Carnegie Mellon University

  Summer Coursework at CMU

The summer term offers a great opportunity to enroll in Carnegie Mellon’s innovative courses and programs in fine arts, business, engineering, technology, liberal arts, and more. Summer classes allow more flexibility to focus on studies outside the typical fast-paced campus environment. Spending the summer at CMU is the perfect way to enrich your academic experience, stay on course to graduate in four years, and pursue research and internship opportunities. 

Whether you're a current CMU student trying to stay on track or learn more about a particular field, a visiting student who wishes to take a course while you're home for the summer, or a high school student looking to explore pre-college programs, summer courses can help you reach your educational goals no matter where you are in your academic career.

These courses & opportunities represent a sample of the exciting offerings available for summer 2022. You can browse a full listing of summer coursework in the summer SOC.

Employment Opportunity

The department of Conference and Event Services (CES) is currently seeking qualified students to assist the professional staff in the daily operations for the summer 2022 camp and conference season. CES provides students the opportunity to enhance their academic learning experience in a work environment by learning the operational aspects of our department and to broaden their communication, social, listening and writing skills, all while providing superior customer service for one of the leading universities. Please visit our website for additional information on both opportunities below:

Summer Program Assistants

The Summer Program Assistants (SPAs) will deliver superior customer service to our clients and guests by providing assistance with logistical, planning, operational and check-in services. Interested students can apply through Handshake.

Employment dates: May 23 - August 13, 2022
Rate: $11.00 per hour
Free On-Campus Housing

Guest Services Specialists

The Guest Services Specialists (GSSs) will provide a positive check-in/check-out and front desk experience that is welcoming to all guests. The GSS team will serve as welcome ambassadors for the university, accommodate guest needs, work both independently and with the CES team, various campus partners, and CES clients on a daily basis at our Summer Housing Guest Services Office. Interested students can apply through Handshake.

Employment dates: May 23 - August 6, 2022
Rate: $10.00 per hour

03-121 Modern Biology

Summer Two

This is an introductory course that provides the basis for further studies in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology. This course emphasizes the chemical principles underlying biological processes and cell structures as well as the analysis of genetics and heredity from a molecular perspective. This is the introductory biology course for all science and non-science majors.

03-132 Basic Science to Modern Medicine

Summer One (REO) & Summer Two (IPE)

The goal of this course is to give students an understanding of the biology that impacts their everyday lives. Disease can be a tragic part of human life, a fact that is even more apparent during a global pandemic. To understand how specific diseases like COVID-19 or cancer affect the human body, and how modern medicine can tackle them, this course includes a fundamental study of the basic molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology that underlies disease. This is a topics-based course, with topics chosen to cover aspects of biology and health that students are likely to encounter in their daily lives. The topics for summer 2022 will include COVID-19, genome editing, and cancer. We will explore these topics from both a basic science and a modern medicine perspective. Students will gain the expertise to critically evaluate media reports about biology and health, and to ask the questions that will help them to make educated decisions in their lives.

76-239 Intro to Film Studies

Summer One

This course is an introduction to the technology, history, aesthetics, semiotics, and ideology of film. Its focus will be on narrative fiction film, though we will cover avant-garde and documentary film as well. The course will survey the various techniques by which films are made, cover many of more significant movements in film history, and introduce you to some of the most important works of cinema. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with the ideologies present in the films we see, especially those concerning gender and class. In general, our approach will be to draw connections between the films and the larger culture.

76-221 Books You Should Have Read by Now: Fantasy & Myth

Summer Two

Section U (CMU students) & Section E (Pre-College Program only)

This course in “books you should have read by now” traces the history of fantasy literature from its origins in ancient and medieval texts to our contemporary understanding of fantasy in popular culture. Using texts ranging from the medieval epics like Beowulf to the 20th century works of authors like J. R. R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin, we will look at how works of fantasy construct imaginary worlds, providing readers throughout history with new perspectives on their own past, present, and possible futures. We will be reading significant works of fantasy across various literary periods and paying attention to how tropes of fantasy are reproduced or subverted to produce various sub-genres of fantasy writing, and raising questions about what exactly we mean when we label something as fantasy literature. In the process, we’ll consider how fantasy might be defined along three overlapping and concentric axes. First, as the contemporary manifestation of some of the oldest traditions of human culture such as myth, legend, and fairy tale. Second, as the recombination of certain narrative forms in literary culture, especially in the different modes of the novel. And third, as the products and processes of genres—that is, as the commodity objects of mass-market and multimedia consumption, as well as the communities of readers and writers who constitute fantasy literature as it actually exists in the world—and most immediately, right here in our class!

79-249 20th Century U.S. History

Summer One

This survey course covers the history of the United States from 1880 to 1980 through the lenses of migration, race and ethnicity, and citizenship or national belonging. Chronologically organized, the course centers key themes and issues of social, economic, and political importance in both past and present. We will also explore how historical events and their documentation change in meaning and importance over time, and what forces and influences shape these realities.

