Instructor: Calvin Normore
Program Dates: July 6 - July 23, 2021

Two Week Online Program

The Critical Thinking Summer Institute will offer a workshop on critical thinking in media and journalism, which will be delivered in collaboration with team members from the University of Queensland's Critical Thinking Project and the IMPACT Center. Students will learn to apply the concepts and techniques we cover in weeks one and two to assess media, especially new media, and will also learn how to prepare an article for publication. The final project for the course will have students write a short article that incorporates the techniques and knowledge acquired in the workshop.


Program Details

Course Credit

All participants will receive UCLA credit for the following course: 

  • Philosophy 9 - Principles of Critical Reasoning (5 Units)

Nature of arguments: how to analyze them and assess soundness of reasoning they represent. Common fallacies that often occur in arguments discussed in light of what counts as good deductive or inductive inference. Other topics include use of language in argumentation to arouse emotions as contrasted with conveying thoughts, logic of scientific experiments and hypothesis-testing in general, and some general ideas about probability and its application in making normative decisions (e.g., betting).

Program Goals

The Critical Reasoning Summer Institute is a three-week program designed to equip students with the ability to find and evaluate arguments, model decisions, and avoid reasoning traps. Lectures led by UCLA instructors will introduce students to topics in the psychology of reasoning, the foundations of deductive and inductive logic, and probability and decision theory. Students will have a chance to discuss and apply what they learn in discussion sections led by UCLA teaching assistants. Finally, students will attend a workshop on media literacy and journalism, where they will learn to prepare an article for publication.

By the end of the Critical Reasoning Summer Institute, students will have learned how to:

  • Find, create, and evaluate arguments using diagrammatic techniques.
  • Use decision theory and probability to model the reasoning underlying decisions.
  • Evaluate media, especially new media, like social media and social networking sites, for
    truth and lies.
  • Prepare an article for publication: what makes a great story, how to pitch a story,
    identifying stakeholders, gathering data, prioritizing information and avoiding confirmation bias, etc.
  • Provide constructive criticism on peer work
  • Ask focused questions



Dr. Antti Hiltunen is a lecturer at UCLA. His research interests lie mainly in the history of early modern philosophy. Dr. Hiltunen has taught at UCLA for nearly a decade, and his courses on formal logic are highly praised by UCLA undergraduates. In addition to lecturing at UCLA, Antti also works on web development. 

Dr. Cosmo Grant is a postdoc in philosophy at UCLA. He works on the philosophy of science, especially philosophy of statistics, and the foundations of decision and game theory. He received his PhD from MIT in 2019, supervised by Robert Stalnaker. Dr. Grant is originally from Glasgow, Scotland. In his spare time, he likes cycling up hills, blitz chess, and messing around with Python.

John Kardosh is completing his Ph.D. in philosophy at UCLA. His research focuses on the history and psychology of logic and reasoning. John has worked with organizations both in the US and abroad to help integrate critical reasoning into the K-12 curriculum. Outside of his academic work, John dabbles in software development. John is also passionate about teaching: he has won the Department of Philosophy’s Yost Prize for teaching excellence, as well as UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Assistant award.


Sample Schedule

Click here for the current program schedule.

 Lectures: Monday - Friday from 10am – 12pm (Pacific)

 Discussion Section: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm - 2pm (Pacific)


Program Eligibility

To apply for the Critical Reasoning Summer Institute, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Open to students enrolled in grades 9th - 12th in Spring 2021 and Spring 2021 High School Graduates

Students who do not meet the minimum program requirements should not apply and should consider other summer opportunities.

How to Register

  1. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration”.
  2. Complete the first page of the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, then, select “Continue” at the end of the first page.
  3. Provide responses to all questions on the second page of the online registration form, then “Submit”.
  4. Once your form is submitted, you will be redirected to the retrieve registration page, where you can select “Pay Now” to proceed with payment of the non-refundable registration fee . Continue with the payment instructions to reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable registration fee* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form, log out, and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however you risk losing a space in the program if program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay. An email with instructions to retrieve registration will be sent within an hour of submitting your registration.

The registration fee is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the wait list, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable registration fee but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

Fees and Payment

Program Fees

Please find below a list of all fees that may apply to you to enroll in the Critical Reasoning Summer Institute.

2021 Summer Institute Fees

  • Registration Fee: $350.00*
    *This registration fee is assessed one-time per each summer term for any precollege Summer Institute. If you are admitted and will be enrolled at UCLA in Fall 2021, other University fees of $132.69 will be assessed in lieu of the registration fee.
  • Program Fee: $2,050*
    * If you are admitted and will be enrolled at a UC campus in Fall 2021, your program fee will be $1,645.
  • IEI Fee: $61.00
  • Document Fee*: $50.00
    *If you are participating in UCLA Summer Sessions for the first time or an incoming UCLA undergraduate student, this document fee will be assessed. The one-time document fee covers life-time academic and verification transcripts that do not require special delivery services.


  • Visiting Students (Non-UC): $2,511
  • Fall 2021 UCLA Students: $1,888.69
  • Fall 2021 Other UC Students: $1,906

Please note that a $350.00 nonrefundable registration fee will be required in order to reserve your space in the program.

