The Institute Scholarship Program

The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Cupertino CA is a non-profit organization for higher education founded in 2002. Our courses and lectures seek to improve our collective understanding of how we in the twenty-first century came to be who we are, why we think the way we do, and what assumptions about the world and human nature are traceable back to earlier periods in the five-thousand-year story of Western civilization. William H. Fredlund, Ph.D., the Institute’s founder and director, leads our distinguished faculty.

An important part of the Institute’s mission is the extension of full tuition scholarships and cash grants to secondary and college instructors who are currently teaching social sciences or humanities (history, literature, philosophy, art, and related courses) in Bay Area schools.

The Institute scholarship award for the 2022-2023 academic year (October 3, 2022 to June 8, 2023) covers:

  • One academic year (30 weeks) of full tuition for the Institute core course, The History of Rome*
  • A packet of required books for the class
  • A $1,000 cash grant for the teacher’s own classroom or other educational expenses
  • Eight (8) semester units of Continuing Education (C.E.) units for the year, granted by the University of the Pacific. NOTE: The Institute runs on the quarter system, but the C.E. units are granted on the University of the Pacific semester system—that is, 4 units at the end of the UoP Fall semester (which occurs at the midpoint of the Institute’s Winter quarter), and 4 more units at the end of the UoP Spring semester (and our year-end)—for a total of 8 semester C.E. units for the academic year.

The course is conducted live at the Institute building at 10060 Bubb Road, Cupertino CA, and in-person attendance is subject to COVID safety rules of the time.  The live course is simulcast via high-quality video streaming with interactive Q&A, and recordings of the sessions are available thereafter.

No grades or tests are required, and the scholarship recipient is not required to account for classroom or other expenditures that are defrayed by the cash grant. However, regular attendance and participation in the class are required.

Part of the strength of the scholarship program comes from the collegiality and contacts afforded to new program entrants by virtue of sharing the same course experience. However, if more appropriate to an applicant’s area of professional focus, the applicant may choose a different Institute 30-week course: History of Russia (Tuesday evenings), History of Art (Wednesday evenings), or History of France (Thursday evenings)—see classes.

The History of Rome

Monday evenings, 7:00-9:30pm

The History of Rome course surveys the great heritage our civilization received from the “Pax Romana”—the concepts of law and citizenship, the principles that guide a republic, the power of theater, essays, poetry, and rhetoric, and the Roman advances in science and engineering.

Our Fall Quarter covers the rise of Rome to a world power from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill and surrounding hills of Rome. In the Winter Quarter, we study the growth of Rome into the greatest empire the world has ever seen. In the Spring Quarter, we study Christianity and the Roman Empire: how a small inconsequential Middle eastern cult rose to prominence and spread throughout the empire. And in our last weeks we study the decline and fall of Rome. (For more details, see course syllabus.)

  • Fall Quarter, 10 weeks: October 3 – December 12, 2022 (no class November 21)
  • Winter Quarter, 10 weeks: January 9 – March 13, 2023
  • Spring Quarter, 10 weeks: April 3 – June 5, 2023

The instructor is William H. Fredlund, Ph.D., the Director of the Institute, who obtained his B.A. and M.A. from UCLA, where he specialized in European history and art history. He then studied in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship and completed a double Ph.D. in history and humanities at Stanford, specializing in Renaissance Italy. Dr. Fredlund, who is one of Silicon Valley’s most popular lecturers, has taught for UCLA, the University of Florence, Stanford, and UCSC Extension.


Please download, fill out, scan, and send the application to:

  • office(at)westernciv(dot)com

Or mail to:

  • Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
  • 10060 Bubb Road, Cupertino CA 95014

Deadline for submission:October 1, 2022 (space permitting ~ scholarships to qualified candidates will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full).

The Institute Scholarship Program is made possible by a generous grant from The Valley Foundation.