Academic Programs

A professor stands at a whiteboard, with large stained glass windows to his right, while a class sits in the round, watching in rapt attention.

We value the type
 of engaging dialogue that arises when students and professors work together to investigate questions and problems they care about. In this environment, students are expected to formulate and articulate big ideas, and contribute in major ways to the critical discussions and debates that take place in our classrooms and laboratories.

Up-Close and Personal
In our dynamic learning environment, a stray thought can spark a new insight and have a transformative impact on the entire class. Both students and professors are always at a crossroads in our small-class setting, collaboratively deciding where to go and where to stop, how to navigate and how to detour, and how to close the distance between a topic and the people discussing it.

Scholars by Example
We believe in the power of the personal relationship between professor and student. The professors at Rhodes are scholars by example, and they believe the academic experience should be an intellectual journey for everyone involved. Our faculty work closely with students — in and out of the classroom — to challenge them to find their passion for knowledge, express themselves creatively, and discover the person they want to become.

Foundations Curriculum
At the core of the Rhodes academic experience is our Foundations Curriculum, which gives students greater freedom to follow their academic interests and aspirations as they develop critical-thinking skills that are fundamental to the Rhodes experience, the study of the liberal arts and sciences, and lifelong learning. More than 400 different courses are offered to fulfill the Foundations course requirements.

Within the Foundations framework, students are required to choose one of two signature course sequences: The Search for Values or Life ("Search") or Life: Then and Now ("Life"), both of which comprise three courses (12 credit hours) spread over three semesters. 

"Search" is an interdisciplinary study of the ideas, beliefs, and cultural developments that have formed Western culture. First created
by the Rhodes faculty in 1945, Search has evolved to draw professors from 10 departments and includes courses from various disciplines that are organized chronologically from the earliest origins to the modern period. Students will explore texts from the ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, and the early Christian church.

Taught by members of our Religious Studies Department, the first two semesters of the “Life” course sequence focus primarily on how religions have shaped the world. Specifically, students are introduced to the academic study of the Bible, from the earliest text sources to modern interpretations, as well as the origins and beliefs of other religions. For the third “Life” course, students can continue their path within the Religious Studies framework or branch out into Philosophy or Greek and Roman Studies.

Looking for a specific field of study? Check out our 50+ majors and minors!