College of Arts and Sciences

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

As the cornerstone of a Rockhurst education, the College of Arts and Sciences offers exceptional education in the liberal arts.

BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE

The College of Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate programs in the arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, and both undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Education. Our world-class faculty members engage students in active learning experiences to develop critical and creative approaches to knowledge while building a foundation of values in an inclusive culture.


Vision Statement

We prepare global citizens on their path of learning and self-formation to cultivate a just, inclusive and sustainable future.


Mission Statement

Grounded in the Jesuit and Catholic traditions of liberal arts education, the College of Arts and Sciences engages learners in building a foundation of values, developing critical and creative approaches to knowledge, and engaging in reflection and discernment that prepares graduates to become globally active, compassionate and just.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

students participate in drawing activity in an art class

Art Minor

The visual arts program offers a minor to students who wish to explore the field of visual arts and its relationship to all fields of study offered at Rockhurst University. The program offers a diverse range of courses in art and art history. Cutting-edge studio spaces allow students to work in an expansive range of traditional and non-traditional disciplines, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography and mixed media.

students analyze product in a lab

Biochemistry

Biochemistry explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms. It combines biology and chemistry using chemical knowledge and techniques to solve biological problems. Biochemistry graduates can engage in evaluative and critical thinking across the disciplines of chemistry and biology and integrate these disciplines into their chosen career paths, or medical, professional and graduate educations.

Student using microscope

Biology

Rockhurst offers three biology degree options: B.S. in biology, organismal track; B.S. in biology, molecular track; biology minor. Our biology major pairs world-class academics with a solid career outlook, allowing you to further specialize your training by focusing on one track. We provide opportunities to supplement your knowledge beyond these two tracks with an understanding of human and environmental biology.

Students sit together in Arrupe Hall.

Catholic Studies Minor

The Catholic studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to issues and themes in the study of the Catholic Church and Catholic beliefs. The program is ideal for students interested in Catholic theology, Christianity and developing a deeper understanding of Catholic beliefs and how they influenced history and impact society today.

Chemistry students running experiment

Chemistry

A chemistry degree from Rockhurst leads to success, whether you plan to continue your education in graduate school or go directly into one of the many careers for chemists. Our ACS-accredited chemistry department and its science degrees offer a broad spectrum of courses – from organic chemistry to physical chemistry to biochemistry – designed to meet your specific needs and desired vocational objectives.

Student studying

Criminal Justice

Built on our strong liberal arts foundation, Rockhurst's BA in Criminal Justice degree introduces students to the complexity of the U.S. criminal justice system. In this major, you’ll explore causes and prevention of criminal behavior, as well as gain expertise on the meaning and application of the legal process, law enforcement, court management and correctional treatment.

Mandi Sonnenberg teaches class.

Education

Rockhurst undergraduate degree programs in education prepare future professionals to be knowledgeable and proficient teachers and leaders in their chosen field. We offer majors in elementary, middle, secondary and special education, leading to initial teacher certification.

An education student works with high schoolers on a project

Educational Studies Minor

Education fuels humanity, and careers in education reach far beyond teaching. That’s why Rockhurst University offers an educational studies degree. This minor offers you an opportunity to understand the complex educational practices that shape American education program policies, weaving together the political, economic, social and legal sectors at work.

Students work in small groups in an education class.

Elementary Education

Rockhurst’s elementary education degree offers initial teacher certification in grades 1-6, preparing you to become a caring leader who engages in innovative teaching, collaboration and reflective practice. Through significant intellectual study and a variety of field and service-learning experiences, you’ll acquire what's necessary to instruct diverse learners as an elementary teacher in the 21st-century classroom.

Student reads on ledge near pergola.

English

The English major includes four tracks that advance students’ skills in writing and analytical/creative thinking, deepen their understandings of the major developments in literature and strengthen their competence in applying critical methodologies to a wide range of literary and cultural artifacts.

Students talking

Film Acting Minor

The film acting minor is based on the development of the best traditional and non-traditional acting, movement, voice and on-camera techniques. Students are able to put those techniques into practice both in class projects and in film production.

Students work together in the science center.

Film Studies Minor

The film studies minor at Rockhurst University is a 15-hour interdisciplinary program that helps students learn the fundamentals of film form (staging, cinematography, editing, sound) and become literate in the conventions and strategies that span all film cultures.

Students walking on campus

French

The French major at Rockhurst provides a robust foundational knowledge in language, literature, culture, professional French and film, culminating in a senior capstone project. A French major can be combined strategically with another major or minor.

Student reads on campus.

History

The history program at Rockhurst equips students to think critically, reason discerningly and communicate effectively through exposure to the human condition across many eras and places. History students are challenged by Ph.D. professors, scholars and presenters to ask contemplative questions of the past, analyze sources and apply findings to the present, and provide insight into the future.

