THE THOREAU SEMESTER PROGRAM
is an opportunity for young people ages 18-25 to discover their own essential facts of life, engaging with the existential questions of our time through thoughtful study of great books and natural phenomena, practical labor, immersive wilderness expeditions, community self-governance, inner development, and artistic practice.
Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s insights into the spiritual dimensions of the natural world and Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond, the semester program integrates this wide variety of experiences into an expanded liberal arts curriculum designed to create a space for students to become deeply grounded in themselves, the world, and the work they are called to do.
In the context of a supportive community of fellow seekers, students will have a chance to enter deeply — head, heart, and hands — into what it means to be a human being today. From these profound encounters with themselves, with nature, and with one another, they may embark on the great human project of constructing lives of integrity, purpose, and wholeness.
Thoreau College is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination. Thoreau College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.
“What I value most about this program is the attention to growth of the whole human spirit: head, heart, and hands. This program is intensive but incorporates lots of time for reflection on what we’re learning, about the natural world and ourselves.”
— SARAH, 2019 STUDENT
Established in 2020, Thoreau's Garden is a greenhouse in Viroqua, Wisconsin run by students and faculty of Thoreau College. During the fall, students spent labor time repairing and re-roofing the greenhouses so they could be properly used again. We have three greenhouses offering a variety of plants such as flowers, winter greens, house plants, microgreens, and more. Thoreau fellows Sarah, Corinne, and Kaity currently run the greenhouse with faculty member Arwyn Wildingway. To learn more and see what's available from Thoreau's Garden today, visit the Thoreau's Garden website.