Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

The core curriculum at Rockhurst University is part of what makes an RU education a transformational experience. It reflects the Jesuit value of a well-rounded life and helps students grow into lifelong learners. Through the core curriculum, students cultivate a broad range of intellectual abilities that complement all career and academic paths.

Modes of Inquiry

RU’s core curriculum focuses on seven key areas of study, called modes of inquiry:

  1. Artistic – exploration of imaginative expression of the human condition through objects, verbal communication and nonverbal communication
  2. Historic – recollection and analysis of significant past events that provide perspective and context to the present and future
  3. Literary – using various aspects of language to explore imaginative expression of the human experience
  4. Scientific-Causal – study of the shape, form, properties and behaviors of the constituent parts of nature
  5. Scientific-Relational – study of the naturally occurring variation of individuals, social groups, species or objects
  6. Philosophical – exploration and evaluation of knowledge based on moral experience
  7. Theological – examination of any religious faith for the purpose of understanding and appropriately expressing that faith


Students will develop skills in four proficiency areas that help them to be more successful within their chosen major and future careers. The four proficiencies include:

  1. Oral Communication – recognizing, identifying and analyzing interpersonal, public, cross-cultural, verbal and nonverbal communication
  2. Written Communication – developing ideas into effective written form considering method of development, purpose, tone, audiences, composition and style
  3. Mathematics – applying deductive reasoning, critical thinking and logic to solve problems
  4. Global Perspectives – developing knowledge and appreciation of cultures across the world


Students must complete 39-41 credit hours within the modes of inquiry: artistic, historic, literary, scientific-causal, scientific-relational, philosophical and theological.

Additionally, students must complete 9-13 credit hours within the four proficiencies: oral communication, written communication, mathematics and global perspectives.

For more information, visit the core curriculum section of our University catalog