Thales College Mission
QWhat is Thales College?
Thales College is a unique undergraduate college designed to help students develop the intellectual ability, meaningful knowledge, moral character, and professional excellence needed to thrive in life and work. Thales College offers:
- Three degree options:
- B.A. in Entrepreneurial Business
- B.A. in Classical Education and Leadership
- B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
- Rigorous classical learning, combining wisdom from the Masters with contemporary skills development needed for well-rounded success after college
- Regular in-person, one-on-one mentoring with a professor
- Internships with local companies
- Networking and extracurricular learning opportunities throughout each term
QWhy was Thales College founded?
Thales College was founded to provide a high quality, affordable undergraduate option for students. Our founder, Bob Luddy, was frustrated that college students often graduate underprepared for the workplace and burdened with excessive debt. Thales College offers an exceptional education that provides the academic knowledge; thinking, life, technical, and workplace skills; character formation and work experience necessary to prepare students for a rich and meaningful life and a productive career. Thales College provides the essential skills and knowledge students need, and nothing they don’t.
QWhat sets Thales College apart?
Most colleges and universities teach the Liberal Arts and offer professional degrees. Few colleges and universities approach them the way we do at Thales College. Our faculty show how knowledge is linked across the disciplines and how the Liberal Arts support professional life as well as the good life.
You will learn from your professors in small seminars and in one-on-one mentoring sessions. You will share what you learn with people in your community as well as in the classroom. You will study content from the best minds in the world. Course work and internship experience will help you develop a wealth of knowledge and skills that will thoroughly prepare you to succeed in the real world.
Thales College is unlike any other college. Your college experience with us is focused on preparing you for a career and a fulfilling life. We help you maintain a disciplined study schedule and a balanced life while giving you a quality education that will set you apart from your peers.
QIs Thales College a religious school?
No, Thales College is not a religious school. It is not affiliated with any religious institution or beliefs. However, our classical curriculum is based on the Judeo-Christian heritage of Western tradition, so we do study some religious texts (such as the Old Testament of the Christian Bible) within a historical context. Following the example of Thales of Miletus, we recognize the importance of cultivating intelligent piety as a necessary part of a fully human life. Therefore, unlike many colleges today, Thales College provides an environment that is friendly to religion, even though it does not advocate for or align with any specific religion.
Academic Program and Career Preparation
QWhat degrees does Thales College offer?
Thales College offers three distinct majors: Entrepreneurial Business, Classical Education and Leadership, and Mechanical Engineering. All students will complete a rigorous humanities and liberal arts sequence, developing a solid foundation in critical thinking and reasoning skills.
We chose these three majors because of our founder’s extensive background in these fields through his entrepreneurship ventures with his manufacturing company and his K-12 private and charter school systems. We prefer to stick to our strengths and offer a select few majors in order to deliver them at a high level. Our degree programs have been designed with decades of real world experience in these three fields, meaning our graduates will learn a wealth of knowledge that has been tested and proven in real working environments.
Thales College is licensed by the State of North Carolina to offer a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Business and a B.A. in Classical Education and Leadership. We are preparing the license application to offer the B.S. of Mechanical Engineering.
QWhy are paid internships so important at Thales College?
Thales College utilizes internships to fully prepare students for careers in a variety of fields. We firmly believe that students benefit enormously from paid internships in productive companies and organizations, because they have the opportunity to contribute in a tangible way to the real world. Classroom learning is applied in real-time within the internship atmosphere in a low risk setting that allows students to explore a wide range of potential careers and opportunities. Students gain an impressive resume of soft skills and real world work experience through internships, in ways that their classroom-only peers significantly lack.
The vast majority of employers prefer to hire recent graduates with internship or work experience, due to the skills and workplace confidence they have developed through prior internships. When choosing between a recent graduate who participated and/or held leadership roles in numerous campus clubs and extracurriculars and a recent graduate who completed internships or part-time work, employers most often prefer the candidate with real work experience.
