Academic Program Options

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

Get InfoApply NowSpecial classes in Engineering, Sports Management, Medicine, Psychology, and Fashion3 Week ProgramTuition ranging from $3,399 - $6,299For students completing grades 9, 10, 11, 12 (ages 14-18)Photo Gallery
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Academic Options

University of Texas at Austin offers several course types and programs that provide students a wide variety of academic options. 

Enrichment Courses 

  • Summer Discovery partners with UT Austin’s College of Liberal Arts (COLA) in collaboration with the Colleges of Business (McCombs), Communication (Moody), Education, Natural Sciences, UT Law and UT Med (Dell Med) to offer non-credit enrichment classes, exclusively for our students, taught by University of Texas professors and graduate teaching instructors that meet 4 times weekly for 2 hours each. Students who choose this curriculum will take 1 morning and 1 afternoon enrichment course.

Comprehensive Academies 

  • Summer Discovery partners with UT Austin’s College of Liberal Arts (COLA)  in collaboration with the Colleges of Business (McCombs), Communication (Moody), Education, Engineering (Cockrell), Natural Sciences, UT Law and UT Med (Dell Med) to offer intensive non-credit Academies, exclusively for our students, meeting 4 times a week, both morning and afternoon for 2 hours each. Academies consist of 2 related courses paired together. We recommend that both Academy courses are taken together but they may be taken individually, combined with another enrichment course (except Engineering Creativity & Design).

All students receive a Summer Discovery "Certificate of Completion" at the end of the program.

Choose one of the curriculum options below. Your choice indicates how you will spend your day academically during the program. You can choose to take 2 individual courses or a comprehensive full-day Academy in a specific subject area.

2 Enrichment Courses

Students who choose this curriculum will take 2 Enrichment Courses.

Summer Discovery partners with UT Austin’s College of Liberal Arts (COLA) in collaboration with the Colleges of Business (McCombs), Communication (Moody), Education, Natural Sciences, UT Law and UT Med (Dell Med) to offer enrichment classes. These non-credit classes are taught by University of Texas professors and graduate teaching instructors and meet Monday-Thursday for 2 hours. Class sizes average between 10-20 students.

Most classes have homework, projects, and/or tests. Classes are graded on the traditional A, B, C, D, and F system. You will receive a UT Austin grade report and a Summer Discovery “Certificate of Completion”.

See our list of course options for this curriculum.

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Criminal Justice Academy

Enjoy shows like Law & Order, CSI, or Bones? Interested in criminal justice? Learn the facts not the hype from experts in the field. Get a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and study crime on a macro and micro level. Hone your critical thinking and analytical skills in these interactive, hands-on courses. As part of this academy you will take the following two courses:

Forensics

Learn how forensic science is used to solve crimes. Understand core scientific principles and explore major areas in the field, including DNA and fingerprinting. In this hands-on class, you will learn the technology, equipment, and skills used to analyze physical evidence and how to interpret this evidence. Taught by Texas crime lab forensic scientists. ($125 lab/materials fee)

Crime and Justice

What is a crime? Why do we punish? Gain the analytical tools necessary to understand crime, law, and deviance in the U.S. Learn about the types of criminal behavior, the characteristics of offenders and victims, and the strengths and weaknesses of the justice system. 

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Digital Business Academy

Digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the physical and digital world. It focuses on how technology allows companies to create experiences that differentiate and give them a competitive edge over their peers. Digital business is important for all business leaders to understand. In this Academy, students will learn the importance of digital business through the following two courses:

Digital Business Models

Is Instagram really free? Learn about different models and how businesses exchange value with consumers to grow. Examine business plans and develop spreadsheets to capture financials in this case-based course. Taught by highly-rated UT McCombs business faculty with large and small business experience. Students are required to have a laptop with Microsoft Excel.

Digital Marketing

Learn about SEO, SEM, online ads, and social media marketing. Gain experience with key platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook Ad Targeting, and Hootsuite. Market your own webpage. Taught by UT McCombs business faculty and former DirectTV & TimeWarner marketing VP.

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Engineering Academy

This Academy offers talented high school students an opportunity to discover the excitement of engineering through hands-on experience. Based on the 1st year undergraduate Design Methodology and Engineering courses, students will work in small teams to design a product from concept to prototyping.

