Basic Program of Liberal Education

Basic Program of Liberal Education

The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults centers on a four-year Certificate program with a rigorous, liberal arts curriculum that draws on the strong Socratic tradition at the University of Chicago.

The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults is a rigorous, non-credit liberal arts program that draws on the strong Socratic tradition at the University of Chicago and covers the foundations of Western political and social thought.

The Certificate Program

The starting point for the Basic Program is the Four-Year Core Curriculum. Each year is made up of three 10-week Quarters. New Students begin in Year 1 Autumn. They choose from morning or evening sections held downtown or online and earn a certificate upon completion of the entire curriculum.

view the Core Curriculum

Who is in the Basic Program?

The Basic Program is a community of adults who seek a rigorous liberal arts education, and a staff of committed instructors who are both scholars and experienced discussion leaders. Students have a variety of backgrounds as well as different academic and life experiences, which adds to the value of the discussions. Students progress with their cohort from quarter to quarter and year to year. They build on their conversations with each other as well as with the texts, deepening the discussion. There are no prerequisites, everyone gets a seat at the table.

The Classes

Each section meets for three hours once a week. Class sections consist of: a 90-minute seminar (discussing several texts) with one instructor, a 90-minute tutorial (discussing a single text) with a different instructor, with a 15-minute break in between. Click to view upcoming classes 

The Readings

Students read the assignment of the week before each class to prepare for the discussion. There are no tests, papers, or grades–they just come and discuss.