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Learn the science of human nature

The Mystery and Science of Human Behavior: An Insider’s Guide to Psychology.

“Go with your gut.” “Think positive.” “Follow your passion.” People use phrases like this to guide behavior. But are they effective when measured by science? This course helps you separate common sense from true psychological insight. Learn how your brain forms perceptions, and how easily it can be tricked. Delve into the hidden world of unconscious emotion. Find out if memories can be trusted and learn about psychological disorders. Whatever your career aspirations — doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, social worker — this course will help you understand human behavior. You can expect stimulating assignments, videos and mentoring throughout the course.

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Learn the science of human nature

Program Dates

Multiple 2- and 4-week sessions.


For students completing grades 9-12, ages 13+.



Unlock the secrets of the mind — what drives love, friendship, conflict and behavior:

What makes Psychology a science?

Learn how psychologists test common assumptions to determine their value.

Become a researcher

Create and conduct your own psychological survey.

Go under the hood of your brain

Study the map of the brain — see how it processes information, forms perceptions and sometimes tricks itself.

Encounter the unconscious mind

The conscious brain is only the tip of the iceberg — explore the hidden unconscious world in which our emotions and biases direct our behavior.

What happens when the mind is ill?

Take a tour of mental disorders — everything from depression and anxiety to addiction and schizophrenia.

Test your knowledge

Write a screenplay or create a video using characters to act out a psychological concept that interests you.

How You Will Benefit:

  • Use psychology to determine when common sense works and when it doesn’t
  • Spot common biases and understand where they come from
  • Identify abnormal behavior and emotions
  • Think like a scientist in your everyday life
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from Wake Forest University

How you will benefit

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

The Mystery and Science of Human Behavior: An Insider's Guide to Psychology

November 8 - December 6, 2020

Length: 4 weeks
Cost: $1195

Application Deadline: Sunday, November 1, 2020

Apply Now

The Mystery and Science of Human Behavior: An Insider's Guide to Psychology

November 22 - December 20, 2020

Length: 4 weeks
Cost: $1195

Application Deadline: Sunday, November 15, 2020

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The Mystery and Science of Human Behavior: An Insider's Guide to Psychology

December 20 - January 3, 2021

Length: 2 weeks
Cost: $1195

Application Deadline: Sunday, December 13, 2020

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3 Learning Advantages Designed for You

  1. Final Capstone Project

    The course culminates in a special Capstone project that allows you to:

    • Demonstrate what you've learned in this course
    • Get feedback from your mentors on your work
    • Analyze and find ways to innovate and disrupt
    • Use any media you prefer: text, video, photography, PowerPoint
  2. Mentoring

    You’ll receive guidance from a Wake Forest mentor through online group sessions. Mentors provide support and answer questions to deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

    • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
    • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you succeed
    • Brainstorming and ideation help as you prepare for your final Capstone project
  3. Flexible Learning

    • 100% online, works with your schedule
    • 30 hours of total asynchronous instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support
    • Online sessions with your Wake Forest Course Mentors
    • Meet fellow students from around the world

Meet Your Online Immersion Faculty Members

Christian Waugh

Christian Waugh, Ph.D., Academic Leader, Psychology Institute 

Dr. Christian Waugh is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University and director of the Emotional Adaptation and Psychophysiology Lab. Dr. Waugh investigates the contextual utility of positive emotions during stress and the temporal dynamics of emotions. He has expertise in survey, experimental, peripheral psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods.

Melissa Maffeo Masicampo

Melissa Maffeo, Ph.D., Academic Leader, Psychology Institute 

Dr. Melissa Maffeo is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Florida State University in 2012, and completed her postdoctoral training at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. In the WFU Psychology Department, she teaches courses on behavioral neuroscience, addiction, learning, and psychopharmacology.

How to Apply:

How to apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application will ask you to provide the following:

  1. Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
  2. Why you wish to take this course.
  3. You can tell your story through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

Begin the guided process

Want to know more?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re accepted?

Answers to your questions here

Want to study on campus?

Wake Forest University offers a variety of Summer Immersion Courses on campus that allow high school students to explore their interests and experience being taught by our professors.

Learn More