Studium Generale (SG)

Program Description

When students begin their university studies, the question of formation of one’s life is a crucial one. Important questions need to be answered, like:

  • Who am I as a human person and as a unique personality? 
  • What is the goal of my life? What is my life’s vocation?
  • How can I live out my vocation—which characteristics and virtues do I possess?  Which ones do I need to develop to be a fulfilled human person?
  • How do I master the art of learning for the sake of fostering the formation of my life as a well-educated and informed person?
  • Whom should I serve in my life and how? 
  • Where is my place in society and in the Church?

What does it mean to be human?

Our Studium Generale program offers a broad, integrated liberal arts formation in the classical, Judeo-Christian, and especially Catholic traditions. In one year, the program equips students to answer life’s vital questions which “have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives.” (Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, §1) Such a formation is an excellent foundation for further, more specialized studies.

The Studium Generale is geared toward helping young men and women in their pursuit for truth by fostering effective academic skills and habits through our unique seminar pedagogy. By raising questions, discussing them, and pursuing them to the end, students develop their capacity for active thought and critical reflection. As they grapple with the most important questions of life, our students receive an education they will carry with them for the rest of their life.

Furthermore, our Studium Generale assists students to discern their life’s vocation. Whether students go on to pursue further studies or not, the formation they receive during their Studium Generale year helps them to develop their potential to thrive in whatever walk of life God calls them. Our unique community lets students live and study side-by-side with Catholic married families, priests and religious, as well as young, single students like themselves. With living examples of both marriage and religious life in their midst, vocational discernment is taken to a level beyond that of a typical college campus experience. This discernment process is supplemented by the offering of specialized courses in the area of Catholic Marriage and Family studies.

In a word: the Studium Generale program is a one year formation of the whole person through academic study and participation in our rich Catholic community that helps discover what it means to be human.

Courses and Credit

The ITI offers two Studium Generale programs: the English-only program with all courses being held at the ITI, and the joint Studium Generale with Heiligenkreuz with some (additional) courses held at the Hochschule Benedikt XVI in the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz. Fluency in German is required for the latter program.

Students receive standardized university credit (ECTS) for each completed course which can be transferred to other universities and colleges.

Students who wish to continue their studies at the ITI after completing the Studium Generale program may do so by applying to the BA in Liberal Arts/STM program. If accepted, he or she may enter directly into the second year of the program.

Tuition, Cost Information and Curriculum

  • Tuition: € 9500 per year
  • Room: € 3000 per academic year (September to June)
  • No special tuition scholarships available for Studium Generale students
  • Small classes (max. 15 students) with reading of great texts
  • Live on an international campus and close to a great abbey

Apply Now (please clearly indicate which Studium Generale program you are applying for). Application deadline is July 31st for the upcoming academic year.

Studium Generale Overview and Course Catalog

The Studium Generale curriculum is a core-curriculum, which means that all the courses listed in the above overviews are mandatory for those registered in the program.