Welcome to Oxy’s Multicultural Summer Institute!

MSI laid the foundation for my experience at Occidental. I met other first-year students before classes started and I had a community that I’m still very close friends with now. It was definitely an amazing transition into college.

Anna Palmer ’19

We are excited to be moving forward with Occidental College’s Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI) for Summer 2020 and have made some adjustments to the program to accommodate the current public health situation.

MSI is a rigorous academic course taught by Oxy faculty. This year’s course is titled "Race & Community Exposures: Environment, Health, Resilience, and Justice in the United States." Straddling the lines between history, politics, geography, science, and critical theory, this course examines the relationships between environment and health to highlight how environmental factors and health outcomes are inextricably linked while being spatially and racially determined. These issues have come to the fore vividly through the current COVID-19 crisis.

The course is divided into three integrated components throughout the academic year: a 2-unit summer remote learning course, a 1-unit community dialogue in the fall, and a 1-unit community-based project in the spring. Upon completion of the course, students earn 4-units toward their degree (1 course equivalent), and meet one of Occidental's Core Program requirements, U.S. Diversity.

While in MSI, you will collaborate closely with your peers, the faculty members teaching the class, and staff and administrators at the College. You will be challenged to develop your critical thinking, close reading, analytical writing, and quantitative skills, while connecting across differences and becoming integrated into the campus community through the co-curricular portion of the program. The relationships you will develop with your fellow students, the MSI faculty and staff, and the campus community during the program will remain close to you throughout your four years at the College.

We ask that you submit a short application explaining why you are interested in being part of MSI.

Important Notes:

  • The application is due Monday, June 1
  • The program for the summer session dates are July 19th - July 31st
  • With the exception of a $25 deposit, MSI is free. The College covers the cost of tuition for the summer experience, and the cost of fall and spring experiences is covered as part of your regular Oxy tuition package.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone over the phone about the program or any aspect of the application, please contact Chris Arguedas, ICC Director, at icc@oxy.edu.