Intensives gave me a chance to realize my passion: art, and that I want to pursue it in college. I realized I could paint for six hours a day and still want to continue even when school ended." –Upper School student

At UPrep, intensives are three-week terms during which students take one class full-time, earning the same credit as a one semester class.

Intensive courses are academic and include student-designed projects, internships and mentorships, day visits to organizations in town, and overnight travel nearby and far away. Learning like this helps our students attain the knowledge, skills, and thinking dispositions needed to successfully navigate our rapidly changing world.

Intensives Enable Interdisciplinary Study

With intensives, we modeled creative responsiveness to a changing world, the richness of launching new programs, and the value of community experiences.” –Richard Kassissieh, Assistant Head of School for Academics and Strategic Initiatives

Several intensives allow UPrep students to learn with a team of teachers who are experts in different subject areas, including:

  • Deep Space Six: Science Fiction, Science Fact
  • Entrepreneurship
  • The Duwamish through Art and Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Environmental Ethics and Advocacy

For example, in the 10th grade Humanities intensive, co-taught by history and English teachers, students explore a modern global health issue through partnerships with local organizations and experts, in-depth research, and personal experiences, eventually writing literary journalism articles on their findings.

Off-Campus Experiences Make Learning Real

During intensives, students and teachers can take full advantage of the freedom of time and space afforded by all-day classes, allowing Seattle and other parts of the world to become their learning laboratories.

In 2020, for example, students designed prototype desks during the Engineering intensive, educated by their visits to the Microsoft Inclusivity Studio and Boeing's 777 factory.

Engineering intensive students tour Boeing's 777 factory.


Intensives promote student leadership, collaboration, and community engagement and de-emphasize homework, solitary study, and isolated subjects.