Are you passionate about ideas? Fascinated by the past? Do you think that literature, philosophy, and history help us better understand the present? Then you won’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to explore some of the decisive turning points in world history.

Led by Stanford professors, the Summer Humanities Institute lets rising high school juniors and seniors explore the big questions at the heart of the humanities: How and when can ideas transform society? When is the use of force legitimate? How can we define the limits of individual rights?

Students will spend three weeks on the beautiful Stanford campus, living in residence. They will spend the first two weeks intensively studying and researching a topic in history or philosophy, attending daily lectures by the faculty members, and participating in group discussions and activities in the afternoon. There will also be downtime for extra-curricular fun, as well as supervised off-campus excursions to places of cultural and natural interest around the Bay Area.

During their third week, students will work closely with their professors, graduate students, and writing mentors to produce original research projects. These papers present an opportunity for students to use what they have learned at Stanford to develop their own answers to the central questions that are addressed by the humanities. Students will be introduced to research methods, as well as to library and online resources. And they’ll have something very impressive to show for it!


The Summer Humanities Institute will run two sessions, the first from June 19 to July 8, 2016, the second from July 11 to July 30, 2016. For application information, go here.


Tuition for the 2016 Summer Humanities Institute will be $6000.

Tuition includes housing and dining in supervised Stanford residences, towels and bedding, field trip expenses, instruction, course materials and transportation between Stanford University and the San Francisco International Airport. Need-based financial aid is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.