Academic Overview


Academic Work

Each weekday of the Institute, students attend a two-hour morning and two-hour afternoon class with the same professor and same small group (12-15 students). The long lunch break provides ample time for resting, completing assignments, and socializing. Students may request coursework in one of two categories:

Creative Writing Program

In creative writing courses, students read and study collections of fiction, poetry, drama, or creative non-fiction written by established and well-known authors, and they explore what makes literature a skilled craft. Critical analysis of the texts leads to discussions of writing strategies-point of view, literary device, structure-that students then employ and examine in their own writing through a series of exercises and peer workshops. By the end of the session, students will have completed a writing portfolio of their work.

Expository Writing Program

In expository writing courses, students read and analyze texts and subjects from literature, history, or psychology and learn how to construct arguments about them. Professors spend class time discussing the issues raised in the reading and identifying why certain rhetorical strategies work and how students can achieve them in their own writing. This critical inquiry gives students the tools they need to develop their own positions and write their own expository essays, which then become part of the class′s collection of texts to discuss. By the end of the two weeks, students will have written their own anthology of essays.

Intellectual Engagement

In addition to traditional coursework, the Institute offers a variety of intellectual activities. In the evenings, students, Rhodes faculty, and guest lecturers participate in “Brain Candy,” an evening lecture and reading series with topics such as "Homer Economicus Responds to Incentives", "How liberated, really, is Sex and the City?” and "Terrorism and National Security.”

Outside of class time and lectures, students engage in study and writing groups with their peers and Rhodes undergraduates, meet independently with their professor, share meals with Institute faculty, explore the library for reading materials, use the computer facilities for writing assignments, and visit the Writing Center, where they can receive individual help from Rhodes undergraduates. Additionally, students may attend the “College Prep” sessions, where admissions officers and faculty share their experience with college admission policies and provide tips for getting into college.