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Skidmore College

Pre-College Courses


For 2021, Pre-College students may apply to enroll in one online course from the approved foundation-level liberal and studio arts online courses offered as part of Skidmore’s Summer Session for college students. Offerings include a wide range of courses drawn from the humanities, social and natural sciences, studio art, and an array of special topics courses from diverse disciplines.

TECHNOLOGY RECOMMENDATIONS: It is the expectation that students will have access to a computer or laptop (a cell phone will not suffice); reliable, high speed Internet/WiFi connection; a speaker and microphone, and a camera (either a webcam or built-in laptop camera); a quiet space conducive to taking an online class and completing coursework (private, without distractions). Unfortunately, we are not able to provide computers to students.

2021 Course Descriptions

Course # • course title • credits • instructor
course days (R designates Thursday) • class time (Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone) • Instructional Method

Instructional Methods descriptions:

  1. Online: Synchronous – online instruction that requires class meetings in real-time (remote learners need to consider time zones)
  2. Online: Asynchronous – online instruction that does not require class meetings in real-time (remote learners do not need to consider time zones)
  3. Online: Mix of Sync & Async – online instruction that has a mix of synchronous and asynchronous meetings (remote learners need to consider time zones for the synchronous portions of the course)

*All course placements are subject to approval by the Pre-College Program director.


Expand each section below to browse our Course Descriptions.

AN 101 • Intro to Cultural Anthropology • 3 • Caitlin Meagher
M/T/W/R • 9:30 AM – 11:45 AM • Online: Synchronous

Anthropology is a lot more than the scientific study of humans. By asking ourselves, "what is anthropology?" and "what is culture?" we must understand what cultural anthropologists actually do in practice. A cultural anthropologist is someone who observes, records, and thinks about the operation, function, and design of human life in all of its complexities. Humanity, like culture, is messy, nonlinear, multifaceted, and constantly shifting. Think about the culture which your parents grew up, lots of things may have changed since then, including popular music, technology, medical advancements, and so on. The purpose of this course is to provide you with an introduction to the historical context, current manifestations, and theoretical processes of cultural anthropology as an academic discipline and as a way of viewing the world. We will accomplish this by exploring the similarities and diversity of human societies through ethnographic case studies and cross-cultural comparisons in both film and text. These topics are illustrated through examining the history and utility of anthropology's hallmark method, ethnography, which is the immersion of the researcher in the culture under study.

AR 136 • Digital Foundations • 4 • Lindsay Buchman
M/T/W/R/F • 8:45 AM – 12:30 PM • Online: Mix of Sync & Asynch **FILLED**

A survey of technological and aesthetic best practices and theory in visual communication. Students will study the basic functions and integral properties of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other presentation and video editing software. Vector and raster imaging techniques, scanning, printing, and using digital images and typography are introduced through a series of demonstration/projects that build upon one another. Projects focus on design principles and basic skills needed to communicate a visual message with a specific intent.

EC 104 • Introduction to Microeconomics • 4 • Rodrigo Schneider
M/T/W/R 9:00 AM – 11:55 AM • Online: Synchronous

An introduction to the study of markets. Students will develop the basic economic model of supply and demand to illustrate how choices regarding the production and distribution of goods and services are made by firms and households in a market economy. Students will also examine the possibility of market failure and the appropriate government response. Policy topics may include poverty and homelessness, health care, the environment, antitrust, discrimination, international trade, unions, and minimum wage laws.
Prerequisite: Placement in this course requires a score of at least 650 on the SAT Mathematics (MSAT I) examination, a score of at least 570 on any Mathematics SAT II subject examination (MSAT II), or a score of at least 28 on the Mathematics ACT examination. Submit a screenshot of the College Board or ACT portal with student's name and Math score, emailed to lroutled@skidmore. If scores are unavailable, Skidmore will determine eligibility through a review of the student's high school transcript.

EN 103 • Writing Seminar I • 4 • Archana Suresh Cukkemane
M/T/W/R 9:30 AM – 11:45 AM • Online: Synchronous

Introduction to expository writing with frequent writing assignments emphasizing skills in developing ideas, organizing material, and creating thesis statements. Assignments provide practice in description, definition, comparison and contrast, and argumentation. Additional focus on grammar, syntax, and usage.
Prerequisite: writing placement exam.

