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Philosophy acts as a form of intellectual exercise that makes it easier to identify problems, seek out arguments against your own views and critically evaluate solutions. These skills, along with the ability to read, write, listen and communicate effectively, can prepare you for virtually any career path.


What is Philosophy at WVU like?


The Department of Philosophy is home to a small, academically vibrant, student-centered, undergraduate program. Our mission is to provide an outstanding liberal arts education with all the advantages of a large research university.

Philosophy students are trained to understand and to respond both critically and creatively to philosophical problems, theories and arguments. Philosophy students investigate fundamental questions that have puzzled human beings for ages. Philosophy deals with questions such as: What do we know and how do we know it? What is morally right and how should we live? What is the nature of the human mind and self? Is there a God and how might human beings know about God? What is the ideal form of government? What is the ultimate nature of reality?

The areas in which students receive instruction include logic, ethics, social-political philosophy, philosophy of law, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, continental philosophy, metaphysics, history of ancient and modern philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Because of the vigorous critical thinking students enjoy in a philosophy class, the study of philosophy provides a strong preparation for a wide range of careers including law, business, medicine and journalism.

Philosophy program highlights:

At a Glance

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Fast Facts

What makes Philosophy at WVU unique?

Research and Academic Opportunities

Philosophers use techniques that can be applied to almost any subject, so the possibilities for philosophical research are nearly endless. No matter your interests, studying philosophy will help you to develop the critical thinking skills that will get you started on uncovering what you want to know.

Our accomplished professors conduct research and teach on a diverse range of subjects, including military ethics, conscientious objection in healthcare, the problem of consciousness, distributive justice, free will, moral and legal responsibility, logic and paradoxes, and the rationality of belief in God, along with many other topics.

3+3 Law Degree Program

This major is eligible for the 3+3 Law Degree Program that allows qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years instead of seven years.

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Student Organizations

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

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Professional Organizations

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:


How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Our graduates have gone on to careers in business, education, government, law, marketing and advertising, medicine and psychology.

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Philosophy major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:


What are the courses like in Philosophy at WVU?

Plan of Study

Check out a program overview, learning goals, course descriptions and suggested plan of study for WVU's Philosophy major.

View the Plan of Study

Popular Courses

HUM 101:
Introduction to Western Civilization 1

Presents the high points of Greco-Roman and Medieval European civilizations: their art, architecture, philosophy, religion, literature and music.

HUM 107:
The Humanities of Egypt

This course will focus on the cultural history of Egypt from ancient until modern times.

HUM 112:
Humanities of Greece

Presents the art, architecture, philosophy, religion, literature, and history of Greece.

PHIL 100:
Problems of Philosophy

An elementary examination of such philosophical problems as the mind-body problem, the existence of God, freedom and determinism, and the nature of persons and their knowledge.

PHIL 120:
Introduction to Ethics

Topics include the nature of the good life, whether ethics is relative or there are universal moral truths, the relationship between self- interest and morality, virtues and vices, and the nature of right and wrong.

PHIL 248:
History of Modern Philosophy

A study of selected writings by major philosophers of the Western world from Descartes to Kant.

PHIL 285:
Ethics Bowl

(May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours.) Students learn skills related to researching, planning, and presenting oral and written arguments on various contemporary ethical debates. Students also prepare to compete in an ethics bowl competition.

PHIL 302:
Theory of Knowledge

The nature and scope of human knowledge. Topics may include perception, belief, truth, evidence, certainty, and skepticism.

PHIL 491:
Professional Field Experience

(May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours). Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

Cost and Aid

How much does Philosophy at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to Philosophy can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for Philosophy at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's Philosophy major, you must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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