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The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults is based on the University of Chicago's famed undergraduate core curriculum. The core was intended to be the best possible training for citizens of the world; a curriculum that lays the foundation for critical thinking. The Basic Program has the readings and discussion sessions of this curriculum without the tests or papers. For over 70 years, it has been the only noncredit program of its kind in the world. Participants read the original texts of great writers (in English translations), and work with an exceptional teaching staff to discuss those ideas together.
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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. There are no prerequisites. Students have a variety of backgrounds as well as different academic and life experiences, which adds to the value of the discussions. Many students who begin with the challenge of the 1-4 year core curriculum certificate deepen their experience through the program's lecture series, weekend study retreats, and alumni courses. Online courses expand the opportunity for students to take courses without being limited to the Chicagoland area.
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