The United States, 1492-1865

An online college-level survey course, The United States, 1492–1865, is available to high school students this summer. Originally taught by Professor Steven Mintz at the University of Texas at Austin, this course is intended for serious students interested in committing to an intensive college course. 

Course participants will work at their own pace through two course modules each week, hosted on the University of Texas website, and will complete content quizzes as they progress through each module. Every week there will be two 45-minute sessions led by Master Teacher Kevin Cline, winner of the 2016 National History Teacher of the Year Award, and one hour-long Q&A session with Professor Mintz. Class modules consist of reading and video excerpts, and the accompanying live sessions will enliven topics within those modules as well as provide guidance for students to prepare them for the level of analytical inquiry required for a college course. 

This course will begin the week of July 6 and meet three times a week for 7 weeks. It has an estimated weekly commitment of 10 hours, which includes class time, readings, and quizzes. Students who complete the course qualify to receive a Certificate of Completion from the Gilder Lehrman Institute. A maximum of 100 students will be able to register for this course.

This course is currently full.



Intended audience

This course is for high school students who wish to experience a college level class. It is recommended for rising high school juniors and seniors, as well as incoming college freshman. Parents, teachers, and families are welcome to audit the course but are asked not to participate in polls or submit discussion questions so that we may prioritize student learning.

Please note that course enrollment is limited, and priority will be given to students before auditors are confirmed.

Lesson Schedule and Registration

The United States, 1492–1865

  • Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET: Class
  • Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET: Class 
  • Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET: Office Hours with Prof. Mintz

Registration is for the full 7-week, 13-session course. Registration is now closed.

Week 1

Course begins on Wednesday, July 8. No class on Monday.

Class: A New History for a New Century

Wednesday, July 8, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, July 9,  3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Week 2

Class: The World in 1492

Monday, July 13, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class: The Colonial Era

Wednesday, July 15, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, July 16, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET
Week 3

Class: The American Revolution

Monday, July 20, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class: The U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights

Wednesday, July 22, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, July 23, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET
Week 4

Class: The First New Nation

Monday, July 27, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class:  The Jacksonian Era

Wednesday, July 29,  3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, July 30, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET
Week 5

Class: Slavery

Monday, August 3, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class:  Social and Economic Change in Pre–Civil War America

Wednesday, August 6,  3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, August 7, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET
Week 6

Class: The Age of Reform

Monday, August 10, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class: Westward Expansion

Wednesday, August 12, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, August 13, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Week 7

Class: The Impending Crisis

Monday, August 17, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Class: The Civil War

Wednesday, August 19, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Office Hours: Thursday, August 20, 3:30–4:15 p.m. ET

Meet Your TeacherS 

Kevin ClineKevin Cline teaches United States history and government and world history at Frankton High School in Frankton, Indiana. In 2016 he was named the National History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Mr. Cline serves as a Master Teacher for the Gilder Lehrman Institute, and does work for the National Humanities Center and the National History Club. Mr. Cline's passions in teaching include fostering active citizenship and lifting up student voices.

Steven Mintz is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and is an award-winning teacher and author. He served as the founding director of The University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning, which was designed to innovate the educational experience through design and technology. He is the author of fourteen books, and has published extensively on slavery, social reform, ethnicity, and film. 

Participation Certificate

Students who pass each quiz (70% correct or higher) and attend 11 out of 14 classes and 5 out of 7 office hours qualify to receive a certificate from the Gilder Lehrman Institute confirming their participation in this History School course.

Please email with any questions.