The Integral Program — part of the Saint Mary's College experience for over 50 years — uses questioning, conversation, and a classic liberal arts approach to engage students in a unique and profound educational experience.
Our students discover the interconnected nature of a broad spectrum of fields, learning to think mathematically, scientifically, poetically and philosophically. You'll not only study ways of thinking, you'll explore the nature of thought itself. Each Integral class learns to converse on multiple levels, ask precise and incisive questions, and give intuitive, informed responses.
You study from the classics of literature, philosophy, theology, psychology, political science, economics, history, mathematics, laboratory sciences, and music. No textbooks are used. The books are read in roughly chronological order, beginning with ancient Greece and continuing to modern times. All classes are discussion-based. There are no class lectures; instead, you meet together with faculty members (called tutors) to explore the books being read.
The Integral Program is a special community with its own curriculum, requirements, faculty and degree. The demands of the Program differ significantly from those of more conventional departments and majors. Transfer into the Integral Program after the first semester is nearly impossible due to the unique nature of its curriculum, which proceeds in a purposeful, chronological manner through all 4 undergraduate years. Integral students do have the option of taking at least 6 elective courses in other fields of interest. The Program attracts talented and committed students from any and all backgrounds, but is not and has never been an honors program.