Minor Courses

In addition to learning English, you can choose a minor course on a topic such as robotics, SSAT preparation, astronomy, or music appreciation. 

Minor courses meet from 3:30 to 5 pm, four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). All work is conducted in class, and there is no assigned homework.

Some minor courses may fill quickly, so please list three choices on your online application.

A group of NMH Summer Session students stand with a collaborative painting project
NMH Summer Session students working together on a robotics project
NMH Summer Session student at the easel, drawing.
Student points a DSLR camera at the viewer
Student flies model plane outside under a bright blue sky
Student working with clay in the ceramics studio


Ever gazed up at the sky and wondered what’s out there? How was the Earth created? How big is the universe? What is a black hole? This course will answer these questions and so much more. NMH’s observatory is a wonderful location for viewing and studying stars and planets due to the minimal amount of light “pollution” from neighboring houses and towns. The course includes a daily classroom component as well as two evening viewing sessions per week.

Basic Economics

Ever wonder what the Dow Jones Industrial Index actually is? Or how the stock market operates? In this course, we’ll look broadly at simple economic principles and approaches to responsible personal financial management. Even if you have no knowledge of or experience with the business world, you’ll gain an understanding of financial and economic topics that will help you throughout your life.


Work with your hands and get creative! You’ll explore a variety of clay-building techniques: pinching, slipping and scoring, coiling, slab-building, and throwing on the wheel. Through a variety of projects, you’ll learn about texture, form, and structure. Materials fee: $50.

Community Service

Get involved with the community! This course is all about building awareness of local and global needs and working with various organizations to offer support. Our discussions and action will focus on issues such as homelessness and housing, health care, education, and children. We’ll visit a homeless shelter and a nursing home, volunteer with a children’s reading program at a local library, and raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and other similar nonprofit groups. 

Computer Skills

Improve your adeptness with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google. Learn how to make your presentations stand out; how to insert citations, tables, and an index into Word documents; and how to improve your own organizational skills using calendar apps and to-do lists.

Digital Photography

Capture the world around you! Brush up on camera basics; master shutter speed, apertures, depth-of-field, and flash. You’ll work to take high-quality photographs under varying conditions, and you’ll experiment with landscape photography, close-ups, portraits, and athletic events. You must have your own digital SLR camera.


Are you theatrical? Do you love to perform? In this course, you’ll explore acting, improvisation, and mime. You’ll practice monologues and prepare a production to be presented to the campus community at the end of Summer Session.

Drawing and Painting

Express your creativity and capture the world around you in bright colors — or black and white. This course will be tailored to you and your individual interests and abilities, and is an opportunity for students of all levels to develop skills in drawing and painting. Materials fee: $50.


Learn about journalistic ethics, interviewing techniques, writing articles, and the wide range of media that constitutes the field of journalism today. Then get out there and tell a story! When we talk about sports journalism, we’ll visit the press box of a local baseball team and have a question-and-answer session with a sports reporter, and then you’ll write your own piece about the game.

Music Appreciation

Study the music and music history of Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the U.S.; classical traditions in South America; and modern concert and film music. You’ll explore the Medieval, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras before diving into the 20th century, a time of great experimentation, when composers began to spread their own traditions throughout the world.

Renewable Energy

Our changing climate has created a great need to change our policies about how we generate electricity. Build your knowledge and awareness of renewable energy sources and how they can make our world more sustainable. In addition to classroom time, you’ll head out on field trips to local solar, wind, and hydroelectric power facilities.


Investigate! Design! Solve problems! And, yes, create a robot! You’ll begin with the history of robotics and move on to learning the basic components of a robotic system. You’ll experiment with the various methods that make robots move, with sensors, and with programming. Students must provide their own Chromebook or Windows-based Mac laptop.

SSAT Preparation

This course, taught by instructors from the Summit Educational Group, focuses on the test-taking strategies and academic skills you’ll need to succeed on the SSAT. Summit will customize its instruction to meet your individual needs and maximize your scoring potential. The course covers both math and verbal sections. Summit’s fee: $850. (This fee will be reduced for students who receive financial aid.)

The New York Times visited NMH Summer Session


Summer Session Viewbook