Registration is not complete until the registration fee is paid in full. Those who are not prepared to pay can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to pay the registration fee.

This fee is not refundable under any circumstances even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

Payment Deadline

Full summer fees are due no later than 5PM, May 1*. Failure to pay by the payment deadline may result in your space in the program being forfeited.

NOTE: Your bill reflects your enrollment activities. If you make any changes to your enrollments, be sure to monitor your BruinBill to verify any changes in your balance.

Your enrollment in the program is not officially confirmed until you submit full payment of the program fees and all other administrative fees.

*If you register AFTER May 1, you will be prompted to make full payment of all fees excluding any applicable document fee and IEI fees at the time of online registration. For the document and IEI fee payment, you can follow the same steps listed in PAYMENT METHODS above 1-2 business days after making payment of the full program fees.

Payment Methods

Credit Card of Electronic Check (E-Check)

Accepted forms of payment are VISA, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, or e-check.

  • Log onto MyUCLA (UCLA Logon ID required)
  • At the MAIN MENU under the FINANCES AND JOBS drop-down menu, click on the BRUINBILL link
  • Once on the BruinBill page, select MAKE A PAYMENT at the top

All credit card payments are subject to a 2.75% non-refundable service charge each transaction. This charge is assessed by Higher One, Inc. and may not be refunded under any circumstances. No service fees are applied to e-check payments.

Cash, Check, or Money Order

Visit Payment Solutions and Compliance, 1125 Murphy Hall, UCLA to pay in person.

Note: Certain charges may apply to returned checks and credit card charge backs.

Foreign Currency Payment

Travelex payments allow you to lock into an exchange rate with your bank. If your currency is not included in the drop down list, you may request that your bank make the transfer in US dollars.

  • Log onto MyUCLA (UCLA Logon ID required)
  • At the MAIN MENU under the FINANCES AND JOBS drop-down menu, click on the BRUINBILL link
  • Once on the BruinBill page, select MAKE A PAYMENT at the top and select PAY WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY

Refund and Cancellation Policy

A valid payment of a non-refundable registration fee is required to complete registration. This fee is not refundable under any circumstances.

Program fees and other applicable fees, excluding the non-refundable registration fee, are refundable if the program is officially dropped prior to 5PM, JUNE 15 (PDT). In the event of withdrawal prior to the refund deadline, the total refund amount will reflect the non-refundable registration fee, appearing as Processing Fee on the BruinBill account.

If the program is dropped after 5PM, June 15 (PDT), all fees are non-refundable and you will be financially liable regardless of attendance. To officially cancel your enrollment, you must access your existing registration online.

If entitled to a refund from the UCLA Summer Sessions Office, you will receive your refund one of three ways within 1-3 weeks:

  • BruinDirect: BruinDirect is a free and automatic way for students to receive refunds directly to a U.S. checking or savings account. You may sign-up on BruinBill.
  • Credit Card: Payments made with a credit card will be returned back to the credit card that made the original payment.
  • Check Refund: If payment made using a method other than credit card and if not signed-up for BruinDirect, a refund will be issued as a paper check and mailed to the mailing address on file.

Participant Agreement

For a full overview of all terms and conditions for UCLA Summer Institutes, please review the Participant Agreement.

Financial Aid

Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students

Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2021 in the state of California are eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in an eligible Precollege Summer Institute.

For more information, visit the Summer Scholars Support page.

Other than Summer Scholars Support, no other financial aid through UCLA Summer Sessions is available to visiting high school students. Please check with your home institution regarding financial aid options.



Grade Overview

Participants of the Critical Thinking Summer Institute will be awarded 5 units of credit in the form of a letter grade after the successful completion of the program.

As a participant, you are expected to complete all assigned coursework, take all examinations, attend class regularly, and submit all required work by the end of the program. No part of the coursework may be continued beyond the close of the program unless prearranged by the student and the instructor.

The program instructor is required to assign a final grade for each student enrolled in a course. Grades A, B, C, and D may be modified by a plus or minus suffix.

For more information on grades, visit the Registrar's website.

Units / Credits

UCLA is on the quarter system. While some schools are also on the quarter system, most colleges and universities are on the semester system. As a general guide to transferring quarter units to a semester system school, one semester unit or credit is worth 1.5 quarter units (e.g., 4 quarter units = 2.5 semester units).

UCLA courses are generally accepted for transfer credit, but all decisions on transferability rest with the home institution. Students should get advance approval of their UCLA Summer Sessions course selections from the home institution prior to registration.


The transcript is a permanent record that reflects all undergraduate and graduate work completed at UCLA. It lists courses, units, grades, cumulative grade-point average, transfer credits, total units, and work in progress in chronological order.

Ordering a transcript can be done online through MyUCLA. Those requiring expedited or special delivery can submit a Transcript Request Form.

Requests are not processed if students have outstanding financial, academic, or administrative obligations to the University.

NOTE: Current or newly admitted UCLA students will have their grades appear on their UCLA transcript immediately after grades are submitted by the course instructor. Current or newly admitted visiting UC students will have their grades appear on their home UC campus's transcript in October or November.












UCLA Summer Sessions 2021 will be remote. Learn More.