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Philosophy and Religion Department

Philosophy and Religion Department


About the Philosophy and Religion Program

Students in the PAR department


A Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in philosophy or religion will help students gain a broad understanding of the human condition while developing the ability to bring critical thinking and organizational skills to creative problem solving. 

Majoring in philosophy is especially well regarded as preparation for law and medical school while graduates of both concentrations pursue graduate work in a wide variety of humanities, social sciences and other disciplines.

Our faculty members talk with students about their ideas 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.





PAR Students


Philosophy is hard to define, but it can be described as the systematic study of questions and ideas that are so fundamental that people often avoid them or dare only simplistic answers:

  • Do human beings have free will or is biology destiny?
  • Which forms of government best suit human nature?
  • Are science and religion really competing belief systems?
  • Can babies and animals think?
  • What are my moral duties to others?

Such questions don’t admit simple answers, and in philosophy we practice working our way through the complicated responses that are truly helpful.

Philosophy requires us to develop more than our intellects, and our program takes that into account.

In addition to a core curriculum of texts and ideas, the philosophy program is designed to help you reflect on your own thoughts, values, and goals. That is part of why philosophy is not just a great preparation for graduate school or the workplace, it is also great preparation for a life of meaning and purpose.

PAR Students


In addition to the study of philosophical questions, the religion concentration looks at religions in their social and historical contexts.

Religion has had a profound effect on virtually every aspect of human life and society including politics, economics, art medicine and more.

The religion concentration investigates the intersection of religion with gender, race, government, education, literature, criminal justice, and other domains.

Each of our major concentrations requires 30 hours (10 classes).

PAR majors must also complete World Languages 231-232 or 240 (six hours), 42 hours of liberal studies, and a major or a minor in a second discipline.



PAR Minor Requirements

Each of minors requires 18 hours (6 classes).



A four-year plan is a sketch of one path to completion of your degree.

Your own path will depend on many factors including transfer credits you bring in, how much time you study abroad, your choice of a minor or second major, and much more. You you and your advisor will make adjustments to suit you and your situation.  Four year plan template.

There are many special opportunities avalible for out PAR students. Check them out!

Faculty and Staff

PAR Faculty


Our faculty has a wide range of expertise, experience, interests and connections.

They are writers, researchers, public speakers, administrators, and community leaders.

They are, first and foremost, teachers, and the small size of most philosophy and religion classes makes for exceptional interaction between teacher and student.

Meet our Faculty

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