Compiled and copyrighted by William Casement
To suggest corrections or additions, contact William Casement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following is a list of college programs in the United States that use great books. An asterisk designates a program with a two- or three- semester course sequence (or equivalent on a quarter-system calendar). The rest of the programs consist of four courses or more.
Enrollment figures are rough estimates and may vary from year to year. The figure stated is for head count of students taking great-books courses during the period of one school year, exclusive of other courses a program may offer, and subtracting out from the total class-roster number an estimate of the number of students taking multiple courses in the program during the same year.
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Garden City, NY
began 1995, enrollment 190/year
Honors offers 5 great-books courses among other courses: a 2-course sequence spanning the ancient world through 19th century, a 2-course sequence focusing on the 20th century, and a junior seminar devoted to in-depth study of a single text. These courses may be used to fulfill general education requirements. Reading lists for some courses vary by instructor.
Berrian Springs, MI
began 2000, enrollment 80/year
The Honors Program has a prescribed curriculum that begins with Western Heritage I and II, which focus on great books as well as the arts. Several subsequent courses also feature reading in the great books, including one course on the non-Western world.
Grand Rapids, MI
began 1989, enrollment 250/year
Humanities is a 2-course sequence required of all students in the sophomore year as part of general education. The first course begins with the ancient world and the second concludes with Ibsen and post-impressionist art. Besides texts, works of art, architecture, and music are included.
began 1979, enrollment 100/year
Foundations consists of 8 great-works courses (four 2-course sequences) that integrate the areas of art, history, politics, literature, philosophy, and theology. The focus is on Western civilization, with an emphasis on cities, on tensions in the West's accounts of human excellence, and on the debate between ancients and moderns. Each set of courses begins with the founding cities of our civilization and ends in the cities of our times. Foundations serves as an alternative way of satisfying more than half of the college's general-education requirements
Auburn University, AL
*Great Books Program
began 1991, enrollment 2,800/year
Two great-books courses are required of all students at the sophomore level as part of general education. The program is housed in the English department, but draws faculty from several disciplines. Reading selections are chosen from within established guidelines, with typical authors including Homer, Plato, Austen, Douglass, Achebe.
*Heritage of Western Culture
began 1960, enrollment 600/year
The Heritage program consists of a 2-course great-books requirement for all students at the college as part of general education. The first course is entitled "The Early Western World" and the second course is "Individual and Society in the Modern World." The first course comes in three versions, the second course in two, with entirely separate reading lists for each version. The emphasis is on Western culture except in the "Collision of Cultures" version of the first course, where non-Western works are included along with Western works that challenge the tradition.
AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY
began 1960, enrollment 120/year
Heritage offers 5 courses (4 credits each, rather than the normal 3) spanning Western culture in historical sequence. Besides reading selections from great books, great works from the arts are included. Heritage courses substitute for general education requirements, and are open to all students.
began 1977, enrollment 140/year
Honors is a selective-admission program featuring 4 courses (3 credits each) spanning Western culture in historical sequence. Great works in the arts are included with selections from great books. Honors courses substitute for general education requirements.
AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
High Sierra Program
began 2001, enrollment 50
The university offers a one-semester great-works program at an off-campus location in the Sierra National Forest. 12 of the 15 credits are in great-books courses, with the remaining credits being in art history. Readings are in history, philosophy, literature, and religious studies, and the course work can be used to fulfill general education requirements. Readings are drawn from the Western tradition, but some non-Western works are included.
BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
began 1959, enrollment 500/year
The foundation of the Honors curriculum is the 3-course Humanities Sequence. Taught by faculty from many departments, these courses emphasize great books and great ideas mainly of the Western tradition. The first two courses are sequenced chronologically; the third course is structured around "isms." The courses fulfill general education requirements.
*BARD COLLEGE CLEMENTE COURSE
The Clemente course offers great-books study free to the financially poor and homeless. Under the aegis of Bard College, the program has been offered at 30 sites around the country, including various college campuses as well as other locations. The course of study lasts 28 weeks and involves seminars taught at a college level. Works studied are from literature, art history, philosophy, and U.S. history. Students who complete the writing portion of the course, as well as reading and discussion, can earn up to 6 college credits (awarded by Bard or another sponsoring college).
Baylor Interdisciplinary Core
began 1995, enrollment 500/year
BIC is an alternative core curriculum. 7 of the courses are based on the study of great books: 4 on World Cultures, 2 Social Science, 1 Bible. The World Cultures courses are based in the Western tradition, but also include non-Western classics. Art is included through lectures and on-line materials.
Baylor has made a strong commitment to enlarging study of the great books. The University Scholars program is adding a great-books component, the Honors Program will do so, and a great-books major has been proposed.
began 1999, enrollment 270/year
Worldview is Belhaven's core curriculum, which requires a 2-year course of study focused around thematic topics arranged by historical timeline. Great movements and ideas of history, literature, fine arts, philosophy, and theology are integrated under the rubrics of "Western Civilization," "Form and Meaning," "Literature," and "Christian Perspective." Literature constitutes 6 credits of great books readings, while Western Civilization (6 credits) uses a textbook combined with readings from great books. Two courses (6 credits) are required in reading the Bible.
BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE
Among the requirements in Belmont Abbey's 60-credit core curriculum are 6 courses in which students read great books: one on the Bible, one in world literature, one in English literature, one in philosophy, and a 2-course sequence for seniors entitled "Great Books." The focus is on the Western tradition, with the world literature course introducing some non-Western works.
*Great Books Sequence
began 1977, enrollment 15/year
The sequence consists of 3 chronologically oriented seminars in which students read from many of the great works of the Western tradition. Completion of the sequence substitutes for 3 required courses in general education. Reading lists for the courses in the sequence change substantially each time it begins anew, as do the specific general-education courses for which it substitutes. It may be possible for students who have completed the sequence to take a later version of it for additional credit.
*Cultural Heritage Series
began 1993, enrollment 400/year
Cultural Heritage is a 3-course sequence required of all students as a part of general education. The courses are historically sequenced from the ancient world through 19th century, and take a history of ideas approach. Background material is provided through readings from textbooks; primary sources are provided through anthologies.
St. Paul, MN
*Western Humanity in Christian Perspective
began 1997, enrollment 150/year
Students may choose the 4-course Humanities sequence as a substitute for 5 courses of required general education. The courses are historically sequenced (ancient Greece to the present), and combine lectures, writing assignments, and trips to plays, concerts, and museums with the study of great books and works of art.
La Mirada, CA
Torrey Honors Institute
began 1996, enrollment 280/year
Torrey offers 60 credits of great-books study through a series of courses. There is extensive reading from the masterworks of Western civilization, with a special emphasis on Christian texts. Torrey courses substitute for most general education and biblical studies requirements. Courses are conducted in seminar format.
began before 1980, enrollment 550/year
(see core programs)
Perspectives is a 4-year interdisciplinary program centered upon the great books of the Western intellectual tradition (although some non-Western works are included). There are 4 year-long courses of 12 credits each (6 credits per semester), totaling 48 credits. The courses are thematic: humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences. Perspectives courses fulfill general education requirements.
began 1959, enrollment 600/year
The Honors Program includes a 4-semester great-books sequence (6 credits per semester) entitled The Western Cultural Tradition. Following this is a 2-course (3 credits each) sequence entitled "The 20th Century and the Tradition," the last course of which examines the cultural tradition from contemporary critical perspectives.