Overall, we will consider the causes, processes, and experiences shaping the arrival of different immigrant groups to the United States at different historical moments. More specifically, we will follow migrations of different groups of people, like African Americans, north and westward; European immigrants into coastal port cities and beyond; Mexican bracero workers into agricultural industries; Chinese laborers' work experiences in diverse economic settings; and more. We will apply critical lenses toward movements like Americanization and try to understand different groups of citizens' divergent experiences with national belonging. We will also interrogate the logics, values, and symbols that shaped ideas regarding ethnic, racial, class, and gender difference, particularly as they were used to characterize difference regarding citizenship.

79-282 Europe and the World Since 1800

Summer One

This course will introduce students to topics of historical and contemporary relevance in European society and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. We shall focus especially on Europe's place in shaping debates of major international importance--both new and old--about topics such as: colonialism; migration; religious, ethnic, and national identity; Islamophobia; and antisemitism. Throughout we will pay special attention to the situation of inhabitants, past and present, who have been considered outsiders or "others" in European society. In addition to class lectures and reading and discussing historical texts, students will view films and listen to music related to the main themes of the course.

79-319 Indian Cinema since 1947: Seeing the Nation on Screen

Summer Two

This course will examine the shifting contours of India through the medium of cinema. It will look at some of the triumphs and challenges encountered by the nation in the years following independence from colonial rule (1947), up to the present day. We will explore the portrayals and dramatizations of these moments and events in not only Mumbai's Bollywood but also film industries based in other parts of India.

79-358 Oil, Bananas, and Climate Change: An Environmental History of the 20th Century

Summer Two

This course engages students with some of the major themes of 20th century environmental history. Focusing on key human-environment interactions, students will examine major events and processes such as the creation of the Third World, the sociopolitical consequences of burning fossil fuels, and the impact of World War II on the environment. Additional focal points will include the development of the oil trade, the mass deaths in India and China at the turn of the 20th century, and the export-oriented agricultural economy of Latin America.

79-388 Sports in American Culture*

Summer Two

Section U (CMU students) & Section E (Pre-College Program only)

In this course, we will survey the history of sport in the United States from the late nineteenth-century into the twenty-first century. While we will discuss star athletes, famous games, and popular teams, we will focus more so on evaluating the significance of sport in American history. Specifically, we will analyze sports through four themes: westernization/globalization; the emergence and development of Capitalism; industrialization and technological change; and democratization. By doing so, we will examine the changing power relationship between the athletes, owners, and consumers (fans). We will pay particular attention to athletes' changing role in American society and the public's growing expectation that these men and women speak or act on social and political issues. By semester's end, students will look beyond box scores and critically assess how sports has reflected larger trends in our society as well as its continued influence on American life.

*Note: Students who have taken course number 79-388, with former titles Race, Gender, and the Politics of Sports in America since 1900 or History of Sports in the United States may not enroll.

84-307 Economic and Political History of Contemporary China

Summer One

Global politics is increasingly being shaped by the arrival of China as an economic powerhouse, which is increasingly being viewed as a challenger to the Western model of governance and has been posited as an anti-western economic blueprint for development. To understand China and its role in global affairs, this course examines the economic and political history of China over the last century with an emphasis on the post-WWII period. Focusing on China's evolution over this time will introduce students to compelling illustrations of theories of economic development and the politics of economic reform, the intersection of political governance and economic outcomes, how authoritarian regimes function and make decisions, and how politics can lead to humanitarian catastrophes such as the Great Leap Forward and Tiananmen Square. The course will also cover important aspects of Chinese foreign policy and how it is evolving - from the years of Mao Zedong, to Deng Xiaoping and currently under Xi Jingping. This course will also enable a more mature understanding of socialism as an economic ideology, how it contrasts with a purely market-based approach, and how modern China fits within this framework.

84-319 Civil-Military Relations

Summer One

Why do militaries (people with guns) ever obey civilians (people without guns)? When, why, and how do militaries achieve autonomy, battlefield effectiveness, or political rule? Students will confront such questions by surveying theories and cases of civil-military relations. The first half of the course surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on selected problems in civil-military relations, particularly the causes of military loyalty to civilian rule and civilian support for the military, colonial legacies in civil-military relations, difference in civilian and military mindsets/cultures, the relationship between civil-military relations and battlefield effectiveness, military repression and defection during civilian protests, and the determinants and outcomes of military coups. In the second half of the course, the class will survey civil-military relations in selected regions and countries (including the United States, Russia, and China). By the end, students will write an original case study explaining civil-military relations in a particular state.