The program is designed to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of teamwork and planning in successfully completing large, complex, time-constrained projects.
  • Introduce the application of physical and mathematical principles in solving practical engineering problems.
  • Add to the students’ knowledge base of material properties, structures, and manufacturing processes.
  • Enhance creativity and build students’ confidence in their ability to handle challenging assignments.
  • Present steps to bring a product from concept to functional prototype: defining specs, developing concepts through research and ideation methods, modeling performance, developing working drawings, selecting materials, and constructing, testing, and revising a working prototype

Students must have completed Algebra II, Trigonometry, and one lab science course with an A/B letter grade. There will be an additional materials/lab fee for this course. A laptop is required for this course. ($250 lab/materials fee)

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Fashion Academy

Gain the basic skills to design and complete a garment from your original sketch. Complete fashion sketches and flats of your designs and construct one of your garments with muslin using draping techniques. Taught by UT fashion faculty with own apparel line. As part of this academy you will take the following two courses:

Fashion Design and Construction

Gain the basic skills to design and complete a garment from your original sketch. Complete fashion sketches and flats of your designs and construct one of your garments with muslin using draping techniques. Taught by UT fashion faculty with own apparel line. Basic drawing and sewing experience helpful but not required. ($215 lab/materials fee)

Fashion Product Development and Merchandising

Learn the business of turning fashion ideas into products, including trend analysis, planning (material selection, cost analysis, supply chains), and the buying process. Write and present your product development proposal. Taught by UT fashion faculty and a fashion professional.

  • Learn how to analyze trends and identify target markets for successful products
  • Write and present their new product profiles and product development proposals/business plans
  • Acquire an approach to establishing sustainable outsourcing
  • Better understand how the fashion industry works
  • Start building the skills needed for a fashion career in planning and merchandising
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Law Academy

Interested in law? This Academy provides high-achieving students an introduction to the core areas of US law (constitutional, contract, and criminal law), covered in all 1st year law schools, and a preview of the type of attorney you might want to become, transactional or litigation. As part of this Academy you will take the following two courses:

Intro to Law

Learn about the US law and the legal system, including an overview of the US Constitution and basic procedures of civil and criminal courts, and consider the relationship between laws and justice. Interactive, discussion-based class focused on key Constitutional issues. Learn to read cases, identify key legal issues, and make cogent legal argument. Taught by practicing attorney.

Trial Tactics

The courtroom is one of the hallmarks of democracy. Learn about the lawyers who represent clients in a variety of legal settings. Gain the problem solving and persuasion skills used by trial lawyers and the basics of trial law. Practice skills in small groups and conduct a mock trial. Taught by practicing criminal law attorney.

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Medicine Academy

Discover whether medicine is for you. This rewarding and challenging program provides a rare opportunity for high school students to get a taste of medical school and learn via hands-on, problem-based learning with dissections and simulations. Move beyond Grey’s Anatomy, House, and ER. Get a taste of medicine as you learn about common medical conditions via cases and acquire hands-on skills such as suturing, biopsying, and checking vitals. Learn the paths to different specialties. Diagnose common illnesses and injuries and dive into major organ systems with MRI, CT, and ultrasounds in this case based class. Students will also gain CPR/AED & first aid certification during this course. See if you have what it takes to succeed. (lab/materials fee)

Students must have completed high school biology with an A/B letter grade.

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Neuroscience Academy

Discover the exciting world of neuroscience and learn whether this field is for you. This challenging program provides a rare opportunity for high school students to get a taste of medical school and learn via hands-on classes taught by notable UT faculty. As part of this Academy you will take the following two courses:

Neuroscience

Learn about how various neural diseases are detected and treated while taking an in-depth look at one of our most complex organs; the brain. From anatomical structure in virtual reality to tapping into how bioengineered viruses could possibly be a cure for cancer, you will marvel at your brain’s complexity and adaptability. This fascinating course is taught by UT neurobiology alum along with neurophysiologists, neuropsychologists, and neurosurgeons.

Microbiology 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different types of antibiotics? Dive into the world of microbiology and discover how researchers and clinicians study, manipulate, and communicate with a world too small for the naked eye to see. This hands-on course is taught by a renowned microbiology instructor and award-winning Medical Illustrator.

There will an additional materials/lab fee for this academy.

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Programming and Smart Technology Academy

This hands-on Academy allows you to challenge yourself while exploring the intricacies of design, development, problem solving, and programming. Equipped with your new programming skills, challenge yourself to use smart technologies and data to gain insight as to how applications work, and utilize Python to understand how to make computers do what you want them to do. As part of this Academy you will take the following two courses:

Emerging Technologies

The Internet of Things: Investigate how to make environments "smart" by instrumenting them with digitally connected components, from sensors, to lights, and smartphones. Use sensors or "smart" tech to collect data and control/do something via mobile device. Examine emerging technologies and conceive of and implement prototype internet of things applications to control our surroundings. Enhance your creativity, problem solving and collaboration skills. Taught by UT Cockrell Electrical & Computer Engineering faculty. Some minimal programming experience is recommended but not required. ($110 lab/materials fee)

Students must have completed Algebra II, Trigonometry, and one lab science course with an A/B letter grade.

