The First-Year Aquinas Advantage at St. Thomas
For first-year students, the Aquinas Programme is an innovative approach to learning that combines three academic disciplines in a small-class setting where seminars, team teaching, and interdisciplinary approaches foster a high level of literacy and critical thinking.
- If you like to read and write and enjoy discussions,
- If you are interested in ideas and strive for deeper meaning,
- If your goals for university include greater awareness and understanding,
…then you’ll want to take advantage of the Aquinas Programme.
As students engage in the Aquinas curriculum, they broaden their horizons and hone their critical skills. While providing required first-year credits, Aquinas thoroughly introduces academic disciplines and opens areas for exploration and discovery. Aquinas challenges and inspires – it is an ideal way to begin a rewarding university education.
How Aquinas Works for You
First-year students typically take five courses in five academic subjects. In Aquinas, three of these courses are organized into one section with a common theme and the same group of students and professors, an intellectual home base from which to explore. Enrolment is purposely limited to create a close-knit community of learners.
- You’ll learn to organize and evaluate ideas, build understanding and express your opinion,
- You’ll become aware of differing and conflicting perspectives,
- You’ll quickly develop university-calibre skills in reading and writing as
… your ability to think for yourself matures.
First-year students may register for the Aquinas Programme as part of the first-year registration process.
By reading classic works of the western world, you will explore life’s great themes of love, friendship, freedom, and ethics as seen by authors across cultures and throughout the ages. You will be encouraged to read and think critically about contrasting perspectives and be challenged to examine your own ideas.
Through the study of novels, plays, poetry, philosophical texts and contemporary films, you will wrestle with diverse and conflicting arguments, and debate ideas that shape our world. Small classes bring an intimate atmosphere as you engage in discussions and work collaboratively to understand such books as Homer’s Iliad, Dante’s Inferno, Plato’s Republic, and Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Each of the themes covered includes texts and instruction from Political Science 1006- Introduction to Political Science, Philosophy 1006-Introduction to Western Philosophy, and English 1006-Introduction to Literature.
Great Books for Journalists
This section is for students who believe a liberal arts education should give you the tools to reflect on some of the perennial questions of human life. Tackle questions such as, What is good? What is evil? Does power corrupt? Reflect on the media’s role in society; Is media based on reason and deliberation? Is it used to advance personal passions and interests? Is it used to exercise power through manipulation and propaganda?
The section will draw from Journalism 1013- The Messenger: Journalism and Storytelling, and Journalism 1023-The Message: Great Stories of Journalism as well as Political Science 1006-Introduction to Political Science and Philosophy 1006-Introduction to Western Philosophy. The journalism aspect of the section offers students a modern/contemporary historical component and allows students to see how the ideas from older texts can shed light on current events.