Students in the classroom at San Quentin


Mount Tamalpais College offers college preparatory and credit courses at San Quentin State Prison, leading to an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. Credit courses are eligible for transfer to any California State University or University of California campus. The sole requirement for participation is a high school diploma or GED. No student is excluded from the program based on age, length of sentence, commitment offense, or time left to serve. Students pay no fees or tuition. All textbooks and school supplies are provided by Mount Tamalpais College and through donations from publishers.

Our College Prep Program

Mount Tamalpais College’s College Prep Program offers five non-credit courses in writing and math, and aims to prepare students for college-level coursework.

Earning an AA degree

Mount Tamalpais College’s Associate of Arts degree in General Studies at San Quentin State Prison is a rigorous multi-disciplinary education that offers introductory courses in the humanities, social sciences, math, and science.

Our commitment to providing high-quality liberal arts education at San Quentin began in 1996.
Since 1996, nearly four thousand students have taken at least one course with us at San Quentin.
We provide 60 intellectually rigorous, liberal arts courses each year to students pursuing their AA degree.

The First Independent Liberal Arts Institution Dedicated Exclusively to Serving Incarcerated Students

A liberal arts education helps students develop skills and knowledge that afford them access to a wide variety of academic and career paths, as well as to broad intellectual and social communities. Our instruction is student-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive.