At a Glance
- Certificates Confers Alumni Status
- 12 quarters
$500 Per course
Delve into great texts from the Classical and Western traditions in philosophy, literature, and political and social thought and consider some of the biggest questions of all time. Learn more about the Great Books.
Who is in the Basic Program?
Whether you previously studied the Great Books or will be reading them for the first time, all are welcome. There are no prerequisites, no papers, and no grades. We invite curious learners from all walks of life and experiences for deep and respectful conversation.
Join a community of adult learners who seek a rigorous liberal arts education and committed instructors who are both scholars and experienced discussion leaders. Students progress with their cohort from quarter to quarter. They build on their conversations with each other as well as with the texts, deepening discussions further.
The instructors are just amazing. They are committed, incredibly knowledgeable, and generous-spirited.
The UChicago Difference
UChicago's commitment to rigorous and respectful dialogue underlies our approach to teaching, learning, and the classroom environment.
In Socratic-style classrooms, instructors engage in a dialogue with and among students. By asking questions and using close readings of texts, instructors encourage students to offer ideas and explore the underlying dynamics of various arguments. Our classrooms explore questions with no easy answers but by doing so, hone active listening and learning for all and call in the wisdom of the learners in the room—whether in-person or on Zoom.
In a political and social landscape of increasing polarization and isolation, we believe that open, respectful, and rigorous inquiry has never been more relevant and rewarding.