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Tulane Science Scholars Program

The Tulane Science Scholars Program (TSSP) is a selective program for high school students who have exceptional talent in the sciences and mathematics. Starting in Summer 2014, the TSSP program is now a residential program and students will have the option to live on campus in a dormitory for an additional fee.  The refund policy on TSSP courses is with 3 weeks notice - 100% refund, with 2 weeks notice - 50% refund, 1 week notice - 25% refund, and less than a week - no refund. If you have any questions regarding the refund policy, please contact tssp@tulane.edu.

2014 Summer Program

In addition to the academic year program, a summer program is offered to high school students. The summer program includes the following courses.

NSCI 1015: Basic Neuroscience with Laboratory

Instructor: Dr. Thomas Hebert

Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology

This summer session will focus on the field of Neuroscience, which is the study of the brain. Neuroscientists study everything from the electrical activity of individual brain cells to the behavior of animals and people. TSSP students will have the opportunity to learn from the same techniques and equipment that Tulane neuroscientists use in their own research. Lectures are by Tulane faculty and laboratory activities will be supervised by Tulane faculty members and graduate students.  The activities will include the following:


  • PowerPoint college lecture presentations.
  • Learn basic brain anatomy by studying actual human brain specimens.
  • Learn how to test the effects of drugs on the behavior of rats.
  • Learn how to prepare brain tissue for study under a microscope.
  • Learn how to measure human brain waves.
  • Learn how to interpret data through statistical analysis.
  • Learn how to write in the style of science.

The 12 day summer program will be held on Tulane University's campus on Monday July 14th through Friday July 25th, lecture from 10:30-11:30am and laboratory from 12:30-3:00pm. Students will have time for lunch between lecture and lab sessions.  This program is offered for three hours of university credit and has a $1250 fee, which is due upon acceptance into the program. Need-based tuition waivers are available through the generosity of the Bruce J. Heim Foundation and an anonymous donor, for which a separate additional application is required and will be sent upon request.

The Bruce J. Heim Foundation

PHYS 1015: Materials Science and Engineering Summer Class

Instructors: Dr. Zhiqiang Mao, Dr. Lev Kaplan, Dr. Douglas Chrisey, Dr. Diyar Talbayev, Dr. Jiang Wei, and Dr. Matthew Escarra

Department of Physics and Engineering Physics

This summer session will focus on the field of Materials, which is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This two-week (ten-day) course is intended for high school students who wish to explore and stimulate their interest in the materials sciences and engineering. The course consists of rotations between five materials science research laboratories in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. Each rotation combines lectures with hands-on laboratory activities to excite and introduce students to contemporary methods and issues in superconductivity, optics and lasers, biomaterials, nanomaterials, nanotechnology, and energy harvesting material and technologies. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating basic principles and active and hands-on student involvement. Laboratory activities will be supervised by Tulane faculty members and their students. Students will:


  • Appreciate how superconductivity allows important real world applications, such as magnetic levitation, increased computer speed, and reduced energy consumption.
  • Be introduced to the unique properties of nanomaterials as well as the methods for nanofabrication.
  • Be introduced to contemporary methods of biomaterials engineering for disparate topics ranging from stem cells and regenerative medicine to cancer therapy.
  • Gain an understanding of how the laser works, appreciate the uniqueness of laser light, and understand how the laser light inspires important new methods in materials processing and studying matter.
The 12 day summer program will be held on Tulane University's campus on Monday June 16th through Friday June 28th, lecture from 11:00am-12:15pm and laboratory from 2:00-4:15pm. Students will have time for lunch between lecture and lab sessions.  This program is offered for three hours of university credit and has a $1250 fee, which is due upon acceptance into the program. Need-based tuition waivers are available through the generosity of the Bruce J. Heim Foundation and an anonymous donor, for which a separate additional application is required and will be sent upon request.
The Bruce J. Heim Foundation

PSYC 1100: Exploring Psychology

Instructor: Dr. Carrie Wyland

Department of Psychology


This summer session will focus on the field of Psychology, covering topics from the nervous system and the brain, to learning and memory, to disorders and treatment, to social psychology.  It will involve both a lecture component as well as a hands-on laboratory component in which students will experience demonstrations and engage in activities to observe the concepts in action.  For students who pass this course with a B or higher and choose to enroll at Tulane University, the Psychology Department will substitute this class for Introductory Psychology (PSYC 1000). Lectures are by Tulane faculty and laboratory activities will be supervised by Tulane faculty members and graduate students.  The activities will include the following:

  • Learn to read, write, and think like a psychologist.
  • Learn how psychologists ask their research questions.
  • Examine real human brain specimens.
  • Understand why we sleep and what dreams are for.
  • See childhood development in action.
  • Understand why we get “tricked” by visual illusions.
  • Learn methods of stress reduction.
  • Understand how we treat psychological disorders.
  • Examine how prejudice plays out in the courtroom.

The 19 day summer program will be held on Tulane University's campus on Monday July 7th through Friday July 25th, lecture from 11:00am-12:30pm and laboratory from 2:00-3:30pm. There will be no laboratory sessions on Fridays.  Students will have time for lunch between lecture and lab sessions.  This program is offered for three hours of university credit and has a $1250 fee, which is due upon acceptance into the program. Need-based tuition waivers are available through the generosity of the Bruce J. Heim Foundation and an anonymous donor, for which a separate additional application is required and will be sent upon request.

The Bruce J. Heim Foundation


The Behaving Brain (by invitation only)

Instructor: Dr. Nandini Vasudevan

Neuroscience Program, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

In this two week course, we study the molecular basis of behavior by using a mice model to study aggressive behaviors and behaviors denoting anxiety. We will study the estrogen regulation of these behaviors by using chronic and acute estrogen administration to male and female mice. We will test the mice on behavioral apparatuses designed to measure these parameters. In addition, we will examine possible changes in the brain of mice by using Golgi impregnation to study dendritic spines and immunocytochemistry. Students will gain hands-on experience in animal behavioral testing, scoring of behaviors, cell culture, brain dissection and immunocytochemistry. A short lecture module is provided at various points in the course to acquaint students with scientific hypothesis, methodology and data analysis. Undergraduate and graduate mentors, as well as the instructor will assist in all aspects of the course. A small stipend will be offered to students. The dates of the program are TBD from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily on weekdays. Applications are now closed.  For more information, please contact Dr. Nandini Vasudevan directly at nandini@tulane.edu.


This is a federally funded course that preferentially targets students from Orleans Parish High schools.  Typically, there are 10-12 positions open; since the inception of the course i.e. 2011, these have been filled by students from Orleans Parish High schools.  Applications are now closed.  If there are positions open to students outside the Orleans Parish schools, we will put up this information on this website by the end of April.  

Funded by: National Science Foundation CAREER grant IOS-1053716 to NV.


2013-2014 Academic Year Program

TSSP holds classes at Tulane on Saturday mornings during the academic year. Students can take up to two classes in the fall and two classes in the spring. The choice of classes is available on the online application. Each course has 8 contact hours and usually meets on 2-3 Saturdays. There is a $75 fee for each course which is due upon acceptance into the program. Need-based scholarships are available through the generosity of the Bruce J. Heim Foundation, for which a separate additional application is required and will be sent upon request.


The Bruce J. Heim Foundation

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School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 sse@tulane.edu