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Academics

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts offers a liberal education for greatness.  This may be a public greatness that human history will mark within its records or the quiet, hidden greatness that sustains families, societies, and the world, just beyond the vision of others.   This greatness gives form to a life transformed, one in which students find true freedom, joy, and the wisdom that transcends our age.

Through its deep integration of liberal education and the Catholic faith within a joyful community, Magdalen College offers students the opportunity to pursue wisdom in a spirit of friendship, animated by a communion of faith, bringing the intellect and imagination to their full realization.  Our community is unlike any other.

At Magdalen College we educate our students not only for the lives they will live immediately following graduation, but also for the lives they will live two decades later.  When our graduates step into the leadership of public, private, and ecclesial institutions, or lead quietly in the private spheres of life, they will be taking up the reins that will shape and sustain society and the Church through the next generations.

It is for these high and heroic callings that we educate.  We invite you to explore our website to discover the extraordinary education we offer. 

Program of Studies

Curriculum

Our curriculum gives form to the desire we possess for wisdom, for a heroic calling, and for a coherent, deep, and substantive encounter with reality that transforms as it animates and orients our intellect and imagination.

The Classic Books

The Classic Books

The classic books, also known as great books, form the substance of our course of studies at the college and through them we embark on the great journey of liberal education.

Philosophy & Humanities

Philosophy & Humanities

Through the Philosophy and Humanities sequence, the collegiate community reads 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.

Majors

Majors

As a complement to our generous core of great books, students choose a classic disciplines in the junior and senior year, reading books from within that discipline and developing a vision of reality shaped by it.

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.

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.

Honors

Honors

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.

Visiting Lectures

Visiting Lectures and Seminars

As part of its Friday-night lecture series, the college invites scholars, poets, priests, philosophers, artists, musicians, and cultural leaders to join the conversation that animates our collegiate culture, events that combine lively dialogue and good food.

Faculty

Faculty

Our faculty joyfully devote themselves to the pursuit of 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. 

Rome, Krakow, Norcia, and Oxford

Students have the opportunity to study abroad in the spring semester of their sophomore year in Rome, Krakow, and Norcia, as well as engage in summer studies in Oxford, England.

Library

Library

The St. Augustine library holdings include 25,000 print volumes, 60 periodical titles, and a variety of digital resources, all managed by a professional librarian with extensive academic experience.

Twelve Days of Christmas for Catholic Education: Day 12

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Catholic Education gave to me … a complete education.   In thinking of this completion, two sets of twelve come to mind (in addition to the completion of the twelve days of Christmas). There are twelve points to the Apostle’s Creed, a complete articulation of the fundamental principles of...

“What is Gregorian Chant (and what should its place be in the Church today)?” A More Complete Education 1

In this series, “A More Complete Education,” we take up key authors, ideas, composers, and artists, who have contributed to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the patrimony of western culture. Topics related to this broad theme also find their place. Articles in this series introduce readers to subjects which are of interest to students from...

How Dante Led Me to the Catholic Church

It happened in a classroom rather than a Church and it was caused by a man who had consigned popes, including the pope of his own day, to hell. It was the autumn of 1996 and I had enrolled in a course on Dante’s Inferno at a secular “great books” college. Little did I realize...

Magdalen College Welcomes Dr. Erik van Versendaal to the Faculty

Magdalen College is delighted to welcome Dr. Erik van Versendaal to serve as a member of the faculty. Dr. van Versendaal–a graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America–will be among four new members of the faculty joining the college this year and will bring both extensive teaching experience...
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...

Dr. Anthony Esolen Joins the Faculty at Magdalen College

Magdalen College is delighted to welcome Dr. Anthony Esolen to serve as a full member of the faculty and Writer-in-Residence. Dr. Esolen is a renowned scholar and translator of literature, and a prolific writer. The president of the college, Dr. George Harne, observed, “For the last two years, Dr. Esolen has been a friend of...