Great Books

Great Books studies texts written by some of the world’s most influential and original thinkers. It aims to investigate life’s big questions through a wide range of materials—old and new alike—to help students better understand themselves and the world.  

Great Books at STU 

In Great Books students encounter different subjects, genres, and modes of inquiry. Courses use a variety of texts—from novels, works of history, poems, autobiographies, and Supreme Court cases—to investigate themes like freedom, human nature, love and friendship, and technology. Our small classes are team-taught by two professors to promote discussion and debate and provide a diversity of views and perspectives.  


Dr. Matt Dinan teaching a class


“Great Books excels in things many students are looking for: strong community, individual mentorship from professors, challenging, meaningful work, and asking big questions about ourselves and our world.”


– Dr. Matt Dinan, Director of Great Books at STU 

Call out: Looking for more insight into Great Books at STU? Check out Dr. Andrew Moore’s Youtube channel where he tackles themes and concepts similar to those discussed in class!

What sets STU’s Great Books Program Apart? 

  • Our Great Books program is one of few in Canada and is one of the only programs that allows students to complete a major or honours in the field.  
  • Courses in Great Books are team-taught by two professors which creates a collaborative and engaging learning environment. 
  • As an interdisciplinary program, Great Books students complete a second major which provides an education that’s diverse in knowledge, experience, and skills.  
  • Students benefit from faculty expertise in early modern political thought, Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, ancient political thought, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.  

Where the Study of Great Books can Take You 

Great Books requires a great deal of reading, writing, and critical thinking. Classes are discussion-intensive, which allows students to build their public speaking, argumentation, and listening skills. Through exposure to many types of texts—from ancient epics, Platonic dialogues, Supreme Court cases, and graphic novels—students develop an aptitude for interpretation and analysis.  


This prepares graduates for meaningful careers in fields like: 

  • Law 
  • Journalism 
  • Public Policy 
  • Publishing 
  • Education 
  • Communications 
  • Government 


“I came to St. Thomas specifically for the Great Books program. Not many institutions in our part of the country offer such unique approaches to liberal arts education and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. STU is lucky to have such a devoted team of Great Books professors. They are fantastic mentors.” 
Jon Taylor, BA ’19, Great Books and Political Science 
Policy Analyst 




Gain Experience and Build Your Resume 

Connect the study of Great Books with professional experience through the STU Internship Program in positions with: 


  • Goose Lane Editions 
  • moorehype 
  • The Learning Bar 
  • Kings Landing 
  • The Dennis Report 

You might be interested in studying Great Books if… 

  • You are interested in understanding yourself and your place in the world 
  • You love to read and think about life's big questions 
  • You're interested in the history of ideas 


Featured Courses 

Great Thinkers and Writers 
War and Peace 
Human Nature and Technology 

Fields that Enhance Your Learning in Great Books 

An education is Great Books is complemented by studies in English, Philosophy, Political Science and Human Rights. Students in Great Books become immersed in the history of ideas which is valuable background knowledge for any discipline. As a result, students have successfully paired Great Books with majors in Sociology, Criminology, Religious Studies, Psychology, History, and Journalism.