Aquinas Program

Aquinas: Great Books is a seminar-style course for first-year students focused on close reading of great texts. Together with a team of professors, you will study some of the most influential and original books in history. The program is discussion-based; there are no lectures. Instead, faculty encourage students to think for themselves and share their own interpretations.


  • Evaluate complex arguments
  • Express your opinions鈥攐rally and in writing
  • Develop your own ideas about ethics, morality, law, and art.

Our seminar model prepares students to be leaders inside and outside of the classroom no matter what path they choose after their first year.

Why Aquinas: Great Books

Hear from Dr. Andrew Moore, Director of Great Books at St. Thomas University, about why the Aquinas: Great Books Program might be a good fit for your first year.


The program links together THREE of your first-year courses: English, Political Science, and Philosophy. The professors for those courses work together, collaborating on the reading list and leading class discussions. In addition to your Aquinas courses, you will still have room in your schedule for two more classes per semester from other fields that interest you. 

Aquinas: Great Books students have gone on to win Rhodes Scholarships, Governor General鈥檚 Medals, Canada Graduate Scholarships, and have been admitted to top graduate and law school programs in Canada, the United States, and Europe.


Our team-taught seminar model is unique in Canada. It challenges you to develop your own opinions and teaches you to work collaboratively with others to understand complex problems and answer difficult questions. Our discussion-centred model fosters a sense of community among students and faculty. In Aquinas: Great Books you鈥檒l work closely with your peers and your professors in a friendly and engaging classroom environment.



Aquinas: Great Books is strictly a first-year program. When you have completed the course, you will receive first-year credit in English, Philosophy, and Political Science. In second year you will be free to major in whatever discipline you choose. Aquinas students pursue majors and minors from all disciplines at St. Thomas and are well-prepared for the reading, writing, and critical analysis that each department demands.



Students who are interested in Great Books, but are looking for a more traditional course model might consider Great Books 1006: Great Thinkers and Writers. This course explores subjects like law, morality, and art through a close study of great texts, including novels, films, philosophical dialogues, plays, and political treatises. The course is team-taught by two professors.