Weekend students bring their varied life experience as business owners, homemakers, salespersons, carpenters, social workers, artists, writers and more to the octagonal tables around which Shimer's discussion classes convene. Together, people from all walks of life gather to read and discuss the most influential writings by the greatest minds in history.
This is an ideal program for returning adult students: there is little disruption to their weekly schedule, but every third weekend brings an immersion in the experience of being not just a student, but a scholar among scholars. There are no lectures at Shimer, only facilitation of discussion, and students absorb the experiences and wisdom of their fellow students. Weekend program students live the college life one weekend in three. They come to class, share meals with their peers, and enjoy a break from their weekday responsibilities.
The Core Curriculum immerses students in the major works, questions, and methods of the Western intellectual tradition, and accounts for about two-thirds of the coursework. The other third consists of elective courses that offer in-depth study in a particular subject or field. The discussion of primary texts, in classes of 12 students or fewer, offers a unique environment for intellectual and personal growth, and fosters engaged, independent, and careful thinkers.
The Core consists of required classes in: