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Columbia University Summer High School Creative Writing

Columbia University Summer High School Creative Writing

















































Summer Visual Arts Course | Photography Intensive

Session 1 (May 23- July 1), MTWThF

Instructors: Thomas Roma & Inbal Abergil

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This was an amazing program. I feel more prepared than ever to leave the classroom environment and create my own work!

-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

I enrolled hoping to learn how to think like an artist and understand the history of photography (in 6 weeks!) and I got that.
-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

The Advanced Photography Intensive was fantastic. It's the ideal way for a mature student and a photographer in any level to intensively workshop their photography. One of the selling points of the course is that you make your own program out of it—you can focus on whatever you want.

-Student, Advanced Photography Intensive, 2013

The Photography Intensive engages students in all elements of photographic practice and the development of a portfolio. The experienced faculty are responsive to the specific needs of each photographer and the course is appropriate for students at any level. The curriculum is designed for students to quickly accelerate their understanding of the language of photography and to realize the creative possibilities in their own work. A combination of technical tutorials, individual meetings with internationally renowned artists and art professionals, as well as a series of seminars and group critiques, provide students with the tools they need to advance professionally and further develop the core elements of their practice. The Photography Intensive provides an exceptional workshop environment where students have 24-hour access to traditional and digital facilities, coupled with daily hands-on assistance from experienced faculty and staff, culminating in a group exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery. Students are expected to produce work independently throughout the six-week term and fully dedicate their time and efforts to the course.

The course is designed for several distinct types of students: exceptional undergraduates passionate about photography, college graduates preparing to apply for MFA programs, experienced photographers looking to gain knowledge of the photographic tradition and its advanced techniques, and seasoned artists and teachers wishing to rigorously develop their practice through a critical dialogue with faculty and other students.

Features of the Course

Shared workspace on 115 th Street and Broadway, New York City

Individual meetings with faculty and visiting artists

Lectures by internationally renowned photographers

Critical History of Photography Seminar

Visits to Museums, Galleries, and Artist Studios in New York City

Guided photographic trips

Technical tutorials covering traditional darkroom printing and contemporary digital practice

Portfolio editing and writing workshops

Career development and professional practice workshops

Facilities and Equipment Access

Full, 24-hour, access to the School of the Arts Photography Facilities

Studio Classroom with lockers for storage of equipment and supplies

Imacon and Epson Scanners

Epson 9000 Series Inkjet Printer (all inks provided)

Black and White Darkrooms

35mm, Medium Format and 4×5 Enlargers

Film and Print Processing Areas

At the beginning of the course, each student share a slide presentation of their work with students and faculty

Students are scheduled to meet with each member of the faculty every week. For additional perspective, students also meet with artists and other professionals who visit the course during weekly visits.

Visiting Artist Lectures

Beginning in the second week, a prominent photographer lectures about their work. Lectures are followed with a meeting with each student in the course. Visiting artists include Eileen Quinlan, Elinor Carucci, Michael Spano, Jeffrey Henson Scales, and Vince Aletti.

The first five weeks feature technical tutorials on advanced black and white darkroom production, lighting, and color-managed digital workflow from high-resolution scan to exhibition quality inkjet print.

Each student presents their work to faculty and other students during a day-long series of group critiques. Faculty lead the discussions and the critiques take place in the first three weeks of the term.

Critical History of Photography Seminar

Students read and discuss key issues in contemporary photography and the history of the medium. New readings are provided each week.

New York City, Art, and Photography

Staff lead visits to museums, galleries and studios around New York. In addition, trips are arranged to facilitate photographing in the city. Often, these visits and trips tie in directly to topics discussed in the Critical History of Photography Seminar.

Final Review and Exhibition

The course concludes with an exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University. The faculty conduct a final analysis of work completed in the course and have a discussion with the students in the gallery.

Born 1971 in Jerusalem, Israel, Elinor Carucci graduated in 1995 from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design with a degree in photography, and moved to New York that same year. In a relatively short amount of time, her work has been included in an impressive amount of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, solo shows include Edwynn Houk gallery, Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, James Hyman and Gagosian Gallery, London among others and group show include The Museum of Modern Art New York and The Photographers' Gallery, London.

