Minor Courses

These minor courses meet for the first half of the afternoon, from 1:30 to 3 pm, four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). All work is conducted in class, and there is no assigned homework.

All students participating in the College Prep Program or in English for Speakers of Other Languages–CP choose minor courses from the following offerings. Certain minor courses may fill quickly, so please list three choices on your online application.

NMH summer student working with clay
NMH summer students collaborating on a project
Student works on a painting at an easel
NMH Summer Session drama students, having a class meeting on stage


The course explores a variety of building techniques: pinching, slipping and scoring, coiling, slab-building, and throwing on the wheel. Through a variety of projects, students learn about texture, form, and structure. Materials fee: $50.

Community Service

This course is designed to raise awareness of local and global needs, to offer support and work to various organizations, and to instill the values of offering one's time, energy, and other resources to those in need. Discussion and action revolve around themes such as homelessness and housing, health care, education, and children. In a typical summer, students visit a homeless shelter and a nursing home, volunteer in a children's reading program at a local library, and raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts or other charities.

Computer Programming

Students learn to write graphical programs that explore fundamental computer science topics. Through learning to program, they apply logic and critical-thinking skills applicable to a broad range of disciplines. The course covers conditionals, loops, arrays, and basic object orientation, as well as the creation of simple games.

Digital Photography

This course includes camera basics from shutter speeds and apertures to depth-of-field, use of flash, and more. The class emphasizes taking high-quality photos under varying conditions and includes landscape photography, close-ups, portraits, and sports. Students must have their own digital SLR cameras.


In this course, students explore acting, improvisation, and mime. They practice presenting monologues and prepare a production to be presented to the NMH community at the end of the session.

Drawing and Painting

This course is tailored to the individual interests and abilities of the students and provides an opportunity for students of all levels to develop their artistic talents in drawing and painting. Materials fee: $50.

ESOL—American Culture

For students taking English for Speakers of Other Languages–CP as their morning major course, this minor course is a general study of American customs, personalities, music, film, sports, and geography. The course develops written and oral skills, and weekly excursions to area communities provide students with opportunities to collect authentic cultural data.

Music Appreciation

This course is the study of Western music, including western and eastern Europe, Russia,  and the U.S.; classical traditions in South America; and modern concert and film music. After the fall of Rome in 476AD, for the next 1000 years, the Medieval period, music from the Christian church dominated the scene in the form of Gregorian chant and began the development of harmony. The Baroque era saw the rise of the orchestra. The Classical era gave birth to the symphony, string quartet, concerto. Emotion and descriptive music came to the fore in the 1800's, the Romantic era. 20th century music began a time of great experimentation. Electronic music began its rise in the 1960's, and film music became an integral part of the concert scene. Many composers from South America, Russia, and the U.S. came to the conservatories in Europe, spreading these traditions throughout the world.

Public Speaking

Students learn the principles of effective public speaking and have a chance to practice what they are learning. Participants try various forms of public address, from brief improvisational talks to formal speeches.

Renewable Energy

This course examines various forms of renewable energy and their benefits for environmental sustainability. Students learn about energy, energy transformations, and efficiency in the context of renewable energy sources through on-campus study as well as field trips to local solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy-producing facilities.

SAT Preparation–Math and Verbal

This course, taught by Summit Educational Group's verbal and math instructors, focuses on the academic skills and test-taking strategies required to succeed on the SAT. Summit provides students with a program of instruction customized to meet their individual needs and maximize their scoring potential.

Summit course fee: $850. (Summit will reduce this fee for students who receive financial aid from NMH Summer Session.)

Summer Session Singers

Students in this class form a singing group that practices and learns songs together (and may perform for the Summer Session community). Music selections—both style and specific pieces to perform—are based on the interests of the participants. No experience is necessary, and the ability to read music is not required.

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