The Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy seeks to encourage critical reflection on the distinctive traditions, languages and issues that characterize the cultures of Western civilization, in order to help the citizens of Colorado and the United States understand and appreciate their past in itself and as the basis of a free and creative future. 

The study of Western Civilization covers many subjects and many ages, including all the fields that study or are influenced by the history, culture and languages of most of the traditional areas of the Humane, Physical and Social Sciences. These include, but are not limited to, Greek and Latin languages and cultures, science, history, literature, the arts, law and government in their ancient, medieval and modern forms. American civilization is part of a continuum of past, present and future and can be best appreciated by those who seek to understand the lively interactions of past, present and future. 

American civilization is part of a continuum of past, present and future and can be best appreciated by those who seek to understand the lively interactions of past, present and future. 

The Center sponsors faculty and student research on topics related to the history of Western civilization. It aims to promote the university's already strong contributions in these areas, and to provide the resources for the university to become even more active in pursuing such research. Calls for proposals will be made annually. 

The Certificate in Western Civilization is offered for undergraduates interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary track on the foundations of Western thought and society. Its emphasis is coursework focusing on languages and cultures, science, the arts, philosophy, law and government in their ancient, medieval, and modern forms. 

For more information about our activities, please visit our website: www.colorado.edu/cwctp. You can also contact the Director, Professor Robert Pasnau, for further information: (303) 492-4837, pasnau@colorado.edu

The Certificate in Western Civilization is intended for students who focus a portion of their university studies on the foundations of western thought and society. Its emphasis is coursework focusing on languages and cultures, science, the arts, philosophy, law and government in their ancient, medieval, and modern forms. The certificate requires the completion with a grade of C- or better of 24 credit hours, at least nine hours of which must be taken from a menu of required courses, and at least twelve hours of which must be taken at the upper-division level (3000 or higher). No more than two courses (or six credit hours) may be taken from within the student's major. Students interested in pursuing the certificate should inform the Center (pasnau@colorado.edu) of their intentions.

The CWC funds research and educational initiatives that contribute to critical reflection on the development of Western civilization. All CU/Boulder faculty and students are eligible to apply. We are particularly interested in funding initiatives of the following kinds:

Research -

  • Visiting Lecturers
  • Conferences
  • Educational Initiatives

Education -

  • Summer Research Grants (Undergraduate Only)
  • Summer Language-Study Grants (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Summer Travel Grants (Undergraduate Only)

Outreach -

  • Public Lectures
  • Outreach Visits to Local Schools, Retirement Communities, etc.