Core Courses

Our core courses are held in the morning and include the following subjects:


Students Beading

Students are allowed to choose the writing course they want to take based upon their need or interest. Some classes help students prepare for the state writing exam in high school, while others focus on research writing, journalism or creative writing. All writing classes are conducted in BSU computer labs.


To ensure students read a variety of books as they progress through Upward Bound’s summer programs, we have taken a genre-based approach in our literature curriculum.

This enables students to select literature courses that focus on the kind of stories they would be most interested in reading. Past Upward Bound literature courses have explored the following genres: adventure, coming of age, mystery, science fiction, international short stories, Native American literature and classics.


Our small class sizes mean students have lots of one-on-one time with their Upward Bound instructors. Math instructors also focus on group work in the class and encourage students to help each other. Students are able to choose from algebra I, geometry, algebra II, ACT prep, statistics or pre-calculus.

Upward Bound students in a science classroom


Upward Bound offers a range of science courses each summer that focus on hands-on learning. Science instructors focus on learning the basic concepts of scientific principles to give students an advantage for the science classes they will take at their high school. Past summer programs have offered are physical science, biology, chemistry, environmental science and physics.


Whether studying Ojibwe, Spanish, Chinese or American Sign Language, students have many opportunities to practice pronunciations and actually use the new language in class. In addition to studying languages, students will also engage in related cultural activities such as watching a subtitled film or eating ethnic foods.

Cultural and Recreational Electives

UB Students Sailing

Electives take place on alternating afternoons. Students are able to choose from a variety of offerings. The courses change almost every year to provide variety. Past Creative Electives have included stage combat, yearbook, speech, psychology, Native American crafts and painting. Recreational electives have included basketball, ultimate frisbee, leisure sports and Zumba fitness.

Additional Academic Support

Support is available most evenings for students wanting additional assistance with their classes. While there is little homework during the Summer Program, students will have a novel to read and may have material to review.

Internship Opportunities

Internships are available to seniors in the Summer Program. Students are placed in paid internships at businesses in the Bemidji area that relate to their individual career interests. Internship sites in the past have included: Bemidji Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Headwaters Science Center, Habitat for Humanity Restore and LaunchPad.

Businesses interested in offering internships for Upward Bound students are encouraged to contact

Students Gardening