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The word "philosophy" originally meant love of knowledge; it now refers to the investigation of fundamental questions that have puzzled human beings for ages. Philosophy deals with such questions as: What is the ultimate nature of reality? What do we really 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 the self? Is there a god, and how might human beings come to have knowledge of god? What is the ideal form of government?

Typically, a philosophy major studies the history of basic views about knowledge, the world, moral values and human nature. Logical skills to deal with specific philosophical issues relevant to life, such as current moral problems, are developed through study in the program.

Philosophy is a small undergraduate department in which students receive individual attention. Faculty members are active in their profession and in research, and several members of the department have received outstanding teaching awards.

Scholarships are available through the Philosophy Department. The Cresswell Award goes to an outstanding senior in philosophy.

A special option available to philosophy majors is the pre-law area of concentration. It is designed for students who expect to enter law school after their undergraduate years. Those who choose this option of study complete degree requirements by taking courses in philosophy that focus on fundamental questions about the law, ethics and politics.

Career Profile

The critical and creative thinking and writing skills acquired through a major in philosophy open a vast array of career opportunities. Recent graduates have pursued careers in law, medicine, technical writing, creative writing, teaching, professional philosophy, filmmaking, music, engineering, business, management, marketing, journalism, photojournalism, guitar building, accounting and the ministry.

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

WVUE 191 First Year Seminar SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish 1 MATH 121 Introductory Concepts of Mathematics PHIL 170 Introduction to Critical Reasoning PHIL 100 Problems of Philosophy

Senior Year

PHIL 480 Capstone Seminar THET 101 Introduction to the Theatre SOCA 101 Introduction to Sociology HIST 102 Western Civilization: 1600 to Present COMM 102 Human Communication in the Interpersonal Context

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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