Great Books Curriculum

Michael Petersen, Ph.D.

Director, Great Books Curriculum Advisor, Great Books Student Society

The Great Books Curriculum is a set of core courses in English, History, Humanities, Literature, Philosophy, and Theater, as well as a series of intellectual and cultural activities for students.

​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?
to many important ideas mankind has produced.
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.                                                
both your cultural literacy and your experience with immortal works.
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.                          
with books and ideas that should make later college course far more enjoyable
and less stressful
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
  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.​​​​