorism ever succeed?  How, meanwhile, can open governments fight it?  Drawing on examples ranging from late 19th-century anarchists to the rise of the non-state actor in the early 2000s, via the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Stern Gang, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, students assess the evolution of terror and counter-terrorism – their justifications, their methods, their mythologies, their networks, their successes and failures.

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 students learn how biotechnology combines principles of biology, chemistry, physics and engineering to create the products, processes, and technologies of the future, from new pharmaceuticals, genetic diagnoses, and therapies, to sustainable biofuels and genetically modified foods. Students also explore the social, ethical, and economic implications of biotechnology.

  • 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.

  • Drawing from the social as well as the commercial sector, 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, fixed and marginal cost, to estimate break-even and future value, and to manage debts and depreciation. For their final project, students identify a gap or need in the market and produce their own business and marketing plans.

  • 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 examines the techniques and practices, both past and present, of the world’s 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. Major 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 around them by exploring such phenomena as Fibonacci numbers and Phi. Students are introduced to topics such as Newtonian physics and chaos, quantum, and string theory – in which Cambridge remains at the forefront of mathematical thinking.

  • 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 main 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 the significance and consequences of such issues as genetic engineering, cloning, and gene therapy. Students undertake experiments such as DNA extraction, meet local scientists, and visit sites of particular scientific interest.

  • This course addresses cutting-edge advances in areas as diverse as atomic and molecular physics, genetic engineering, stem-cell research, nanotechnology, particle physics, astrophysics, space travel, and artificial intelligence. Students 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

  • Cambridge’s physical beauty provides students with a perfect environment in which to find inspiration, appreciate architectural history and aesthetics, and improve their design and model-making skills. Students 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 Majors; $75 US for Minors.

  • Working with a published writer, students compose fiction and poetry, exploring their own potential as they experiment with new forms and styles of writing and take inspiration from Cambridge’s rich literary history. 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 professionals and directors, students take part in workshops and master classes in areas as diverse as theory, technique, improvisation, voice, mime, movement, and script analysis. They go on to master the nuances of Shakespearean verse and interpretation in order to prepare for a full performance of a Shakespeare play 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 editing software. Students screen their films at the end of the program. Lab fee of $300 US for Majors; $150 US for Minors.

  • With an emphasis on creative and narrative photojournalism, students receive guidance in landscape, portraiture, and artistic photography, helping them record their exploration of English culture, country, and character, and produce a comprehensive photojournal of their experiences. The class culminates in a formal exhibition in the final week. Students require their own digital camera, with USB cable, charger, manual, and at least one 4 GB memory card. Materials fee of $175 US for Majors; $75 US for Minors.

  • Students practice major debating styles and strategies, engage in daily speaking exercises, orations, dialogues, and prepare and present regular debates. The culmination of the course is a formal debate in the historic debating chamber of The Cambridge Union Society, the oldest university debating society in the world, founded in 1815.

  • Whether beginners or more advanced, students spend much of their time outside the studio, sketching medieval towers, capturing pastoral landscapes, practicing their portrait skills, or discovering masterpieces in such locations as the Fitzwilliam Museum, while receiving formal instruction in sketching and painting in a variety of media. Students exhibit their best work at the end of the program. Materials fee of $250 US for Majors; $150 US for Minors.