Students walking on campus

International Journalism

Our world depends on well-trained journalists with degrees in journalism and mass communication to keep us connected and informed. Rockhurst’s international journalism program prepares students not only for a challenging and exciting career track, but also for global citizenship: language studies cultivate cultural sensitivity, and the journalism studies program trains one to communicate effectively with those of diverse backgrounds.

Laboratory vials

Materials Science

Materials science drives the development of novel materials in industry and medicine. The field rests at the intersection of science and engineering – it’s the physics and chemistry of materials, with an emphasis on applications rather than fundamental research.

Student looks into microscope.

Medical Laboratory Sciences

Formerly known as “medical technology,” medical laboratory sciences is a field of study revolving around biology and chemistry that lands graduates in satisfying careers. Rockhurst is home to one of the highest-quality medical laboratory science programs in Missouri. We offer our Bachelor of Science degree in medical laboratory sciences in cooperation with St. Luke’s Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital.

Women's choir singing

Music Minor

A music minor from Rockhurst University is an effective way to enhance a major in a related field. It offers a range of courses studying music literature, as well as various options for the applied study of music performance.

A class in Conway Hall.

Paralegal Studies

Rockhurst's paralegal program began in 1974 as one of the first of its kind in the U.S. It prepares students for the growing field of paralegals and legal assistants and can be completed in a year. Courses are taught by practicing attorneys and judges with professional expertise in specialized areas of law.

Students walking on campus

Peace and International Studies

In our increasingly connected and complicated world, the ability to appreciate its working systems and cultures has never been more in-demand. The peace and international studies major at Rockhurst is designed to cultivate well-rounded representatives and leaders through interdisciplinary and international studies, allowing students to customize their degree to their own unique interests.

Student reads near bell tower on campus.

Philosophy

The philosophy major is designed to introduce students to a range of profound and stimulating philosophical questions, and to develop the critical thinking and logical skills necessary for independent thought. There are four comprehensive tracks: basic, professional, bioethics and social justice.

Student in chair outside on laptop

Pre-Dentistry

The American Dental Association describes careers in dentistry as competitive in salary with a wide variety of career opportunities, including working in hospitals, research laboratories, private practice, education, as well as international relief organizations. Rockhurst's pre-dentistry program puts prospective dental professionals on a pathway to success.

Students walking on campus

Pre-Law

Pre-law is a program designed to advise students about the opportunity of attending law school and entering the legal profession. Pre-law advising includes discussing possible majors and classes to prepare for law school, guidance on the law school application process, information about the LSAT, details about specific law schools, as well as information about careers in the legal profession.

Student studying on laptop

Pre-Medicine

Rockhurst pre-medical students have access to a wide variety of opportunities and resources, including health-related clubs and fraternities, volunteering opportunities, pre-health advisors and research opportunities. Students who are interested in attending an M.D. or D.O. medical school complete pre-med courses and an undergraduate major at Rockhurst.

Students in classroom

Pre-Optometry

Rockhurst University offers a four-year pre-professional program for students interested in obtaining the Doctorate in Optometry, O. D. Based in the division of natural sciences, the program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree and provides students with the undergraduate courses necessary to pursue the advanced professional degree.

Student studying on laptop

Pre-Osteopathic Medicine

Rockhurst pre-medical students have access to a wide variety of opportunities and resources, including health-related clubs and fraternities, volunteering opportunities, pre-health advisors and research opportunities. Students who are interested in attending an M.D. or D.O. medical school complete pre-med courses and an undergraduate major at Rockhurst.

Science seminar session

Pre-Pharmacy

The College of Arts and Sciences at Rockhurst University offers a pre-pharmacy program designed to help students complete the pharmacy school requirements needed to continue their pharmacy major.

Physician Assistant talking to Doctor

Pre-Physician Assistant

Rockhurst University offers a four-year pre-professional program for students interested in pursuing a Master of Physician Assistant degree. Rockhurst Pre-PA students will work closely with Pre-Health advisors to tailor their pre-requisite coursework to the PA programs of choice.

Students dissecting a shark

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Rockhurst offers a four-year pre-professional program for students interested in becoming veterinarians.

Students in classroom

Psychology

The psychology major at Rockhurst University fosters both scientific and critical thinking. It promotes the application of research methods to understand how and why organisms do what they do. The major is designed to familiarize students with several different areas of psychology, including applied, biological/experimental, cultural/social, and developmental.

Students walking outside of Arrupe Hall.

Secondary Education

The School of Education seeks to transform lives in a learning community centered on excellence and service in education, providing a distinctive context for the professional preparation of teachers. The secondary education major with initial teacher certification in grades 9 through 12 prepares you to become a caring leader engaged in innovative teaching, collaboration and reflective practice.

Students walking on campus

Sociology Minor

A sociology minor at Rockhurst centers around the understanding of how society and culture act as social contexts shaping human identity, understanding, and relationships. Sociology is a useful complement to a variety of Rockhurst degrees, improving preparedness for the professional world as well as enhancing hiring desirability for graduates.

Student walking on campus

Spanish

The Spanish major provides a base of knowledge in areas like language, literature, culture, film, professional and medical Spanish. The sequence of courses will lead to a senior capstone on a research topic that fascinates you, along with personalized mentoring for it.

