High School Seminars

Each year since 1959, Colgate has given area high school students a taste of the college experience. Faculty and administrators teach four sessions, meeting for three classes each, during the academic year.

The university’s mission is to provide a demanding, expansive educational experience to a select group of diverse, talented, intellectually sophisticated students who are capable of challenging themselves, their peers, and their teachers in a setting that brings together living and learning.

The mission of the High School Seminar Program is to use Colgate’s resources to benefit the region by introducing area high school students to college-level topics that are not available at their schools and to encourage college attendance by providing them with the opportunity to experience a taste of life on a college campus.

Daily Schedule

Arrival: Buses unload students at Merrill House at approximately 3:45 p.m.
Classes begin: 4 p.m.
Dinner break: 5 - 5:45 p.m.
Classes resume: 5:50 - 6:30 p.m.
Departure: 6:30 p.m., students board buses at Campus Safety's parking lot.

High School Seminar dates for Spring Session IV

  • Wednesday, March 20
  • Wednesday, March 27
  • Wednesday, April 10
  • Alternative Weather Date: Wednesday, April 17

Please email ramann@colgate.edu with any questions.

Current Course Descriptions

Seth Coluzzi, Assistant Professor of Music, Colgate University

This course explores the music and culture of the Middle East, China, and Korea from ancient times to modern popular music.

Silvia Jimenez Bolanos, Associate Professor of Mathematics

We will discuss interesting applications of mathematics beyond what we learn in high school (formulas and calculations). We will look at three very different and cool applications. First, we will discuss how mathematics can help explain morphogenesis (a biological proces that causes a tissue or organ to develop its shape by controlling the spatial distribution of cells). Second, we will talke about invisibility- or at least the math behind invisibility. And finally, we will discuss how math is being used to create better and more realistic movies. In particular, Disney's 2013 movie Frozen (used math to create realistic looking snow) and Pixar's 2004 movie The Incredibles (used math to make an animated charactre move faster).

Lyosha Gorshkov, Director LGBTQ+ Initiatives, Colgate University

This class will be an interactive adventure into the world of revolutionary music that reshaped the world. During the class we will be working together by analyzing various music videos and performances across the globe. We will explore different genres and its political and cultural influence on society. Buckle up! 

Rebecca Mendelsohn Co-Director of University Museums and Curator of the Longyear Museum of Anthropology; Research Affiliate and Instructor in Sociology and Anthropology 

Nick West, Co-Director of University Museums and Curator of the Picker Art Gallery; Research Affiliate in Art and Art History

This course will introduce students to the historical development of museums and the educational, cultural, and social roles they play today. With visits to Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum of Anthropology, students will also gain knowledge about how museums put together exhibitions, research collections, and engage with their communities and audiences.

Jessica Murray, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) is a multidisciplinary perspective that focuses on the study of human development from an evolutionary point of view. EDP applies evolutionary principles to explain modern-day behaviors and cognition. During our time together, we will learn about foundational EDP theories and how they attempt to explain aspects of child and adolescent development. Some specific elements of development we will focus on include (but are not limited to) risk taking behaviors in adolescents, how early life environments shape cognitive development, and genetic and environmental influences on sexual development.

Samantha (Sam) Mathews, Assistant Director of Outdoor Education, Colgate University

Have you ever wanted to climb a wall like Spiderman? Take this course and learn how to tie knots, use ropes to belay (hold) other climbers and move up the wall using good technique. At the end, you'll know what rock climbing is really like - not just how it is in the movies or on social media. This class guarantees great fun and that you will be hungry for dinner!*

*Students in this class will be required to have a signed waiver in order to participate in the class. In addition, climbers will not eat at the regular time, they will meet at the climbing wall, climb for 1.5 hours and eat afterwards.