Thoreau College 2023 Spring Semester Program  - Phase 1
Thank you for your interest in the Thoreau College 2023 Spring Semester Program. This is a full time, in-person program incorporating intellectual work, fine arts and folk skills, manual labor, self-governance, wilderness expeditions and, and engaged community life.  A major focus of this Thoreau College program will be work in the Thoreau's Garden greenhouse and on campus farm and garden projects, along with skills and knowledge related to plants, soils, land stewardship, and the cultural and cosmic cycles of the year.  The semester will include courses in ecological literature and philosophy, cooking and kitchen skills, training in permaculture and biodynamic agriculture, greenhouse management and more.  Finally, it will culminate with participants helping to design and lead a month long May Term course for students from another university. 

We are seeking participants who are mature, tenacious, curious, collaborative, open, idealistic, and ready to get their hands dirty literally and figuratively. The program will take place in and around Viroqua, Wisconsin, USA and will run from January 30 until June 9, 2023. We are seeking up to 6 participants who are excited to embark on this adventure of discovery and creation during this coming spring!

The application process has three steps.

Phase 1: Preliminary Application - Deadline: November 15, 2022

Completing this short form is the first step in the application process. Please tell us about your background and interest in our program. If you have any questions or would like a Word/PDF version of this application, contact us at

Phase 2: Full Written Application - Deadline: within 2 weeks of being invited to complete the Phase 2 application

After reviewing your Phase 1 application, we will invite you to complete Phase 2 if it seems that you would be a good fit for the program. The Phase 2 application is more extensive than Phase 1 and will include longer essay questions. Your Phase 2 application will be due within 2 weeks of your invitation to complete it.

Phase 3: Interview & References

Once you have submitted Phase 2 of the application, you will be invited to participate in an interview with members of our Admissions Circle, which includes faculty and alumni of earlier programs. Interviews typically last about 45 minutes and can take place in person or via Zoom as circumstances allow. Applicants who are able to visit us in Viroqua are encouraged to do so! During this phase we will also contact personal references submitted as part of Phase 2.

Note: At this time, Thoreau College has not received formal academic accreditation and does not confer any formal qualification, certification, or transferable credits, although we are currently exploring the possibility of doing this. If this is a concern for you, please contact us to discuss this further.

Thoreau College is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination. Thoreau College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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Personal and Contact Information
First Name *
Last Name *
Preferred Name (if different from first name)
Birthdate *
Email *
Street Address *
Street Address, Line 2
City *
State *
Zip/Postal Code *
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Phone number *
Will you need a visa to be in the United States from January - June of 2023? At this time, Thoreau College is not able support applications for student visas for international students, but all students who are legally able to be in the United States during this period are encouraged to apply. *
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Essay Questions
Please describe your past educational experience. (250-500 words) *
What makes you excited about participating in the Thoreau College Semester Program? (250-500 words) *
How did you find out about Thoreau College?
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