Students walk on campus.

Special Education

The special education major with initial teacher certification in mild-moderate/cross-categorical disabilities for grades K through 12 prepares students to become caring educational leaders engaged in innovative teaching, collaboration and reflective practice.

Students acting in a play.

Theatre Arts Minor

Adding a minor in theatre arts to a Rockhurst University degree can be a highly valuable educational decision. While the minor has an emphasis on performing arts, courses in technical theatre elements, direction and script analysis combine to add a well-rounded perspective to a related degree.

Religion professor teaches a university theology class

Theology and Religious Studies

Unlike most universities, our program combines two distinctive approaches to the academic study of religion: theology and religious studies. Be engaged in questions of meaning, faith, justice, power, community, authority, values, spirituality and difference through a global lens.

Students talking

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor

The minor examines the historical and contemporary circumstances shaping the relationships between women and men, and between women and women, in a variety of social settings. The program raises fundamental questions about gender identity and relations, roles, equality, and about philosophical, natural scientific and social scientific assumptions regarding human nature.

Communication

Education

Health Care

Humanities

Performing & Visual Arts

Service

STEM

Minors

Art Minor
Biochemistry
Biology
Catholic Studies Minor
Chemistry
Criminal Justice
Education
Educational Studies Minor
Elementary Education
English
Film Acting Minor
Film Studies Minor
French
History
International Journalism
Materials Science
Medical Laboratory Sciences
Music Minor
Paralegal Studies
Peace and International Studies
Philosophy
Psychology
Secondary Education
Sociology Minor
Spanish
Special Education
Theatre Arts Minor
Theology and Religious Studies
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor

Pre-Professional

Pre-Dentistry
Pre-Law
Pre-Medicine
Pre-Optometry
Pre-Osteopathic Medicine
Pre-Pharmacy
Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Degree Programs

Master of Education

M.Ed in Educational Studies

Improve competencies and expertise with a concentration area

Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment

STEAM, K-8

Special Education

Teacher Leadership

A COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES DEGREE

The benefits of a comprehensive liberal arts education are endless. Here are just five reasons to earn a degree from the College of Arts & Sciences:

  • The College is the largest academic unit at RU with over 25 majors and 27 minors, providing innovative and interdisciplinary opportunities.
  • Faculty are highly accessible to students for one-on-one advising and mentoring conversations to advance their learning, self-formation and career goals.
  • Students have opportunities to engage in research with a faculty mentor, including capstone projects and paid summer fellowships available to all disciplines.
  • The School of Education prepares teachers through diverse field experiences such as RU's STEAM Studio, a design-thinking and creative space for local learners and community members.
  • Pre-Med, Pre-Health and Pre-Law programs and related clubs and service learning opportunities help students gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs and graduate programs.

Student Outcomes

98 % of students are employed or accepted into graduate or professional school within six months following graduation.

23 % of students directly enter graduate or professional school following graduation.

92 % of students attend their first choice for graduate or professional school.

Core Curriculum

No matter your major, you will spend time in College of Arts and Sciences courses in order to complete your core curriculum. Through this core, our goal at Rockhurst University is to prepare each student to lead meaningful, purpose-driven lives, and to view the world through the lens of social justice.

Seven Modes of Inquiry

We do this through Seven Modes of Inquiry that allow you to pull from different areas of your heart and mind to become a well-rounded member of humanity:

Honors Program

Designed for academically gifted, ambitious students, Rockhurst University's honors program offers:

  • Honors-specific courses
  • Opportunities to expand non-honors courses into college honors experiences
  • Flexibility to further explore topics that interest you
  • Small, discussion-based classes that boast an environment for active learning
  • Earlier course registration
  • Access to the Honors Room, located in Arrupe 315
  • Special opportunities to present any research projects
  • Connection to a network of honors students from other universities
  • Honors designation on your diploma and transcript

Scholarships

We know cost and student loans are important factors when selecting a college. That’s why RU offers an abundance of scholarships to help increase the return on your college investment. Rockhurst also offers a number of scholarship specific to student planning to major within the College of Arts and Sciences. Explore these opportunities and additional scholarships.

Study Abroad

Rockhurst offers a number of opportunities for students to expand their horizons and study abroad in countries such as Mexico, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Italy and more. Through this experience, you not only gain an understanding of a new culture – you also discover yourself.

Fellowships

Looking to lead a research project or creative activity as an undergraduate? RU offers summer fellowships to support your efforts, allowing you to study and work one-on-one with a faculty mentor and share your findings with our community.

ARTS & SCIENCES PODCASTS

On “Arts and Sciences,” we dive into all that's going on at the Rockhurst University College of Arts and Sciences, making it one of the best educational podcasts available. Listen for upcoming events, exciting programs, academic material and the latest student and faculty research.

Contact Us

College of Arts and Sciences

Rockhurst University
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2561
Phone: 816-501-4075
Fax: 816-501-4169