What to Expect

during the W&M Pre-College Program

Challenging Curriculum

The courses offered to Pre-College Students are the same courses offered to W&M undergraduates.  In order to offer these courses NIAHD has condensed a 15-week semester into just 3 weeks.  We hold Pre-College students to the same high standard of excellence as all W&M students and consistently challenge them to produce their best work.  It is an academically rigorous program.

Students can expect to:
  • Travel 5 days a week to tour historic sites
  • Participate in class discussions with a maximum of 12 students
  • Read 30-60 pages of college-level articles and primary source documents each night
  • Write 3 analytical essays (1 per week)
Physical Demands

Students will go on field trips and attend class discussions 5 days a week.  They will also have to manage a busy schedule consisting of evening programs, extracurricular activities, lengthy reading assignments, and social events.  Being well-rested and well-nourished is a key component to staying focused and healthy during the program.

The climate in Virginia during the summer is hot and humid.  The heat index during the day when students are on site visits is typically above 100F (38C).  Many site visits will be outdoors or inside old buildings that have no air-conditioning.  We will provide chilled bottles of water and do our best to utilize shaded areas whenever possible.  However, students should expect to be outdoors frequently and should come prepared to withstand the heat and humidity.

Recreational Activities

Academics are paramount but NIAHD recognizes that students also need to have time to engage in recreational activities.  NIAHD’s Residential Program Assistants (RPAs) will organize sporting events, games, and social activities in the evenings and on the weekends to help students relax and unwind.  It’s a great way to bond with your fellow pre-college peers. 

Have your own idea for a group activity that everyone can enjoy?  Let your RPA know and they can help you organize it!