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Summer Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Monday-Thursday, 10 am – 3 pm
6 weeks, late June to early August

New York City students who in the summer are rising seniors, meet Queens College’s minimum requirements, are recommended by an English AP or teacher at their school, and are eligible to participate. 

Students who complete the program earn four (4) college credits, transferable to CUNY, SUNY or private colleges.

The Summer Institute for the Humanities & Social Sciences runs during the college’s summer session, Monday through Thursday. The program is designed to address high school students’ academic, cultural and social interests and needs. 

In the mornings, participants attend one of three 3-credit college courses, taught by QC faculty. This class is followed by a study/discussion time, facilitated by upper-level QC students, trained as mentors. On four occasions, the study time will be replaced with an academic library research class. On five occasions, the study time will be replaced by a video production class.

After a common lunch period, on two afternoons per week, participants attend a 1-credit college writing class. Readings and topics of the writing class will be integrated with the content of the 3-credit morning course. 

On the other two afternoons of the week, participants will attend performances, talks and readings by professional artists, and presentations related to the college application process. In 2018, musician/composer Jason Kao Hwang, writer Deborah Pintonelli, and playwright/performer Yvette Heyliger were among the presenters. 

Additionally, field trips include attendance at Broadway shows and visits to art and historical museums. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION (choose one of the three)

DRAMA100. Introduction to Acting
This beginning-level studio acting course introduces students to all aspects of acting, including philosophy and different methods; physical, sensory, and emotional work; improvisations; theatre games; monologues; character analysis; scene study; script interpretation; and performing as well as building a working relationship with a director.
URBAN STUDIES101. Urban Poverty and Affluence
Students will examine issues impacting urban and metropolitan areas, with New York City and its five boroughs as a frequent case study. Following a review of historical perspectives, the course will concentrate on current approaches to urban problems and how they work. Students will be able to identify and discuss the concomitants of poverty such as health care, housing, homelessness and justice. Students will assess the interrelationships between the various facets of poverty and review recent policy initiatives in education and welfare reform. The impact of the changing American family unit, issues of race and gender, politically driven decision making in the social policy area and the potential of grassroots community organizing will also be key course components. Liberal and conservative theories on how to attack poverty will be contrasted through critical thinking exercises.
CLASSICS140. Classical Mythology
Students will analyze and interpret Greek and Roman mythology by examining various theories of its origins and the influence of the myths on the religious and patriotic concepts of classical times and on classical and modern languages and literatures. They will make a comparison with similar mythic elements in other ethnic groups.


In addition to a recommendation by an English AP or teacher the applicant must submit an essay and have:

  • 80+ English Regents, or 500+ Verbal SAT, or
  • 85+ English 5 (if no Regents or SAT scores)
  • Personal interview with College Now staff