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The Segments

Students will spend each of their four semesters studying in one of the following segments. Students who choose a focus in one segment will select their elective class (known as a preceptorial) and final essay on a topic related to their focus.

Politics and Society

By studying texts of Plato, Aristotle, Tocqueville, and Marx, among others, students explore the fundamental questions upon which our civilizations are built. What is the relation of the individual to the city or the state? Is there a genuine character or nature of human beings that sets or limits the goals of political orders? View Politics and Society Reading List

History

Through the words of the classical historians Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Montesquieu, and others, students witness the rise and fall of the empires of Athens and Rome. At the same time, students are introduced to some of the most remarkable characters of antiquity. Students also read philosophers of history, such as Augustine, Rousseau, and Kant, who ask, among other things, whether there really is such a thing as historical “progress.” View History Reading List

Philosophy and Theology

In the Philosophy and Theology segment, the tutorial readings focus on the possibility of knowledge, using texts from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche. The seminar focuses on the Judaeo-Christian tradition by reading texts from the Bible and by major theological thinkers, raising questions about God’s nature and interactions with human beings. View Philosophy Reading List

Literature

What is the nature of Achilles rage? What does ‘home’ mean for Odysseus? How is the notion of justice developed over the course of the Oresteia? Through a direct study of classic texts of Greek and English literature, students examine some of the greatest narrative and poetic works of the western world, including the Iliad and the Odyssey, tragedies by Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides, Canterbury Tales, King Lear, and poetry by Milton, Wyatt, Keats, Shelley, Dickinson and Wordsworth. View Literature Reading List

Mathematics and Natural Science

Following the wide range of scientific thought from the highly speculative, to the rational, to the experimental, students engage with classic scientific and mathematic texts. What is the connection between Euclid’s axiom “a point is that which has no part,” and Lucretius’ claim that something cannot come from nothing? How does Euclidian geometry work? How does Lobachevski’s hyperbolic geometry change it and our understanding of the natural world? How can two opposing truths co-exist? View Mathematics and Natural Science Reading List

Planned Segment Offerings

Fall Semester

Annapolis

  • Literature
  • Mathematics and Natural Science

Santa Fe

  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Politics and Society
  • Mathematics and Natural Science (only offered during even-numbered years)
  • History (only offered during odd-numbered years)

Spring Semester

Annapolis

  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Politics and Society
  • History (only offered during even-numbered years)

Santa Fe

  • Literature
  • History (only offered during odd-numbered years)
  • Mathematics and Natural Science (only offered during even-numbered years)

Summer Semester

Annapolis

  • Philosophy and Theology (only offered during odd-numbered years)
  • Literature (only offered during odd-numbered years)
  • History (only offered during odd-numbered years)
  • Mathematics and Natural Science (only offered during even-numbered years)
  • Politics and Society (only offered during even-numbered years)

Santa Fe

  • Mathematics and Natural Science
  • Literature
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Politics and Society
  • History (only offered during even-numbered years)
Master’s of Arts in Liberal Arts Reading Lists

From Homer to Heidegger, Lycurgus to Lobachevski, Job to Jung, the reading list is the heart of the MALA.