Eileen Quinlan is an internationally known artist exploring the material boundaries of the photographic process and its personal and conceptual implications. Quinlan received her B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1996 and her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2005. Recent notable exhibitions include "What is a Photograph?” at the International Center of Photography, New York, “New Photography”, 2103, Museum of Modern Art, New York, "My Eyes Can Only Look at You ", The Institute of Contemporary Art(ICA), Boston, MA, and "After Hours," March 18 — April 18, 2015, Campoli Presti, London. Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York.

Michael Spano is an artist known for his urban, experimental and personal photography. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum. Spano’s work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston among others. He is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His monographs Time Frames, City Pictures and Auto Portraits have both been published by powerHouse Books. He teaches photography at Sarah Lawrence College.

Vince Aletti reviews photography exhibitions for The New Yorker ’s 'Goings on About Town' section and photo books for Photograph magazine. Formerly the photography critic and art editor at the Village Voice. he received ICP’s Infinity Award in writing in 2005 and was a curator at that museum for 2009’s “Year of Fashion,” including “Avedon Fashion 1944-2004."

Jeffrey Henson Scales spent more than 40 years as a freelance documentary and commercial photographer – those documentary photographs have been exhibited at museums throughout the United States and Europe. His photographs have appeared in numerous photography magazines, books and anthologies, as well as in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The George Eastman House and The Baltimore Museum of Art. A one-person exhibition, "Pictures From America by Jeffrey Henson Scales," sponsored by The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, traveled throughout the United States from 1996 to 2001.

Currently: Since 1998, Jeffrey Henson Scales has been a photography editor at The New York Times. Currently there he is the photography editor of The Sunday Review. and The Book Review. He is also co-editor of the annual, Year In Pictures section for both print and online editions. He curates The New York Times Sunday Review photography column, “Exposures.”

There are no pre-requisites to the Photography Intensive and students are admitted to the course on a first-come, first-served basis. The preferred deadline for application is March 15th, and the international student deadline is April 1st.

The online application for Arts in the Summer with the School of the Arts will go live on February 29. An "apply now" button will appear at the top of each individual course page at this time.

Admissions is fast and easy. With the exception of the TV Writing and Painting Intensive, there are no prerequisites for arts courses (and this includes the Photography Intensive). No transcript is required and students need have neither a BA nor arts experience to join our coureses.

The 2016 rate for current degree seeking students and visiting students is $1630 per point. Students enrolled in postbaccalaureate and certification programs can review tuition and fees here.

Students are required to pay an $500 lab fee in addition to Columbia tuition.

Twice the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships, Thomas Roma 's work has appeared in one-person and group exhibitions internationally, including one-person shows with accompanying books at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography in New York. more

Inbal Abergil is a photographer currently living and working in New York City. Her photographs investigate the aesthetic and societal norms of Israeli culture and the world at large through conceptions of time and memory – concepts that take on great importance in cultures in which loss is a substantial part of daily life. more

Summer Programs For High School Students New York City

The College Preparatory Program

“Every second, I felt like I was absorbing knowledge in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The professors are very helpful and knowledgeable in their fields. My classmates brought a multifaceted approach towards a subject and deepened my understandings.” — Ziming Gao, 2015

“It was challenging but in a good way; I think I learned a lot.” — Daniela Bohrt, 2015

Course Description

An intensive review in four major skill areas for students who wish to strengthen their preparation for college-level work. Each skill module meets two or three mornings or afternoons per week. Students enrolled in this curricular option are required to take all four modules.

Expository Writing
Barbara Morris, Anne Summers, Kristin Wolfe

Students reinforce skills in grammar and punctuation as they learn to narrow a general subject into a usable, focused thesis and to write a coherent and informed essay. Through reading, debate, and writing, students develop writing strategies for different types of assignments such as examinations, reports, and term papers. Through careful readings of a variety of short articles and excerpts, students develop an appreciation for the writing skills essential in an academic setting.

New Approaches To Mathematics
Debbie Yuster

In New Approaches To Mathematics, students practice mathematics as an experimental, discovery-based science, solving open-ended problems through experimentation and creativity. They later revisit their hypotheses and prove them using novel proof techniques. In the second half of the course, students sample various branches of pure and applied mathematics, with topics selected from fields including cryptography, probability, number theory, and geometry. This course develops students’ creativity, independent thinking, logical reasoning, and ability to rigorously support their ideas. Instead of using the standard lecture approach, this module uses in-class group exercises in which students support and complement each other through the entire problem solving process, from understanding the problem to presenting the group’s solution to the class.

