Stoic Essential Studies (SES)

Theory & Practice

Stoic Essential Studies (SES) is a 4-month mentored theory and practice course. It is designed both for working adults who have come to Stoicism for the first time and who wish to deepen their knowledge of stoic philosophy. Applicants from all philosophical and religious traditions are welcome. Stoic Essential Studies (SES) is a pre-requisite for the Marcus Aurelius Program.

The Moodle learning management system is our virtual campus. Once you have been admitted to the SES course, you will be sent login credentials. When you login to Moodle, you will find everything you need related to your program and mentor. You will also find other resources which are available to all students.

Your Mentor

Your mentor will help you achieve the goal of becoming a knowledgeable Stoic, both in theory and practice. He or she will do this by guiding, correcting, encouraging, and confirming your progress. Specific goals that you may have will also be carefully considered. You will have Zoom meetings with your mentor at the beginning, midpoint, and end of your studies, and have opportunities to communicate through Moodle or email at any time.


Asssignments include self-paced quizzes, short reflective writings, and similar activities, which are generally due within two weeks per unit. Thought and contemplation are part of the learning process. Your mentor can work with you if deadlines are difficult to meet.

Preparing for the Course

You should have some very basic preparation before starting the SES program. A good starting point for a comprehensive overview is the Wikipedia entry for Stoicism, which we recommend you read closely.

During the SES course, you will be required to read the works of Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Seneca at your own pace.

Required Textbook

The SES course utilizes one textbook which you will need to borrow or purchase in advance of this course: 

Sellars, John. Stoicism.  Routledge, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1844650538.

How to Apply

Complete the application form below and pay US$100. The application also requires a “Know Thyself” essay.

“KNOW THYSELF”, the inscription at the Delphic Oracle, was a guiding principle of life in ancient Greece. In that spirit, then, to become a student at the College of Stoic Philosophers, you will be required to complete an autobiographical “Know Thyself” essay of at least 1,000 words as part of the application process.

In addition to the usual information about significant life events, please address the following in your essay:

  • How long you have been interested in Stoicism?
  • Books you have already read on Stoic philosophy, if any.
  • Would you call yourself an atheist, agnostic, skeptic, deist, theist, pantheist, or something else?
  • Have you studied philosophies other than Stoicism? If so, which?
  • Do you consider yourself to be a Stoic?
  • What specifically do you want to get from this course?

Your essay will become a part of your College record and will assist your Mentor in getting to know you better. For these, and all other reasons, you are encouraged to do your best, edit, proof read and spell check. We suggest that you write your essay first using your own word processing program. When the essay is ready, complete the form below and copy-and-paste your essay into the appropriate space on the form.

The College accepts students without regard to gender, race, religion, or nationality, provided the student is at least 18 years of age, and has met our other admission criteria.

Application for SES:


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