Lastly, paid internships enable students to pay their tuition and graduate with little to no student debt. We expect students to begin internships in Term 3 and continue through the remainder of their time at Thales College. We have designed the course schedule to allow students to work at their internships daily. An internship does not guarantee employment at the partner company following graduation, but many interns often receive full-time job offers from the employer if their work is satisfactory.
Watch this video to learn more about internships at Thales College.
QHow do students acquire paid internships?
We maintain a growing list of businesses and help our students to obtain internships in their field of interest. Thales College establishes relationships with businesses that provide valuable goods and services, exhibit organizational and leadership excellence, and provide meaningful work for interns. It is up to the student to apply for and maintain excellent performance within their internships; we support them by providing the connections to help them acquire internships. This allows students to learn the job acquisition process and build self-reliance.
QWhat type of faculty members does Thales College employ?
Thales College employs teacher-scholars who are experts in their subject areas and who model lifelong learning. They are humble and approachable thinkers, as well as well-read and engaging teachers. They are devoted to developing the minds of students, setting high standards, and helping each individual to fulfill their potential.
QAre you accepting employment applications?
Yes, please visit our Careers page.
QIs Thales College licensed and accredited?
The UNC Board of Governors has granted Thales College a license to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurial Business, a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Education and Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Thales College chooses not to pursue accreditation because it does not intend to participate in federal or state financial aid programs. The College is committed to providing an affordable education not funded by government loans or requiring student debt. Due to its lengthy process, accreditation introduces tasks beyond those that faculty and administrators would ordinarily perform, which greatly increases operating costs and thus tuition costs to students and their families. For all of these reasons, Thales College has chosen not to pursue accreditation in order to stay true to its mission of affordable education. Regional accreditation is not necessary to maintain academic quality and implement continuous improvement practices such as internal and external review. Students can rest assured that they will receive an excellent education and formation at TC, because the College holds their own performance to extremely high standards.
Some Thales College students may encounter obstacles if they wish to transfer credits or apply to graduate school, but based on our in-depth analysis, those obstacles would be manageable for most students.
When a student graduates from Thales College, their transcript, the work they have produced, and their wealth of internship experience will provide all of the background they need to show employers that they are well-prepared to excel in the workplace.
Read more about our stance on accreditation here: Thales College License & Accreditation
QIs the Mechanical Engineering program ABET accredited?
Thales College plans to pursue ABET accreditation for the Mechanical Engineering program, due to the specialized nature of the engineering field. ABET requires that an engineering program graduate its first class prior to applying for accreditation. Consequently, we plan to apply after our first class graduates in 2025. Once we achieve ABET accreditation, the accreditation will be applied retroactively to the Class of 2025’s degrees.
Attending Thales College
QWhat is the tuition rate at Thales College?
Tuition at Thales College is $4,000/term. That means total tuition is $32,000 (over 8 terms).
Put another way, you can earn a full bachelor's degree at Thales College for less than the cost of a single year at a typical private college. And because you will complete your degree in about three years at Thales College, you will enter the workforce a year earlier than students who attend traditional colleges and universities. That means you will begin working, earning, and contributing to your community well before most of your peers complete their degrees.
Why $4,000/term? This is the inflation adjusted amount our founder, Bob Luddy, paid for his college education in the ‘60s. By working through school, Bob was able to graduate debt free, an accomplishment students could achieve today if college costs could be lowered. By starting afresh, Thales College avoids costly administration and amenities that do not contribute to the student’s education. For this reason, we are committed to maintaining a rate comparable to the cost of college decades ago.
Additional expenses include: Books, transportation and living expenses, technology expenses (all students are required to own a laptop computer and have access to WiFi in order to participate in online coursework).
QAre scholarships available?
Yes. The competitive Founder’s Scholarship is a 50% tuition, merit scholarship awarded to up to five students from each class who demonstrate academic excellence, exceptional character, a rigorous work ethic, and strong communication skills. The Thales of Miletus Merit Scholarship is awarded to up to five additional students from each class who demonstrate similar characteristics and provides a 25% tuition grant. See our Scholarship page for more information.