College of Arts and Sciences
began 1989, enrollment 650/year
One of the two routes students may choose in pursuing the core curriculum involves 8 courses, 6 of which are great-books courses: 4 in humanities and 2 in social science. The natural science courses include the history of science, but without reading the classics. The humanities courses (interdisciplinary approach to literature, philosophy, religion, and the arts) are historically sequenced from the ancient world through the 19th century. One social science course covers classics of politics, the other of psychology and sociology.
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
began 1960, enrollment 400/year
Graduation from the Honors Program requires completion of a Great Works requirement. Some of the works may be encountered in course work, but most will be pursued independently. Students are required to read 16 works of literature, attend 16 theatrical performances, 16 musical performances, 16 films, and 16 art exhibitions, and write 19 response papers. There is an extensive list of approved works for study.
began 1979, enrollment 1,900/year
The Brooklyn College Core consists of 10 courses, of which Core 1 "Classical Origins of Western Culture," Core6 "Landmarks of Literature," and Core 10 "Knowledge, Existence, and Values" draw extensively on selections from the great books of the Western Tradition. Core 2.1 "Introduction to Art" concentrates on great works of Western art.
CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY
San Luis Obispo, CA
Western Intellectual Tradition Minor
The minor requires that students select 7 courses, from a short list, drawn from the disciplines of English, history, political science, and philosophy. Most courses concentrate on readings from great works.
Honors Scholars Program
began 1989, enrollment 50/year
The Honors Scholars Program requires students to take a specially designed set of 5 great books courses. The courses are historically sequenced, and include works from philosophy, literature, religion, science, and politics. The focus is on the Western tradition. Honors Scholars courses can be used to fulfill general-education requirements.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA
began 1975, enrollment 600/year
All undergraduates at Catholic U (except those in engineering and in the adult education program) are required to take 2 philosophy courses: "The Classical Mind" and "The Modern Mind." In each course students read in their entirety (or long selections from) several great works of philosophy from the Western tradition.
Began 1985, enrollment 50/year
Three of the four tracks in the Honors Program make use of great books, within the larger contexts of main themes and other text materials. One track is "The Christian Tradition" (Bible, Dante, Chaucer, Dostoevsky, Newman, etc), another is "An Aristotelian Studium" (emphasis on works by Aristotle, but including Hume, Kant, Marx, Dewey), and a third is "Critical Exploration of Social Reality" (Durkheim, Weber, etc). Each track consists of a 4-course sequence.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
William O. Douglas Honors College
began 1977, enrollment 70/year
The Honors College is a great-books program comprising 12 seminar courses ('colloquia") with accompanying lectures, as well as a senior thesis. This course work totals 41 credits of the 180 credits required for graduation from the university. The reading list is extensive, and historically sequenced from the ancient world through the 20th century.
CHADRON STATE COLLEGE
began 1980s, enrollment 60/year
The Honors Program consists of 8 great-books courses (24 credits) taken one each semester for 4 years. There are 4 two-course sequences: "The Psyche" (humanities), "Society" (largely political theory), "The Natural Order" (natural science), and "The Cosmos (a theme chosen by the instructor). Many of the books are read in their entirety. Honors courses may be used to fulfill general education requirements.
Front Royal, VA
began 1977, enrollment 200/year
The core curriculum constitutes 84 of the college's 126 required credits for graduation. There is a 3-course sequence in the literature of western civilization. Additionally, freshman composition and literature courses involve great-books readings, as do 2 of the required 3 history courses, and 3 courses in theology (2 on the Bible).
Great Works of Western civilization
began 1988, enrollment 30/year
Great Works is an interdisciplinary minor consisting of 18 credits. One course, "Great Books of the Western World," is required, and there are 2 other non-departmentally based courses in great books. Students choose one course from each of 5 categories: classical civilization, post-classical literature, philosophy and religion, the arts, the sciences.
began 1980, enrollment 750/year
The core curriculum requires all students to take a 2-course sequence with the titles "Western Traditions" and "The Challenge of Modernity." The first course deals with great books of literature, religion, and philosophy of the ancient world. The second course moves from the enlightenment to the 20th century, and incorporates science and the arts with the humanities.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
Students in the Honors Program are required to take a 2-course (6 credits each) sequence that combines lectures and seminars to study the history of Western Civilization by focusing on great books. Works of art and the sciences are incorporated with the humanities.
COLLEGE OF THOMAS MORE
Fort Worth, TX
began 1982, enrollment 35/year
The college offers a single baccalaureate program, which is based on reading the great books. The curriculum is divided into the areas of literature, philosophy, theology, Greek and Latin, and mathematics. Most courses (including language courses) focus on the great books of the Western tradition.
New York, NY
began 1920s, enrollment 2,400/year
Columbia began its now famous great-books program in the 1920s with Mortimer Adler as one of the first instructors. Today the program consists of 2 year-long core courses entitled "Contemporary Civilization" and "Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy." Also in the core are one-semester courses entitled "Masterpieces of Western Art" and "Masterpieces of Western Music."
COLUMBUS STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
began 1983, enrollment 700/year
The Humanities Department offers a 3-course sequence (quarter-system calendar) spanning the ancient world through the 20th century. The courses feature readings from great books, primarily from the Western tradition but a few from beyond it. In order to earn an associate'' degree in arts or sciences, students are required to complete the 3-course sequence.
began 1980s, enrollment 150/year
All converse students are required, as part of general education, to take "Ideas and Culture" 150 and 151. The courses are chronological, and incorporate history, art, architecture, and music, while focusing mainly on primary texts of religion, philosophy, and religion from the ancient world to the present.
*World Literature Program
began 1993, enrollment 700/year
As part of the Arts and Science core curriculum, students must complete 2 courses in world literature. The courses are historically sequenced, and in addition to including works from the Western canon, stress the importance of non-Western texts. All course sections teach a set of common texts, beyond which faculty may customize the reading list.
began 1962, enrollment 100/year
Humanities is a 4-semester program for first- and second-year students, focusing on great works from the Western tradition from antiquity to the present. Lectures provide background for discussion. Completion of the courses counts toward core distribution requirements in history, religion, and philosophy.
DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY
Minor in Great Books
began 1997, enrollment 30/year
Four great-books courses are offered in historical sequence from the ancient world through the modern world. Students who wish to complete the minor take these 4 courses plus 2 additional courses that require substantial reading in great books.
EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
began 1998, enrollment 30/year
East Carolina offers a minor in Great Books Study consisting of 24 credits. An "Introduction to Great Books" course is required of all students for the minor, after which they select their other courses from an approved list drawn from the departments of Classics, English, foreign languages, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology. A proposal for a Great Books major will soon receive final approval.
*Templeton honors Program
began 1999, enrollment 24/year
Templeton students begin their program of study by taking 2 great-books courses: "History of Western Thought and Civilization" I and II. The courses are historically sequenced, and include works of philosophy, religion, and literature.
EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
began 1980, enrollment 100/year
The foundation of the Honors Program is a sequence of three 8-credit courses (quarter-system calendar) that focus on great books. "The Intellectual Tradition" I and II are historically sequenced from the ancient world through the Reformation, and include works from literature, philosophy, history, and art. The third course, "Modern Science and Society," combines classic works from natural and social science with contemporary works.
Great Books Honors Program
began 2001, enrollment 60/year
The program consists of a 4-course sequence featuring great books from the Western cultural heritage. Courses proceed in historical progression, and include works of philosophy, literature, and religion. Great-Books honors courses can be used to fulfill general education requirements.
