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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.

In this program you will read, explore, and engage with Great Books through close reading and discussion in a dedicated community of learners, led by experienced instructors who will serve as your guide to the texts. 

There are no tests, papers, or grades; you will instead discuss, disagree, and discover these works just as students in the University of Chicago College do, with the benefit of additional years of insight and experience to add to the conversation. The core of the program is the 4-Year Certificate, and students can then continue their path with the Alumni Courses and Sequences. We also offer in person and online open-to-all courses, as well as special events and lectures.

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.