Programs and Activities

Programs for Educators

Whatever your interests, you'll find many ways to continue your professional development this summer at the U. You can add to your current educational background by learning the latest research, and reflect on your field of study with your colleagues in a classroom designed for educators.

To find the best program for you, click on the links below for more information. You can also review a comprehensive list of programs and courses geared toward Pre-K−12 educators that are offered throughout the year.




Enhance your science or math curriculum by attending a professional development program at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering. These programs—most during the summer—offer lab experiences and new teaching resources to bring back to your classroom.

Global Studies

Workshops and institutes challenge teachers to combine experience in applying critical thinking and problem-solving skills to international issues with the knowledge and materials needed to engage their students. To prepare our students for global citizenship in the 21st century, the Institute for Global Studies and the European Studies Consortium are working to strengthen international studies in K−16 education.

Language Arts

College of Education and Human Development

Designed for teachers of foreign languages and English as a second language. Courses are offered on the Twin Cities campus, typically during the last three weeks in July.

CARLA offers a range of institutes targeted at foreign language and ESL teachers from a variety of teaching levels and contexts. Visit the CARLA website for registration information. Questions? E-mail the CARLA office at

Browse the 2017 offerings.

  • Using the Web for Communicative Language Learning (Online)
  • Developing Assessments for the Second Language Classroom
  • Creativity in the Classroom
  • Using Technology in Second Language Teaching 
  • Improving Language Learning: Styles- and Strategies-based Instruction
  • Teaching Language Through the Lens of Social Justice
  • Using Authentic Materials to Develop 21st Century Literacies
  • Content-Based Language Instruction and Curriculum Development
  • Culture as the Core in the Second Language Classroom Growing Learner Language: A Hands-On Approach

Reading and Writing

Minnesota Writing Project Summer Institute
Retreat June 21−22, 2017
Institute July 10−28, 2017
The institute is a three-week, intensive summer course held at the University of Minnesota. Teachers (K-college) are invited to share best practices, engage in critical discussions, conduct research into current theories of literacy and pedagogy, and improve their own skills as writers. Invited Fellows receive graduate university credit and the benefit of attending a two-day retreat prior to the on-campus experience.


Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Teacher professional development opportunities at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) aim to improve student achievement in biological science by improving the quality and effectiveness of teachers’ delivery of ecological science curriculum. Specifically, they are designed to enhance teacher and student understanding of fundamental ecological principles and the impacts of various human-induced disturbances on ecosystem health and function. 

BrainU is offered at no cost to high school science teachers who qualify for clock hours towards professional development in MN (CEU). Teachers who qualify will receive a stipend for their participation. BrainU may also be taken for master's course credit in the College of Education and Human Development under course number CI 5540. High school teachers who wish to take BrainU for course credit may qualify for reduced tuition rates.

PBio 5960 PSI Minnesota - Plant Science Investigation
Biological Sciences Center, St Paul Campus
June 19−23 and June 26−29, 2017
Plus three follow-up meetings during the academic year
If you like the idea of a classroom alive with plants and inquisitive students, join us! You'll take part in hands-on activities with seeds and germination, roots and shoots, leaves and photosynthesis, reproduction and flowers. In each of these areas, you will explore concepts and activities suited for classroom use at multiple grade levels. Course fees, materials, per diem, lunch, and three graduate credits are covered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education's Improving Teacher Quality program grant. For more information, contact Dr. Susan Wick at; 612-625-4718.

Tuition and Credit Options

Some of these courses for educators are grant-funded and can be taken at little or no cost to you. Summer courses for educators are available for graduate and/or undergraduate credit. Each course is unique, so inquire about tuition and credit options before you register.

Summer Institutes

School of Public Health

  • Summer Public Health Institute—The Public Health Institute offers a course for everyone practicing in or studying public health or fields related to public health. 
  • Summer Institute in Biostatistics—This program is designed to help students pursue a career in the field, providing a foundation in biostatistics, epidemiology, and statistical computing.

Field Study Programs

Philosophy Camp
Lives Worth Living: Questions of Self, Vocation, and Community (Philosophy Camp)
PHIL 4326, 4 credits | $2,300
PHIL 4350, 2 credits | $1,000
Dates TBD
College of Liberal Arts
Spend three weeks (4326) or one week (4350) in rural southwestern Minnesota getting to know the land, the community, and yourself. Daily story circles and reflection, field experiences with local innovators and organizations, opportunities for creative expression, and great conversation will provide you with the tools you need to make your own philosophy for a life worth living. Tuition covers a single occupancy room, daily meals, and course supplies. Graduate credit available. For more information contact the Philosophy Camp coordinator in the University's Office for Off-Campus Study Programs at 612-626-2044,

Itasca Field Biology Session
College of Biological Sciences, Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories
Itasca courses are open to domestic or international undergraduate and graduate students of any accredited college or university, as well as to others with continuing education objectives, provided they are in good standing academically. Course credits are transferable to most colleges and universities.

Additional Opportunities

Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Programs (LSSURP) 
June 1−August 12, 2017
College of Biological Sciences
The programs begin with a joint orientation weekend, followed by participation in a 10-week research project under the direction of a University of Minnesota faculty mentor and numerous special activities focused on professional development as well as social interaction. The summer research experience concludes with a poster symposium and banquet in August.

The Learning Abroad Center
The Learning Abroad Center is the University of Minnesota's comprehensive resource for study, work, intern, volunteer, and travel experiences worldwide. Three-week, three-credit global seminars are available during the May session, and many longer summer session programs are offered. Applications are reviewed until a March deadline.

Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) works with schools across the country to prepare a larger and more diverse group of students to be successful in engineering and engineering technology programs.

Opportunities for High School Students
College of Continuing Education
Dual enrollment programs that allow students to earn college credit while they are still in high school have grown dramatically in Minnesota and nationwide. The College of Continuing Education has two dual enrollment programs: College in the Schools and Post-Secondary Enrollment Options.

English as a Second Language
College of Continuing Education
The Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) provides courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) at the University of Minnesota. ESL course work helps non-native English speakers improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills for success in a university classroom or in the workplace.

Noncredit Programs

Activities and Events