EN 105 • Writing Seminar II • 4 • L. Caitlin Jorgensen
M/T/W/R/ 9:30 AM – 11:45 AM • Online: Synchronous

"Food Fights"

Everyone has a favorite food, and most have at least one food they won’t touch. But food is about more than taste: it references memory, community, language, and culture. Sometimes that yields nostalgia; sometimes it produces conflict. In this class, we will examine food writing on a number of topics: What pleasure lies in food memory? How does food intersect with economics, language, social justice, history, and race? Who has the right to claim—and to profit from—the food of a particular culture? In the end, what should we eat—both for our own sake and for the sake of the planet?

Our writing projects will range from nonfiction narrative to researched argument; our readings will range from memoir to persuasive text. You will develop your ability to analyze food writing, and you will learn how to enter into the debate using the tools of rhetoric. These tools include various types of appeals as well as strategies for invention (coming up with something to say), arrangement (organizing your thoughts), and style (writing clear, graceful, persuasive prose). There will be frequent formal and informal writing, peer review, revision exercises, and small-group workshopping.
Prerequisite: writing placement exam.

GE 101 • Earth Systems Science • 4 • Kyle Nichols
M/T/W/R/F • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM • Online: Mix of Sync & Asynch

An introduction to Earth’s dynamic systems and geologic processes. The planet is studied from its deep interior to its oceanic, surficial, and atmospheric components to develop a scientific understanding of Earth as a holistic environmental system, of which the biosphere, including humanity, is one component. Within this context, course topics such as rocks and minerals, mountain building, earthquakes, volcanoes, glaciers, surface and groundwater, and resources are examined from the perspective of the interactions between geologic processes and humans.

HI 247P • History of Modern Japan • 4 • Jennifer Day
M/T/W/R/ 9:30 AM – 11:45 AM • Online: Mix of Sync & Asynch

An examination of the historical transformation of the Japanese archipelago from a feudal society to a modern state and imperial power, and to a postwar economic giant and a "bubble economy" in the 1990s. Students will explore how Japanese women and men have transformed elements of other cultures to create forms of government, society, and the arts that are uniquely Japanese. Sources include a diary, short stories, legal documents, and films.

PY 109 • Physics: Sound and Music with Lab • 4 • Jill Linz
M/T/W/R/F 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM • Online: Synchronous

The physical principles of sound - how it is produced, propagated and perceived. Emphasis will be placed on music and music theory and will look at some of the mechanisms used to produce different types of musical sounds as well as the physical principles guiding the development of music theory throughout history. The weekly lab sessions will provide hands-on experience in understanding the physical principles discussed in lecture. 

BI 170 • Human Genetics • 4 • Bernard Possidente
M/T/W/R/F 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM • Online: Mix of Sync & Asynch

An introduction to the principles of genetics and their application to human biology. Topics include the history of genetics; the structure, function, and inheritance of genes; medical genetics; and genetic engineering.
Note(s): Summer: Nine hours of lecture, six hours of lab per week.

EN 105 • Writing Seminar II • 4 • Thaddeus Niles
M/T/W/R/ 1:15 PM – 3:30 PM • Online: Synchronous

"Under the Influence - Argument and Persuasion in our Lives"

Argument seems inescapable. Its rituals have shaped the Western academic tradition, which is perhaps reason enough to study it more closely. But argument is also a central feature of our lives as citizens and consumers. In this writing course, students will consider the nature of persuasion, various methods of thinking critically, and approaches to translating these methods to academic texts. Class projects include essays examining the language and logic of persuasive appeals, as well as a final collaborative project.
Prerequisite: writing placement exam.

HI 116H • Sea Changes: A History of the World’s Oceans • 4 • Tillman Nechtman
M/T/W/R 1:30 PM – 4:25 PM • Online: Synchronous

A survey course in global history that takes the world’s oceans as its subject. Students will explore themes ranging from naval history to legal history, from environmental history to zoological history, and from the history of exploration and adventure to the history of imperialism and conquest. Students will work with primary and secondary sources and develop their analytical and writing skills as they ask questions about the field of history itself. What assumptions have historians made when they focus on nations and continents? What institutions and categories have they privileged with their focus? What have we missed because we look only at the history of land? How and why does history’s narrative shift when we undertake a "sea change" in our perspectives?

PS 101 • Introduction to Psychological Science • 4 • Deana Vitrano
M/T/W/R/ 1:30 PM – 4:25 PM • Online: Mix of Sync & Asynch

An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of theories, methods, and principles of behavior. Students will learn about empirical studies that are central to the various subdisciplines of psychology.

SO 101 • Sociological Perspectives • 3 • Phil Lewis
M/T/W/R 1:15 PM – 3:30 PM • Online: Synchronous

The basic concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. Attention is given to how these perspectives have been developed and used by social scientists to explain social phenomena. Recommended as an introduction to the discipline.

*Courses subject to change.