Thales College itself does not offer need-based aid because it closely manages operating costs in order to run effectively on an affordable tuition. It does encourage students to seek outside scholarships offered by employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, communities, religious groups, professional and social organizations, the US military, and other institutions. If awarded a scholarship by an outside institution, the enrolled student will provide the organization with either Thales College’s contact information or the student’s contact information so that the scholarship check can be applied to the student’s overall tuition bill.
Thales College does not participate in the Federal Student Loan program, which does not constitute financial aid when it leads to harmful student debt. Thales College also does not participate in the Federal Work Study program because the College is committed to helping students live more independently and pay tuition through career-directed paid internships.
QWhat are the admission requirements for Thales College?
Thales College welcomes applications from students who are legal residents of the US and US citizens residing outside the US. The College does not accept applications from non-US citizens currently residing outside the US.
Our admissions committee considers the applicant’s completed application, essays, personal interview, SAT/ACT/CLT score, high school transcript, and teacher and employer recommendations.
Candidates with a high likelihood of success in the program will be selected for admission.
QWhat does a typical week look like at Thales College?
In a typical week, students access study materials and prepare for class on their own time. They come to campus most mornings to attend in-person seminars and tutorials, where students break down texts and concepts, discuss major themes, and develop their reasoning and communication abilities to a high level. When students are not in seminars and tutorials, they have time for independent and group study.
Afternoons and evenings are free for study, internships, part-time work, and social life.
Regular tutorials enable each student to meet one-on-one with a faculty mentor, who helps the student apply coursework to life and work. Mentoring in Terms 1-4 emphasizes career discernment and professional development. Mentoring in Terms 5-8 emphasizes intellectual ability and depth of thought, following the Oxford Tutorial model, in which the professor challenges the student to apply critical thinking and communications skills, study a topic deeply, assimilate various views, and defend his or her own position. This personalized form of learning pushes students to excel and provides the opportunity to connect academic learning to the real world.
QWhere is Thales College located?
Thales College classes are held at 3121 Heritage Trade Drive, Wake Forest, North Carolina. The school is in a suburb of Raleigh, NC, and is within easy access of all that the Research Triangle has to offer.
Check out this list of suggested places to visit in the Raleigh area.
QAre housing options provided for students?
Thales College is not a residential college. Intentionally, we have chosen to be a non-residential college for several reasons:
- Being a non-residential campus reduces operating costs, allowing us to pass cost savings to you. We focus on academics over amenities to provide a high quality college program at an affordable price.
- We believe in individual freedom of choice. All students have the freedom to live in the location of their choosing, whether that be in an apartment with roommates, at home with family, in a luxury condo with lots of amenities, or anywhere else. Our students appreciate the opportunity to choose the option that best fits their budget, lifestyle, and needs. We are happy to make recommendations about areas of town, as well as assist incoming students in connecting with each other in order to find a roommate, if desired.
- We believe that living in the broader community better prepares our students for real life after college, as living “on your own” fosters a beneficial sense of independence and an important step in maturation. Living independently while in college provides an excellent transitional phase, offering the safety and support found in the close-knit, connected Thales College community of peers and mentors along with a realized sense of place in the bigger outside world.
Beginning in 2023, an optional external housing opportunity is available for interested Thales College students. Please see our Housing page for more information.
QHow long will I be enrolled at Thales College?
Thales College is an accelerated degree program. Students will take 5 courses per 15-week term (15 credit hours) and earn standard (traditionally 4-year) Bachelor’s degrees in approximately 3 years.
- Fall Term
- Spring Term
- Summer Term
- Fall Term
- Spring Term
- Summer Term
- Fall Term
- Spring Term Students graduate in May of Year 3
Studying year-round allows students to retain their learning, as courses at TC build upon each other. Our daily schedule keeps afternoons open for participation in internships and other extracurricular involvements, further contributing to classroom learning. Our academic calendar follows the same rhythm of adult working life, preparing students to transition easily to working full-time following graduation.