Python & Object-Oriented Programming

Learn object-oriented programming used by large and small software companies to more easily modify, reuse, and maintain code. Learn Objects and Classes, Methods, Encapsulation, Abstraction, Polymorphism, and Inheritance, and write complete programs in Python. Taught by UT CS faculty and experienced IT professional & developer.

This Academy is intended for students with basic programming experience in C++, Java, or Python. Students must have completed Algebra II with at least a B letter grade. 

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Psychology Academy

Why do you think and feel the way you do? Do you want to understand what makes other people tick? Dive into psychology with award winning UT Psychology faculty at one of the top rated Psychology programs. Learn how psychology affects your life, deepen your understanding of yourself, and apply learning to improve your life. As part of this Academy you will take the following two courses:

Foundations of Psychology

Learn why relationships work, how your brain influences your experiences, and how you learn. Cover problems in abnormal, bio, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology, and discover what can be treated and how. Taught by award-winning UT Psychology faculty.

Positive Psychology

Why are some people happy? Explore the research and theory in this dynamic new field and learn to apply the concepts of increasing happiness, optimism, and resilience to your life. Taught by award-winning UT Psychology faculty.

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Sport Management Academy

This Academy introduces sport management concepts and covers key issues in the industry. Examine management strategies of collegiate and professional sports organizations. Enhance your critical thinking skills and expand your understanding of the sport management field. As part of this academy you will take the following two courses:

Key Issues in Sports

Explore important issues in sports, including doping, violence, college sports reform, international sports, race, and gender. Enhance critical thinking skills while gaining a historical and legal framework. Taught by top-teaching UT Sport Management faculty and attorney.

Strategy for Sports Organizations

Why do some teams succeed while others fail? Examine off-field strategies that promote on-field success. Use management strategy and decision-making (game theory & behavioral economics) disciplines. Enhance your critical thinking in this hands-on class taught by top-teaching UT Sport Management faculty.

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Sports Medicine Academy

Whether you want to be an athletic trainer, team physician, or orthopedic surgeon, this program is for you. Taught by award-winning UT Athletic Training faculty, this is one of the few pre-college opportunities available focused on SEM (Sports and Exercise Medicine).

Through the courses below, students will learn to:

  • Recognize common athletic injuries and illnesses, the mechanisms, signs, and symptoms, and identify common risk factors.
  • Perform commonly accepted techniques and procedures for clinical evaluation related to common athletic injuries and illnesses including history, inspection, palpation, functional testing, and special evaluation techniques.
  • Provide treatments for athletic injuries and illnesses including triage, administration of first aid, immobilization, and transportation.
  • Recommend and implement basic rehabilitation protocols using therapeutic modalities and rehabilitative exercises to safely return athletes to activity.

SPORTS MEDICINE: REHAB

Learn which treatments, exercises, and rehabilitation techniques to incorporate into a therapeutic exercise program for common upper and lower body sports related injuries (e.g. sprains, strains, tendinopathies, etc.). Topics will include therapeutic modalities (e.g. electrical muscle stimulation), mobility techniques, and therapeutic exercises. Taught by award-winning UT Athletic Training faculty.

SPORTS MEDICINE: DIAGNOSIS & PREVENTION

Learn how to prevent and clinically evaluate common athletic injuries and make treatment recommendations (triage, first aid, immobilization, etc.). Taught by award- winning UT Athletic Training faculty.

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Sports, Events and Entertainment Academy

Austin is home to so many festivals and live events as well as some of the top sporting events. In this academy, you will learn event marketing strategies and tools that are used to create buzz around many of these major events, and the ever-changing fast-paced industry of sports media. In this academy, students will combine Sports Media and Live Events & Promotion. As part of this academy you will take the following two courses:

Sports Media

Learn how sports and media work together and how the rules are changing. Develop and pitch your own programming/content to industry professionals. Taught by UT Sport Management faculty and former EPSN Senior Director.

Live Events & Promotion

Learn what it takes to run successful events, a $115B industry with +10% employment growth, in the “live music capital of the world” and host to SXSW, Austin City Limits, and X Games. In this hands on-class, learn the event planning process, event promotion, and public relations by studying major Sports & Music events. Taught by UT Sport Management faculty, who started the X Games and managed the ESPYs.

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