Published November 10, 2023

2023 Year in ReviewEager to expand their knowledge of topics that ranged from anatomy to organic chemistry to sci-fi writing, more than 1,800 pre-college and undergraduate students from around the world headed to JHU’s Homewood campus or logged in online over ten weeks of summer programming in 2023.

“Our students were able to enroll in 17 unique pre-college summer programs and more than 85 Summer Term undergraduate courses, including some exciting new offerings,” says Owen Hooper, Johns Hopkins University’s executive director of summer and intersession programs. “As always, it was incredibly rewarding to see Summer at Hopkins students on campus and online engaging with Johns Hopkins faculty and fellow students—and with subject matter that really inspired them.”

2023 Pre-College Program Highlights

Two new Summer at Hopkins Pre-college Programs, Data Analytics Workshop and Exploring the Universe with Space Telescopes, proved popular in 2023, while perennial pre-college favorites Medical School Intensive and Introduction to Surgery continued to draw students interested in exploring the field of medicine. Pre-College Programs in anatomy, chemistry, creative writing, epidemiology, neurobiology, neuroscience, population genomics, psychopathology, and psychological profiling also engaged students interested in expanding their knowledge and network while enhancing their resumes.

Highlights of just a few of the pre-college summer programs offered in 2023:

  • Data Analytics Workshop: In this online program, students work in groups to construct and present a data analysis project that collects, organizes, cleanses, and visualizes a dataset of their choosing. “There is so much interest in and opportunity surrounding data analytics,” says Hooper. “This new program allows students to really dive in and explore the subject intensively over two weeks.” Students learn about exploratory data analysis, data visualization, probability distributions, data scraping and cleansing, the basics of hypothesis testing, and regression modeling, among other things.
  • Exploring the Universe with Space Telescopes: Sponsored by JHU’s Bloomberg Physics and Astronomy Department, this on-campus program introduces students to the complexities of space telescopes and engages them in designing model telescopes of their own. Students benefit from JHU’s close relationship with the Space Telescope Institute, where they get a behind-the-scenes experience with the James Webb Space Telescope. Students also visit the Maryland Space Grant Observatory, where they have the opportunity to use a land-based telescope to explore the solar system. During a day trip to the Goddard Space Flight Center, students hear from NASA professionals about real-world space exploration.
  • Introduction to Surgery: This program, which is offered online and on campus, gives students a broad understanding of surgery, including historical milestones in the field, surgical anatomy, pre- and post- operative patient care, subspecialties within the field, and surgical technology. The on-campus program culminates at the Johns Hopkins Minimally Invasive Surgical Training and Innovation Center, where students apply the knowledge and skills they learned in class to engage in simulated activities that are part of the surgical training for med students and current medical professionals.
  • Medical School Intensive: Offered online and on campus, this program introduces students to the basic knowledge and techniques related to surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and biomedical science. On-campus students make regular visits to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Center and engage with Johns Hopkins medical professionals to practice the same simulations—with medical robots and live actors—that Johns Hopkins medical school students use in their training.

Of course, academics are only part of the experience. When they are not in the classroom, Summer at Hopkins on-campus students enjoy the many benefits of the Homewood campus in Baltimore. “My favorite part of the campus is the atmosphere,” says Anthony, a student in the 2023 Introduction to Surgery Pre-College Program. “I really fell in love with library, and there is so much to do at Hopkins—getting to know the campus, making friends, participating in activities, and attending fun field trips.”

In 2023, on-campus students enjoyed field trips to the National Mall and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., a night of Orioles baseball at the iconic Camden Yards, and engaging in their choice of activities nightly.

“Typically, at night students can choose between more active options, like volleyball or a scavenger hunt, and less-active activities, like board games or trivia, which is always really popular,” says Hooper. Students also attended movie nights in Wolman Hall and watched movies at an off-campus theater as a group as well. “Students are engaged in learning during the day, so the evening is the perfect time to relax, build friendships, and maybe even explore new hobbies or interests,” says Hooper. “Our online students achieve some of the same benefits through our online clubs and activities, connecting with academically advanced peers from around the world.”

Summer Term Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate students and qualified pre-college students chose from more than 85 on-campus and online Summer Term credit-earning courses in math, science, engineering, the humanities, and the arts in 2023. On-campus courses ran for five weeks, while online courses ran for five, six, eight, or 10 weeks.

Highlights of Summer Term undergraduate courses offered in 2023:

  • Introduction to Neuroscience: This on-campus course demystifies the mammalian nervous system, with an emphasis on how molecules, cells, circuits, and systems in the brain work to promote behavior and cognition. Students develop an understanding of nerve cells, brain networks, basic neuroanatomy, and the neural bases of movement, sensation, and memory.
  • Introduction to Psychology: This popular online course provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of the mind. Students explore topics that range from art to perception to mental illness. They also grapple with deep and long-standing controversies such as the differences between the sexes, nature versus nurture, and good and evil.
  • Stars and the Universe: Cosmic Evolution: This physics-based on-campus course lets students explore the evolution of the universe from its origin to the emergence of life on Earth and possibly other planets throughout the universe. Students dive deep into big-bang cosmology; the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars, planets, life, and intelligence; black holes; quasars; and relativity theory.
  • Understanding the Food System: This course brings students to the Homewood campus to develop an understanding of the politics and policies that shape the production and consumption of food. Topics include food security, obesity, crop and animal production, and the impacts of agriculture on climate change. In summer 2023, students visited three farmer’s markets for an immersive look at one aspect of our food system.

Get Ready for Summer 2024

Interested in learning more about Summer at Hopkins Pre-College Programs or Summer Term undergraduate courses for 2024? Fill out an inquiry form today.

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