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Great Ideas

The Great Ideas Program at Carthage College was founded in the mid-2000s but was discontinued in August 2020. The Great Ideas major and minor are no longer offered.

All students who entered Carthage before the 2020-21 academic year who have already declared a major or minor in Great Ideas will continue their studies at Carthage and progress toward their degrees. Current students with a declared major or minor in Great Ideas should visit Degree Audit in the My.Carthage portal for more information on their programs of study.

Carthage will continue to offer multiple Great Ideas courses in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Courses in Great Ideas study the works of some of the greatest minds in the Western tradition, such as Homer, Plato, Virgil, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, and Austen. Through careful reading and thoughtful inquiry of foundational texts in philosophy, literature, religion, and science, Great Ideas engages the fundamental and timeless questions that are raised: What is love? What is justice? What is the best way of life? What is the physical world? What is knowledge and how do we come to know things? What is faith and what does faith demand? What is happiness?

In these courses, students grapple with the diversity of approaches and the possible solutions presented by these texts and clarify, reflect upon, and deepen their own understandings. Successful students begin to shape their own responses to these and other questions that necessarily occupy the minds of responsible and thoughtful citizens and human beings.