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 like to read and think and have meaningful discussions—in the classroom and beyond—then 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. These comprise the College’s core curriculum. By studying texts that are widely thought of as “classics,” you will take part in the Great Conversation about 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 is an intentionally small, exceptionally student-centered liberal arts college. Perhaps it is 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 Monday through Friday during the academic year. By taking a set group of core (required) courses and your choice of electives 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, which means you can complete the entire program in four years. And if you have credits from another college or university, Shimer will work with you so that you can graduate even sooner.
Early Entrants Program: Are you a highly motivated high school student who is eager to start college a year or two early? Shimer has for over fifty years been enrolling qualified applicants.
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.
Teaching Fellows Program: If you are a K-8 teacher looking for courses that emphasize rich academic and subject area content, and are seeking an alternative to the predominant focus on method and pedagogy at schools of education, consider this new route for professional development, based on the Core Knowledge Sequence.