The Classic Bachelors (The 4 Year Degree from 1822)

February 15, 2016 S.I. News  No comments

By Aaron Bolinger

When our Founders were researching the history of American academics, we ran across a rather interesting collection of courses, that comprised the 4 year degree standards of Yale in the year 1822.  (Many other Ivy League schools had similar foundations & course titles/texts.)  This was, of course, at the height of American Academics — when our nation was known as having the highest academic standards anywhere in the world, and many of the immigrants who came here did so (not for a welfare check), to achieve excellence in education.

Below is the actual photocopy of the curricula used in that year from an ancient manuscript.  Since it is a bit hard to read, following that is the translation.


The curricula of Yale's 4 year program, in 1822.

The curricula of Yale’s 4 year program, in 1822.

[Note: an * symbol indicates that Sherman Institute has recreated this course, and/or uses the original digitized textbook(s) as part of our Classic Bachelor’s (or a related) degree program, and/or offers the course as a Continuing Education option.  Courses noted with an (*) at the end indicates we have an equivalent course using ancillary texts, such as Great Books titles.]

Freshman Class:

  • * Livy Begun
  • Adam’s Roman Antiquities (*)
  • * Webber’s Arithmetic
  • * Murray’s Grammar
  • * Livy Continued Through Five Books
  • Latinae
  • * Graeca Majora, the Historical parts
  • * Day’s Algebra
  • * Graeca Majora, continued
  • * Monteith’s Geography
  • * Murray’s Grammar Reviewed

Sophomore Class:

  • * Graeca Majora continued
  • * Playfair’s Euclid begun
  • * Horace begun
  • * Euclid finished
  • * Horace finished
  • * Day’s Mathematics Parts II & III
  • * Graeca Majora continued
  • * Cicero begun
  • * Day’s Mathematics Part IV
  • Conic Sections and Spheric Geometry (*)
  • * Jamieson’s Rhetoric
  • * Cicero finished

Junior Class:

  • Spheric Trigonometry (*)
  • * Graeca Majora finished
  • * Enfield’s Philosophy begun
  • * Cicero’s de Oratore begun
  • * Homer’s Iliad
  • * Enfield’s Philosophy continued
  • * Cicero de Oratore continued.
  • * Tacitus omitting the Annals
  • * Enfield’s Astronomy
  • * Tytler’s History
  • Greek or Hebrew (student option) (*)

Senior Class:

  • * Blair’s Rhetoric
  • * Hedge’s Logic
  • * Locke’s Essays
  • * Paley’s Natural Theology
  • * Stewart’s Philosophy of the Mind
  • * Paley’s Moral Philosophy
  • * Paley’s Evidences of Christianity

As you can see by modern standards, this curricula was no walk in the park, and encompasses heavy studies on both sides (Trivium & Quadrivium) of the academic scales.  Advanced mathematics, philosophy, political sciences, theology, foreign language, grammatical (including Rhetoric) foundations, and the rest, comprised a truly “liberal” (broad) program of study.  No where in it do we see electives on “Beyonce” or other such courses of studies that are now offered in modern politically-corrected (and seriously dumbed-down) campuses.

For more insight on the Sherman Institute Classic Bachelor’s Degree, see THIS OVERVIEW.  When you are ready to attempt any part of it, contact our program Dean, Dr. Karen Ruff.

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