The Integral Program - A Different Way to Learn

The Integral Program — part of the Saint Mary's College experience for over 50 years — uses questioning, conversation, and a classic liberal arts approach to engage students in a unique and profound educational experience. Our students discover the interconnected nature of a broad spectrum of fields, learning to think mathematically, scientifically, poetically and philosophically. You'll not only study ways of thinking, you'll explore the nature of thought itself. Each Integral class learns to converse on multiple levels, ask precise and incisive questions, and give intuitive, informed responses.

A College-within-the-College

The Integral Program is a special community with its own curriculum, requirements, faculty and degree. The demands of the Program differ significantly from those of more conventional departments and majors. Transfer into the Integral Program after the first semester is nearly impossible due to the unique nature of its curriculum, which proceeds in a purposeful, chronological manner through all 4 undergraduate years. Integral students do have the option of taking at least 6 elective courses in other fields of interest. The Program attracts talented and committed students from any and all backgrounds, but is not and has never been an honors program.


Listen to a podcast or view videos on the Program

Tutors and students talk about what they think is unique and valuable about the Program

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Tutor Theo Carlile Tutor Ted Tsukahara Senior Alex Branch Senior Joelle Maude Playlist on different aspects of the Program


As an Integral student you'll engage in small group discussions that explore the works of Western history's greatest thinkers, challenge your assumptions, and hone your intellect to a razor-sharp edge. Integral classes do not include the voices of critics and authorities — discussions are guided only by you, your fellow students and an Integral tutor. You'll encounter the insights and discoveries of Euclid, Sappho, Einstein, Freud and more, sometimes in translation, sometimes in the original tongue.The curriculum is divided into seminars, tutorials, and laboratories. The Seminar, the heart of the curriculum, will engage you in careful reading and probing discussion of seminal works of literature, history, economics, politics, philosophy and theology. The Tutorials are in 3 sequences (Mathematic, Language and Music) and require active participation in translating and analyzing texts, demonstrating mathematical proficiency and explaining natural phenomena.Laboratories offer hands-on experience in the physical sciences. Seniors use their accumulated learning to write a major essay and defend it before their fellow students and the Integral tutors.