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Classical Core

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The Thales College Classical Core

Practical preparation for your future grounded in the Great Ideas of the past.

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  • Cultivates advanced critical thinking and articulation skills (logic and rhetoric), paving the path for wisdom prior to practical technical training in any given major
  • Examines concepts through the lens of the history, tradition, and values of Western civilization, in a continual pursuit of truth
  • Studies the entirety of the history of Western civilization in chronological order, from the beginnings of human civilization through the present day
  • Combines rigorous coursework with personalized instruction in engaging Socratic seminars and Oxford-style tutorials led by professors to deepen understanding
  • Leads one to a deep understanding of ethical behavior and the pursuit of a life of integrity and virtue



All Thales College students complete a challenging core curriculum that spans the best minds of human history. By reviewing all that is known, students build a firm foundation of wisdom from which to base all future thinking. Our curriculum teaches the Western Tradition: its history, its interaction with other civilizations, and the place of the American experiment in that history. In addition to history and literature, students learn the fundamentals of the Trivium–writing, rhetoric, and logic; economics; personal finance; philosophy; physics; and ethics. This broad overview of important concepts ensures that every graduate is fully prepared to function well in the modern world.

Just as important as content knowledge is the skill of thinking well. Students are never encouraged to passively absorb ideas or the views of their professors wholesale, but rather to critically engage with them. Classical Core studies at Thales College are designed around two classroom structures that maximize interaction: Socratic Seminars and Oxford Tutorials. In seminars, students learn to articulate and defend their views in intensive group discussions. In tutorials, students receive one-on-one critical feedback from professors on their written work. Through seminars and tutorials, students are challenged to critically assess how the Great Books and Ideas prescribe a way of life conducive for human flourishing. In addition, students develop an intellectually open disposition from which to formulate and defend their views with reason, cogency, and charity.

Studying the classics and the Great Books translates directly into future success. Some tangible examples of how the classics aid in career preparation include:

  • Enhanced reading comprehension, which is needed in every career for all types of written communication.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to logically form and defend an argument.
  • Confidence and ability to ask better questions, which lead to problem solving and innovation.
  • Increased emotional intelligence, allowing one to understand others better and work within a team, delegate tasks, and serve others effectively.
  • Strong moral standards: Progress without ethics produces chaos.


  • BUS 100/HUM 150The Mindset of Entrepreneurial Masters and Founder’s Mentality
  • BUS 110Stocks, Bonds, Investments, and Personal Finance*
  • ECN 150Foundational Economic Concepts
  • ECN 300Philosophy of Economics and Human Action
  • HUM 100Life and Career Dynamics
  • HUM 110Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge & Reality
  • HUM 120Writing & Rhetoric I
  • HUM 140Writing & Rhetoric II
  • HUM 160Western Civilization I
  • HUM 180Western Civilization II
  • HUM 200Logic
  • HUM 220Philosophy of Being Human
  • HUM 240The Literary Masters I: Ancient and Medieval*
  • HUM 260The Literary Masters II: Renaissance to Modern*
  • HUM 280Ethics
  • HUM 300The Philosophical Masters I: Ancient and Medieval*
  • HUM 320The Philosophical Masters II: Renaissance to Modern*
  • HUM 400Politics and Culture of a Free Society
  • HUM 440American History I*
  • HUM 450American History II*
  • HUM 480Virtuous Leadership in a Free Society
  • HUM 490Capstone*
  • MAT 200Calculus I
  • PHY 200Physics I

*Not required for Mechanical Engineering majors

Concurrent with their coursework in the liberal arts core, students take a deep dive into one of three majors offered at Thales College: Entrepreneurial Business, Mechanical Engineering, or Classical Education.