Join us this summer!
@Oxford. Amherst. Stanford. Dublin.

About Us

Why We're Unique

For fifteen years, the Great Books Summer Program has brought together outstanding middle school and high school students at Amherst College, Stanford University and the University of Oxford, with distinguished educators and bright counselors from top colleges, to enjoy the kind of intellectual experience most can only dream of during the school year. 

Teaching Method

At Great Books, we take up the debates of timeless questions and classic works of literature. We teach by asking questions. Our approach to sparking dialogue with students is called Shared Inquiry, and it dates back to Plato's teacher, Socrates.  This teaching method helps young people practice reflective reading and develop their critical thinking skills, to recognize their own best thoughts, and to develop their ideas with care. Read more about our teaching method here

Distinguished Faculty

The faculty of The Great Books Summer Program is led by distinguished college professors from the finest educational institutions in the world—Amherst College, Stanford University and Columbia University. They are teachers, authors, scholars and parents who care deeply about sharing their love of great books and big ideas with bright young people. Learn more about our faculty here.

A Prestigious Pre-College Experience

Spending a week or more at a top liberal arts campus under the supervision of our staff gives middle and high-school students a sense of the college experience that lies ahead for them. As one parent expressed it, "They learned a lot about college life and now have a goal to keep in mind."

Your child may choose from three campus settings—Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stanford University in California, the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.. Amherst College, founded in 1821, is widely regarded as one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the world. Stanford University opened its doors in 1891, and has been one of the finest and most highly-regarded American universities ever since. University of Oxford was the first university in the English speaking world. Trinity College remains one of the most prestigious in humanities education since 1592.

A Welcoming Intellectual Community

As educators and as parents ourselves, we believe that maintaining a safe and secure environment is of paramount importance. It begins with building a community of mutual respect, from student to student and student to staff. Listening and paying attention are part of the fabric of life at Great Books Summer Program.

Each young person is assigned to a Program Assistant who is responsible for just 6-8 students. The freedom of students is respected but no one is allowed to roam campus without a Program Assistant present and all off-campus excursions are supervised. There are adult staff members present at meals, discussions, and activities. For medical needs, we have immediate access to doctors and facilities adjacent to campus.

There is nothing quite like the Great Books Summer Program in American education today.

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