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What makes Shimer special?
At Shimer College, students who love to read, think, and discuss ideas come together in small classes to experience learning like they’ve never known it before. Shimer classes are conversation at its best – everyone works together to make each
meeting an adventure in intellectual discovery. If you love to read and think and have meaningful discussions, Shimer is the place for you.
As a Shimer student, you will become part of a community whose very purpose is to explore the great works of the Western intellectual tradition that comprise the College’s core curriculum. By studying texts that are widely thought of as “classics,” you will take part in the Great Conversation of ideas that have shaped our world. You will learn to puzzle over and appreciate beauty, analyze theories, and grapple with old and complex problems that have challenged human thinkers for centuries.
Shimer is about education in the noblest sense of the word – it’s a place to learn how to think, not what to think. It’s a place to develop a breadth of knowledge in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences that is very rare in our age of specialization, yet extraordinarily useful in today’s ever-changing world. It’s that rare place where everyone’s views are valued, where careful and caring discussion and respect for difference are the rule, not the exception. Shimer College – an intentionally small, exceptionally student-centered liberal arts college. Perhaps it’s just what you’ve been looking for.
What programs does Shimer offer?
Undergraduate Weekday Program: If you are a traditional-age college student, you’ll want to enroll in this program. Courses are offered on weekdays. By taking a set group of core courses over four years and writing a Senior Thesis, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Humanities, Social Sciences or Natural Sciences.
Undergraduate Weekend Program: This innovative program is for adults who work full- or part-time but still want the full Shimer educational experience. If coming to college during the week is difficult for you, you can sign up to take Shimer classes on campus every third weekend during the school year. The reading load and course expectations are the same as in the Weekday Program, and if you take a full-load of courses each semester, you can complete the entire program in four years. And if you already have some credits from another college or university, Shimer will work with you so that you can still fulfill the requirements for graduation from Shimer.
Early Entrants Program: Are you a highly motivated high school students who is eager to start college a year or two early? Shimer has a long tradition of accepting exceptionally mature students who wish to enroll in the Weekday Program.
Study Abroad Program: If you enroll at Shimer you can spend a semester or two studying in Oxford, England during your third or fourth year. You’ll take core curriculum courses from Shimer faculty and electives taught by local Oxford tutors.
The Basic Studies Core Courses (usually taken in first and second years)
Humanities 1 - Art and Music
Natural Sciences 1 - Laws and Models of Chemistry
Social Sciences 1 - Society, Culture, and Personality
Integrative Studies 1 - Logic and Rhetoric
Humanities 2 - Poetry, Drama and Fiction
Natural Sciences 2 - Evolution, Genetics and Animal Behavior
Social Sciences 2 - The Western Political Tradition
Integrative Studies 2 - The Nature and Creation of Mathematics
Advanced Area Core Courses (usually taken in third and fourth years)
Humanities 3 - Philosophy and Theology
Natural Sciences 3 - Light, Motion and Scientific Explanation
Social Sciences 3 - Modern Theories of State and Society
Humanities 4 - Critical Evaluation in the Humanities (Enlightenment to Present)
Natural Sciences 4 - Quantum Physics and Molecular Biology
Social Sciences 4 - Methodology of the Social Sciences
Advanced Integrative Studies Core Courses (usually taken in fourth year)
Integrative Studies 5 - History and Philosophy of Western Civilization:
From the Ancient World Through the Middle Ages
Integrative Studies 6 – History and Philosophy of Western Civilization:
From the Middle Ages Through the Nineteenth Century