Pre-College at SUNY Geneseo

Want to give your future a test-drive? SUNY Geneseo provides junior and senior high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses taught by distinguished faculty. Earn college credits by immersing yourself in a course that engages and prepares you for post-secondary education.

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students in class
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Pre-College Course Offerings for Summer 2022 (One Course)

Summer Institute in Justice and Ethics in Modern America

Credits: 3

It’s never too early to shape a more enlightened world view. Now in its second year, the Summer Institute in Justice and Ethics in Modern America can help you do that. It’s a three-week, remote study program that examines the ethical and political challenges that currently face American society.

High school juniors and seniors, as well as recent high school graduates, will earn college credit while previewing the expectations of the modern college classroom. You’ll read college-level material, engage in respectful discussion, explore different interests, and learn about college life from outstanding Geneseo faculty members and current student mentors.

Application Timeline

Deadline to apply: May 30, 2022
Decisions for the program: June 2, 2022
Commitment to the program due: June 17, 2022

The Summer Institute in Justice and Ethics in Modern America has received partial financial support from the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO).

Quotes from Past Participants

"The mentors were really awesome! They gave really valuable information on both general college life and the specifics of Geneseo."

"The research project was most valuable to me. I have done big research projects before but they were always slower paced, this one gave me a good feel for what projects might be like in college."

"I got a network of wonderful professors and mentors to help me as I continue my college journey."

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

The institute is designed for high school students who are either rising juniors or seniors (in the summer after their sophomore or junior year), or new high school graduates (in the summer after their senior year).

Where and when is the program held?

For Summer 2022, the institute is fully remote, so students can participate from anywhere. The program runs July 11-29. Classes meet each week, Monday-Thursday, 3-5p.m. Meetings with mentors will be scheduled on Fridays, 3-5p.m. A closing research symposium will be held August 11.

How does the program help prepare me for college and future careers?

Students will gain research experience and hone their skills in critical thinking, reading, and oral communication. They will collaborate with multiple faculty members and fellow participants and benefit from the mentorship of current Geneseo undergraduates.

Will I receive college credit?

Yes! Successful completion of the Summer Institute will yield three credits—the same as most courses at SUNY Geneseo.

What is the cost of the program and are scholarships or financial aid available?

The cost of the program for New York State residents is $950.70; for non-New York State residents, the cost is $2,189.70. Full and partial scholarships for the cost of the Summer Institute are available based on financial need. Please see the application page link for instructions, and feel free to contact the program directors (Carly Herold at or David Levy at for more information.

Are there any prerequisites? Should I have previous experience in the subject from high school?

No prerequisites or previous experience are required. All you need is an interest in the broad subject matter and enthusiasm for discussing it with other students like you.

Who teaches in the institute?

The institute will be taught collaboratively among three faculty members. In addition, select current Geneseo students will serve as mentors to those enrolled in the program.

This way, participants get a broad exposure to Geneseo’s talented faculty and a wide range of perspectives on the issues.

How much reading will there be?

Students can expect to do approximately 20-25 pages of reading in advance of each session. Readings will be drawn from a variety of perspectives, eras, topics, and sources.

What topics will be covered?

The program will focus on questions with contemporary relevance to our theme of Justice and Ethics in Modern America, emphasizing the connections between theory and practice. Topics addressed in the past include:

  • A More Perfect Union: What Are the Foundations of a Just Society?
  • What’s the Connection Between Morality and the Law?
  • What Obligations Do We Have as a Result of the Legacy of Slavery?
  • What Makes a Good Leader?
  • Should There Be a Limit to Free Speech?
  • How Should We Respond to Injustice, Both as Individuals and Communities?
Will there be research opportunities?

Absolutely. The Summer Institute culminates with work on a research project linking current events to the institute themes. Students will present their projects in a research symposium open to members of the Geneseo campus community.

Will I get the chance to meet any current Geneseo students?

Yes! Students in the program will be grouped with current Geneseo students as mentors. They’ll meet in small groups with their mentors every week to talk about college life as well as to work on their research projects.

How will the institute course show up on my transcript if I matriculate at Geneseo?

The institute course is coded as PHIL 131: Justice and Ethics in Modern America. The course satisfies the following General Education requirements:

  • Diversity, Pluralism, and Power
  • Humanities
  • DEI/Antiracism
Do I have to know what I want to major in?

Not at all! We expect some students will know what they want to major in, but we know many students are still figuring that out. Participating in the Summer Institute may also help you as you determine your academic interests.

How do I apply?

Fill out our online application. The application deadline is May 2, 2022. Decisions will be sent to students on May 16, 2022.

I have more questions. Who should I talk to?

We’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email us Carly Herold at and/or David Levy at