Liberal Core Curriculum

The core curriculum reflects the Jesuit ideal of a well-rounded education and the development of inquisitive, life-long learners. By introducing students to fundamental intellectual skills and methods, or modes of inquiry, employed in the pursuit of knowledge, the core curriculum cultivates a broad range of student intellectual abilities. It consists of 52 hours organized around the Seven Classic Modes of Inquiry (art, history, literature, behavioral and natural sciences, philosophy, and theology); coursework focused on developing proficiencies in oral communication, written communication, and mathematics; and a global perspectives requirement.

Print and download the proficiency & core requirements worksheet (PDF) which allows you to track progress toward requirement fulfillment.

The Seven Modes of Inquiry

The modes of inquiry - that is, the methods or systems by which the human intellect pursues some essential knowledge, truth, or aspect of truth - give structure to the core curriculum in a way that encourages the full development of students in various aspects of their humanity.

The Artistic Mode of Inquiry
This is the exploration through study and practice of the imaginative expression of the human condition through objects and processes which communicate by non-verbal means. By studying and working in at least one form of the fine or performing arts, students learn to understand and articulate the relationship between artistic form and expression. They come to understand that the formal and expressive language of the arts can transcend cultural barriers, thus enlarging our understanding of our world. Students must successfully complete three hours of level-one approved coursework in art, music, or theatre.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Historic Mode of Inquiry
This is the systematic recollection and analysis of significant past events. Our collective memories, given shape and discipline by methods designed to explore the past, provide the experience from which we define the present and consider the future. The human past and human cultures are understood not in isolation, but in the context of broader trends and developments. When we pursue the historical mode of inquiry we add chronological perspective, persuasive stories, and analytical skills to raw human memory. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour level-one course in the history of civilization. They must also successfully complete at least one approved three-hour level-two course in either the historical or the literary mode of inquiry.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Literary Mode of Inquiry
This mode of inquiry explores the imaginative expression of human experience through the various aspects of language. The process of expressing ourselves through language shapes our knowing and organizes our experience. The employment of language to provide identifiable symbols and images creates an understanding of truths and idea; it also gives structure and meaning which clarify our ideas in our own expression and in the written work of others by comprehending and analyzing the figurative significance found in the literal statement. Familiarity with languages and cultures other than one's own further expands the student's entry into the literary mode and extends the invitation to compare and experience different views of the world. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour level-one course in literature. They must also successfully complete at least one approved three-hour level-two course in either the literary or the historical mode of inquiry.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Scientific-Causal Mode of Inquiry
Scientific modes of inquiry are logical systems of principles and procedures developed to discover the shape, form, properties, and behavior of the constituent parts of nature. This mode requires rigorous tests of hypotheses and confidence statements about causality, and the explanations that result have as their ultimate goal the falsification or confirmation of theories. This mode of inquiry relies on controlled scientific experiments which can reveal causal relationships. Students must successfully complete at least one approved four-hour level-one course in science. This course must have a laboratory component. Students must also successfully complete at least one approved level-two three-hour course in either the scientific-causal or scientific-relational mode of inquiry.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Scientific-Relational Mode of Inquiry
The various forms of the relational mode of inquiry seek to describe the naturally occurring variation of individuals, social groups, species, or objects. This mode of inquiry is grounded in the systematic collection, organization, and classification of observations that are measured either qualitatively or quantitatively. Such inquiry may be either descriptive or relational, and may lead to theories which explain observed relationships and generate testable hypotheses. Students must successfully complete one level-one course and one level-one or level-two course in a social or behavioral science. Two different disciplines must be represented. Students must also successfully complete at least one approved level-two three-hour course in either the scientific-relational or scientific-causal mode of inquiry.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Philosophical Mode of Inquiry
This mode of inquiry makes claims about knowledge regarding ourselves and the world, and critiques such claims. It seeks to acquaint students with an organized body of knowledge based on moral experience, and which shows the student how to critically evaluate the grounds for judging human conduct. It seeks ways to improve logical techniques in identifying, explaining, and evaluating assumptions, concepts, and arguments. It seeks ways of distinguishing philosophical understanding from other ways of knowing, and it imparts skill in identifying and critiquing the assumptions of other disciplines. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour level-one course in philosophy, and at least one approved three-hour level-two course in ethical theory. They must also successfully complete at least one approved level-two three-hour course in either philosophy or theology.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Theological Mode of Inquiry
Christian theological inquiry is a critical, methodic, ongoing exploration, examination, and development of the content of Christian religious faith in an attempt to understand and to express the content of that faith in the most adequate and appropriate concepts and language available. Moreover, this mode of inquiry seeks to express the meaning and significance of Christian religious faith for the whole lives of individuals and communities committed to that faith so that they can realize it as fully as possible, and also, so that those external to Christianity have the best opportunity for understanding the intellectual and existential aspects of that religious faith. In so doing, theological inquiry attempts to articulate an adequate and appropriate Christian theistic vision of existence which spells out an intellectually compelling understanding of itself and concomitantly, a holistically satisfying account of the significance and destiny of human life in all its complexities within that Christian Vision. Critical religious studies of faiths other than Christianity enrich and complement this mode of inquiry; these studies are an important part of Christian theological inquiry. Students must successfully complete TH 100 Christianity I: Foundations and TH 300 Christianity II: Development and at least one other approved three-hour level-two course in either theology and religious studies or philosophy.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Proficiencies

Oral Communication
This proficiency involves skill in critical listening and oral communication. Students become proficient through regular, sustained, intensive practice. They learn to recognize, identify, and analyze interpersonal, public, cross-cultural, verbal, and nonverbal communication, and they learn to apply these skills in a variety of situations. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour course in college-level oral communication.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Written Communication
Proficient writing is the process of selecting, combining, and developing ideas in effective sentences, paragraphs, and longer units of discourse. Writers must cope with many variables: method of development, purpose, tone, possible audiences, mode of composition, and copy-editing. Learning to write at the college level involves developing skill in using and combining these variables to shape appropriate messages for various situations. Generally, students must successfully complete two approved three-hour courses in college-level composition. Advanced students may satisfy the proficiency in written communication by one approved advanced composition course.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Mathematics
People who are mathematically proficient have well-developed skills in deductive reasoning and the ability to apply those skills in an informed manner. Mathematics is a natural vehicle for building critical thinking skills because it involves postulation, logical reasoning, and symbol manipulation. The ability to propose an idea, construct a logical sequence of supporting statements, and capture the characteristic features of the idea in symbolic form are central features of critical thought. Proficiency in mathematics also equips students with an ability to understand and participate in a highly technical society. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour course in college-level mathematics.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

The Requirement

Global Perspectives Requirement
In becoming global citizens committed to service in the contemporary world, Rockhurst students develop knowledge of, and appreciation and respect for, world cultures and a commitment to global, lifelong learning. They learn to apply critical thinking skills that foster development of the competencies and behaviors required to live in a global community. Students must successfully complete at least one approved three-hour, upper-division course with a Global Perspectives designation. Students can also fulfill this requirement with two semesters of the same college-level second language.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)