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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.

“Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”

“The quest for Wisdom will not be stopped by a mere pandemic!” one our faculty members was overheard to say. During the last few weeks, the students and faculty of the college have embraced the challenge of online courses whole-heartedly and are improvising, adapting, and overcoming the obstacles. A few snapshots: Last week in a...

Magdalen College “Student Highlight Series:” Answering the Big Questions

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts has begun a new, four-part video series. This series will feature a student or recent graduate of the college speaking of the impact that the college has had on his or her life. In the first video of the series, alumnus Sean Haefner ’19 invites you to ask yourself...

Magdalen Students “Writing the Light”

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts is delighted to announce that students and alumni of the College have been selected to participate in an iconography workshop under the renowned iconographer George Kordis.  This extraordinary program, “Writing the Light,” will be held in Athens and Crete late this summer.   Through generous benefactors, Ms. Keri Wiederspahn, who...

Leo XIII’s “Revolution” and Subsidiarity in Daily Life

The following remarks were offered by one of our theology professors, Karl Cooper, at a recent conference on Wendell Berry. Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) inaugurated the modern economic age and placed the Catholic Church right in the middle of it.  The Church’s answer to the industrial revolution, Rerum Novarum describes two worlds,...

The Heroic Thomas Aquinas

In the very beginning of the Summa theologiae, Thomas explains what it means to be a theologian. He does this in one quaestio, ten articles; the whole presentation takes only seven pages in the edition I use. I predict that someday you will read it. It may not occur until you are old and find you have...

Newman as Prophet, Newman as Physician

This article was originally published in the March 2020 issue of Inside the Vatican Magazine.  The crisis began well before Newman. In the seventeenth century, René Descartes released pathogens of skepticism and reductionism into higher learning that ultimately hollowed out its core and destroyed its foundations. The effects of his work and those who came after...