Reading and Critical Thinking
Deborah Aschkenes, Amanda Golden, Barbara Morris

Students develop an understanding of how language and form work in what they read and see in order to develop methods for identifying and critically evaluating conveyed messages. A variety of literary and visual media is considered, including fiction, poetry, drama, newspaper and magazine articles, movies, and television programs.

Study Skills and Research Techniques
Anne Summers

Students practice the skills required to complete college assignments productively and to do research in a university library. Extensively considered are time management, note-taking, outlining, examination preparation, and effective class participation. Students are trained to use the full resources of a library, including traditional research tools as well as computerized catalogs, abstracts, indexes, and bibliographic databases.


Deborah Aschkenes

After working in fashion merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue, Deborah Aschkenes received her M.A. M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she was awarded the English Department’s Miron Cristo-Loveanu prize for Best Master’s Essay. Currently on the faculty of Riverdale Country School, she teaches English and an interdisciplinary course integrating philosophy, visual art, and literature. Her research and teaching span rhetorical theory, the Victorian novel, and, most recently, the ethics of technology.

Amanda Golden

Amanda Golden is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology. She previously held the Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Poetics at Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry and a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her B.A. from Colgate University and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where for three summers she also taught advanced middle and high school students at the Robinson Center for Young Scholars. She is the author of Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets (Routledge, forthcoming) and editor of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton​ (UP of Florida, 2016).

Barbara Morris

Barbara Morris is a University of Chicago Ph.D. and the co-founder of a pioneering program in graduate research and writing at Parsons the New School for Design in the division of Art, Media and Technology. She has worked as a professor of film and literature at UCLA, Rutgers University, and Fordham University. Dr. Morris has received research fellowships from the Fulbright Committee, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the governments of Spain, the United States, and Argentina for her work in cinema studies.

Anne Summers

Anne Summers holds a B.A from Barnard College and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in English at Stony Brook University. She is a recipient of a Graduate Council Fellowship at Stony Brook and is specializing in Victorian literature with an additional graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies. Her research interests include visual culture and female authorship, labor, and education in the Victorian period. She has worked as a high school and middle school tutor, an SAT prep instructor, and a reading teacher.

Kristin L. Wolfe

Kristin L. Wolfe is an MFA student in nonfiction writing at Columbia University. She holds an M.S. in secondary education from St. John’s University and a B.A. in English from the University of San Francisco. Kristin has taught English composition, creative writing, and humanities courses in public and private schools in New York City and Connecticut; managed various award-winning student publications; selected numerous students for the New England Young Writers Conference; and assisted with hundreds of college admissions essays. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and cultural essays for various publications, and she has recently completed writing her first young adult novel.

Debbie Yuster

Debbie Yuster received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia in 2007. She is currently an assistant professor of mathematics at SUNY Maritime. Prior to this, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University. Her research interests include combinatorics, computational geometry, and algebraic aspects of topological dynamics. Dr. Yuster has taught undergraduate courses at Columbia and other universities, and has worked with New York City math teachers and their students in order to promote interest in math, as part of the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 program.

Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.

Columbia Publishing Course

An intensive, six-week introduction to all aspects of book, magazine and digital publishing

Since its inception (as the Radcliffe Publishing Course) in 1949, the Columbia Publishing Course has been recognized as the premier training ground for those aspiring to work in publishing. Our six‐week summer program in New York covers book, magazine and digital publishing through lectures and workshops. We also have a program at Oxford University .

Who Should Apply

Dubbed the «West Point of publishing» for its rigorous nature and for the consistently high caliber of its students, the course is aimed primarily at recent college graduates but other applicants are not discouraged. Many students have worked in publishing briefly and would like to broaden their understanding of the field or have decided to make a career change from an unrelated field.

Most applicants have majored in English and the humanities but the choice of college major is incidental to acceptance. Many of our students have majored in other disciplines, such as art, economics, business, law, music and the sciences.

Students with a demonstrated interest in publishing have always gained the most from the course. Many types of interests, work or volunteer experiences can be considered related to publishing, including:

  • Publishing internships
  • Photography, graphic arts, sales or marketing experience
  • College or high school newspapers, literary journals, blogs, etc.
  • Bookstore, library, and/or office experience

Because of other available educational opportunities, the course does not emphasize instruction in journalism or creative writing. Applicants with writing experience who seek new ways to apply their skills within the world of publishing – as editors, publicists, designers, marketing and business managers or publishers – are encouraged to apply.