New York, NY
began 1955, enrollment 75/year
The first two years of the Honors Program are comprised of a sequence of four 3-course sets (Literature/Philosophy-Theology/History), with each set worth 9 credits: "Ancient," "Medieval," "Early Modern," "Contemporary." All courses focus on great books, with some bringing in the arts as well. These Honors courses fulfill general education requirements. Some upper-level Honors courses, including "Honors Mathematics," feature or include great works.
began 1990, enrollment 90/year
The Honors Program consists of 8 chronologically sequenced courses (4 credits each; most courses at the school are 3 credits) focused on the great books of the Western tradition. Students take one course per semester. Completion of the sequence satisfies the entire humanities and social science core and most of the communications core.
began 1970, enrollment 100/year
The Humanities sequence is a year-long (3-course) study of great books that substitutes for one general education course each in literature, history, and religion. Texts are drawn from the Western canon and are historically sequenced from the ancient world to the present.
GEORGE WYTHE COLLEGE
Cedar City, IA
began 1992, enrollment on campus 50/year, enrollment distance learning 150/year
The George Wythe undergraduate program offers a single degree in "Statesmanship," which concentrates on reading the great books of the Western world. The reading list is similar to that of St. John's College, covering all basic liberal-arts fields, but it is divided into subject matter courses including history, philosophy, government, math and science, and law. The structure differs from that of traditional great-books degrees by including an internship ("entrepreneurship"), as well as a course each term in "simulations" (group experience such as mock trial, debate, negotiation, etc.).
GROVE CITY COLLEGE
Grove City, PA
began 1991, enrollment 1,700/year
The Humanities Core consists of 6 courses. In 4 of them students read (as all or part of course requirements) great works (or selections). The 6-course sequence is interdisciplinary, and students take 2 courses per year for 3 years. The college' commitment is to the Western and Christian traditions, although other points of view and other cultures are examined.
began 1993, enrollment 20
Gutenberg College, allied with the McKenzie Study Center, offers a single non-elective curriculum in which about 2/3 of the study is in the great books of the Western tradition. The reading list resembles that of St. John's College. Required languages are Greek and German.
*General Education Requirements
An earlier version of the present program gave students a choice of two 3-course sequences to meet general-education requirements: "Humanities" (great books) or "History." The present 3-course sequence is required of all students; it consists of history as taught from a history textbook combined with reading of 5 great books per course (semester system).
Eurasia: Science and the Humanities
began 1994, enrollment 60/year
Eurasia is a 3-wemester, multidisciplinary and cross-cultural introduction to science and the humanities. Completion of the 3 Eurasia courses substitutes for 6 courses of general education. Classes meet 5 day per week, and cover Western and Eastern developments in literature, philosophy, and the arts, as well as the rise of modern science. Students read selections from numerous great works.
*"Liberal Studies -- Journeys"
began 1993, enrollment 300/year
"Liberal Studies -- Journeys" a course required of all freshmen. It is arranged chronologically, and introduces students to key works of philosophy, political theory, drama, and literature in discussion classes. Musical, artistic, scientific, and historical developments are presented through a series of lectures.
Liberal Arts Core
began 1990, enrollment 700/year
Required for the Core are a 2-course sequence entitled "Rhetoric and the Great Books" and a 2-course sequence in "Western Heritage" and "American Heritage." All four of these courses make extensive use of great works, usually selections thereof. An additional English course is required, and most of the options students can choose from focus on great works.
Honors students complete the liberal-arts core requirements, beyond which they enroll in honors seminars in which many readings are from great books.
New Rochelle, NY
began 1980, enrollment 60/year
The Honors Program requires 4 seminar courses (2 freshman year, 2 sophomore year) in which students read great books and discuss great ideas in philosophy, history, literature, and religion. Emphasis is on the Western tradition, although several Eastern works are included. Many works are read in their entirety.
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Certificate in the Study of the Arts and Sciences Through Primary Texts
began 2001, enrollment 40
The certificate requires an 18 credit (6 course) program of study which students can tailor to their own interests. Courses must cover at least 3 disciplines, and a capstone essay is required. Courses are chosen from a brief list of approved courses drawn from several departments, and they may be used to fulfill general education requirements.
began 1970s, enrollment 250/year
The English Department offers a 4-course Humanities sequence (Classical, Medieval and Renaissance, Baroque and Enlightenment, and Modern) in which students read from great books of the humanities and some from the social and natural sciences. Great works of music and art are incorporated as well. These courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements, and can also be applied toward the Certificate in the Study of the Arts and Sciences through Primary Texts.
KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY
Whitney Young College Honors Program
began 1982, enrollment 50/year
WYC Honors offers a 48-credit great books program which fulfills all core liberal studies requirements of the university. Also there is a liberal studies major consisting of 21 credits of great-books course work. The reading list resembles that of St. John's College. Considerable attention is given to classics in science.
Integral Honors Program
began 1970s, enrollment 70/year
The bulk of the Integral honors Program consists of a required 3-course (6 credits per course) great-books sequence that integrates philosophy, religion, literature, and history. Emphasis is on the Western tradition, but some non-traditional works are included. Two other courses featuring great books are offered, a course on music (with great works) is given as an elective, and a course including great works of science is under development. Integral Honors courses fulfill core requirements.
LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Baton Rouge, LA
began 1967, enrollment 350/year
Among the offerings of the Honors college is a set of great-books courses: "Ancient Western Civilization" (6 credits), "Comparative Civilizations" (6 credits), Rome and Medieval Civilizations" (6 credits), "Colonial and Early National America" (6 credits), "The Renaissance" (4 credits), "The Modern World" (4 credits). The courses may be used to fulfill general-education requirements, as well as for Honors Distinction in the award of a degree.
began 1980s, enrollment 200/year
The Honors Program consists of a series of 12 courses, 8 of which focus on the great books and critical ideas of Western culture. 5 courses constitute a chronologically sequenced exploration of intellectual history, and 3 more are devoted to art history, music, and theatre. Honors courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF LYNCHBURG
Lynchburg College Symposium Readings
began 1989, enrollment 200/year
The Lynchburg Symposium inserts classic works across the curriculum. The college has published its own 10-volume set of readings from great books and keyed on great issues, and LCSR-approved courses typically include 3 or more such readings. LCSR courses are found in various departments. The courses are not required and are not part of a credit-earning program, but they are options that may satisfy general-education requirements.
Warner, New Hampshire
Magdalen offers a single degree program composed of required courses. The courses are conducted in small groups, and most courses emphasize reading great books. The courses take a disciplinary approach (Catholic tradition). The books read are from the Western Canon, and are in some cases organized chronologically and other cases thematically.
The Honors Program consists of 5 great books courses (and a capstone project). The courses are chronologically sequenced: Greek; Classical and Medieval; Renaissance and Enlightenment; Nineteenth Century; Twentieth Century. The focus is on the Western tradition, including works from philosophy, literature, and religion.
Great Books Program
began 1984, enrollment 300/year
Great Books comprises an 8-course sequence that serves as an alternative to the regular general-education requirements in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The pedagogical method and reading list are modeled on St. John's College, with the first 7 semesters focused in chronological fashion on classics of the Western tradition. The eighth course has an open format where non-Western classics and primary texts representing particular themes (including race, class, and gender) may be read.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
Great Books Interdisciplinary Minor
Students earn a minor in Great Books by taking 6 courses from an approved list from various departments. Course approval indicates that the instructor will teach in its entirety at least one path-breaking, defining text in the discipline in question. There is one required course that focuses on the meaning and value of historical thought. Otherwise students may choose, with the proviso that no more than 2 courses be drawn from any one department.
