The Honors College Summer Institute

Pre-College Courses for Future Changemakers

Experience Charleston from a unique vantage point and learn how you can start making an impact on the world around you.

Hands-On Exploration

Make Charleston your summer classroom. Conduct field research at the Grice Marine Laboratory. Visit vital historic landmarks. Meet with museum and medical specialists. Experience the world firsthand so you can learn more about it.

Taught by College Faculty

All Summer Institute courses are offered in-person on our beautiful downtown campus, where you’ll work directly with expert College of Charleston faculty.

Cultivate your Curiosity

This summer, enhance your skills with the Honors College Summer Institute and lay the foundation to become a changemaker in your community.

Honors College Summer Institute Courses - 2024

Discover the pre-college course that aligns best with your future goals.
  • Mapping Memory in Charleston

    June 24 - June 28, 2024
    9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
    Course Fee: $700
    Instructor: Dr. Hayden Smith, Department of History

    The history of Charleston can teach us lessons of the past and help us map a better future. Find out how with a pre-college course from the Honors College Summer Institute.

    Become a Part of the City's History
    To bring about change in your community, first you have to understand your community’s history. This place-based course will guide you through the history of Charleston’s critical social justice turning points.
    A Unique Way to Experience Charleston
    The class will visit locations that have defined the city’s complex past, and discover how Charleston’s history has shaped its present. You’ll interact with the city through faculty-led excursions, on-site lectures, and readings that explore the issues still reverberating in Charleston to this day.
    Make an Impact on our Community

    This summer, Charleston’s history comes to life to help you shape the initiatives of the future.


    Apply Today
  • Bodies and Antibodies: A History of Health and Wellness in Charleston

    July 8 - July 12, 2024
    9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. daily
    Course Fee: $500
    Instructor: Dr. Allison Foley, Department of Anthropology

    Examine Charleston's anthropological history and discover a city molded by medicine.

    A Unique Approach to Examining Medicine

    In this class you’ll mix medicine with anthropology. Examine the way we interpret the human body, disease, and modern medicine to better understand how healthcare is evolving in Charleston.

    The Stories Shaping Charleston’s Health

    You’ll meet with College of Charleston faculty and museum specialists to learn about the many stories that have molded the city and its approach to healthcare.

    Help Improve Healthcare Outcomes

    This summer, you can shape the future of our community's health by examining the past.


    Apply Today
  • Exploring Biodiversity in the Lowcountry

    July 22 - July 26, 2024
    9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
    Course Fee: $700
    Instructor: Dr. Chris Freeman, Department of Biology

    A pre-college course for those who dream of saving the planet, but aren’t quite sure where to begin.

    Calling All Aspiring Scientists

    There is so much more to Charleston than hospitality. Beyond the fancy hotels and world-class restaurants you’ll find a vibrant ecosystem of biodiverse organisms that have been supporting life in the lowcountry for millennia.

    This course is your access to the biodiversity of the Charleston-area lowcountry, and connects you with the tools and skills you'll need to help make sure it survives for centuries to come.

    Experience Our Ecosystem Firsthand

    The class is structured around daily field trips to the Grice Marine Laboratory, Stono Preserve, local salt marshes and other impacted areas in and around Charleston.

    You'll learn how local organisms are supporting the lowcountry’s unique ecosystems, how humans are impacting these ecosystems, and what can be done to help us coexist with all our biodiverse neighbors.

    Venture off the Beaten Path

    This summer, you can gain real-world field experience, sharpen your advocacy skills, and help preserve the lowcountry for future generations.


    Apply Today
  • How to Apply
    How to Apply

    Each pre-college course has its own application form. You can use the links below to access each individual form.

    We will follow up and notify all applicants of their enrollment status within one week of receiving a completed application. The application portal will automatically email you a copy of your application, which you should keep for your records.

    Once your application has been processed, we'll send you an email from with a complete timeline, checklist, and instructions for payment and remaining paperwork.

    Apply for Mapping Memory in Charleston

    Apply for Bodies and Antibodies: A History of Health and Wellness in Charleston

    Apply for Exploring Biodiversity in the Lowcountry

    Who is Eligible
    The Honors College Summer Institute is open to high school students of all backgrounds who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year in the fall.
    Program Cost

    Tuition for Mapping Memory in Charleston is $700.
    Tuition for Bodies and Antibodies: A History of Health and Wellness in Charleston is $500.
    Tuition for Exploring Biodiversity in the Lowcountry is $700.
    *A limited number of $100 scholarships are available to local students to help offset tuition costs. Once you submit your application, you will receive additional information about the scholarship application process.


    The applications deadlines vary, depending on the course you're interested in:

    Mapping Memory in Charleston - Deadline is Sunday, June 9 at 11:59 p.m. EST

    Bodies and Antibodies: A History of Health and Wellness in Charleston - Deadline is Sunday, June 23 at 11:59 p.m. EST

    Exploring Biodiversity in the Lowcountry - Deadline is Sunday, July 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST

    Interested students are encouraged to apply and submit their nonrefundable deposit as early as possible by submitting a nonrefundable deposit of $150. This deposit is applied to the full enrollment cost.

    Refund Policy
    Students who do not participate in the Institute forfeit their $150 deposit. Students who pay the full amount and decide to withdraw before June 1 are eligible to recoup the remaining balance from their payment. Students who withdraw after June 1 are eligible to recoup their remaining balance in the event of hospitalization or death of an immediate family member. All other withdrawals, including student dismissal, are ineligible for refunds.


    For additional information on the application process, please contact