Program status

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the first session of this program has been cancelled. The good news is that session two of this debate program, to be held July 13-31, will be offered online. You also can choose from more than 40 other Summer College online courses, including classes in communications, government, international human rights, international relations, law, social entrepreneurship, Shakespeare, and much more. See the online course roster for all your options.

These regular Cornell courses give you a chance to study online with Cornell faculty, work alongside undergraduates, earn college credits, gain a Cornell transcript, and get a head start on preparing for college applications. We also will continue to offer you our one-on-one admissions counseling and other engaging ways to connect with Cornell.

Visit our online learning pages to read about course formats, academics, tuition, registration deadlines, and more.

Read about Cornell Summer College & the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Learn how to make convincing arguments

This intense program will prepare you to work with a great range of opinion and evidence and to consider questions from varied viewpoints, including those of different cultures. It will help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, compete on a debate team, and conquer any fears you may have of public speaking.

As you explore and apply the principles of argumentation and debate, you'll learn how to distinguish between persuasive and unpersuasive arguments. And you'll seek to understand and evaluate arguments, whether or not you agree with them.

You'll be expected to participate actively in class discussions as well as in an in-house tournament aimed at helping you practice your skills. Past debate topics have included issues ranging from genetically modified crops to prisons and punishment.

Be prepared to have any and all assumptions challenged!