10-301 / 10-601 Introduction to Machine Learning

Summer-All

Machine Learning is concerned with computer programs that automatically improve their performance through experience (e.g., programs that learn to recognize human faces, recommend music and movies, and drive autonomous robots). This course covers the theory and practical algorithms for machine learning from a variety of perspectives. We cover topics such as Bayesian networks, decision tree learning, Support Vector Machines, statistical learning methods, unsupervised learning and reinforcement learning. The course covers theoretical concepts such as inductive bias, the PAC learning framework, Bayesian learning methods, margin-based learning, and Occam’s Razor. Programming assignments include hands-on experiments with various learning algorithms. This course is designed to give a graduate-level student a thorough grounding in the methodologies, technologies, mathematics and algorithms currently needed by people who do research in machine learning.

10-301 is recommended for undergraduates who are not SCS majors and counts towards the Machine Learning Minor. (SCS majors should instead take 10-315 in Fall or Spring.) 10-601 is recommended for quantitative master's students & PhD students outside MLD.

17-693 Negotiations for Software Leaders

Summer One

Negotiation skills are fundamental to professionals in all fields. Indeed, a strong argument can be made that almost every interaction that humans engage in is a negotiation in one form or another. This can be particularly important in technology-related industries and positions, where individuals may find themselves negotiating a job offer, attempting to convince upper management to back a new product or project, or trying to agree on deal terms for a corporate merger or a venture capital investment. The ability to identify your goals and alternatives, to effectively engage with a negotiating partner, and to define and achieve a positive outcome is critical to success in these and numerous other endeavors - and those who excel at handling these kinds of complex and often nuanced interactions will achieve greater success for themselves and their organizations.

17-646 DevOps and Continuous Integration

Summer Two

DevOps is the term given to a modern movement to establish practices that significantly reduce the time to production of committed code. This time involves deployment - the period between the completion of the code by the developers and the placing of the code into normal production and dealing with operations issues. Deployment time can be days, weeks, or even months when using normal development practices. Operational issues such as dealing with incidents and errors introduce other delays. Modern internet companies deploy a system multiple or even dozens of times every day. Achieving this velocity requires coordinated process and design activities together with supporting tooling. This course will cover the deployment process and the associated tooling, it will highlight reasons why release schedules can be slow, and it will introduce the practices that are used to enable high velocity deployments. It will also cover the kinds of problems that are created because of high velocity and how modern internet companies deal with these problems.

Please note: This is a required course for MSE-SS students. Students outside of the software engineering department may take this course but students of the MSE programs will have first priority.

33-120 Science and Science Fiction

Summer One

In this class we will view and critique the science content in a selection of science fiction films, spanning more than 100 years of cinematic history, and from sci-fi TV shows from the past 50+ years. Guided by selected readings from current scientific literature and aided by order-of-magnitude estimates and careful calculations, we will ponder whether the films are showing things which may fall into one of the following categories:

  • Science fiction at the time of production, but currently possible, due to recent breakthroughs.
  • Possible, in principle, but beyond our current technology.
  • Impossible by any science we know.

Topics to be covered include the nature of space and time, extraterrestrial intelligence, robotics and artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the future of the technological society, and more. This class is open to all students, no pre-requisites are required.

33-115 Physics for Future Presidents

Summer Two

Countless topics of social and political importance are intimately related to science in general and physics in particular. Examples include energy production, global warming, radioactivity, and space travel. This course aims to provide key bits of knowledge based on which such issues can be discussed in a meaningful way, and related to modern society. We will cover an unusually wide range of topics, including energy, heat, gravity, atoms, radioactivity, chain reactions, electricity, magnetism, waves, light, weather, and climate. This class is open to all students, no pre-requisites are required.

Visiting Student Information

Visiting/Non-Degree Students

If you are a non-CMU college student striving to enhance your academic background, a CMU staff/faculty member or a local professional looking for professional development, please visit the Visiting/Non-Degree Student webpage to learn more about taking Carnegie Mellon coursework. 

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Teacher Development

The Leonard Gelfand Center provides professional development programs to teachers. All programs are eligible for Act 48 status. 

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CASOS Summer Institute

In June of each year, the Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems Summer Institute provides an intense and hands-on introduction to network analysis and computational modeling of complex socio-technical systems. Participation is open to graduate students, faculty and personnel from industry, education, and government. 

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K-12 Student Information

Pre-College Summer Session

Carnegie Mellon offers a variety of summer Pre-College Programs for high school students. In Pre-College Summer Session, high school students enroll in CMU collge courses, earning credit and receiving a Carnegie Mellon Transcript. Courses are from subjects across the entire university, including science, humanities, social science, engineering, computer science, and technology applied to the arts. Students interested in pre-college opportunities in a specific area not listed should contact the appropriate department for more information.

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Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences

The Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS) was established in order to provide a summer enrichment experience in the sciences and mathematics for talented Pennsylvania high school students and to encourage them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The program provides instruction in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science, with emphasis on collaborative learning and team research.

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