A small group of students and a professor sit around a table and talk about books. They argue; they theorize; they question. They examine passages closely and connect them to other passages, other books, other experiences. They talk about ideas as living things.
They talk about the present as an extension of the past. They see the future in texts that are centuries old. They delight in the process of inquiry, the pleasure of approaching a problem from every possible angle, the thrill of joining an ancient, essential conversation about what we can know and how we ought to live.
The Collegiate Seminar is the heart of Saint Mary's core curriculum. It consists of a series of required courses that give every student a firm foundation in the liberal arts. The program comprises four courses that examine major works of Western civilization: works of literature and philosophy, history and political theory, and art and science.
In addition, two elective seminars are offered: Multicultural Thought and World Traditions. They provide a survey of contemporary multicultural writing from America and a consideration of works from Asian, African, and Middle Eastern traditions.