Master of Arts in Eastern Classics

Santa Fe Campus

The aim of the Eastern Classics program is to help students seek a deeper understanding of the fundamental and enduring questions that have been raised by thoughtful human beings in the rich traditions of the East. Of particular interest in the Eastern Classics program are the points of contact among the three traditions. The seminar, for example, begins with the texts of classical China, interrupts the study of China to examine texts from India and follows the migration of Buddhism to China and Japan.


The program includes a series of seminars, preceptorials, and a language tutorial in either Sanskrit or classical Chinese. In the seminar, 17-21 students and two tutors discuss assigned readings from a wide range of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese texts. In the tutorial, 12-16 students and one tutor study either Sanskrit or classical Chinese. The goal is not mastery, but rather sufficient familiarity with the elements of the languages to gain some insight into their structure and to be able to translate selected short passages from classical texts. In the preceptorial, 8-12 students and one tutor study a single work or theme for an eight-week period. Each student is required to write a substantial paper.

The course of study in the Eastern Classics program consists of 34 credit hours, completed in one calendar year, beginning in the fall and concluding in the summer. Classes meet in late afternoons and evenings to accommodate students who work part-time, but due to the intensive nature of the program, full-time work is not encouraged.

The program leading to the Masters of Arts in Eastern Classics is accredited by the North Central Associations of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

For additional information, please read the following article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education “St. John's College, a Bastion of the West, Makes Room for the Classics of the East.”

We welcome your interest and questions regarding the Eastern Classics Program and we would gladly answer any questions you may have. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions in Santa Fe for more information:


Graduate Institute in Liberal Education

St. John's College
1160 Camino Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505-4599
Phone: 505-984-6083
Fax 505-984-6064