Degree Programs

Our Degree Programs

Harrison Middleton University believes that students should be able to study the subjects that interest them. In applying this philosophy to all degree programs, the university has found that students tend to stay interested and become more successful in their studies because they are invested in the outcome of their personally designed program of study.

Students are encouraged to be creative in the design of the program of study for their chosen degree program. By carefully reviewing the 102 Great Ideas listed in the Syntopicon of the Great Books of the Western World, perusing the Great Ideas, and skimming the Great Idea(s) introductory essay(s), students can begin to explore those topics that interest them. In the two volumes of the Syntopicon, there are nearly 3,000 topics parceled out among 102 Great Ideas. In addition, the Inventory of Terms contains about 2,000 topic suggestions and concepts.

A core student-designed program consists of twenty-four (24) to thirty (30) credit hours in the concentrations of imaginative literature, natural science, philosophy and religion, or social science.

Students design their program of study as the culminating assignment in their first course, The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course, with the guidance of their Mentor and Instructional Team. Students at Harrison Middleton University are enrolled in and complete one course at a time. Each course needs to be completed within sixteen weeks. Courses will each consist of a series of telephone or Skype discussions and an end-of-course essay.

The university understands that learning comes from life experiences as well as academic studies, and students are encouraged to be creative in the design of their Capstone Course, which is the culminating experience at the university. The Capstone Course allows a student to demonstrate her or his knowledge of the authors, ideas, topics, and subtopics studied in the degree program. A student is encouraged to design a unique project which might include writing a novel or series of short stories, creating a form of artwork, pedagogical training, or writing a substantial essay based on fieldwork.

Educational Objectives 

Upon completion of a degree program at Harrison Middleton University, graduates will have designed, implemented, and completed a self-directed liberal arts program of study through distance education. They will have achieved the ability to think critically about major ideas in western thought and to engage in discussion about fundamental questions of human existence. All degree programs at the university are designed to help the student develop lifelong critical, analytical, synthetic, and problem solving skills through discussion and essay writing. Specifically, university graduates will be able to construct logical, coherent, and well supported verbal and written arguments; to engage analytically and critically with issues and ideas; and to recognize textual ambiguity and theoretical complexity.

"The goods of the mind are information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. We seek these goods not just in
order to live, but in order to live well."
~ Mortimer J. Adler