2018 Seminars


Work, Leisure, & the Good Life

June 3 - June 8

Markets & Morals

June 16 - June 22

What Are the Humanities For?

July 28 - August 3

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Academic excellence and intellectual community

Elm's summer seminars offer an intense week of stimulating discussion inside and outside the classroom.  Each seminar is taught by a pair of faculty experts who have collaborated in every aspect of the seminar's design. The size of each seminar is limited to 16 participants to ensure a lively conversation in which everyone can take part.

Reading materials for the seminars are sent to participants 5-6 weeks before the start of the seminar to ensure that everyone has the chance to read them thoroughly before the seminar begins. This means that everyone can arrive well-prepared for the seminar discussion while also taking part in the various extra-curricular activities offered throughout the week, while still having some time left over to explore Yale University and the city of New Haven.

We take pride in the high academic standards of our seminars, but we are equally committed to fostering a sense of community; students who attend our seminars often stay in touch long after the seminar itself is over.

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The Yale experience

Our seminars offer an opportunity to experience life at one of the world's leading universities. The seminar meetings take place in Yale classrooms and accommodation for all participants is provided in one of the university's beautiful residential colleges.

Each seminar begins with an opening banquet and during the week students and faculty eat together in one of Yale's dining halls, so the conversation can continue over shared meals.

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Extra-curricular activities

Throughout the week there are organized trips and opportunities to take advantage of the best that Yale and New Haven have to offer, including: 

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

East Rock Park

Peabody Museum of Natural History

Yale Center for British Art

Yale University Art Gallery


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How to apply

To apply to one of our seminars, click on the appropriate link:

Work, Leisure, & the Good Life (June 3 to June 8)
Applications due March 18

Markets & Morals (June 16 to June 22)
Applications due March 18

What are the Humanities For? (July 28 to August 3)
Applications due April 1

Registration fee: Accepted applicants will be asked to confirm their place by paying a registration fee of $200, which covers tuition, lodging, food, and all reading materials for the seminar. A limited number of registration fee waivers and travel stipends are available for students who would not otherwise be able to participate.




My experience at the Elm Institute's "Markets and Morals" seminar deepened my understanding of fundamental ethical questions. The faculty members shared original insights and gave us a forum to discuss and develop our own ideas on the topics. Even more special were the evening and between-class activities—I got to know so many interesting and impressive people. I can't recommend Elm seminars highly enough!

— Luke Waggoner, Villanova University '16

I am grateful to Elm Institute for such an incredible experience last August. It made me understand some point about the role of State, the importance of civil activism and some deep questions concerning the human nature. Prior to the seminar, I had never had the opportunity to reflect in such a way. I strongly encourage you to keep working on this project that can make a big intellectual difference in people’s life. Influencing young people can lead us to a completely different intellectual destiny. Thank you for influencing mine.

— Ana Luiza Gomes, Universidade de São Paulo '16

With the Elm Institute, I had the opportunity to read excellent texts and learn with prestigious faculty and a diverse group of undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals from all over the world. I studied in a community of scholars dedicated to good conversation, truly interdisciplinary learning, and academic integrity. I am incredibly grateful for my time at Elm!

— Emmalee Moffitt, Templeton Honors College at Eastern University '16