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Summer Academy 2016

June 27 – July 29, 2016
FREE for incoming first-year students
Application Deadline: May 1, 2016

PLU’s Summer Academy is a program designed for students who would like to benefit from a guided transition to PLU’s academic expectations and requirements. This 5 week summer program is an opportunity for incoming first-year students to get a head start on class credits and begin their PLU experience before the start of the fall semester.


  • Complete 7 PLU credits, to count toward your first-year and graduation requirements.
  • Build new academic skills to support your success
  • Work closely with PLU professors and staff
  • Develop a supportive community with new fellow Lutes
  • Live on-campus in a residence hall
  • Get to know the PLU campus, and Parkland and Tacoma communities through excursions, service learning, and other activities
  • The entire program is FREE

Students who participate in programs like Summer Academy are more likely to be successful in a college setting.

Finalists will be invited to interview with faculty in early May for selection to Summer Academy.


``It sets you on track so that when you arrive at college (in the fall) you don’t feel like a stranger. You feel like you’re already at home because you attended Summer Academy.`` - Charles Reinmuth, '19

Read full story here

Summer Academy Program Details

Classes (7 total credits, to be applied to your first year) To reach sophomore standing, you need 30 credits.

See bottom of the page for course descriptions!

Move-in day: Sunday, June 26
Courses are scheduled Monday through Friday (in the Morken Center for Learning & Technology) for five weeks (June 27-July 29), with some special weekend programs.
Mondays: FYEP 100 – 9:00am – 10:50am & 11:30am-2:20pm
Tuesdays – Fridays: GLST 287 – 9:00am – 10:50am & SOCI 101 or MATH 107 – 11:30am – 2:20pm
Move-out day: Friday, July 30 2:00-6:30pm

The Summer Academy program is free. This includes tuition, books, housing, and meals. Several outings and activities – including travel and meals – will also be covered by the program. Any additional personal expenses beyond the aforementioned costs are the student’s responsibility. If any fines are accrued (library, parking, etc.), those, too, are the student’s responsibility.

Living on Campus
This is a residential program – students will live in PLU’s Hong International Hall. The faculty and Residential Life staff work collaboratively to create a connected program to immerse students into college life.

General Expectations
Summer Academy students are expected to:

  • Reside on campus the full five weeks of the program.
  • Participate in all planned Summer Academy activities, both within the enrolled courses and the co-curricular activities planned by Residential Life and other Summer Academy staff.
  • Attend all classes and appointments with faculty and staff.
  • Participate in on-going reflective essays and surveys.
  • Participate in Summer Academy Cohort activities throughout the academic year.

Any further questions? Please contact Director of Admission Melody Ferguson at or 253-535-7707.

Summer Academy Course Descriptions:

City as Text – 2 credits

Introduction to the Humanities: the University and the City

Some people think of college as a way to get a better job; some people think of it as simply ‘the next step’ in their education. In this course, we’re going to explore what else college can be for you – in particular, how it might also be a place where you reflect upon what you are and what you can become, and what the world is and what it can become. We’re going to do this in two ways. First, we’re going to learn a little bit about the history of universities, and of PLU in particular, so that you can understand better why universities today have the features they do (for better, and for worse). Secondly, we’re going to explore literature, philosophy, and art which has to do with education — and explore how reading and discussing literature, philosophy, and art in a university-level humanities class can help you think more deeply and perhaps differently about your life, your goals, and the world around you.

The class also has a second focus: on the city of Tacoma to which you’re moving (or in which you already live). As in the case of the university, we’re going to learn a bit about the history of cities, and of Tacoma’s in particular, not just in order to better read its history and present, but also in order better imagine yourself in it.

Through exploring these two topics, this course also introduces you to the habits and practices that college-level work requires: the ability to read challenging material successfully; the willingness to discuss readings and ideas in an open, receptive way; and the ability to write clearly, and with your own distinctive take on things. That is: the class will help you become a better interpreter — a practice which is central not just to understanding literature, or art, or a city, but also to quite different pursuits, including the sciences, medicine, as well as, of course, the conduct of your own life.

Success at PLU – 1 credit

Personal decision-making process applied to educational choices and planning, self-assessment of strengths, and basic preparation for college success at PLU.

Mathematical Explorations – 4 credits

Mathematics and modern society. Emphasis on numerical and logical reasoning. Designed to increase awareness of applications of mathematics, to enhance enjoyment of and self-confidence in mathematics, and to sharpen critical thought in mathematics. Prerequisite: PLU math entrance requirements. Meets General Education requirements in Mathematical Reasoning (MR) and Natural Sciences (NS)

Introduction to Sociology – 4 credits

An introduction to the discipline of sociology. Features an analysis of contemporary American society with an emphasis on the interconnections of race, class, and gender. Sociological concepts include socialization, social roles, stereotypes, power, and stratification. Meets General Education requirements in Social Sciences (SO), and Perspectives on Diversity (A).