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St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland | by Ken Lund
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St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland

St. John's College is a private, liberal arts college with two U.S. campuses: one in Annapolis, Maryland, and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The College was founded in 1696 as King William's School, a preparatory school. It received a collegiate charter in 1784, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the United States. Since 1937, it has followed a distinctive curriculum, the Great Books Program, based on discussion of works from the Western canon of philosophical, religious, historical, mathematical, scientific, and literary works; it is probably for this program that the school is best known.


The school grants only one bachelor's degree, in Liberal Arts. Two master's degrees are currently available through the college's Graduate Institute—one in Liberal Arts, which is a modified version of the undergraduate curriculum (differing mostly in that the graduate students do not take a language and are not restricted to a set sequence of courses), and one in Eastern Classics, which applies most of the features of the undergraduate curriculum (seminars, preceptorials, language study and a set sequence of courses) to a list of classic works from India, China and Japan. Despite its name and the inclusion of selections from the Bible, as well as from some major Christian theologians and philosophers in the program, the College has no religious affiliation.


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Taken on July 29, 2008