2024 Summer Undergraduate Courses

Advance your artistry this summer with New England Conservatory’s summer session courses. This curated selection of course offerings allow you to explore your interests, engage with faculty, and earn credit toward your degree. Summer session courses are designed for current NEC undergraduates, students from other institutions looking to earn transferable credit, and lifelong learners interested in experiencing NEC.

2024 Course Offerings

Taught by NEC’s esteemed faculty, summer session courses allow students to explore both musical and liberal arts subjects. Courses take place between May 29 and August 9, and each course is worth three credit hours. 2024 courses include:

How to Apply

Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed.

Cost of Attendance

  • Undergraduate Tuition*: $3,000/course
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Limited housing may be available upon request.

*Students requesting refunds before May 1 at 5 p.m. ET will receive a full refund. For requests made between May 2 and 27, 80% will be refunded, while requests made between May 28 and June 3 will be refunded at 60%. No refunds will be granted on or after June 4, 2024.

Undergraduate Course Information


June 3–June 21, 2024 | Monday–Friday, 4–6 p.m. and 6:30–7:30 p.m.

This course explores Beethoven’s piano sonatas from the perspective of modern-day approaches to sonata form — primarily those rooted in William E. Caplin’s theory of formal functions and James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s Sonata Theory. With respect to Caplin’s work, students will learn how Beethoven organizes musical elements to express different temporal functions (e.g. beginning, middle, after-the-end). With respect to Hepokoski and Darcy’s Work, students will learn how Beethoven’s music strives for large-scale formal goals (e.g. medial caesura, essential expositional closure) and interacts with established norms to create a compelling musical journey.

Please note that this course requires applicants to submit documentation that demonstrates adequate proficiency in principles of tonal harmony and musical form — especially sonata form. 


June 4–June 28, 2024 | Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Visual Arts Studio is a studio course introducing the fundamentals of visual art, with a focus on freehand drawing techniques and watercolor painting. In the first part of the semester, students will learn the basic techniques of working from observation — from fast gesture sketches and blind contour drawing to using 2D perspective to create an illusion of three-dimensional space and form using line and value. During the second part, students will be introduced to the basic techniques of working with watercolor — from “a la prima” (wet on wet) to “layering,” from fast sketches to long-term pieces. Classroom exercises and experiments will be accompanied by homework activities. Working from observation will be complemented by abstract assignments; students will study a realistic approach as well as more expressionistic attitudes. Group critiques and museum visits will inspire the discussion and understanding of the process. This course is designed for beginners as well as for more experienced students.

Please note that this course includes a $60 materials fee.


June 3–June 28, 2024 | Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

What is at the core of three-dimensional art? What do we understand by "sculpture" in 2017? What kinds of sculptural genres exist in our contemporary art landscape? How do we perceive static and dynamic? How do we differentiate between genres like performance and installation? These questions will guide the sculpture studio discourse. Sculpture involves space, materials, techniques, and ideas. It is an art of the extraordinary, as well as the everyday. No longer tied to architecture, mimesis, or commemorative representation, 3D art now appears in a variety of forms as installations, collaborations, projections, appropriations, interventions, performances, and experimental projects addressing formal concerns, as well as issues of urbanism, identity, historical memory, economics, the environment, and even geopolitics. Examples of such "expanded" sculpture include public art made to attach to buildings or to be given away, inflatable homeless shelters, and wearable art for street demonstrations. The principal area of knowledge explored in this course includes the formal, historical, and global dimensions of contemporary sculpture. Students will work alone or in groups using a range of materials from cardboard, paper-mâché, wire, plastic, and found objects to video texture, shadow theater, performance, and set design. Conceptual thinking will play a key role in the course.

Please note that this course includes a $60 materials fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will financial aid or scholarships be made available for the summer courses?

Unfortunately, scholarships and financial aid are not available for summer session courses.

Can international students apply?

International students in valid F-1 status (from NEC or any other school) who will remain in valid status throughout the time of their enrollment in a summer class at NEC are eligible to enroll in (a) summer class(es). F-1 students sponsored by NEC are eligible to enroll without requiring any change in their current visa status or SEVIS record. F-1 students sponsored by institutions other than NEC are encouraged to consult with their school’s DSO prior to enrollment to ensure their eligibility to enroll in NEC’s summer programs.

NEC will NOT sponsor an application for a new F-1 visa or issue a new I-20 to students enrolling in summer programs. Therefore, any international students applying to our summer programs must provide proof of valid F-1 status and a current I-20 before an application to our summer programs can be considered.

Is housing available?

Limited housing may be available upon request. 

Can students take more than one course?

Yes, students may take as many courses as their schedule allows. However, it's important to note that during the summer, some courses may have overlapping schedules which may result in conflicts.

Can an undergraduate student take a graduate-level course?

No, undergraduate students cannot take graduate-level courses. These courses are only open to students who have completed their undergraduate studies and meet the necessary requirements for admission into a graduate program.

Are there any prerequisites for the courses being offered?

There are prerequisites for some of the summer courses being offered. Please check the course descriptions for specific prerequisites and requirements.

Can students who do not attend NEC take summer courses?

Yes, matriculated students at institutions outside of NEC are eligible to take any of the summer courses offered. However, please note that some courses are exclusively available to students from other institutions and may not be open to NEC students.