Milligan College, TN
began 1968, enrollment 420/year
All entering freshmen at Milligan are required to take a set of 4 great books courses (6 credits each for a total of 24 credits). In a combined lecture and discussion format, the areas of history, literature, philosophy, and religion are integrated, with art and music also included. The focus is on the foundations of Western culture.
Heritage of the West in World Perspective
began 1968, enrollment 120/year
Heritage is a 4-course option (actually, 2 double-credit courses) that substitutes for 5 courses in the core curriculum. Class sessions include lectures and musical/visual presentations as well as small-group discussions. Works read are selections from Western and Eastern classics.
MISSISSIIPI STATE UNIVERSITY
Mississippi State, MS
began 2012, enrollment 120/year
Cursus Honorum | Shackouls Honor College (msstate.edu)
In the Shackouls Honors College, Mississippi State University sees the distinctive curriculum as an ascending path of academic honors, beginning in the liberal arts and leading to advanced learning in the disciplines and scientific specialization. This curriculum is called the Cursus Honorum, which recalls the “path of honors” that ambitious citizens of the Roman Republic—such as Cato and Cicero and Caesar—were expected to rise through. The Cursus Honorum requires students to complete two Trans-disciplinary courses (“Quest”), two Inter-disciplinary courses, three Discipline-specific courses, Study Abroad, and a Senior Thesis. Students who successfully complete the Cursus Honorum will receive a rigorous liberal arts education in addition to their major field of study, will be prepared for graduate-level research in their field, and will be recognized with the distinctive designation Collegium Honorum on their diplomas and transcripts.
West Long Branch, NJ
*WN 201,202 World Masterpieces
began 1967, enrollment 1,000/year
All students must take "World Masterpieces" I and II in fulfillment of their general education requirements. The courses are chronologically sequenced, and in them students read Western classics of literature.
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY – BILLINGS
University Honors Program
began 1977, enrollment 50/year
The heart of the honors program is a 3-course (6 credits each) sequence in which selections from key texts that have shaped Western civilization are read and discussed against a background of historical development. The period covered is the ancient world through the 20th century. These courses can be used to fulfill general education requirements.
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
began 1985, enrollment 70/year
Honors students are required to take a 2-course sequence entitled "Great Books and Ideas." There is no common reading list, and faculty have leeway in the approach they take: some teach a traditional masterpieces course, while others give it a West/Non-West comparative emphasis or take some other non-traditional approach.
MOREHEAD STATE UNIVERSITY
began 1985, enrollment 150/year
The mainstay of the Honors Program is a 4-course sequence of great-books courses arranged into 4 historical periods from ancient Greece to the present. Emphasis is on the Western tradition, and readings are from classic works in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The objective of the program is to expose students to great ideas in their original and challenging presentation.
NEW ST. ANDREWS COLLEGE
began 1994, enrollment 100/year
New St. Andrews offers a single course of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Culture (an associate's degree is also available). The curriculum includes instruction in theology and in the Latin and Greek languages, and 3 full-year courses in great books (Philosophy, Classical Culture and History, Literature). Some other courses include the study of great works. The focus is on the Western tradition.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
New York, NY
General Studies Program
began 1973, enrollment 600/year
The core requirements in General Studies include a 2-course sequence in "Cultural Foundations" and a 2-course sequence in "Social Foundations." All 4 courses key on the great books of the Western tradition. Great works from the arts are also included.
NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY
began 1985, enrollment 35/year
3 courses in general honors are offered as an optional foundation for specialized honors: "Foundations and Landmarks of Western Culture" I and II, and "Christian Classics." Each course holds 5 semester hours of credit. Besides for honors credit, the courses may be used in fulfillment of general-education requirements.
NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA
Louisiana Scholars Program
began 1987, enrollment 165/year
Louisiana Scholar's College is the state's designated 4-year, selective-admissions honors college in the liberal arts and sciences. The curriculum requires 4 chronologically sequenced great-books courses (5 credits each) entitled "The Shaping of Western Thought." A fifth required course (4 credits) is devoted to classics of the American tradition. The reading list draws works from several disciplines, including natural and social science.
began 1945, enrollment 550/year
Oglethorpe's core includes 3 sets of 2 courses each: "Narratives of the Self," "Human Nature and the Social Order," "Historical Perspectives on the Social Order." Students take all 3 sets, one each year as freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Each course-set is historically sequenced, and has a book list of great works to which individual instructors add personal choices. Also required for the core is either an art course or a music course based on great works.
OHIO DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY
*Humanities Core Program
As part of the core requirements, all students take 2 interdisciplinary Humanities courses centered on the study of great books. Works are drawn from philosophy, literature, and religion in the Western tradition.
OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
Department of Humanities-Classics
Ohio Wesleyan offers a Humanities-Classics major requiring 10 courses. A minor is also offered. Works read are in translation, and consist of classics from several fields although largely from literature. There is a 5-course historical sequence of a traditional nature. Most other courses are thematic, such as "The Tragic Vision" and "Women in Antiquity," or genre-oriented, such as "The Ancient Novel" and "Smiles and Laughter." Several courses feature or include Eastern works.
OUR LADY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Corpus Christi, TX
began 1999, enrollment 40/year
The core curriculum is fully prescribed, and encompasses the entirety of course work for the freshman and sophomore years, and 3 courses in the junior year. Nine of the courses focus on great books: 2 Bible, 2 history and politics, 2 philosophy (medieval, metaphysics), and 3 literature. The 3 majors students choose from also include reading in great books: theology, philosophy, and English. Emphasis throughout the curriculum is on connections with Catholic doctrine.
PACIFIC UNION COLLEGE
began 1998, enrollment 80/year
Honors is a great-books program consisting of 12 great-books courses (4 or 5 credits each on a quarter-system calendar) plus 2 full years of Greek and a senior project. The courses are organized by theme or by discipline (although with titles that sound thematic): "Heroes," "Order and Liberty," "Scripture I and II, "Cosmos," "America," "Virtue," "Christianity," "Beauty," "Self and Society," "East," "Progress." Masterworks of art, music, and film are included in the courses.
PALM BEACH ATLANTIC COLLEGE
West Palm Beach, FL
began 1985, enrollment 70/year
Course work during the first two years of the Honors Program consists of a 4-course sequence (4 credits per course) that integrate literature, philosophy, religion, the arts, and science in the Western tradition. Students read brief selections from many great works, thus following a great-ideas approach. The courses are sequenced historically. The program is presently undergoing revision toward reading longer selections and fewer works.
began late 1980s, enrollment 200/year
The Colloquium is a 4-course sequence focusing on the masterpieces of Western civilization. Readings are drawn from literature, philosophy, religion, and psychology. Instructors follow a common list beyond which they may customize. Completion of the sequence substitutes for 5 general-education courses. In addition to the standard 4 courses, some elective great-books courses are offered.
Princeton, New Jersey
Program in Humanistic Studies
began 1980s, enrollment 150/year
Humanistic Studies serves as a forum for courses designed to introduce students to fundamental events, ideas, and texts of literature, art, science, philosophy, and society. Some courses have a traditional great-works emphasis. Especially notable is a 4-course introduction to Western culture (HUM 216, 217, 218, 219) that combines lectures and small-group discussions. Also notable are courses on the Bible and Eastern works.
