About the Institute

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization was founded in 2002 for the purpose of encouraging the teaching of the Western Tradition. Our courses are taught at the Institute building at 10060 Bubb Road in Cupertino.

All of the courses presented by the Institute stress four principles:

  1. the chronological
  2. the biographical
  3. the interdisciplinary
  4. the aesthetic

We believe that:

  • Any student needs a solid chronological structure of knowledge in order to understand any period of history;
  • The activities of great men and women often drive history and that the knowledge of their lives helps us to understand any period of history;
  • Various fields of study such as economics, sociology, anthropology must augment a historical core of study in order to understand any period of history;
  • And finally, that the artistic achievements of the human community provide important insights into the past and that the aesthetic experience should be part of any study of history.

These principles animate both the teaching of Institute courses and activities with local educators. Beyond the central teaching activity of the Institute, there is also a program of outreach to the Bay Area educational community with special emphasis on the teaching of history in secondary education. We are able to offer a limited number of partial scholarships for teachers currently teaching in local high schools.

In addition to our classes, we also offer regular public lectures on Friday and Saturday evening at the Institute on various subjects with a special emphasis on art.

Joining and Supporting the Institute

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization is a non-profit corporation registered with the Secretary of State of California and with the United States Internal Revenue Service as an approved 501(3)(c) non-profit charitable foundation. All donations are tax-deductible.

Our classes are financed by course enrollment fees. Other institute activities such as our libraries are financed by donations and therefore we will gratefully accept donations in the form of books or other support.


The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to its students and does not discriminate on the basis of race in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and other institute-administered programs.