Pre-College at Colby College Seminars

Choose Your Seminar

Choose a seminar from a wide variety of fascinating topics. Begin with classroom discussions that frame your seminar concepts and identify key issues. Take the learning beyond the classroom with site visits, meetings with local experts, and field trips. Colby College is an ideal environment to take learning into your own hands, consider your college major, and learn from inspiring, expert instructors.

Architecture, Design, & Sustainability

Design expresses ideas in spatial, material, and cultural terms, drawing inspiration from diverse sources—a functional need, the structure of a leaf, a philosophical text. From architecture and urban planning to user-centric technologies, design can also be structured with sustainability in mind, forming interconnected systems that benefit both communities and the planet. In this seminar, explore how we interact with space through hands-on exercises paired with critique sessions, Read more

Business & Entrepreneurship

What makes a business succeed in today’s market and what are the steps between identifying a need and opening your doors? In recent years, larger-than-life characters like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk have dominated headlines and raised questions about leadership, charisma, and risk-taking, all while cornering their markets. This hands-on course begins by examining the economic players and the playing field where firms operate, with discussions of Read more

Creative Writing

Whether you want to write your first novel or create a poem that captures a specific emotion or experience, this dynamic workshop-style course is a step toward finding your voice and pushing your boundaries as a creative writer. Through personalized exercises led by published authors, develop skills in the genre of your choosing while exploring important craft challenges such as dialogue, imagery, narrative structure, word choice, theme, and storytelling technique. Read more

Engineering, Robotics, & A.I.

A.I. and emerging technologies are transforming a growing array of industries, careers, and the way people interact with their environment. From self-driving cars to video games this technology is quickly becoming a part of everyday life. Through seminars, field studies, and hands-on experiments, Read more

Environmental Science, Society, & Sustainability

Maine’s dramatic peaks, interior lakes, and magnificent seascapes have inspired countless environmentalists, including Henry David Thoreau and Rachel Carson. Colby College’s Environmental Studies program is one of the oldest in the United States and an ideal base from which to explore the relationship between humans and the world around us. Read more

Farm to Table

Seminar description coming soon! Read more

Fashion Design

Trace the history of the multi-billion dollar global fashion industry as we know it today. Gain an understanding of the environmental and consumer trade-offs of the fashion industry, one of the largest polluters in the world, and the movement toward sustainable production. Engage in discussions with designers, retailers, and textile manufacturers working in the U.S. and abroad. Participate in hands-on workshops to learn many of the skills and techniques needed to design and create your own ready-to-wear Read more

Film Production & Studies

From major theater releases and streaming platforms to YouTube and TikTok, more video is being produced and consumed than ever before. Dive into the craft of video production and filmmaking in this production-oriented seminar to explore the medium’s potential for creative expression and visceral impact. Practice storyboard development, camera operation, sound recording, lighting, direction, and non-linear editing. Just as importantly, learn how to work as a team, translating ideas to visual Read more

Forensic Science

From CSI to Dexter, Sherlock Holmes to Bones, forensic science is portrayed in popular culture as a nearly magical tool in modern-day crime investigations. But is a drop of blood or a single strand of hair really the same as a smoking gun? In this seminar, look critically at case studies from around the world and learn how forensic evidence can be used in securing criminal convictions. In the lab, learn the science behind crime-solving tools such as blood spatter analysis, fingerprinting, Read more

Marketing & Communications

Today’s marketer has access to digital tools and data that their predecessors could only have dreamed of. Still, the fundamental rules of marketing apply. Begin with an introduction to the marketing “funnel” and the “journey” that a customer goes on before purchasing a product, from becoming aware of the company to considering a purchase, all the way through to becoming a loyal customer. Through role-plays, hands-on projects, and case studies, dive deep into the strategies and tenets of Read more

Photography

Designed for photographers of all skill levels, this seminar teaches the basics of digital photography and composition before diving into more advanced shooting techniques and editing instruction. Whether your passion is portrait, landscape, adventure, or storytelling, build your confidence and nurture your creativity through one-on-one workshops with your instructor and group critiques. In the classroom, learn aesthetic principles and review the work of a variety of photographers, Read more

Political Science

American politics has always been messy and complex, but our contemporary moment seems to be particularly so. What are the effects of polarization on our democratic process? How do Americans think about politics, and what role does identity play in political and electoral choices? How do our political institutions respond to the demands of increasingly diverse constituencies, with divergent views on issues like immigration, voting rights, health care, climate change, social justice, and gun rights? Read more

Pre-Med & Biomedical Ethics

If you think a future in health professions might be your calling, this introductory, lab-based course covers key concepts and principles in biology and examines broader ethical questions about practicing medicine. From the molecular level, learning how genes and proteins function in cells, to population-level discussions about mutations, diseases, and evolution, explore the interconnections of living systems and the role medical science plays in unraveling the mysteries of life. Read more

Psychology

The principles of psychology permeate our lives every day, often in ways we don’t realize. How do we decide what to do? How much of who you are is determined by your family, your gender identity, or your friends? Understanding human cognition, emotions, and behavior allows psychologists to better predict how we may behave in specific situations, why we think the way we do, and how emotions impact our interactions with our world. Begin by learning the basic goals of psychology, Read more

Social Activism, Service, & Leadership

From climate change to income inequality, food security to systemic racism, the world needs young people to be leaders. This seminar is designed for students who are passionate about advocating for a cause, who want to better their community, and seek to improve their leadership skills. Read more

Studio Art

Develop and refine your artistic vision as you explore studio art through a variety of materials, media, and perspectives. This seminar, taught by a working artist, is for students who are well-practiced in the field, as well as those who are new to creating art. Work in drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed and new media as you expand existing techniques, establish new skills, and take your work in new directions. Read more

See more than one seminar that interests you?

Attend both sessions and save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Program Overview

Learn more about the experience and structure of Pre-College at Colby College.

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Meet the Instructors

Meet some of the instructors on our Pre-College programs.

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