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“Students who major in Great Ideas are the most versatile kind of student. They can adapt their thinking to any profession or situation. They develop a toolbox of methods of thinking that allows them to confront and master their world.”

Majors and Minors Offered

Great Ideas

Great Ideas

The Great Ideas program at Carthage is a uniquely interdisciplinary academic field designed to provide students with a deep and expansive understanding of Western thought, from the Greeks and Romans to the Modern era.

Students are introduced to a broad range of texts from history’s greatest thinkers: Homer, Plato, Virgil, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Shakespeare and Austen. Through intense study of some of the richest texts ever written, students become proficient at analyzing complex ideas and arguments, comparing texts, and writing and speaking about them clearly and effectively.

The Great Conversation

Nearly 3,000 years ago in the heart of the Mediterranean world, Greek thinkers began to produce works of art and literature that set the stage for what we call the “Great Conversation.” By tracing this conversation and participating in it themselves, students discover how our world of ideas began to take shape.

Fundamental Questions

Through careful reading of great literary, philosophical, scientific and religious texts, students come to grips with the fundamental and immediately relevant questions these texts raise: What is love? What is justice? What is the best way of life? What is knowledge, and how do we come to know things? What is faith, and what does faith demand? What is happiness?

Versatile Degree

Any professional needs to understand the world and the workings of society in order to be a contributing member. The flexible Great Ideas degree gives students extensive skills in communication, reasoning and critical thinking. This appeals to all employers who value a versatile individual – someone who has a proven ability to think in different areas and investigate his or her environment.