The United States Presidency in Historical and Global Perspective

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
I - June 25–July 13, 2018
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.

Demonstrated ability to work independently and to undertake substantial, intense, and concentrated reading, research, and writing.

“I was surprised (in a good way) by how interesting, relevant, and interactive the course was.”  —   From a program course evaluation

Course Description

This course on the American presidency turns the classroom into the West Wing. Highly interactive by design, the class has students take on the roles of press secretary, strategist, and president. Participants work both as individuals and on teams to complete a series of daily projects that hone writing and speaking skills. Students draft State-of-the-Union addresses and op-eds in support of Supreme Court nominees. In a mock town hall, they field questions from constituents about their legislative agendas. From the Situation Room, they manage simulated global crises based on real-world events. The instructor supplements these various projects with lectures and class discussions based on assigned readings. The course also features guest speakers from the world of politics and a field trip to Federal Hall in lower Manhattan.

We afford special attention to the historical and global dimensions of the presidency. The course considers the success and failures of past presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama. Students will also study the role of the American president on the world stage as well as how the institution of the presidency compares to other heads of state around the world. Students leave the course with a multifaceted understanding of the presidency. Upon completion, participants are prepared for college-level coursework in American politics.


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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.