Development of Western civilization
began 1971, enrollment 1900/year
DWC is a 4-year course sequence (5 credits per course) taken in the freshman and sophomore years. It is required of all students as a part of their core. The courses are interdisciplinary and team-taught. The sequence is historical, and concentrates on great books and other great works.
began 1943, enrollment 650/year
All students at Reed are required to take a 2-semester Humanities sequence that counts for 3 semesters of credit. The course covers great works from ancient Greece (first semester) and Rome (second semester). Beyond this are 3 more 2-course sequences that can be chosen on an elective basis: "Early Modern Europe," "Modern European Humanities," and "Foundations of Chinese Civilization."
RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE
began 1996, enrollment 1500/year
As part of their general-education requirements, all students must take English 161 ("Western Literature") and History 161 ("Western History'). In both courses students read selections from many great works of the Western tradition.
Basic Humanities Requirement
began 1945, enrollment 430/year
All students at Rhodes must complete one of two 4-course sequences in Humanities. The track entitled "Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion" consists of one course taken in each of the first four semesters, with all courses focusing on primary texts. The first year examines early ancient times through the early Christians. The second year follows the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman heritage through subsequent ages to the present, with students choosing one disciplinary area of emphasis from: religious studies, history, philosophy, literature, politics.
*General Education (Humanities)
Among the options Rice students may choose for fulfilling general-education requirements is a 2-course great-books sequence. Fields covered include literature, philosophy, and history, and the focus is on the Western tradition.
began 1979, enrollment 25/year
The Honors Program comprises 4 historically sequenced courses spanning the development of Western Civilization from the ancient world to the present. Disciplines included are literature, philosophy, science, religion, and politics. These courses may be used to fulfill general-education requirements.
The Scholars Program (an honors program) requires that its students take 2 courses entitled "Great Ideas" I and II. In each course at least one primary text from each of six genera is read (a Greek play or epic, a dialogue of Plato, an 18th-century Enlightenment work, a 19th-century work on political philosophy, etc.). The focus is on the Western tradition.
ST. ANSELM COLLEGE
Liberal Studies in the Great Books
began 1972, enrollment 25/year
St. Anselm offers a major in great books consisting of 6 required seminars and 2 preceptorials. There is also an optional proseminar for freshmen who are prospective majors. The seminars are chronologically sequenced, with one taken per semester. The reading list includes standard classics form Western culture.
ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE
Santa Fe, NM
began 1937, enrollment 800/year
In 1937 St. John's College in Annapolis established a full 4-year, non-elective great-books curriculum. In the 1960s an additional campus was started in New Mexico. Today St. John's is considered the model for great-books programs, and its reading list is often consulted. Besides reading extensively from the great books (many of them in their entirety), students are exposed to classics in the arts and to great scientific experiments. The curriculum is based on the Western tradition. The New Mexico campus offers a graduate program in Eastern classics.
ST. JOSEPH'S COLLEGE
began 1959, enrollment 700/year
St. Joseph's has a core curriculum of 10 courses, 3 of which focus on reading from classics of the Western tradition: Core II ("The Modern World"), Core III ("Roots of Western Civilization"), and Core IV ("Christian Impact on Western Civilization"). Other core courses are in science, multicultural studies, and Christianity.
ST. LEO UNIVERSITY
St. Leo, FL
began 1982, enrollment 90/year
The Honors Program consists of 9 courses, 6 of which are great-books courses: a 3-course sequence in the humanities covering the ancient world through the 18th century, one course on natural science and one on social science, one on in-depth reading and analysis of a single 20th-century work. The focus is on the Western tradition
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA
Collegiate Seminar Program
began 1985, enrollment 2000/year
The core curriculum requires 4 great-books seminar courses. The readings are arranged in chronological fashion, and are drawn from the Western tradition. There are 2 elective seminars in non-Western texts.
Integral Liberal Arts Program
began 1955, enrollment 90/year
The Integral Program is an alternative model for undergraduate study. The full degree program follows a great-books model similar to that of St. John's College. Each year students take 4 courses: Seminar, Mathematics, Language, and Laboratory. 2 music courses are included, and there are a few electives. Courses are chronologically sequenced.
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE
Notre Dame, IN
began 1956, enrollment 40/year
Humanistic Studies offers a major in which students take 4 great-books courses accompanied by 4 courses in cultural history. Colloquia I-IV focus on great books of Western culture during the medieval period, Renaissance and Reformation, 17th and 18th centuries, and 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis is on works of literature and religion, but also included are philosophy and politics.
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE
St. Mary's KS
began 1989, enrollment 35/year
For an associate's degree students are required to take "Literature of Western Civilization" I and II. A baccalaureate degree requires "Literature of Western Civilization" I, II, and III, and a fourth course entitled "Shakespeare and His Sources." Readings are drawn from philosophy, literature, and religion.
ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY
Lasallian Honors Program
began 1983, enrollment 185/year
The Honors Program consists of a series of 8 great-books seminars, one taken each semester for four years. 2 courses contain service components of community involvement. Among the seminars are one concentrating on great ideas in science and politics, and another on Eastern classics.
ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE
began 1950, enrollment 100/year
The Humanities Program consists of 6 great-books courses on the Western tradition. Courses 101 and 102 cover the ancient/medieval and modern periods respectively; these courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements, and honors sections are available. Other courses chronologically are: "Renaissance/Reformation," "Enlightenment and Revolution," "The Nineteenth Century," "The Twentieth Century." Music, art, and film are integrated into the courses.
ST. OLAF COLLEGE
The Great Conversation
began 1981, enrollment 190/year
The Great Conversation is an alternative means for fulfilling much of the college's core curriculum. The program consists of a 5-course sequence, taken during each semester and the interim of the first year and one course each semester of the sophomore year, in which great works from the Western tradition are approached in chronological fashion. Several other courses are available for students who wish to continue great-books study beyond the basic sequence.
ST. VINCENT COLLEGE
Common Texts Project
began 1986, enrolment 1,000/year
"Common Texts" refers to a collection of great works chosen by the St. Vincent faculty to be read in a variety of courses. The aim is for students to encounter the same texts in more than one course and through the perspectives of different disciplines. Faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to use common texts in their courses, and to request that those courses be designated by the college as Common Text courses.
SALEM STATE COLLEGE
began 1998, enrollment 35/year
The Honors curriculum requires 2 literature courses in which students read from the great books of the Western tradition. The courses are chronologically sequenced.
began before 1975
The core curriculum at Salem State requires 2 sequenced courses in literature. Most students fulfill the requirement by taking "World Literature," "American Literature," "English Literature," or "Shakespeare," all of which focus on reading great books.
*Bellavance Honors Program
began 1987, enrollment 60/year
Honors students are required to take 2 literature courses that, typically, are grounded in reading great works. The themes and readings change with each offering of the courses, but include both the classical and the modern from the Western tradition.
began 1988, enrollment 700/year
Cultural Perspectives is a 2-course sequence that serves as an interdisciplinary introduction to the humanities. Faculty are drawn from several departments. They share a common chronology and certain texts, but individual instructors are free to supplement with texts of their choice. The focus is on Western culture, with a few works from outside.
SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
San Jose, CA
Humanities Honors Program
began 1950's, enrollment 250/year
The Department of Humanities offers a 24-credit Humanities Honors Program that substitutes for general-education requirements. In a combined format of lectures and discussion groups, students work through an extensive great-books list that includes works from the humanities and science, and Eastern traditions as well as Western. Art and music are also included. Other courses based on great books are available, including a 4-course sequence from antiquity through the Romantic era. A major and a minor in Humanities are available in which most of the course work is based in great books.
began 1959, enrollment 50/year
The Honors Program is an alternative to the university's regular core curriculum; it fulfills all core requirements except mathematics. Among the Honors seminars are 2 sequences devoted to study of great books: students take 3 courses per year (on a quarter-system calendar) for two years in each of two areas: "Thought" and "Literature." Additionally, a social science course based on foundational thinkers is required, as well as a course on art and one on music keyed on major works and genres.
SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
began 1970, enrollment 80/year
University Scholars is an honors program, the bulk of which consists of a 4-course sequence (5 credits per course on the quarter system) of great-books courses. The first is the "University Scholars Seminar" and the following three are entitled "Texts and Contexts." Readings are drawn mainly but not exclusively from the Western tradition and represent literature, philosophy, history, and politics. The last course in the sequence incorporates many works of art and music. There is also a 2-course sequence on "Faith and Science" that incorporates some classic works of science.
SETON HALL UNIVERSITY
South Orange, NJ
The bulk of the Honors Program at Seton Hall consists of 4 chronologically sequenced (classical civilization to contemporary) great-books courses. The focus is mainly on the Western tradition, although non-traditional works are also included. The courses are interdisciplinary, representing literature, philosophy, religion, politics, art, and science.
began 1950, enrollment 150/year
Shimer offers a single degree program in which great books form the basis for all courses. There are course sequences in 4 areas: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and integrative studies. Each course within these areas is devoted to a topic or theme (e.g. "Aesthetics and Literary Criticism;" "Society, Culture, and Personality;" "The Western Political Tradition"), and in some cases the texts span several areas. Texts are drawn from the Western tradition, and some latter 20th-century works are included.
SIMON'S ROCK COLLEGE
Great Barrington, MA
Lower College Program
began 1985, enrollment 300/year
www.cgf.org/cat209/98527.pdf (see page 95)
Simon's Rock is an affiliate of Bard College, and was designed to offer collegiate study to students who wish to substitute it for their last 2 years of high school. Required of all students as part of the 4-year degree program are the First-Year Seminar (2 semesters, 8 credits) and Second Year Seminar (1 semester, 4 credits). Readings are drawn from great works of Western civilization.
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY
began 1988, enrollment 160/year
Among the courses in Southeastern's Honors Program are 4 English courses that take a great-books approach, as well a a 4-course interdisciplinary sequence entitled "Ideas in conflict." Works read are from the Western tradition. The "Ideas" sequence is a requirement for earning an Honors Diploma in Liberal Studies.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
Buena Vista, VA
General Education Requirements
began 1996, enrollment 80/year
The Cultural Heritage portion of the general-education program requires students to take 5 courses chosen from 4 two-course sequences: "Art History," "Literature of Western Civilization," "Western Civilization" (history), and "History of Philosophy." The literature and philosophy sequences feature great books, and the art history sequence features great works of art.
SPRING HILL COLLEGE
*English 121 and 123 (Core Courses)
began 1970s, enrollment 250/year
As part of their core requirements, all Spring Hill students take English 121 and 123. These courses are entitled "Composition and Literature (Introduction to Literature)". The courses are historically sequenced , and emphasize reading from great works of the Western tradition.
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT GENESEO
*Western Humanities (Common Core)
began 1980, enrollment 1,250/year
All students are required as part of their Core to take (usually in the sophomore year) a 2-course great-books sequence entitled "Western Humanities." The courses follow chronologically and include works from literature, philosophy, history, and politics. Instructors have flexibility in designing their own reading lists by choosing among various approved options.
Integrated Studies is a 2-course great-books sequence required for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. The first course focuses on the ancient world and the second course on the 20th century. Non-Western works and some works from the sciences are included.
*Intellectual Heritage Program
began 1979, enrollment 4,000/year
Intellectual Heritage is a 2-course sequence that focuses on the laws and disciplines upon which nations and their institutions have been built. The emphasis is on Western culture, but non-Western works are also included. Readings include selections, and wherever possible, complete works from the great books. Students in all of 11 of Temple's undergraduate schools and colleges are required to take this sequence in fulfillment of general-education requirements.
THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE
Santa Paula, CA
began 1971, enrollment 280/year
Thomas Aquinas offers a single degree program based entirely on the great books. The program is similar to that of St. John's College and St. Mary's of California (Integral Program). Students read from original texts in all fields, including mathematics and science. Emphasis is on the Western tradition.
THOMAS MORE COLLEGE
began 1978, enrollment 75/year
The core curriculum includes 8 great-books Humanities seminars (6 credits each) for 48 credits. Students are thoroughly versed in the classics of the Western tradition in the areas of literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. The seminars are historically sequenced from the ancient world through the 20th century. Students also must take either Latin or Greek, and some of their readings are from great works in the original languages.
Guided Studies Program
began 1979, enrollment 50/year
Although not in name, Guided Studies is an honors program that focuses on the foundations of European civilization. In a set of 8 courses (taken during the freshman and sophomore years) students read great works of philosophy, literature, and religion. These courses satisfy general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
began 1980s, enrollment 2-course 1,000+/year; 4-course 100/year
The Humanities Program offers a 2-course great-books sequence entitled "Traditions and Culture," that fulfills general-education requirements. There is a more extensive 4-course sequence that applies toward general education or to a minor or major in Humanities. The focus in these courses is on the Western tradition, although some non-traditional works are included. Several other Humanities courses, offered on an occasional basis, feature great books.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA CRUZ
Santa Cruz, CA
*Self and Society
While other colleges within the university have different requirements, Stevenson requires its students to take a 3-course (quarter-system calendar) core sequence entitled "Self and Society." The reading list consists of 30 texts drawn from philosophy, religion, politics, social criticism, history, and literature. The readings include both traditional Western works and non-traditional works.
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
began 1942, enrollment 1,800/year
Chicago's general education program (on a quarter-system calendar) requires course work in 2 categories where students read great books. In the category of "Humanities, the Arts, and Civilization" students choose one 2- or 3-course sequence (from half a dozen differing by theme, with all featuring Western classics and some featuring non-Western as well) and one 2- or 3-course sequence in Civilization (from a dozen choices. In the category of Social Sciences students choose one 3 course sequence (from 5 choices).
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
Introduction to Humanities
began 1940s, enrollment 400/year
The Humanities Program offers a 2-course (6 credits each) sequence entitled "Introduction to the Humanities." Great works from the humanities (primarily literature) are studied along with those of art and music. The focus is on the Western world. These courses can be used for general-education credit, and are required for a major or minor in Humanities.
UNIVERSITY OF DALLAS
began 1960, enrollment 650/year
The core curriculum requires of all undergraduates 14 courses that focus on reading great books: 3 philosophy courses ("Ethics," "Philosophy of Man," "Philosophy of Being"), 4 world literature courses (Western tradition) in historical sequence, a 2-course sequence in American civilization, a 2-course sequence in Western civilization, 1 course in American politics, and 2 courses in theology.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
began 1977, enrollment 320/year
During their freshman or sophomore year, all students in the Honors College take a 2-semester great-books course (6 credits for first semester, 4 credits for second semester) called "The Human situation." The focus is on the Western tradition, drawing upon works of literature, philosophy, religion, and history.
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
began 1945, enrollment 2,000/year
Western Civilization is a 2-course general-education requirement for students in the Schools of Liberal Arts, Journalism, and Social Welfare. It is a general-education option in the Schools of Business and Education. Western CIV 204 and 205 are great-books courses in which works are arranged in historical sequence. The reading list includes classics of philosophy, literature, religion, science, and social science.
