The aim of the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at UW-Whitewater is to foster critical thinking and appreciation in the areas of reasoning, knowledge, reality, meaning, gender and race issues, ethics, history of religions, hermeneutics, religious rituals, and sacred stories. Research emphases may include German philosophy, feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, social philosophy, aesthetics, biblical interpretation, classical Hinduism, Buddhism, and religion in the human sciences.
The Liberal Studies program offers students an educational experience that emphasizes broad academic inquiry and purposeful interdisciplinarity. The program allows courses of study that are flexible and/or online and is, therefore, a good fit for students whose interests fall outside a discipline-specific major, transfer students, and returning students. The Liberal Studies program helps students contextualize their learning through the lens of liberal education and personal and social responsibility, acquire skills in writing, research, and communication, gain breadth of knowledge in arts, humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, and pursue specialization in a minor or focus area.
By the end of their Liberal Studies program, students will be able to:
1. Think critically, integrate and synthesize knowledge from diverse perspectives and evaluate complex information
2. Make informed ethical and value judgments
3. Understand and explain the value of a liberal education
4. Apply the concepts and methodologies of the liberal arts to understand issues in society and in one's own life
5. Communicate effectively in written form
6. Effectively utilize intellectual and practical skills--including analytical skills, research methods, and/or computer skills
7. Effectively utilize expression skills-- including communicating creatively, orally, or in a language other than English
8. Demonstrate a base of knowledge from various disciplines-- including arts & humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences
9. Demonstrate a base of knowledge about cultures within North America & Europe
10. Demonstrate a base of knowledge about cultures outside North America & Europe
The Liberal Studies program offers students the chance to pursue either a major or minor in Liberal Studies. Students with a Liberal Studies major choose either a Bachelor of Arts Degree or a Bachelor of Science Degree, then either a 54-unit Liberal Studies major with a focus area or a 36-unit Liberal Studies major with a declared minor. These program paths can be completed on campus or as part of our online degree completion program.
Philosophy is a basic field of inquiry that is neither part of nor reducible to any other discipline. Philosophers explore ideas, questions, issues, and problems that arise from the entire spectrum of human experiences. Philosophy courses deal with fundamental issues concerning the nature of morality and the good life, methods of correct reasoning, the nature of knowledge and reality, aesthetics, and the foundations needed for a good society. Courses also survey the history of western philosophy in light of these issues and foster critical, analytical, and creative thinking skills that are relevant to any subject matter. As a discipline central to a liberal arts education, philosophy seeks to develop students’ skills and knowledge, preparing them for life as a whole. The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a minor in Philosophy.
Religious Studies challenges students to explore ideas relating to the world's major religious traditions. Research can focus on the intellectual, historical, cultural, and personal dimensions of religion in human life. Knowledge in this field will help students understand historic and current cultural, political, and theological issues from a global perspective, and this knowledge is valuable in any career where contact with diverse populations occurs. The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a minor in Religious Studies.