Saturday Academy

“I had an amazing time at Saturday Academy, learning new things and making new friends from all around New York City.”
- Saturday Academy student, Fall 2012



The New-York Historical Society offers Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academy, a free, six-week program for students in grades 8–12 that offers courses in American Studies and SAT prep*. With no homework or tests, these courses offer fun and interesting information on the bits of history that don’t always find their way into the classroom. Students meet for six Saturdays each session and may take one class or two. All classes are offered twice, at 10-11:30 am, then again at 11:40 am-1 pm.

* Please note: The SAT Prep classes are open only to students currently enrolled in 10th, 11th or 12th grade. Students who register for SAT Prep must also enroll in a history-based Saturday Academy course.

Get Involved!

Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academy is every Fall (October – December) at New-York Historical.

Upcoming Dates to Know:
Fall 2015 Program:

  • Course descriptions and application available: September 2015
  • Deadline to register: October 2015
  • Program dates: Saturdays, October 17-December 5

Here's What We're Up To!

Fall 2014 Schedule

Saturdays at New-York Historical:

  • October 18, 2014
  • October 25, 2014
  • November 1, 2014
  • November 8, 2014
  • November 15, 2014
  • November 22, 2014

Class Session One: 10 – 11:30 am
Class Session Two: 11:40 am – 1 pm

Registration for the Fall 2014 semester is currently closed. Please look for information about our Fall 2015 semester in September 2015.

Fall 2014 Saturday Academy Courses

Do You Know Your Rights? The Constitution V. Civil Rights
Katie Fuller, Educator, New-York Historical Society

What do you know about your rights and civil liberties? Ever since the United States Constitution was written in 1787, our civil liberties have been questioned, weighed, evaluated, analyzed, and judged. The United States Constitution, a dynamic document, changes as our country changes. How do these changes affect you? This class will closely examine a number of Supreme Court cases, especially in connection with individual civil liberties, to better understand how different interpretations of the Bill of Rights have impact on the individual and on the State.

Witch-Hunts: An American Tradition Supported by our Constitution?
Katie Courtien, Educator, New-York Historical Society

Imagine your closest friends and neighbors accusing you of something you didn’t do. They have no real evidence, yet a court of law actually believes them and the Constitution may even protect them instead of you! This class will explore “witch hunts” in America, focusing on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. We will read actual court transcriptions from the 1600s, see videos of the McCarthy trials, experience what it was like to be on trial, and finally, the class will culminate in a study of more recent examples of witch-hunts, and a debate on how the Constitution might support or protect against their existence. Sign up… if you dare!

Constitutional Conundrums
Paul Swartz, Educator, New-York Historical Society

This class will explore some of the Constitution's most ambiguous and inscrutable language. What defines a well regulated militia, a natural born citizen, or a cruel and unusual punishment? Why do some key rights (a woman's right to choose, for instance), stem from a right to privacy that is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution? When and how did money become speech and corporations people? Together, we will look at the ways that the constitutional text gives rise to different, even opposite interpretations of our highest law. In this course we will look at historical and contemporary disputes over the meaning of various constitutional clauses. We will also do some interpreting and arguing of our own, as we engage in debates and draft model amendments

SAT Prep
Andrew Parrish, SAT Tutor & Educator, New-York Historical Society

History buffs are not always known for their math skills. Mathletes do not always become novelists. But the SAT will test your critical reading, writing and math skills, so you better be prepared. Join this class to work on all three and also learn some tips for taking the test. After taking two mandatory practice tests, students will leave the class prepared and confident for the exam. All students registered for these classes will also receive printed practice materials to use on their own as they prepare.

Students in the SAT class will be required to take two free practice SAT exams on the 1st and 6th days of the program, (Saturdays October 18 and November 22) from 1:30–5:30 pm, directly after their regular morning classes. Please save the dates and time!

*The SAT Prep classes are open only to students currently enrolled in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. Students who register for the SAT Prep class must also register for a history class of their choosing. Requests to enroll only in SAT Prep will not be approved.

If you have questions regarding Saturday Academy, please contact us at

Creative: Tronvig Group