The study of philosophy prepares students to think through challenging ethical questions and decisions, to reason logically, to create sound arguments, and to communicate clearly in speech and writing. The insights and skills students gain help them succeed as lawyers, doctors, theologians, counselors, politicians, scientists, directors, teachers, artists and many other professions. Setting WCU’s philosophy degree apart is the opportunity to concentrate studies in philosophy or religion, a focus on ethical and social / political issues, and a structure that supports completing a second major in another discipline. Recent graduates also majored in biology, English, psychology, hospitality and tourism management, international studies, Spanish, communication, history, music, criminal justice, anthropology, sociology, environmental health, political science and even special studies in Japanese.
Students complete core courses centered on the foundations of philosophical and religious traditions, and then concentrate their studies in philosophy or religion. In advanced courses, students may analyze moral issues in areas from animal rights to genetic engineering, or examine proofs for the existence of God, immortality and the problem of evil. Faculty members enjoy talking about ideas with students in and out of class, and conversations continue in the department lounge where students often hang out. As part of WCU’s Philosophy and Religion Club, students watch and discuss movies and issues, and meet and talk with visiting scholars. Students attend conferences, conduct research and write for “The Gadfly,” a student publication that uses satire and irony to point out social, political and economic problems.
WCU philosophy graduates have been accepted at top-flight graduate and professional schools, including the University of Georgia, Villanova, Emory, and Kansas; Rutgers, Case Western Reserve, and Duke University Law Schools; and seminaries from Vanderbilt to Liberty to Lutheran Theological Southern. They’ve also worked as a building contractor, a counselor, a community service director, a legislative aide for a NC state representative, a middle school math and science teacher, a personal banker at Bank of America, an IT specialist, a professional journalist, an emergency medical technician, among a host of other professions.