The Department of Philosophy is in the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college within Western Michigan University. Falling largely within the analytic tradition, the department takes seriously its dual mission of philosophical teaching and research. Offering a range of undergraduate courses and a terminal master's degree, WMU's program is recognized as one of the best master's programs in the United States and one of a handful of programs mentioned in the Leiter Report.

The department's primary strengths lie in:

  • Theoretical and practical ethics
  • Philosophy of science
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of mind

The program covers all core areas of contemporary analytic philosophy.

Student opportunities

Graduate students are often involved in faculty research and have the opportunity to work with well-known scholars on a regular basis. The graduate faculty regularly teach undergraduate courses, giving undergraduates a chance to interact with nationally known figures in the field.

Teaching assistants in the department are given a unique opportunity to build experience. Most students are provided a chance to design and teach their own courses following their first year, and many students have the chance to develop multiple courses during their time at WMU.

The department is ideally located for collaboration with other departments, and the University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, and University of Chicago are all within a two-hour drive. Students are encouraged to attend regional and national conferences, and the department hosts its own internationally recognized graduate conference annually.

Western has an excellent record placing students in prestigious doctoral programs including the Pittsburgh Department of History and Philosophy of Science, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Notre Dame. For many years, the department has had a nearly perfect placement record, with almost all students receiving funding.

For department information, contact the chair or administrative assistant.