Philosophy Program Guide

Coursework in philosophy is designed to introduce students to a range of profound and stimulating philosophical questions, and to develop the skills necessary for independent thinking. It also provides a broadening perspective for the various areas of specialization in the natural and social sciences, in literature and the arts, and in the various professional programs. A major in philosophy thus provides excellent preparation for a professional career in law, government, business, teaching, the media, higher education, and related areas.

Major Field of Concentration:

Basic track:

The basic track in the major requires a minimum of three lower-division hours and 18 upper-division hours in philosophy, for a total of 21 philosophy hours. The lower-division philosophy prerequisite is PL 1100. A course in logic (PL 2500 or PL 2600) is strongly recommended, especially for pre-law students.  Required upper-division courses are PL 3200 or PL 3770, or approved equivalent; PL 3100; and one course in the history of philosophy (from PL 3400, 3410, 3420, 3430, 3440, or 3450).  Three additional upper-division philosophy courses will be selected by the student and major advisor. The required 12 hours of related upper-division coursework normally can be fulfilled by a second major or possibly a minor. A foreign language is strongly recommended. Students following the basic track who intend to pursue graduate study in philosophy will be advised to take additional philosophy courses.

(See the Rockhurst Bulletin for full details.)

Degree Requirement Worksheet Major Basic Track (PDF) *

Professional Track :

The Philosophy Department also offers a professional track in the major which provides more rigorous preparation for graduate school or for a professional career. This track requires a minimum of 27 upper-division hours in philosophy, for a total of 33 philosophy hours. The lower-division philosophy prerequisite is PL 1100. Required courses include PL 2500 or PL 2600; PL 3200 or approved equivalent; PL 3100; at least two courses in the history of philosophy (from PL 3400, 3410, 3420, 3430, 3440, or 3450); one course on a major philosopher; and one additional course on a philosophical topic. The three remaining philosophy courses will be selected by the student and major advisor, to concentrate on a particular area. In addition, the student must complete the required 12 semester hours of related upper-division courses, or fulfill the requirements for a minor field. Two courses each in history and a foreign language are required.

(See the Rockhurst Bulletin for full details.)

Degree Requirement Worksheet Professional Track (PDF) *

  • Both tracks in the major require a senior oral examination (0 credits).
  •  A grade of C or better is required in each upper-division course of the major. (A grade of C- will not satisfy the requirement.)
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Minor Field of Concentration:

The minor in philosophy consists of a minimum of 15 hours of coursework in philosophy, including PL 1100, PL 3100, and three additional upper-division philosophy courses. (See the Rockhurst Bulletin for full details.)

Degree Requirement Worksheet Philosophy Minor (PDF) *

Degree Requirement Worksheet Philosophy Minor for Nursing Students (PDF) *

  • A grade of C or better is required in each upper-division course of the minor. (A grade of C- will not satisfy the requirement.)

Faculty:

There are six full-time and four part-time faculty members in the Department, specializing in the history of philosophy, political philosophy, social philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, contemporary European philosophy, medical ethics, moral epistemology, and philosophy of nursing.  Members of the department are devoted to both teaching excellence and scholarly activity.  Departmental members have a high number of scholarly publications in their fields, and are active in professional philosophy organizations. Find out more about the Department Faculty.

Student Opportunities:

The Philosophy Department sponsors the Missouri Beta chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the international philosophy honor society, and has had several students contribute articles to Dialogue, the journal of Phi Sigma Tau.  The Department awards the LaCroix Student Research Scholarships every summer, the Biersmith Scholarships every year, and holds a Philosophy Essay Competition every spring.  (More details about these awards can be found in the "Student Opportunities" section of the Department's website.)  In addition, the Department sponsors the LaCroix Lecture Series, which brings nationally recognized scholars to Rockhurst to speak to our students.  We also host annually the Rossner Visiting Scholar Lecture in Philosophy, as part of the Rockhurst Visiting Scholars Lecture Series.  The Department sponsors, and funds, student participation in undergraduate philosophy conferences. 

Graduate School:

Most of our students "double major" in philosophy, and a very high percentage of these go on to graduate school in their areas of interest.  In recent years, our majors have gone on to do graduate work in philosophy, psychology, computer science, government, law, medicine, business, health care, and related areas. 

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