W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute: 2022 Online Summer Program

In light of the pandemic, our traditional in-person program will not be offered this summer. Instead, listed below you will find a schedule, consisting of course titles and descriptions for the 2022 W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute: Online Summer Program! This online program will provide a unique and notable educational opportunity, which includes college-level classes designed to strengthen and reinforce both your scholarly interests and academic development. The classes will be taught by highly respected members of the Institute’s faculty from distinguished academic and research institutions throughout the country.

Students can apply for more than one course. However, given that space in each course is limited to 20 students, finalists will be assigned to a course before additional courses are granted. Rolling admissions thereafter will be based on available space. Each course runs for 7 class days (EXCLUDING WEEKENDS & July 4th). The total cost for each student participating in the Online Summer Program will be $350.00 per course. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a digital certificate of program completion. 

Students participating in the Online Summer Program can select from the following curricular offerings: 

All courses below are subject to change.

Pre-Scholar Online Course Offerings


Pre-Scholar Online Course Descriptions

Introduction to Biology

Effective Writing
Session 1: June 27th - July 6th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Effective Writing is an introduction to reading and writing on the college level that focuses on the skills needed to become analytical, serious, and effective writers. This course will familiarize students with texts written by notable thinkers and/or writers (past and present) committed to social impartiality, and make students cognizant of the cultural and political conversations that are dominating societies across the globe. While learning what it truly means to read and think critically, students will also realize how writing is an influential tool in eliminating many of the injustices plaguing our world today. Lastly, students will leave this summer knowing how to explore and develop an idea; write a sound response (argument) to a text.

Critical Reading

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course will focus on adapting appropriate reading strategies for different contexts. Together, we will explore a research topic through a range of texts including journalistic news, popular commentary, scholarly argument, and multimedia to consider the strategies that work best for engaging these different texts. Additionally, students will develop a repertoire of reading skills that are appropriate for digital and print texts respectively. As a class, we will work to utilize these various reading strategies to put different texts in dialogue with one another in an academic discussion.

Math Logic

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
Math logic is human logic. In this course students will be encouraged to think about how to mathematically represent different aspects of human world—biological and social—while striking a balance between brevity and detail, between models and mirrors. From Immanuel Kant to the metaverse, this course aims to challenge students to think about how humans seek to impose order on a very messy world and the extent to which this imposition is rooted in the logic(s) of math. The course traces the power and limits of the positivist categorial imperative: through inferential statistics, the basics of social network analysis, the politics of algorithms, and the possibilities of virtual and augmented reality. The foundation of all of these seemingly disparate phenomena lies with the logic of math.  

Getting to Know the Self 

Session 3: July 18th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course will explore the subject of self and social change. Considering social constructions like race, religion and gender, we seek to answer questions like: How have social constructions shaped our character development and consciousness? In what ways are individuals socialized within their families, among friends, and larger society? What are twenty-first century concerns and how might we address them in a way that affirms all life forms — human and nonhuman?  This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to discuss why social change is needed now more than ever and how it happens.

The Long Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement & Beyond

Session 3: July 18th - July 26th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This survey course will present an overview of African American history from the moment of emancipation through the post-civil rights era. This course examines how African Americans have engaged in a persistent and consistent effort for freedom by exploring the challenges and advancements of African Americans from emancipation through the twentieth century. It will also detail how historical thought about these periods has changed and how the narrative of African American history both adds to and challenges the generally understood narrative of American History.

Scholar Online Course Offerings & Descriptions

We Create Them, We Solve Them: Contemporary Social Problems

Session 1: June 27th - July 6th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course presents fundamental sociological concepts, theories and methods used to analyze and study major social problems in contemporary society. We will examine issues including: the origins of deviant behaviors, such as crime; structured inequalities surrounding race, class, and gender; healthcare systems; the impact of music on teen behavior; and how the American educational system maintains and (re)produces social inequities . Students will write a short individual essay using a sociological framework to analyze and manage a social problem of their own choosing. Topics may include issues ranging from the impact of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic on maintaining friendships; to managing self-esteem through social media responses such as the amount of "likes" and "tags" a user receives.receives.

The Power of Place: African American History & Culture

Session 1: June 27th - July 6th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This course illuminates the relationship between African American history and culture. Moving chronologically from slavery through the Modern Black Freedom Movement, this course explores the development of African American culture and African American efforts for full citizenship by highlighting the history of key cites and places. This course outlines and analyzes significant moments in the formation of African American identity and culture.

Immigration & Migration in a Changing World
Session 1: June 27th - July 6th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST

It may appear that immigration and migration is a contemporary issue. The topic of immigration has certainly taken center stage in the current political climate with much contested debate around who should and should not be allowed in this country. In the United States, often known as a “country of immigrants,” after the 2016 presidential election in particular, immigrants are facing difficult and precarious times with more outspoken anti-immigrant sentiment towards Muslim, Latinx, African, and Asian immigrants amongst others. With the recent war against Ukraine, refugees have once again made headlines exposing racist polices towards black and brown refugees in particular. Human migrations however, and the movement of peoples, has a long, even ancient history worthy of exploration and much of which we can learn from. This course seeks to de-mystify and de-bunk assumptions and perceptions around what migration is and is not by offering historical context, understanding why people migrate, analyzing immigration policy debates and exploring the role immigrants, migrants, and refugees play in society. Immigrants and migrants have often been accused of stealing jobs from “locals,” taking advantage of resources, dragging down the economy, instigating crime, and changing cultures. In this course, we will explore each one of these assumptions. We will investigate the relationship and ties between immigrants, labor, economy, crime, violence, and culture. At the end of the course, each student will be expected to devise her/his own immigration policy.  This course is primarily anchored in the US case but we will explore other nations and what lessons they offer. 

Introduction to Immunology
Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST

This course is designed to build a foundational understanding of the immune system, its components, and its functions. This course will primarily focus on a cellular and organismal understanding of the human immune system. Structure & functions of the immune tissues, organs, and system, antibody-antigen interactions, antibody structure and function, and diseases of the immune system will all be covered throughout this course. Topics will be addressed through a combination of lectures and readings, group work, and presentations.

The Algebraic Theory of Games
Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 PM EST

This is a mathematics-based course designed to analyze situations of conflict and cooperation that arise in game theory. Game situations are applicable to philosophy, business, biology, economics, social psychology and athletics. Topics include two-person zero-sum games, two-person non-zero-sum games, and n-person games. Games will be examined using graphs, functions, matrices, and optimization. Prerequisite: Algebra 1 and 2

Leadership Typologies

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course will provide students with a rigorous introduction to various models of leadership. More specifically, we will focus on theories, methodologies, and conceptual frameworks pertaining to leadership styles and traditions. We will explore the application and praxis of leadership, which will entail lectures, virtual exercises, and training in interviewing, public presentations, and professional web presence. In addition, students will develop skills that will enhance their individual leadership profiles through the construction of resumes, cover letters, written statements, etc. The course will culminate with a leadership portfolio/dossier, which will include various elements that the students will be able to use as they prepare for school leadership roles, college and internship applications, community and public service. 

Ethics & Self Development

Session 2: July 7th - July 15th | 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST
This course will provide an interdisciplinary introduction of central theories in moral philosophy. We will explore concepts about what morality is and what moral language means. Second, we will discern moral frameworks that can be used in order to work out what kinds of actions are good and bad, right and wrong. Third, we will apply ethical theories to specific cases. In order to achieve these objectives, each student is expected to demonstrate their critical thinking abilities, both orally and in writing.  Students are also expected to reflect upon ethical ideas together with a commitment to developing their morality and exhibit openness to learning and respectful attitudes to the views of others.

Anatomy & Physiology

Session 3: July 18th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
The focus of this course is to develop a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of some of the systems of the human body. Students will learn basic human anatomy and physiology with emphasis in skeletal, muscular and nervous systems, and gain an understanding of the interrelationships of these three systems. Furthermore, students will understand the role of exercise, prevention, and disease on the functioning of the above systems.

Mathematical Model: Math Explains the World

Session 3: July 18th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
This course is designed to expose students to the principles of mathematical modeling. Topics will include problems involving the area and/or volume of geometric objects, projectile motion, specifications in manufacturing, carbon monoxide exposure, and more.  Mathematical models will be created and solutions will be presented. Prerequisite: Algebra 1 and 2

Academic Composition & Critical Reading

Session 3: July 18th - July 26th | 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EST
In this course, students will examine how rhetoric works to shape a variety of texts across multiple genres. The term “rhetoric” helps to explain how a text--verbal or visual--communicates a specific message to a specific audience in a specific context.Students will engage in analytic writing to explore relationships between ideas and how parts of texts help contribute to an author’s overall message. To this end, students will engage texts in order to describe and evaluate the choices writers make and then apply that knowledge to their own compositions.