Basic Program classroom

Basic Program of Liberal Education

Core Curriculum Courses

Important Dates

Registration closes for Winter 2021 courses (Basic Program, Open Courses, Writer's Studio, Visual Arts)

The core of the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults is a four-year certificate program offering a rigorous, liberal arts curriculum that draws on the strong Socratic tradition at the University of Chicago and covers the foundations of modern Western political and social thought and literature through reading and discussion of Great Books.

view and register for core curriculum courses

Basic Program Certificate Structure: 

  • The Certificate consists of a four-year curriculum with one course every quarter of the Academic year (Autumn, Winter, Spring).
  • Courses meet for three hours, once a week, for ten weeks.
  • Each course consists of a 1.5 hour Seminar, covering three or four texts, and a 1.5 hour Tutorial, which involves in-depth analysis of one or two texts. Both the Seminar and Tutorial focus on close critical reading and discussion of primary texts.
  • Students take the curriculum in order, starting with Autumn of Year 1 and progressing with their classmates in the same section from quarter to quarter and year to year.
  • Participants earn a certificate upon completion of the entire four-year curriculum, as well as some of the privileges of University of Chicago alumni.
  • Please scroll down to view the core curriculum.

Basic Program certificate student who started the program prior to Autumn 2018, can view their core curriculum chart here.

Legend | Basic Program Core Curriculum New


Year 1 | Basic Program Core Curriculum New


Year 2 | Basic Program Core Curriculum New


Year 3 | Basic Program Core Curriculum New