The Bachelor of Arts in Great Books is a four-year liberal arts program in which students delve into great works of literature from the classical age through to our contemporary era. We also welcome students from the community who wish to take solo classes for personal and intellectual growth.
Our seminar classes are themed around topics that help us explore human flourishing, such as beauty, nature and the good life. The core texts are from a diverse range of authors, each examining what it means to be human in our world. Transformative conversations are held in seminar-style classes where students actively drive the focus and faculty serve as mentors.
Students who pursue a great books humanities degree will complete nine seminars and a unit in vocational discernment. Two internships and a career-oriented minor prepare students to take their humanistic education into their chosen profession or pursuit of graduate school.
Come and prepare for your future and career through the “life-giving power of literature” (Maya Angelou).
“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.” ― Joyce Carol Oates
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Great Books at FranU is multifaceted and multidimensional, offering perspectives on philosophy, history, economics and the natural world.
The courses in this liberal arts degree program are designed to provide students with both a depth and breadth of literary study that not only allows students to read and engage with texts from antiquity to the twenty-first century, but empowers them to ask questions, seek truths and use literature as a lens through which we may understand and interpret the world.
Seminar courses, guided by student voices and interests, cover the following topics:
Through these topics, students will examine themes that are embedded in various texts and consider questions such as: What is beauty? How do, and how should, humans contemplate and relate to the natural world? What does it mean to do a good job? What makes a good life?
The Bachelor of Arts in Great Books also places a great deal of emphasis on career readiness, offering two internship credits as well as a course in vocations after graduation. Internships will be completed in the Spring semester of students’ junior and senior years.
Freshmen and first-time applicants to the Great Books liberal arts program at FranU are expected to meet the following admissions requirements:
For more information on admission requirements for first-time applicants, visit the First-Time Applicant page. If you are applying as a returning, transfer or international student, view the Undergraduate Admissions Requirements page for more information on admissions.
A classical education in liberal arts and humanities is grounded in a rich history of creative, innovative and provocative thinkers. These great minds and their literary works will serve as historical and cultural touch points and will guide our discussions in the classroom across many topics and genres.
The mission of the BA in Great Books is to form leaders who understand the human experience and are prepared to serve our world as skilled professionals. Join our mission!
Prepare for your success through a classical and humanistic education that celebrates:
What do you want to be? Here in the Great Books program at FranU, your professors mentor you in exploring your goals for your future:
Whatever your dream, we’re here to help you prepare. We match you with internships in the local community that give you the experience of working in your field. When you graduate as a humanistic leader, you will have a strong network and career path.
Ann-Marie Blanchard, PhD, is a native of Australia and directs the Great Books Program at FranU. Her teaching specialties are Australian literature, postcolonial studies, world literature, women’s writing and creative writing. Her work has appeared in A Public Space, Adroit Journal, Palette Poetry, Salt Hill Journal, Meanjin Quarterly, Westerly, Cordite Poetry Review and elsewhere. Her manuscript, Homebake, was a finalist in the Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series.
A great books program focuses on great texts in philosophy, history, theology, science, fiction and more, all in the pursuit of providing a liberal arts education that covers a broad range of topics while ensuring that the depth of study is not compromised due to the expansive nature of the curriculum and texts.
Students in a great books program will be encouraged to grapple with big questions, ponder life’s consistencies and anomalies, and discern patterns in ideas across time through the texts that have shaped and been shaped by societies from antiquity to the modern day.
By studying Great Books at FranU, students will learn about a vast array of world perspectives through literature, allowing them to nurture many of their interests and make connections across topics and schools of thought.
A liberal arts curriculum makes for a well-rounded classical education in a broad range of subjects through creative engagement with foundational texts that work to understand human nature from a multitude of perspectives. An education in great books also helps students develop important skills that employers look for, such as critical thinking, clear and concise communication, and research and analysis.
Want to know more about why great books programs are worth it? Here’s what experts are saying:
Human Fundamentals: The case for great-books programs
The Case for the Classics: Without these ancient texts, our democracy will suffer
The Great Books humanities degree at FranU will have you studying many subjects, including philosophy, theology, writing, Latin, communication, logic, the history of Christianity, religions of the world, psychology and public speaking. Though your liberal arts education will be broad, you will graduate with a marketable set of skills that will prepare you for career success.
You’ll learn important skills like professional writing and presenting, using research and analysis and the use of presentation tools to effectively communicate with an audience. Your time in the internship program will also have you gaining hands-on experience in which you’ll hone skills applicable in the workplace. In addition, you’ll develop skills in critical thinking, analytical reading, and an understanding of literary narrative and theory.
The BA in Great Books takes 4 years, with the exception of students who complete the degree in under 4 years having transferred credits from other accredited institutions.
Non-matriculating students have the flexibility of selecting solo seminars that they desire to study and paying tuition to attend.
