A great book invites the reader in as an equal.

That is the spirit in which the Catherine Project’s education is offered.

We invite people from all walks of life to join our community of learning. We charge no tuition or fees.


Summer 2024 registration
Registration is closed. To learn more about our courses, visit our Offerings page. To learn more about studying with us, visit our Study with Us page. For more information about Fall registration, see below.

Spring 2024 Community Seminar on Plato’s Symposium, April 26th
Seminars will be held from 11am-1pm, 3pm-5pm and 7:30pm-9:30pm (ET). Registration closed on Friday, April 12th, but if you email us, we might be able to fit you in!

NYC Catherine Project Symposium, May 4th
We will have a seminar on Plato’s Symposium from 2-4pm followed by a party—all in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of NYC. Follow this link to register!

Deadline for Commonplace submissions, May 15th
Submit to commonplace@catherineproject.org. Take a look at Issue 1. To learn more about Commonplace, see this page.

Fall 2024 registration
Registration will open on or around Friday, July 26th and close on or around Monday, August 5th. The first course will begin no earlier than Monday, September 9th.

*While we do our best to provide accurate estimates, all dates are subject to change. To receive the most up-to-date news of our events and offerings, please sign up for our mailing list.

To learn more about what we do, take a look at our 
2023 Annual Report


Unless otherwise noted, courses take place online via Zoom.

Our courses are open to adults 16 years or older from all educational backgrounds and walks of life.

We organize three kinds of courses:


Our tutorials are capped at 4-6 readers each and are led by a tutor.

They typically meet for 12 weeks, and are organized around the careful reading and discussion of one or more great books.

Readers write short reflection papers on the weekly readings and share them with the group before each meeting.

Reading Groups

Reading groups are typically peer-led and more flexible in nature.

Like a tutorial, the group reads one or more great books and meets regularly to discuss it. The duration of reading groups varies, so please note the advertised start and end dates.

Unlike a tutorial, we aim for a core of 8-10 readers and there is no required writing. 

Subject Tutorials

When possible, we organize small group meetings with a tutor competent in subjects such as: the art of writing, ancient languages, and mathematics.

The mode of instruction varies according to the subject being taught.

As with our reading groups, the length of subject tutorials is variable.

Our offerings are available to adults 16 years or older from all educational backgrounds and walks of life.

We seek to cultivate free and independent learners who study on their own initiative, driven by their own fundamental questions. To do so, we follow the tried-and-true practice of liberation through person-to-person conversation about great books. Such reading and conversation has long been a refuge for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized, and it enriches people from all walks of life.

We offer no credits or degrees. We do not grade the efforts of our participants. We charge no tuition. We encourage donations from our readers in accordance with their ability to pay, as well as from benefactors interested in our mission. We believe that no one’s inability to pay should be an obstacle to their opportunities to learn.

In reviewing applications to study with us, we look for enthusiasm and fit for an independent and collaborative style of learning.

Bear in mind that we have many more readers who are interested in studying with us than we have the capacity to serve. Please consider studying with us only if you are confident that you can commit to the regular readings and meetings.

If you’d like to request that a specific text/subject be studied at the Project, follow this link to do so!

Anyone may study with us who wishes to learn and who has the basic skills necessary for serious reading and conversation. Our conversations are open-ended and not guided toward particular conclusions. Our students, or readers, are understood to be motivated by their own questions. No one’s inability to pay or inability to travel ought to be an obstacle to their opportunities to learn.
Great books

We read books of richness, depth, and lasting value that bear repeated re-readings. Such books teach readers at all levels of preparation, and they level the distance between the teacher and the learner so as to encourage collaboration. With a book as a teacher, each reader develops the ability to inquire in depth and to evaluate evidence by his or her own lights.

The desire to learn for its own sake is the primary engine of our work. Accordingly, we prize amateurism. Tutors learn along with our readers and therefore often teach outside of their fields of specialty.

We find that conversation is the best way to cultivate free and independent learners. Conversation and reading are the primary vehicles of the learning we offer: writing assignments are subsidiary. Essays help the reader to think and help to focus the conversations that result from it. 

Our courses help readers to develop as free inquirers. We seek to support independent learners, but we also seek to nurture autodidacts: self-directed, courageous, and honest pursuers of learning in all walks of life.
In light of our commitment to simplicity, egalitarianism, and intellectual focus, readers do not choose tutors, tutors do not choose readers, and members of reading groups do not choose one another. Readers choose a book to read or a course of study.
We go after the deepest and most difficult questions and ask the same of our readers. We do not “dumb down” material.

We seek to meet the human need for serious inquiry with as few arbitrary constraints as possible.