GCAS College

BA Overview &

Teaching Philosophy

Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes  ‘the practice of freedom,’ the means by which men and women critically and creatively engage with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

-Paulo Freire

GCAS believes that education changes the world. Our pedagogy and our practice are imbued with the commitment and the resources to create a world in which freedom and democratic, transformative thinking and action will  flourish. Our program is designed to respond to the needs of our planet and our students, whether that’s philosophically, politically, ecologically, economically, institutionally or otherwise. We strive to teach the whole student.

With this model of cooperative education, we believe that both students and faculty can engage in thinking and skills that benefit, rather than harm, our physical and social world. We respect and amplify this inherent social dimension of thinking and learning in order to help discover the full capacity of such edifying relationships. This socially-centered praxis includes supporting the student economically with our offer of a low-cost education which may lead to co-ownership upon graduation.     

Becoming a teacher at GCAS College Dublin means promoting and guiding this cooperative partnership between the faculty, the student and the world. It means bringing not only your skills as a theorist and practitioner, but also your history as a person and a conscientious global citizen. GCAS College maintains the conviction that academic freedom for teachers is one of the pillars of a free society.  

Coursing through all these endeavors is the principle that education changes the world,--not as an after-effect-- but because education itself is already in the world, shaping and re-shaping it. We openly invite others who recognize this critical and creative principle and wish to act on it.

BA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies

The program is three years in length and is designed to follow three interdependent stages:

  1. Acquire Knowledge (Year 1)

  2. Apply Knowledge (Year 2)

  3. Create Knowledge (Year 3)

The first year engages with acquiring knowledge through the interdisciplinary study of history, ideas, inventions, discoveries from fields, technological, social, religious, philosophical and scientific. The second year applies this knowledge to our present time with the aim of addressing and providing solutions to the most vexing challenges confronting our common existence today such as: clear air and water, clean energies and environmental healing, shelter and peacemaking. The third and final year engages the creative powers of the student by drawing on acquired and applied knowledge to offer the world their research findings.

Courses are designed to maximize learning resources to accomplish the principle aim of the program, namely, to provide the student with the confidence and skill sets necessary to flourish in life while simultaneously improving our environment and promoting democratic ideals and actions.

Each year has four terms, or “Quarters”: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Each term is 12 weeks in length.

Each Quarter Term is composed of one Major Seminar and one Minor Seminar. In addition to the two seminars (Major and Minor), the student can choose either: (a) an elective course from the general course offerings or; (b) decide to follow a Specialized focus on one specific subject (i.e., Philosophy, Psychology, Business Start-Up etc). Should the student decide to focus their studies by declaring a Specialization course of study they will graduate with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAis) with a Specialization in the student’s declared subject or focus. Should a student decide not to focus their studies on one Specialization (i.e, by taking electives) they will graduate with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAis).

Each quarter term is worth 15 credit hours (with one exception Spring Term Year 3). Four terms are  equal to 60 credit hours or one (1) academic year. Three years equate to 180 credit hours. The student will need to complete at least 180 credit hours within the set parameters of the program in order to qualify for graduating.

The student selects eight (8) electives/Specialization courses, each worth five (5) credits for a total of 40 credits or about 22% of the overall program.

GCAS College currently offers five major foci of study:

Department of Latin American Studies

English & Literature Department

Philosophy Department

Psychology Department

Start-Up Studies Department

To declare a Specialization in one of the foci above the student must contact the Department Chair or representative. A student is encouraged to declare a Specialization, should they choose to do so, after the second term of the first academic year.  

Much of the BA program design is partly inspired by the Oxford style program. The Oxford style pedagogically places much of the responsibility of learning on the student’s initiative to explore ideas, practices and solutions as individuals and yet carefully guided via a “mentored” manner. To that end, although there are required examinations within each course, the composition of these exams are largely based on essays and projects for which the student can be rewarded by our crypto-token, GCA$Y. To learn more about our crypto-education-economy or “eco-system” we encourage you to familiarize yourself with this page.

The GCAS College student is required to meet with their mentor (academic supervisor) once per month as well as meet with their assigned Peer Group once a month. Each BA Peer Group will be composed of about five fellow students and colleagues who are also enrolled the BA program.

The GCAS College student should expect to spend six hours per week in the live online or in-person seminars (at the GCAS Dublin campus). We expect the student to be fully committed to the program.

At the end of each academic year, the student is required to take yearly comprehensive examinations. These exams must be proctored either in person or by an authorized proctor arranged by GCAS College in consultation with the student. This is to ensure quality and that our standards of academic rigor are met or exceeded, which is modeled off of the Oxford tutorial paradigm.

At the conclusion of three years of course and seminar work, the student must successfully complete the Bachelor Comprehensive Examinations. The student must successfully pass the Bachelor Comprehensive Examinations in order to graduate from GCAS College Dublin. These examinations must be taken in person or by an authorized proctor arranged by GCAS College in consultation with the student.

In addition to completing the Bachelor Comprehensive Examinations (BCE) the student must successfully defend their Bachelor thesis in the Bachelor thesis defense examination. This defense is designed to demonstrate the student’s unique academic contribution. For more information please see the  Handbook under Bachelor Comprehensive Examinations [LINK FORTHCOMING].

As you can see from our emphases on each student and their potential to improve both themselves and the larger human community, GCAS College takes seriously our belief that rigorous education can change the world. We take seriously our responsibility to recruit and support students to maximize their individual and collective gifts to make the world a better place.

To that end, the GCAS College Dublin Education Commission is pleased to offer the world our Bachelor Program in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAis). Finally, it is important to inform the public that GCAS College Dublin is authorized to grant our own BA degree, however, we are not, at this time, accredited by any external agency. Having said this, as we process our application for accreditation, we believe our program to be the highest quality and is to maintain that quality our program is annually and rigorously assessed by experts: by the BAPC commission, faculty, and student evaluations as well as an external review by any necessary experts.

Apply LINK (Accepting Application Starting in December, 2018)

The GCAS College Dublin Bachelors Program Commission (BAPC)

Susannah Livingston

Ekaterina Filippova

Mark Stimson

Creston Davis

Stephen Bujno

Anna White