The Diana Davis Spencer Graduate School of Classical Education welcomed its first cohort of students in Fall 2022 semester. Following a successful first year and another cohort of strong students, we are excited to invite applicants for the Fall 2024 semester.
Until this point, the Diana Davis Spencer Graduate School of Classical Education has been a solely residential program. However, in June 2025, we will welcome our first cohort of hybrid students. The Residential and Hybrid Programs serve as the two different avenues to complete the Master of Arts in Classical Education degree. Both programs are 36 credit hours and provide students with the highest quality of instruction, and both equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the major literary, philosophical, pedagogical, curricular, and historical tenets of classical education.
Regardless of which program best fits an applicant’s needs, we are prepared to offer an extensive, rigorous, and time-tested education rooted in the Western tradition.
The residential program is the original model of the Graduate School of Classical Education. Classes are held on the Hillsdale College campus, where students become a part of the vibrant Hillsdale College community during the two-year course of study. Students have access not only to the College’s facilities, lecture programs, and other amenities, but also to the scholarly community of professors and peers and the friendships that form within such a group. Some of the distinctives include:
Thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters, we are pleased to offer the residential program tuition-free to all admitted students for the 2024 cohort.
A study of the principles and practices of liberal education from its beginnings in the ancient world through to the present. The course will include ancient schooling; monastic schools; the rise of universities; the growth of Humanism, natural sciences, and specialization; the rise of the great books movement: and the revival of classical K-12 education.
A focused study of the principles and practices of American education from its beginnings through to the present. The course will include education in Colonial America, the Common School Era, the Progressive Era, and the 21st Century. There will be special focus on the role of education in the formation of character, citizenship, and a polity.
A survey of educational philosophy from the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages. Focus is on primary texts.
A survey of educational philosophy from the Renaissance forward, including late modern developments that depart from the principles and understandings in the classical tradition. Focus is on primary texts.
A survey of select, great, primary texts from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. The course will seek to build an integrated understanding of the intellectual and cultural patrimony bequeathed to the West in the literary, historical, and philosophical texts.
A survey of select, great, primary texts from the Renaissance to the Modern era in the West. The course will seek to build an integrated understanding of the intellectual and cultural patrimony bequeathed to the West in the literary, historical, and philosophical texts.
A study of the principles giving form and content to classical pedagogy and curricula particularly as found in the present. While reference to past models and practices is appropriate, the course will emphasize the manner in which contemporary classical pedagogy and curricula incorporate their animating principles and the consequences—including as regards effectiveness—of their doing so.
A study of the three “trivial” arts (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) in classical education and of the ideas and principles that undergird them. The course will both survey the content of the trivium and engage in a classically informed study of human knowing as relates to language.
A study of the four “quadrivial” arts (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy) in classical education and of the ideas and principles that undergird them. The course will both survey the content of the quadrivium and engage in a classically informed study of human knowing as relates to quantity.
A survey of the core characteristics and skills of an educational leader. The course will explore the nature of leadership in general, focus on various aspects of leadership within an educational context, and examine the virtues, habits, and preparation necessary to lead well with integrity. Students will grow in their understanding of successful leadership and of their own strengths/weaknesses as educational leaders. While the course may employ the case studies, best practices, and theories of leadership, the chief readings of the course will be works of humane letters. These may include works by or about the great and flawed leaders from history and fictive representations of great and flawed leaders from excellent literature.
A survey of the particular conditions in which contemporary classical schools operate and the qualities required to manage a school under such conditions. As an overview, the course introduces students to matters that administrators will typically encounter and the kinds of tools, skills, and resources they will need to assemble or develop in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Topics may include but are not limited to education law, regulation, policies, and politics; school identity, mission, founding documents, and accreditation; public relations and marketing; budgeting, finance, and plant operations; recruiting, mentoring, supervising, and evaluating school personnel; student admissions; daily operations; building successful relationships with school stakeholders including parents, boards, and members of the local community.
A semester-long teacher practicum in a classical school setting. The practicum, arranged in coordination with the graduate program and a classical school, most likely will occur alongside other graduate coursework. It will include a seminar component and culminate in a final project.
A semester-long administrator practicum in a classical school setting. The practicum, arranged in coordination with the graduate program and a classical school, most likely will occur alongside other graduate coursework. It will include a seminar component and culminate in a final project.
This elective course provides a close study of a particular figure, author, idea, or theme related to classical education.
The first of two courses designed to guide students to the completion and oral defense of a research thesis. The thesis will bear upon some facet or aspect of classical education. In Thesis 1, students will complete a number of tasks, including the submission of a thesis proposal and annotated bibliography, and the drafting and presentation of a paper that will become part of the thesis.
The second of two courses designed to guide students to the completion and oral defense of a research thesis. The thesis will bear upon some facet or aspect of classical education. In Thesis 2, students will complete a number of tasks, including the submission of the thesis and its oral defense. The research thesis will bear upon some facet or aspect of classical education. Prerequisite: EDU 791
A new hybrid program will begin in Summer 2025. This mostly remote option, with a blend of online instruction and limited in-person programming, makes it possible to earn a Master’s degree while working full time. The program is designed for those unable to relocate to Hillsdale to still engage with the foundational and transcendent truths of classical education while continuing in their full-time employment.
Tuition and financial aid packages are still under revision. Generous scholarships will be available. Details will be posted here soon. If you would like more information in the meantime, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multiple forms of financial support are available, including grants, financial aid, and private loans. Applicants are required to complete a financial aid questionnaire and submit with the application.
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