All applicants must have successfully completed all requirements for a B.A. or B.S. degree by the start of the course. Only in extremely rare circumstances do we admit students who have yet to finish their undergraduate degrees, since students who are not ready to enter the workforce immediately cannot take full advantage of the networking opportunities, job market preparation and career placement services we offer. Please contact our office if you’d like to discuss your circumstances.

How to Apply

The application opens every year in November. Admission for the Columbia Publishing Course is competitive. On average we receive 350 applications for approximately 110 places in the New York program. We have 70 places in the Oxford program.

Applicants who wish to be considered for both the U.K. and the N.Y. programs should indicate CPC N.Y. as their first choice program and indicate that they wish to be considered for CPC U.K. as well. Dual applications must be submitted by the CPC N.Y. deadline in March.

Most components of the application are to be submitted electronically. For detailed instructions, review the “Instructions” page of the online application.

  • Online application
  • Nonrefundable application fee — $55 for applicants to CPC N.Y. We do not grant application fee waivers.
  • Active email address — All admission and financial aid notifications will be sent by email.
  • Transcript(s) — PDFs of transcripts from each of the undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended as a degree‐seeking student.
  • Two to three letters of recommendation — Two are required; the third letter is optional. You may submit your online application even if the letters have not yet been submitted by your evaluators.
  • Personal essays — One personal statement (two double‐spaced pages) and one short answer (one paragraph) in response to the given prompts.
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae — Preferably a one‐page, professional résumé that succinctly summarizes your skills, experience and education.
  • Clips (Optional) — Applicants have the option to submit up to two examples of publishing work (e.g. published articles, blog posts, etc.) through our online application. We will not accept any hard copy materials via post.

Course Fees and Financial Aid

For 2016, the costs of the New York program are as follows:

Course Fees: $5,300

We house our students in single rooms (no roommates) in Hogan Hall, a Columbia dorm half a block away from the Journalism School. The board plan covers three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on weekdays only, as well as special events like the final banquet. The board plan is mandatory while living on‐campus is optional. Students living off‐campus will be charged $1,025 for the board plan in addition to $5,300 for tuition.

Limited financial aid is available. To apply for financial aid, do not create a separate scholarship application through the Journalism School’s website. Instead, download the CPC aid application and fill it out completely. After submitting your application for admission, log in to the application system, scroll to “Upload Materials” and select «CPC Financial Aid Form» to upload your completed, signed PDF.

Financial aid applications must be submitted by the March application deadline. Applications are evaluated by the scholarship committee. Notification of financial aid decisions will be sent after acceptance.

Due to the short length of the course, federally funded financial aid and student loans (through Sallie Mae, etc.) are not available. If you require financial assistance, we suggest you explore direct‐to‐consumer private loans in addition to applying for the course’s modest financial aid fund.

The Columbia Publishing Course is grateful to the Hachette Book Group and Penguin Random House for their generous scholarship support.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are held at colleges and universities across the country in the fall and spring.

No information sessions are currently scheduled. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive event updates.

In 2016 we visited more than 30 colleges and universities. Please let us know if you would like to see us at your school next year!

Course Description

The first three weeks of the course are devoted to book publishing and the following two weeks are devoted to magazine and digital publishing, with the sixth and last week being a combination of all the interests presented by the course. The sixth week also heavily focuses on career planning in preparation for the job fair, which takes place at the Journalism School the Monday after the end of the course. See a detailed breakdown of the course.

All students must participate in the entire course; it is not possible to take only the book portion or only the magazine/digital portion. Students who are solely interested in book publishing are encouraged to explore our four‐week course at Oxford University.

Applicants should note that the Columbia Publishing Course is a highly intensive six‐week session, with students expected to attend classes and workshops every weekday morning, afternoon and evening, as well as many weekends. As a result, students can expect little free time during the course.

Career Guidance

While students are not guaranteed job placement, the course offers extensive career placement and support services. Resume and cover letter workshops are held throughout the course, giving students the opportunity to work one‐on‐one with professionals to develop their resumes. Human resources professionals talk to students about interviewing and the process of finding a job. The course ends in a career fair where students can meet hiring representatives from the publishing industry and begin their job searches in earnest.

The course has an excellent job placement rate and people in the publishing industry know that course graduates make excellent employees. The course not only helps students find their first jobs but also creates a network that stays with them throughout their careers.

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