Immersives Overview

The Bay School has been a pioneer in experiential education since its founding.


Immersives are transformative for students and staffulty. Twice a year, students take one course for three weeks. They work intensely on a central question, with every day devoted to digging into specialized knowledge, learning from experts in the field, and collaborating with classmates. At the end of the three-week term, they produce a project or body of work to present at Exhibition. Faculty design these courses around a particular area of interest or expertise, so they are true passion projects. Immersives are required, for-credit classes that count toward graduation and are given subject matter credit by colleges and universities; this differentiates them from intersessions and other experiential terms.

Where students are building up critical thinking and analytical skills during the long semester blocks, in Immersives they’re developing the ability to quickly gain and apply new skills, solve problems, and deliver a final product. This experience is challenging and rewarding. Students get fired up intellectually and personally—and they can’t wait to do it again. 

Immersives are designed from the ground up to be unlike any academic course you have ever taken. 

Learn About the Immersive Experience

Ambitious Projects, Deep Learning 

Imagine creating a short feature film from concept to final cut, learning the history and ecology of California through field research, or searching for exoplanets and spending time at a research-level observatory. You can in Immersives. 

Some courses focus on a particular topic, while others are multidisciplinary and co-taught by teachers from different departments. 

Your options are broad: try on the life of a biochemist, learn about the history of hip hop and create your own beats, design and prototype a new product. Whichever direction you choose, you’ll plunge into the subject and be challenged with ambitious projects. 

Two Immersives are required: All 9th graders take a course on immigration, in which they examine reasons for immigrating, participate in a mock Senate debate on immigration policy, and create an immigration narrative. In 10th grade, all students take Shakespeare Unbound, in which they attempt to answer the question “Why do we still read Shakespeare?” They explore the themes and values from Shakespeare's works that still permeate our world and work with theater professionals to create their own adaptations of some of his plays, "unbound" from historical context.