Humanities graduates are markedly employable in the ever- evolving 21st-century workplace. Navigating the contemporary work environment requires flexibility and the ability to master ever- changing contexts. Graduates of the Great Books program have transferable skills that hold their value over time, preparing students for a variety of careers, including law, medicine, business and education.
Graduates of the program may go on to work for non-profits as fundraisers or community outreach managers, as teachers in private schools, as editors for marketing or publication companies, or as writers or authors of many kinds. The program also prepares students for the rigors of graduate school, which opens up a vast expanse of career opportunities throughout the master’s and doctorate degree levels.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), liberal arts degree holders earn a median annual salary of $50,000. The BLS also reports that 51% of liberal arts graduates are employed in occupations at the bachelor’s degree level. Graduates are reported to have found careers in educational instruction and library occupations, management, office and administrative support, business and finance and sales.
Learn more about putting your education into action by reviewing the BLS’s resource on implementing your education within the job market.
A Washington Post article highlights data from the National Center for Education Statistics: “Contrary to popular belief, English majors ages 25 to 29 had a lower unemployment rate in 2017 than math and computer science majors.”
Dr. Nathan Kase in a discussion with NPR in 2015, says:
“The medical school didn’t need more science wonks; it needed more people who could think broadly, see the bigger picture, introduce fresh perspectives, innovate, connect science with the real world and relate to people of all sorts. In short, it needed people with a background in the liberal arts.”
Yes, depending on how many electives your major allows, many programs offer the flexibility for you to minor in Great Books. We invite you to take elective classes in Great Books. Our seminars are inclusive, so you do not need a background in literature, just a curiosity about our fascinating world.
Each seminar class session is a conversational-based tutorial in which students take the lead on textual interpretation while the professor serves as a mentor. Within our intimate class setting, students tackle big questions that arise from the great texts they engage with their peers. Through thinking on their feet and guiding and participating in conversation, students prepare to be active young professionals.
Absolutely! We invite students to contact our director, Dr. Ann-Marie Blanchard, to arrange a visit to our seminar classes. This is a great way to meet our community and to witness our dynamic and welcoming seminars.
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. Questions about accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
FranU understands that financing your education is an important part of your decision to pursue a college degree. We aim to demonstrate care and professionalism while assisting students with finding financial aid opportunities and a large percentage of our student body receives some form of financial assistance through grants, scholarships, or loans.
Learn more about financial aid opportunities on the Office of Financial Aid page. You can also use the True Cost Calculator tool to determine estimated costs.
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” ― Maya Angelou
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” ― James Baldwin
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?... A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” ― Franz Kafka
“When the Day of Judgment dawns and people, great and small, come marching in to receive their heavenly rewards, the Almighty will gaze upon the mere bookworms and say to Peter, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them. They have loved reading.” ― Virginia Woolf
"And yet we have forgotten how to read: how to pause, liberate ourselves from our worries, return into ourselves, and leave aside our search for subtlety and originality, in order to meditate calmly, ruminate, and let the texts speak to us. This, too, is a spiritual exercise, and one of the most difficult." — Pierre Hadot
Learn more about FranU academic programs, admissions, financial aid and university life.
|ACSM 1110 - Introduction to College Education||1|
|WRIT 1310 - College Writing I||3|
|THEO 1310 - Introduction to Theology||3|
|LATN 1410 - Elementary Latin||4|
|Semester Credit Hours||14|
|COMM 2310 - Professional Interpersonal Communication||3|
|WRIT 1311 - College Writing II||3|
|PHIL 1310 - Ways of Living: An Introduction to Philosophy||3|
|GRBO 3310 - Great Books Seminar I: The Classical World||3|
|LATN 2410 - Intermediate Latin||4|
|Semester Credit Hours||16|
|Minor Course 1||3|
|THEO 2315 - History of Christianity||3|
|GRBO 2100 - Vocations After Great Books||1|
|GRBO 3311 - Great Books Seminar II: Autobiography/Confession||3|
|ANTH 3310 - Religions of the World or RELS 3315 - Religions of the World||3|
|PHIL 2310 - Logic and Critical Thinking||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||16|
|Minor Course 2||3|
|GRBO 3320 - Great Books Seminar III: The Good Life||3|
|PSYC 1310 - Introductory Psychology||3|
|COMM 2311 - Professional Public Speaking||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|GRBO 3321-SL - Great Books Seminar IV: Economics and Work||3|
|Minor Course 3||3|
|GRBO 3330 - Great Books Seminar V: Beauty||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|GRBO 3331 - Great Books Seminar VI – The Natural World|
|Minor Course 4||3|
|GRBO 4330 - Great Books Internship I||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||12|
|GRBO 3340 - Great Books Seminar VII: The Good Community||3|
|Minor Course 5||3|
|GRBO 3341 - Great Books Seminar VIII: Southern Literature||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|GRBO 3350 - Great Books Seminar IX: Health and Disease||3|
|GRBO 4331 - Great Books Internship II/Senior Capstone||3|
|Minor Course 6 or General Elective||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|