Academic Overview

Academic Work

Each weekday morning of the Institute, students attend class with the same professor and same small group (8-12 students). After a leisurely lunch break, students convene for writing groups staffed by undergraduate writing fellows. This time gives students a chance to complete work and peer reviews assigned by their professor with help from a trained writing tutor. Students may request coursework in one of two categories:

  • Creative Writing Workshop 

In creative writing workshops, 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. 

  • College Writing Seminar

In college writing seminars, students read and analyze texts and subjects from a discipline of their choice. Past courses include literature, film studies, history, international studies, political science, and psychology. 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 analytical essays, which then become part of the class′s collection of texts to discuss. 

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 an evening lecture and reading series with topics such as "Yesterday and Today: What is your cultural moment?", "Hollyworld: American Movies, Global Cinema, and Cultural Imperialism," "Brain Blunders: Common Errors of Cognition," and "Terrorism and National Security.”

Outside of class 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 strategies for applying to college.