Credit Courses For Hotchkiss Students Only

Why study during the summer?

Summer courses provide an opportunity to expand the scope and the depth of The Hotchkiss School curriculum by allowing current students to complement their current studies through immersion in a class that they would not have the chance to take during the traditional school year. Our summer courses are designed to be distinctive and to provide unique teaching and learning experiences based on place, off-campus resources and faculty/staff expertise. 

For more information about the course offerings below, please contact Paul Oberto, dean of summer programs.

To register for a summer course, please email Linda Yoo, summer programs coordinator. 


Summer Credit Courses

½ Credit Laboratory Science
Instructor: Jennifer Rinehart, Hotchkiss instructor in environmental science and biology

Agroecology is an innovative Environmental Science lab course that will inspire students to understand agriculture as an ecosystem, governed by natural processes as well as by human hands. Taught by Jenn Rinehart, Agroecology will offer students a chance to experience learning at Hotchkiss in an entirely new way: spending four intensive weeks employing the language of natural sciences as well as social sciences, exploring all facets of a farm, and developing as systems thinkers.
Using Fairfield Farms as our lab during July—the four weeks during the season when Fairfield is most actively evolving—students will immerse themselves in learning how to analyze the environmental, social, and economic interconnections of agricultural systems while also developing a deeper sense of this place called Hotchkiss.
A combination of on- and off-site presentations and group discussions will be organized around curated readings, robust field experiences and hands-on laboratory activities. In addition, students will explore alternative agroecosystems through field trips to research facilities and farms that specialize in direct food production or related industries (i.e., animal husbandry, permaculture, aquaculture, etc.).

The American Civil War, 1861 - 1865
½ Credit Humanities and Social Sciences

Instructor: David A. Ward, retired Hotchkiss library director and humanities and social sciences instructor. Mr. Ward is a nationally recognized Civil War historian. Read more about Mr. Ward at

This course will cover selected topics of the Civil War from the Secession Crisis to the surrender at Appomattox Court House.  Major themes will be the election of 1860, the Secession crisis, the Fort Sumter crisis, citizen-soldiers mobilizing for war, military turning points, and the impact of the war upon American society.  In addition to these topics, the class will examine the presidencies of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln – both as commanders-in-chief and the architects of political policy.  The class will also examine the issues of slavery, emancipation and reunification as significant social and political challenges. Finally, the class will dissect key military engagements with emphasis on understanding the operations and battles in the context of the evolution of 19th century warfare.  Through engagement with primary source documents, local civil war sites and historical artifacts, students will learn that a collective, historical knowledge base, coupled with links from the 19th century to the modern era, will enable them to look forward rather than merely backward at important moments in history.

The course culminates in a four-day, three-night tour of Gettysburg and Antietam led by Mr. Ward. Visiting the battlefields will afford students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the soldiers, touch history and explore the issues of the Civil War beyond the classroom.

Exercise Science and Strength Training
¼ Credit Human Development 

Instructor: Brodie Quinn '10, Hotchkiss director of athletic performance and fitness

Exercise Science provides a comprehensive understanding of advanced strength and conditioning methods through the lenses of exercise physiology, biomechanics, physics, and human development. Each day begins with round table discussions and peer instruction followed by lab experimentation held in the weight room and fitness center. An applied training session focused on cutting edge methodologies such Velocity-Based Training - recently featured in the Wall Street Journal as a key to LSU Football’s success - is incorporated into the daily schedule as well. Recovery will also take on new meaning as live Heart Rate Variability readings will coach our students through recovery strategies. Scaffolded daily training protocols allow students to progress from theory to practice and provide an immersive learning experience. Students will leave the course with the ability to write and carry out their own month long training plan.