St. John’s College is the third oldest college in the country, tracing its roots all the way back to 1696. But sometimes, historical doesn’t always mean traditional. At St. John’s, there are no majors and there are no grades. They believe that students shouldn’t be confined to one area of study, and that your grades don’t define you, only your willingness to learn.
St.John’s is a small college, with under 500 undergraduate students. Their main campus is nestled in the old downtown of Annapolis, Maryland, less than a mile from the ocean. If cold winter weather and sea breeze is not your thing, fear not, as their second location has been in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1964.
Every undergraduate student at St. John’s takes part in their unique liberal arts curriculum. This curriculum focuses on the most important books and ideas of Western Civilization. Some these books, often referred to as the “Great Books”, include works from figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Darwin, Einstein, and many others. Students read these books across various classes such as Greek, French, History, Politics, Literature, Mathematics, Philosophy, Theology, Arts, Sciences, and more. The ultimate goal is to provide students with an extremely comprehensive education that leaves them well versed in all aspects of life.
With no majors and no grades, St. John’s has also decided that traditional style lecture classes are not a part of their way of teaching. Instead, classes are taught seminar style with a heavy emphasis on student participation. Classes are almost always under 20 students, and typically range from about 9 to 15 students. The teacher, or tutor as they are called, is there to guide students into discussions amongst themselves to solve the questions and problems posed in their readings. Most of your classroom time will be spent sitting around at able with your peers, where the students are speaking about 75-80 percent of the time. This lets students not only challenge themselves, but challenge each other. St John’s is a college that may interest students who dislike the standard lecture, sit-and-listen, homework style of learning.
If you are looking to challenge yourself academically, philosophically, and explore various subjects in a small, unconventional setting, then St. John’s may be a college worth looking at. For more information, visit www.sjc.edu or contact your Right C3 coaches for more information.