Online Program Overview


This three-week intensive summer pre-college program for high school students imparts the essentials of application development for mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Specifically, students will create applications for the Android platform, as Android’s development tools can be installed over all commonly used operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux). Moreover, the Java language we’ll use to code applications is much more widely known than the boutique languages used to develop applications for the iOS (Apple) platform.

Mobile App Development helped me understand how to make Android Apps. I enjoyed all of the assignments and learning to code in class!  ~ Summer College Mobile App Development student, 2019

Program Objectives

The main objective of this course is to provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to create applications that can run on a current mobile computing platform. This summer, the target platform is Google’s Android. Upon completion of this course, the engaged student should be able to:

  • Use the Java language and associated Android frameworks to create mobile apps
  • Create effective user interfaces for mobile apps
  • Store/retrieve data in support of mobile apps
  • Harness Internet services in support of mobile apps
  • Take advantage of common mobile extras such as GPS, mapping, camera and phone
  • Learn more about mobile app development independently

Learn more about Mobile App Development:

Program Dates, Times & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program & Technology Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates, Times & Details

Session Dates

3-week Session II: July 20 – August 7, 2020
Duration: 3 weeks
Live (Synchronous) Session Times: MTWThF, 12:00pm – 2:20pm EST


Credit: Noncredit
Grading SystemPass/Fail

Class Size

Class size is dependent on the number of enrolled students and the program capacity. Please email Summer College if you would like to know the number of students in this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2020 high school graduate. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page

Previous experience with object-oriented programming in the Java language is strictly required. Students who have taken AP Computer Science A or a comparable course, or who have equivalent experience should be adequately prepared. This program is suitable only for students who are confident in their basic object-oriented programming skills and who want to increase the breadth and sophistication of those skills.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Online ONLY: $2,500

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Requirements

Technology Requirements

Students must have internet access and a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam.

Laptops must have one of the following operating systems installed:

  • Windows 7, 8 or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
    • 64-bit is highly recommended, and required to use the Android device emulator. Students with a 32-bit Windows system will require an actual Android phone or tablet.
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or higher, or macOS
  • Linux with GNOME or KDE desktop (64-bit capable of running 32-bit applications), with GNU C Library (glibc) 2.19+

The laptop must be powerful enough to run Android Studio software; the bare minimum system requirements can be viewed here.

The development tools (all free) we’ll use are very demanding of computer resources. The less powerful the laptop, the slower these tools will run. Laptops just meeting Google’s minimum requirements may not be adequate to the task. In particular, minimums of 8GB RAM and 4GB available disk space are recommended.

It is highly recommended that students download and try out the Android Studio software to ensure their laptops are powerful enough to run it effectively.

Recommended Textbook

Android Studio 3.6 Development Essentials – Java Edition
Author: Neil Smyth
ISBN: 978-1951442156
Publisher: Payload Media, 2020

Student Expectations

This is an intensive program, in which every minute counts. We therefore expect:

  • 100% attendance
  • 0% lateness
  • Assignments (reading and programming) completed by their due dates and times
  • Timely utilization of virtual office hours to discuss course-related problems
  • Use of online Q&A facility if course-related difficulties are encountered outside of office hours
  • Good behavior in the synchronous class (no disrespect, no disruptions, no distractions, no extra-curricular computer or cell phone usage, no side conversations, etc.)
  • Adherence to all pertinent conduct standards

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in class. Students are expected to attend all synchronous classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

This course runs from three weeks and meets for a live session via video conference Monday through Friday from 12:00pm- 2:20pm EST. The first day is spent on installation and check-out of the required (free) software on students’ laptops, and on covering basic mobile computing and programming concepts.

Each succeeding day typically begins with a review of previous coverage and proceeds with coverage of new topics. Coverage includes dissections of example applications embodying the new concepts and play-alongs allowing students to practice new techniques before having to apply them in daily programming assignments.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Events and Activities page for more information!

Faculty Bio

Dr. Robert J. Irwin

Dr. Irwin is a recently retired Syracuse University faculty member from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has served as assistant professor of computer science at SUNY Oswego, was visiting faculty at Hamilton College, and has also taught at Le Moyne College and Pace University. Prior to returning to academic life, Robert was a research engineer at TextWise, LLC (natural language processing specialists in Syracuse), and the Director of Software Engineering for Applied Intelligence Systems, Inc. (an AI development firm in New York City). He was also a member of the research staff at Riverside Research Institute and a project manager at Merrill Lynch in New York City. His chief research interests lie in theoretical computer science, and he has published in the areas of generalized dynamical systems, high-order theory of computation and complexity, and artificial intelligence.