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The Cambridge Prep Experience


Our Programs

The Cambridge Prep - Courses

Course Selection


Our students choose two courses from the following list, one as a MAJOR course and one as a MINOR. Major courses meet six mornings a week and, depending on the nature of the course, include in-class time for fieldwork, labs, workshops, writing, guest speakers, group discussion, and one-to-one instruction. Major courses include homework and require some project and preparation time in the afternoon or evening. Minor courses meet three afternoons a week, with all the work contained within the class session.

Note: There is no final application deadline. We accept applications on a rolling basis until the program is full. As we begin receiving applications in September, we recommend that students apply as soon as possible for high demand courses that may fill early.



Humanities




Archeology and Anthropology Students become detectives as they reconstruct the societies, cultures, and daily lives of ancient civilizations through a mixture of labwork, analysis of artifacts in the University Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, and visits to local digs. While pondering and reconstructing the past they learn how to use Anthropological tools to analyze contemporary society, in the process identifying similarities and exposing differences between past and present.

CP



Art History Through frequent visits to museums and galleries to study canonical works of art, students receive a broad introduction to major schools of art and art theory, with special emphasis placed upon exporing a variety of critical and analytical approaches. Students learn to read works of art and analyze them according to different historical, cultural, and visual criteria.

CP



English Literature 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, informed writing. Each student engages in a close study of a Shakespeare play and presents a special project in the final week.

CP



Philosophy Taking their cue from Cambridge’s great philosophers - not least Erasmus, Francis Bacon, and Wittgenstein - students explore the deepest questions arising out of our urge to understand the human mind and the world around us. They examine and debate such issues as philosophy of mind, epistemology and metaphysics, and consciousness.

CP



The Rise and Fall of the British Empire How did a collection of small islands on the edge of Europe end up governing a quarter of the world? Why did the Empire collapse so quickly after World War II? What were the lasting consequences, for good as well as ill, of British global dominance? Students learn the dramatic stories of Kings and Queens, ruthless adventurers, pirates, soldiers, and traders, who built and lost a great Empire, and the effect it had, and continues to have, on the world.

CP



Sciences & Social Sciences




Computer Science From electrons to operating systems to Web 3.0, students are introduced to computer science as a broad, interdisciplinary subject that has revolutionized the world in which we live. They draw on linguistics, engineering, mathematics, psychology, aesthetics and design, and look at the broad cultural, political, and scientific consequences of the Information Age.

CP



Criminology 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.

CP



Entrepreneurialism 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 need, generate a business plan, canvas for support, calculate overheads, fixed and marginal costs, 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.

CP



Global Business 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 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.

CP



International Espionage 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.

CP



Law and the Economy Studying cases and statutes from the laws of Contract, Tort, Equity and Trusts, Employment, and Taxation, to name but a few, students learn how the law underpins economic systems and adapts to rapid-fire change. They practice advising corporations and drafting legislation of their own to deal with flashpoints in the global economy.

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Math and Nature 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.

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Medical Ethics Students address the ethical issues that all medical professionals have always had to confront. Working in the university in which DNA was first unraveled, they also address those that have emerged out of recent advances. They confront topics such as euthanasia, genetic engineering, cloning, doping, animal testing, and stem cell research, to understand the roles and limitations of medicine and its impact on the human experience.

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Medical Science 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.

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Molecular Biology 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.

CP



Music: Mastery and Mixing Students transition from being listeners to being arrangers and composers in this hands-on music course. They study syncopation, themes, phrasing, and grouping tempos to create their own pieces. Using music from various periods, students learn the process of layering, editing, mixing and mastering music on software (such as Garageband or Abelton) and turn tables. They hone their technical skills while learning music appreciation, history, vocabulary, styles and structures – from all periods. Final projects include a program-wide music festival. Prior musical knowledge not required.

CP



Science of the Future 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.

CP



Social Psychology 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.

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Production & Workshop




Creative Writing 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.

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Drama 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.

CP



Filmmaking With instruction from professionals, students work in small groups to brainstorm, conceive, write and produce short films (fictional, non-fictional, 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.

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Photojournalism 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 2 GB memory card. Materials fee of $175 US for Majors; $75 US for Minors.

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Speech and Debate 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.

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Studio Art 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.

CP



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