Academic Program and History
The Graduate Institute in Liberal Education was established at St. John's College in 1967 on the Santa Fe campus. Over the years, the size and scope of the Institute have expanded, so that it now offers graduate-level study based on the principles of the St. John's undergraduate program to a wide variety of students, approximately 160 per year on the college's two campuses.
Students in the Liberal Arts program explore the persisting questions of human existence by studying classic works of the western tradition, organized into five semester-long thematic segments: Philosophy and Theology, Politics and Society, Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science, and History. Students earn a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (M.A.L.A.) by completing four of these five segments. A common curriculum provides the basis for a shared intellectual community; discussion with fellow students and faculty is the mode of learning both inside and outside the classroom. In order to accommodate a wide range of students, a number of options provide for flexibility: students may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester, may take the segments in a number of different sequences, and may take time off between segments.
Since 1994 the Santa Fe campus has offered the Eastern Classics program, a structured reading of literary, philosophical, and theological texts of India, China, and Japan, following the St. John's principles of a common curriculum and discussion classes. Students earn a Master of Arts in Eastern Classics (M.A.E.C.) in three consecutive semesters of study: fall, spring, and summer.
Each semester students in both programs attend a seminar, a tutorial, and a preceptorial - all carried out as small-group discussions under the guidance of St. John's faculty members (called tutors). These three types of classes are the framework of the distinctive St. John's educational experience.
During the fall and spring semesters, classes in the Liberal Arts program are held two evenings per week to permit students to maintain part-time or full-time employment while engaged in the program. Classes in the Eastern Classics program are held during the afternoon and the evening; because of the number and length of classes, full-time employment is not advisable.
Dual Degree Program with the University of Maryland School of Law (Annapolis Only)
Students can choose to obtain simultaneously the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts degree in the Graduate Institute at Annapolis and a J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Independent application must be made to both institutions. The University of Maryland School of Law will accept nine credits awarded by St. John's College for satisfactory completion of the Politics and Society segment of the Liberal Arts program. The director will review nine law school credits for transfer to the M.A.L.A. degree prior to the beginning of the third semester. Details about this Dual Degree program are available from the Annapolis Graduate Institute office and the University of Maryland School of Law, which can be reached c/o Dean of Admissions, The University of Maryland School of Law, 500 West Baltimore Street, Office of Admissions, Ste. 130, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-1786, 410- 706-3492, www.law.umaryland.edu.