Students in lab coats studying medicine outdoors for medicine course

Courses - The Oxford Summer Seminar

Students choose one major from nine academic and creative courses offered at Oxford, or two if they are doing the "double major." Each of our summer courses at Oxford consume up to three and a half hours of material each morning. Our most popular summer program courses include Critical Thinking, International Relations, and Medicine. Each course presents rigorous material while encouraging experiential learning through activities, presentations, and interactive projects.

Full Course List

Students examine the dynamic world of business by working through specific case studies. They seek to uncover some of the keys to successful business leadership, and to discover what makes one entrepreneur succeed while another fails. By trying their hand at game theory and various negotiation tactics, they get to grips with managerial organization in all its forms.

Taking inspiration from the city’s quirky history, students seek to master different genres. They experiment with comedy, drama, horror, realism, satire, and tragedy, as well as memoir and poetry. They also tackle technical principles like characterization, dialogue, and narrative structure. One day is dedicated to the machinations of publication. Topics include copy-editing and manuscript preparation in different media. Students leave Oxford with a budding corpus of work.

How might the rise of the “selfie stick” be related to the popularity of first-person video games? What does our obsession with professional sports say about us? And why exactly is Kim Kardashian famous? This course analyzes the strange phenomena that define contemporary society through radical postmodern philosophy. Students will be challenged to engage with writers from Jean Baudrillard to Slavoj Zizek as a means of critically reassessing the world around them.

This course addresses International Relations by focusing on key issues of the day. Subjects covered include globalization and its political, economic, and social effects; environmental challenges; new forms of war and peace; the changing nature of security challenges; peacekeeping operations; the regional complexities of areas like the Middle East, Africa, and South-East Asia; and the relationships and rivalries that define global order today.

Students examine the British and American legal systems and learn how they reflect the values and institutions of their respective societies. Emphasis is placed on legal history and modes of thought, precedent-setting cases, current controversies, and the kind of first-hand courtroom observation that brings them to life. Each course includes visits to a court and sessions with lawyers.

Regardless of their interests or career paths, students gain a better understanding of how to take action and lead. Interactive workshops on goal-setting, communication, negotiation, and team-building form the core of this course. Students learn from case studies drawn from history and business, and meet with leaders from different walks of life, to gain a perspective on what it takes to lead successfully in any arena, to discover what they have to offer, and to develop confidence about their skills.

This hands-on course introduces students to key aspects of medicine 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 the variety and changing nature of careers in medicine.

Led by researchers engaged in cutting-edge work in experimental psychology, students address a different topic each morning. These include introductions to mental processes and problem solving, evolutionary psychology, clinical psychology, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. In addition to surveying various fields, students learn how research projects are developed and experiments undertaken.