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 Great Books Curriculum

Michael Petersen, Ph.D.
Director, Great Books Curriculum                                                                                                              Advisor, Great Books Student Society

​Click the image below to view the latest issue of Symposium Journal, Wright College's scholarly journal for comm​​unity college students​


What is a Great Books course? 

The key difference is the materials you read, study, and write about. At least half the readings in a Great Books course are chosen from among the roughly 250 of the most central and influential thinkers in our civilization. Great Books Faculty work closely with you to equip you to understand and be changed by crucial texts in human history.                                                                                                 

What do the great books offer me?                                                                                               
Exposure to many important ideas mankind has produced.                                                             
The Great Books have inspired, empowered, consoled, and nourished millions of people for centuries by helping them to better understand the meaning of their lives and the world. Great Books are among the most beautiful and profound ever composed and have been at the heart of our civilization, having been instrumental in making it more rational, just, and humane. Great Books Curriculum texts, in other words, deepen the soul and widen the mind by exposing you to ideas that change you.                                                
Increase both your cultural literacy and your experience with immortal works.                                                             
Practically, learning and talking about the important ideas in history which the Great Books offer you increases your cultural literacy. By becoming familiar with reading these immortal books, you should also grow more self-confident and successful at studying important books in later college courses.                          

Familiarity with books and ideas that should make later college course far more enjoyable and less stressful                                                            
Great Books contain a wider vocabulary and tackle questions about human nature and society far more thought provoking and central to your life than information on the Internet and newspaper and magazine articles. Reading Great Books should help boost your vocabulary and your ability to analyze important ideas and books.                                       

  More Benefits:               

  • Students who pass four Great Books Curriculum classes (with a grade of “B” or better) earn special certification on their college transcripts. This designation can impress employers and college admissions officers 
  • Outstanding term papers qualify for inclusion in the Great Books Symposium Journal, the award-winning Great Books Curriculum student-written scholarly journal        
  • The Great Books Curriculum sponsors field trips to drama productions and other humanities events         
  • Students are also invited to join the Great Books Student Society, a student club whose members participate in special field trips, faculty and student lectures, formal and informal discussions, shared readings with faculty, and much more.      

Do these courses transfer?                         

  • D​efinitely. Great Books courses are identical in this way with every transferable course the college offers.

Is it hard to get in? 

  • Absolutely not. Great Books Curriculum courses are offered for everyone. Dozens of Great Books courses are offered every semester.              
Does it cost anything?                                                                   

  • ​No. A Great Books Curriculum course costs the same as regular classes.      

Is it complicated to sign up? 

  • It’s easy. Every Great B​ooks Curriculum course number is clearly identified with a number “9.” Any faculty member or advisor can sign you up.

The Wright College Great Books Curriculu​​m:

Read the best that has been thought and said.​​​​




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