Program of Studies

The Program of Studies at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts offers a path to joy that can only be found through knowing in its most complete sense.  Aristotle, in recognizing that “all men desire to know,” discerned something in human nature that comes from the created image of God rendered at the deepest core of every human being, something that is universal.

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Sequence of Readings

There is nothing quite like the joy we experience in our direct encounter with the greatest books that have been written, each one serving as a door to another world, a ladder by which we can ascend, or a window to a hidden reality.

Philosophy & Humanities

Philosophy & Humanities

Through the Philosophy and Humanities sequence, we read together the greatest works of the imagination and the intellect in a spirit animated by joy that flows from the classroom to animate all that we do as a college.


Through six semesters of sustained reflection, students engage with the fundamental themes of theology:  God, prayer, the sacraments, Sacred Scripture, first and final things, love, human action, and the hope of heaven.

The Classic Books

Writing Workshop

Deeply integrated with the Humanities sequence, these four courses lead students through an odyssey into the nature of language, writing, and the substance of reality.

Latin and Greek

Students immerse themselves in the languages of Greece or Rome, choosing the path that leads to Troy or the Eternal City.

Arts of the Beautiful

Music and Art

Through our unique “Arts of the Beautiful” Program, students can integrate the practices of music, visual art—including iconography—and drama with sustained reflections on aesthetics, all while experiencing these arts in the museums and concert halls of New England.

Math and Science

Math and Science

In our pursuit of wisdom, we seek the visible and hidden orders of creation. Here the Book of Nature, through which Euclid and the greatest scientific minds serve as our guides, becomes indispensable.



As a complement to the generous core of great books read in common, students take up one of the classic disciplines in the junior and senior year, reading books from within that discipline and developing a vision of reality shaped by that discipline.

Junior Project and Senior Thesis

Junior Project and Senior Thesis

At the beginning of the junior year, when a major discipline has been chosen, each student selects a single author as the subject of an extended exploration of reading and then, as a senior, selects a classic book and related question that become the basis of a senior thesis or portfolio.

Rome, Krakow, Norcia, and Oxford

Through a semester of study in Rome, Krakow, and Norcia, the wisdom of the books we read becomes concrete.  Students also have the opportunity for summer studies in Oxford, England.



In the college’s Honors Program, students and faculty explore—in a seminar setting—classic texts and themes chosen by a senior tutor of the college, while also completing an Honors Thesis during their senior year.



Our faculty have spent their lives joyfully pursuing wisdom through the classic books and the central disciplines, mentoring students who wish to join them in the exploration of the highest and most permanent things. 

Nature of Man

Nature of Man Seminar

“What does it mean to be a human person?” is one of the most important questions we can ask, and the implications of our answers become the central themes taken up by freshmen in this seminar. 

Please click here to download a copy of the Comprehensive Assessment Program.

Humanities Course at Northeast Catholic College

ACTA Awards “Perfect A” Rating to Magdalen College for Its Academic Program

Magdalen College’s curriculum has been awarded a “Perfect A Rating” from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). This superlative rating places the college among only four Catholic institutions in the country and among a mere twenty-four of the over 1,100 colleges and universities evaluated in the nation. ACTA based its “A Rating” on...
NCC Choir at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy

The Collegiate Choir Sings at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:” -William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice On Divine Mercy Sunday, as “gentle rain from heaven” did indeed drop “upon the place beneath” and...
Coffee House

Coffee House: Talent, Laughter, Coffee, and Prayer

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” ― Robert Frost “It’s so fun and uplifting to come together and laugh,” commented Zofia Joynt ’22 after the spring Coffee House.  On a Friday night, students gathered for this event, which truly reflects the spirit of the school.  With a mixture of acts ranging from the...
12 angry jurors

The Annual Theatrical Production: Twelve Angry Jurors

As part of the college’s Spring Open House, students, visitors, and members of the wider community came together on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18, to enjoy a performance of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Jurors. Under the skillful direction of James Larson ‘19, and assistant director Georgiana Stanley-Yarbrough, ‘19, the Saint Genesius Players told the story of a man tried for murder,...

The Window of Art: Seniors Visit Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

As part of their course in “Comparative Cultures,” the senior class visited Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.  With their tutor, Dr. Eric Buck, they explored the art of some of the cultures they had studied through their close reading and discussion of non-western texts.  As some of the seniors later expressed, this trip provided a concrete...

Choir Participates in Filming of Paul Jernberg’s “Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit”

In November 2018, the composer Paul Jernberg invited the Collegiate Choir to sing as part of the filming of his setting of a “Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit” on February 1. Mr. Jernberg is a nationally-recognized, contemporary composer of sacred music who composes settings of the Mass deeply inspired by traditional Gregorian and Byzantine...