At St. John’s, students study the original works of some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers—from Homer, Plato, and Euclid to Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Einstein. Through close engagement with primary sources, students cultivate intellectual strength and imaginative vigor. They learn to ask penetrating questions, hone their ability to tackle complex problems, and develop leadership skills that last a lifetime.
Classes at St. John’s are student-driven discussions rather than lectures delivered by professors. Habits of thoughtful reading and the lively exchange of ideas, both inside the classroom and out, enable students to develop their own interpretations of the books they study. By immersing themselves in these investigations, examining their own ideas in conversation with faculty and fellow students, and exploring their insights in essays and other writing assignments, students develop formidable skills. They master critical thinking and collaboration—skills that ensure their success in a great variety of careers and prepare them to embrace life’s diverse challenges and opportunities.
St. John’s is one college with two spectacular campuses—St. John’s Annapolis in the East and St. John’s Santa Fe in the West. Students enrolled at either campus can transfer to the other. Both campuses are located in historic state capitals full of cultural attractions and distinctive local flavor. The two campuses offer a wide variety of experiences, allowing students to adapt to, and enjoy, the uniqueness and diversity of two of America’s most treasured cities.
St. John’s faculty are dedicated to teaching and are readily available to students during and outside of class. Classes are small (typically 13–18 students), ensuring that every student has a voice; the over-all faculty:student ratio is 1:8. Paper conferences, informal study groups, the “Take a Tutor to Lunch” program, and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities provide many opportunities for students to interact with faculty members.
St. John’s students pursue all manner of activities outside the classroom. The college has a lively theatrical tradition, a host of musical groups ranging from madrigal singers to lunch-time jam sessions, art and photography clubs, language study groups, and an energetic intramural sports program, to name just a few. All of these activities are student-initiated and run.
Statistics show that St. John’s students excel in their endeavors both at the college and after graduation. Nearly 70 percent of St. John’s graduates pursue advanced degrees—many enter the nation’s leading humanities, science, business, law, and medical programs. St. John’s College is in the top two percent of all colleges in the nation for alumni earning PhDs in the humanities, and in the top four percent for earning them in science or engineering.
One of the many striking features of St. John’s, however, is that there is no typical St. John’s graduate: St. John’s graduates pursue all manner of careers. They become authors, winemakers, musicians, filmmakers, teachers, astrophysicists—whatever they choose!
As students work in and across disciplines, wrestling with philosophic, literary, musical, mathematical, and scientific texts, they acquire habits of mental flexibility and focus, develop their powers of intellect and imagination—and so become problem solvers, leaders, thinkers, and communicators. A St. John’s education prepares students to adapt to the challenges of their chosen paths, and to meet whatever life demands.
"Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice."
- Virginia Woolf