About Johnston


If you have a unique vision for your education and believe in collaborative learning, Johnston might be the place for you.

The Johnston educational experiment started in 1969 and is based in the notion that students should have ownership of their education. At Johnston, we honor the individual path and the collective process.  That means that students, faculty, and staff learn from each other, and we learn best when we learn together.

Two Johnston students talk about their experiences in the program: click here to watch.

In the sophomore year, each Johnston student maps out a plan that brings together classes from multiple departments, experiential learning, and cross cultural experiences to fulfill an educational vision.  

This Graduation Contract includes:

  • A vision for your education in the context of an intentional living-learning community.
  • An Emphasis that integrates your most pressing academic questions with existing classes from multiple departments and multiple modes of learning.
  • Liberal Arts Breadth to ensure your ability to see problems and questions from a variety of viewpoints.
  • A Cross Cultural Component that helps you to extend your cultural perspective and integrate multiple aspects of your education.


In your senior year, you revise your sophomore contract into your Graduation Narrative that describes what you studied, what you learned, your plans for the future, and how your time in the Johnston community and the wider university impacted your education.

What would you title your degree?

Here's what a few recent Johnston alums have done...

Cultural Studies: Gender, History, and Media (Maggie Ruopp)

How to Treat People: Diverse Perspectives of Health & Medicine (Gilbert Chavez)

Cross-Cultural Ethics & Social Justice (Samantha Armacost)

Food in Society (Sarah Bass)

Integrated Marketing and Sustainability (Malik Coburn-- Sophomore Contract)

Integrated Marketing and Sustainability (Malik Coburn)

Performing Arts and Expressive Therapies (Sam Corso)

Political Thought and Practice (Adam Gottlieb)

The Neuroscience of Oneirology (Simon Titone)

The Art of Storytelling (Christine Munroe)

Fashion in Business, Media, and Culture (Keyona Richey)

Helping Change the Way We Think, through Therapy and Writing (Zac Zilz--Sophomore Contract)

Creative Expression through Psychology and Humanities (Zac Zilz)

Applied Humanities: Living a Meaningful Life (Keziah Baltz-- Sophomore Contract)