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
began 1960s, enrollment 600/year
The core of the Honors Program consists of a 4-course great-books sequence that traces the development of Western civilization from the ancient world through the 20th century. The courses are multidisciplinary, including literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and history. Instructors have flexibility in designing their own reading lists.
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
began 1980, enrollment 120/year
The foundation of the Honors Program consists of 4 great-books courses offered in 2 sequences: "The Development of Western Thought" and "The Sciences and Western Culture." Works are drawn from literature, philosophy, religion, physical sciences, and social sciences of the Western tradition. Honors courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Ann Arbor, MI
Great Books Program
began 1947, enrollment 500/year
The Great Books Program gathers under one umbrella a group of courses that do not fit within traditional departments and are given the catalog designation of GTBOOKS. GTB 191 and 193 account for the bulk of enrollment, as they are required of students in the Honors Program. This sequence focuses on great works of the Western tradition from the ancient and medieval periods. Other courses taught on an occasional basis address the modern and contemporary periods and great works from other cultures.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, FLINT
University Honors Program
began 1979, enrollment 50/year
The foundation of the Honors Program consists of two 2-course sequences: Great Books I and II (5 credits each) and Great Ideas I and II (3 credits each). These courses are required of all Honors students. Readings are drawn from great works of the Western tradition as well as some from Eastern works.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
began 1950, enrollment 400/year
The Humanities Program offers a set of 6 historically sequenced courses (some for 4 credits, others for 3 credits) entitled "Humanities in the West." These courses are grounded in reading great books, but also include great works of art and music. Other courses offered on an occasional basis focus on a single great figure. An 18-credit Humanities minor is available.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
began 1955, enrollment 300/year
The Humanities sequence of the Honors College consists of 4 chronologically sequenced courses that combine lectures with discussion groups to study great books. The focus is on the Western tradition. Completion of the sequence satisfies the Humanities requirement for the College of Arts and Sciences. The Social Sciences Sequence in Honors (2 courses) also includes several classic texts.
UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
began 1950s, enrollment 200/year
While the Liberal Studies degree program is not a great-books program, its core curriculum includes a required 2-course sequence, "Introduction to the Humanities," that features great books of the Western tradition. These courses also fulfill university general-education requirements. Several other courses students may choose from for the Liberal studies degree focus on great works.
UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO
began 1970s, enrollment 450/year
All Montevallo students are required to take a 2-course great-books sequence entitled "World Literature." Readings are drawn mainly from the field of literature and from the Western tradition. Instructors have latitude in choosing their own readings.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
began 1980s, enrollment 250/year
The Humanities program offers a major, a minor, and course work for general education. Each term half a dozen courses are offered, most of which feature great books. Some of the courses are thematic and others comprise a 6-course sequence entitled "The Western Tradition: An Interdisciplinary Introduction." Some courses key on or include great works of art and music.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
*University Honors Program
began 1987, enrollment 300/year
New Mexico's Honors program is based in a 3-course sequence of great-books courses: "The Ancient Legacy," "The Medieval Legacy," and "The Modern Legacy." The courses are interdisciplinary and focus on the Western tradition through the 19th century. Instructors design their own reading lists.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT ASHEVILLE
began 1964, enrollment 800/year
The Humanities Program is a 4-course sequence (4 credits per course) required of all undergraduates. The courses are arranged chronologically, and include one lecture and two discussion meetings per week. Readings are brief selections from primary sources. The first three courses in the sequence blend multicultural works with classics of the Western tradition. The fourth course, "The Future and the Individual," is devoted to multiculturalism and challenges to contemporary society.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
began 1972, enrollment 30/year
Great Books is a stand-alone program not related to general education and not a major in itself. In each of 2 semesters students enroll at once for 9 credits (3 in philosophy, 3 in literature, and 3 in history), for a total of 18 credits. All classes are attended by 3 professors as a faculty team, and are conducted in seminar fashion.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA
Cedar Falls, IA
*Humanities I and II
began 1979, enrollment 3,000/year
As part of the general-education requirements at Northern Iowa, all students take 2 four-credit courses entitled "Humanities I" and "Humanities II." These courses examine Western culture from its beginnings to the present, and feature primary texts in literature, philosophy, and religion. Individual instructors choose texts from an approved list. Students choose to take the course in sections of 35 or large lecture sections.
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
South Bend, IN
Program of Liberal Studies
began 1950, enrollment 180/year
Liberal Studies is a degree program pursued after the freshman year. It includes 60 credits of great-books courses. The core of the program is a series of seminars, and parallel to them is a sequence of tutorials (lecture-discussion) in literature, philosophy, natural science, theology, political theory, fine arts, and intellectual history. In addition to the great-books courses, students take 9 elective courses to complete the degree.
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
began 1970s, enrollment 180/year
Required of all Honors College students are two 3-course (quarter-system calendar) sequences in which students focus on reading great books: one in literature and one in history. And various other honors College courses are available that use great books. Instructors have flexibility in tailoring their own reading lists: some include non-Western works and challenges to the Western tradition. Honors courses apply toward fulfillment of the university's general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
began 1990, enrollment 50/year
Honors students begin their program with a 4-course great-books sequence. The first two courses cover the ancient and medieval periods, with the third and fourth moving from the Renaissance through the 19th century. Works represented are from philosophy, literature, religion, history, politics, and science. These courses can be used to fulfill general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco, CA
St. Ignatius Institute
began 1975, 150/year
The Institute offers a 4-year set of required courses that fulfills all general-education requirements and includes further liberal-education courses as well. 6-9 credits per semester are left for electives. Each semester students take a great-books seminar which has a lecture component attached. Most works are from the Western tradition, although one semester is devoted to Eastern classics.
Program in the Humanities
began 1980s, enrollment 100/year
The program consists of 13 courses, most of them historically sequenced and with a main focus on great books. Typically 6 courses are offered per semester. Emphasis is on the Western tradition, although non-traditional and a few non-Western works are included. The courses can be used to fulfill general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH
Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
Humanities is a series of 4 chronologically sequenced courses in which students study great works of the Western tradition. Disciplines included are: literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and the arts. These courses substitute for general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
University Honors College
began 1997, enrollment 50/year
Among the offerings of the honors College is a series of 8 great-books courses organized into 2-course sequences" Literature, Science, History/Politics, and Philosophy/Religion. The focus is on the Western tradition, and emphasis is placed on careful reading of 4 major works (in their entirety or large portions) per course.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA
began 1989, enrollment 1,200/year
As a core requirement, all students must take 2 courses from a short list of great-books courses (or art history), or they take 2 intermediate-level foreign language courses. The great-books courses are: "The Western Tradition in the Humanities" (interdisciplinary), "The Western Tradition in Philosophy," and "The Western Tradition in Literature."
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE
began 1986, enrollment 70/year
The foundation of the Honors Program is a 4-course great-books sequence. The "colloquiums" are arranged chronologically, and focus mainly on the Western tradition but also include some multicultural works. Colloquium courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements.
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
University Honors Program
began 1977, enrollment 150/year
University Honors is a 4-year interdisciplinary program consisting of 37 credits of specially designed courses. Required are 2 courses in humanities (6 credits each), 2 in social science (3 credits each), 1 in political theory, and 1 in non-Western traditions, all of which consist of reading great books. An additional course in the arts and one in science focus on great works in those fields. Completion of the Honors curriculum fulfills all general-education requirements except mathematics and laboratory science.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Plan II Honors Program
began 1935, enrollment 350/year
Plan II is the university's general honors program. Required of all students entering the program are two 2-course sequences: one in literature and one in philosophy, primarily from the Western tradition. Instructors work from a common reading list, beyond which they have flexibility in adding works of their own choosing.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO
El Paso, TX
*Western Cultural Heritage
began 1986, enrollment 1,000/year
The Western Cultural Heritage sequence of 3 courses is required of all BA students and is open to students pursuing other degrees as well. In a combined lecture and discussion format, students study 10-12 great books per term. Emphasis is on the Western tradition, with works drawn from literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. Working from a common set of texts, instructors go on to customize their reading lists.
UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO
*University Honors Program
All students in the University Honors Program have the core requirement of 2 great-books courses. The courses are interdisciplinary, representing literature, philosophy, and politics, and focus on the Western tradition. Also available are a course on the creative arts in Western civilization, and 2 multicultural literature courses (one on North America and one on non-European).
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
Salt Lake City, UT
began 1965, enrollment 500/year
Honors students are required to take "Intellectual Traditions" I and II (ancient world through Renaissance), which focus on great books of the Western tradition. Two further courses are available as part of the sequence, one which concentrates on modern times and the other on the influence of science on the development of intellectual thought.
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
John Dewey Honors Program
Integrated Humanities Program
began 1978, enrollment 35/year
Integrated Humanities offers a group of first-year students 3 year-long courses (literature, history, religion) in the Western tradition from ancient times through the present. All of the courses can be used to satisfy general-education requirements. Intermediate and advanced level great-books courses are also available.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
Integrated Liberal Studies
ILS has its roots in the Meiklejohn Experiemtnal College (1927-32). It is an interdisciplinary core curriculum, courses from which can substitute for all or some of the Letters and Science distribution requirements for the B.A. The foundation of the program is a set of 8 great-books Western Culture courses offered in 2-course sequences: "Science, Technology, Philosophy;" "Literature and the Arts;" "Political, Economic, and Social Thought;" "History." Other courses are in the categories of Contemporary and Crosscultural, and focus on great works.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – GREEN BAY
Green Bay, WI
began 1980s, enrollment 150/year
Humanistic Studies offers a 6-course sequence, "Perspectives on Human Values" (classical times to 20th century) that features great books of the Western tradition. The courses can be applied toward a major or minor in Humanistic Studies. The focus in most of the courses is on reading all or large portions of four or five great works.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MILWAUKEE
Great Books Program
Great Books is a certificate program that has requirements in mathematics, foreign language, and history in addition to the great-books component. Students must take 15 credits in courses approved by the program coordinator as great-books courses. That designation means that one or more classics are read in their entirety. Popular choices are courses in the areas of classics, comparative literature, English, languages, and philosophy.
UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
began 1980, enrollment 150/year
The foundation of the Honors Program is a 2-course great-books sequence. The focus is on the Western tradition, with the first course covering the ancient Greeks through Shakespeare, and the second course from that point to the present. The emphasis is on works of literature, but philosophy, religion, and politics are included.
began 1999, enrollment 380/year
As part of their core requirements, all students take 2 Liberal Studies seminars, in each of which they read seven or eight great books. The courses are chronologically sequenced, and focus mainly but not exclusively on the Western tradition. Subject areas represented are literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and science.
Christ College (honors program)
began 1967, enrollment 80/year
Christ College is Valparaiso's honors program. The foundation of the curriculum is a 2-semester freshman sequence of courses (8 credits each) entitled "Texts and Contexts: Traditions of Human Thought." Readings are drawn from the great books of history, literature, philosophy, and religion. Two sophomore courses (4 credits each) also focus on great works: "Word, Image, and Tone" (includes music) and "Interpretation in the Social Sciences."
*First Year Core
began 1998, enrollment 700/year
All students (other than in the Christ College honors program) are required to take 2 freshman courses (5 credits each) that focus on reading from great books along with a few contemporary sources. Entitled "The Human Experience," the sequence includes works from literature, philosophy, religion, and politics of the Western tradition and a few from Eastern thought.
*Core Humanities Program
began 1983, enrollment 1,500/year
Core Humanities, required of all students in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, and nursing, is comprised of 2 chronologically sequenced courses in which students read selections from great works of the Western tradition. Attention is given to including various genera and disciplines.
began 1975, enrollment 40/year
The Honors Program offers 2 curriculum tracks, one of which includes 3 semesters of great-books study for a total of 24 credits (two 9-credit courses in freshman year and one 6-credit course in sophomore year). Entitled "Interdisciplinary Humanities," these courses focus on the Western tradition, and apply toward general-education requirements.
WALLA WALLA COLLEGE
Walla Walla, WA
General Studies Honors Program
Began 1980, enrollment 35/year
General studies Honors offers a 3-course sequence (12 credits on a quarter system), entitled "Western Thought," that focuses on the study of great works of literature, philosophy, history, and politics. A separate 3-course sequence (12 credits), entitled "Science and the Arts," features great works from those fields. Also offered is a 3-course sequence (6 credits) on the New Testament. Courses are team taught, and fulfill general education requirements.
St. Louis, MO
Text and Tradition
began 1980s, enrollment 70/year
Text and Tradition is al alternative general-education program consisting of 6 great-books courses, the completion of which also constitutes a minor. Two courses are devoted mainly to literature; three others take an interdisciplinary approach to politics, ethics, social theory, and economics; one course treats natural science. The focus is on the Western tradition.
College of Letters
began 1959, enrollment 80/year
The College of Letters is an interdisciplinary program offering a major combining literature, history, and philosophy. The core of the program is a 5-course great-books sequence that begins with the 20th century, followed by the ancient world and other periods in chronological order. Emphasis is on European culture. Various other courses, beyond the core, also feature great books.
WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
began 1980, enrollment 50/year
The Honors Program begins with a required 3-course (4 credits each) sequence (on a quarter-system calendar) entitled "The Western Traditions." The courses are historically sequenced and are devoted to reading great books. Instructors have leeway to choose their own reading lists, but there is a good deal of commonality, especially for the earlier time periods. The Western Traditions courses can be used in fulfillment of general-education requirements.
Walla Walla, WA
began 1981, enrollment 420/year
All Whitman students are required to take 2 core courses entitled "Antiquity" and "Modernity." Readings consist of classic Western texts predominantly in literature and philosophy but also including religion and the sciences.
WILBUR WRIGHT COLLEGE (CITY COLLEGES OF CHICAGO)
Great Books Curriculum
began 1997, enrollment 1,800/year
In the process of earning an associate's degree students may also earn a Great Books Track certificate by completing 12 credits in great-books courses. Approved courses devote at least half of their reading to great books. Presently there are approved courses in the fields of English, humanities, philosophy, social science, and astronomy.
WILLIAM JEWELL COLLEGE
Oxbridge Honors Program
Oxbridge offers 6 great-books courses, four of which focus each on a particluar great mind and compare or contrast with other great minds: Augustine, Niebuhr, Dante, Hobbes. There is a course on "The American Enlightenment," and a double-credit course entitled "History of Synthesis."
New Haven, CT
began 1946, enrollment 125/year
Directed Studies is a great-books program for freshmen that can be used to fulfill general-education requirements. There are three 2-course sequences spanning the Western tradition from the ancient world to the 20th century: literature, philosophy, historical and political studies.
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[…] nonprofit Affiliation for Core Texts and Programs maintains a list of several dozen colleges with “nice books” packages. Most are non-compulsory. Just a few require all […]
[…] nonprofit Association for Core Texts and Courses maintains a list of several dozen colleges with “great books” programs. Most are optional. A few require all students to […]