Basic Program Certificate Structure
- Students take one course each quarter of the Academic year (Autumn, Winter, Spring).
- Courses meet for three hours, once a week, for ten weeks. Each course consists of a 90-minute Seminar, covering three or four texts, and a 90-minute Tutorial, which involves in-depth analysis of one or two texts.
- Students read a weekly assignment before each class, but there are otherwise no tests, papers, or grades.
- 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. It is also possible to begin the program in Winter or Spring.
- Participants earn a certificate upon completion of the entire four-year curriculum, as well as some of the privileges of University of Chicago alumni.
- Tuition is $525 for each ten-week course.
For students who have completed at least two years of the Basic Program Core Curriculum, we offer Alumni Sequences and Courses:
- Alumni Sequences are two-year, curated courses of study to deepen the conversation and provide the same cohort experience as in the Core Curriculum.
- Alumni Courses are designed by instructors to further your studies beyond the Core Curriculum. Individual courses are offered on a quarterly basis.
Our open-to-all courses provide students with an opportunity to study texts using the Basic Program methodology on a course-by-course basis. These courses include:
- How to Read Classic Texts
How to Read Classic Texts is a Basic Program methods course recommended for new students. One of the foundational premises of the Basic Program is that reading is a skill one can improve through theoretically informed practice. In this short course, we examine the theoretical perspective on good reading contained in Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book.
- September Mini Courses
Choose from a selection of bite-sized three-week courses.
- Summer Courses
Offered on a variety of topics and lasting from 4-8 weeks, these courses fit conveniently in your summer schedule.
- Ten-Week Open-to-All Courses
Basic Program instructors offer Open-to-All courses throughout the academic year on topics ranging from literature to philosophy.
|1-3||Introduction; Sophocles, Antigone|
|4-6||Plato, Apology and Crito|
|7-10||Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment|
|1-5||Herodotus, The History (selections)|
|1-10||Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics|
|1-3||Machiavelli, The Prince|
|4-6||Hobbes, Leviathan (selections)|
|7-8||Rousseau, Second Discourse|
|9-10||Shakespeare, The Tempest|
|1-3||Sophocles, Oedipus the King|
|7-8||Euripides, The Bacchae|
|9-10||Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra|
|1-10||Homer, The Iliad|
|1-6||Homer, The Odyssey|
|7-8||Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man|
|9-10||Woolf, A Room of One's Own|
|1-10||Plato, The Republic|
|5-8||Nietzche, On the Genealogy of Morals|
|9-10||Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams|
|1-10||Bible (Genesis, Job, Matthew)|
|1-2||Aristotle, Physics (Bk. I, ch. 1; Bk. II)|
|3-4||Lucretius, The Nature of Things|
|5-7||Newton, Principia (selections)|
|8-10||Darwin, On the Origin of Species (selections)|
|1-6||Virgil, The Aeneid|
|1-4||Euclid, Elements (Bk. I)|
|1-3||Aquinas, Treatise on Law|
|4-5||Locke, Second Treatise on Government|
|6-10||Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals|
|4-7||Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (selections)|
|8-10||Austen, Pride and Prejudice|
|1-10||Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War|
|1-4||Aristotle, Politics (Bks. I, III)|
|5-7||Smith, Wealth of Nations (selections)|
|8-10||Marx, Kapital (selections) and The Communist Manifesto|
|1-2||Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Federalist 10 + 51|
|3-5||Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen; Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France|
|6||Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, Second Inaugural|
|7-10||Toni Morrison, Beloved|