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For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 ART 424 - Modern Art History, Aesthetics, Theory, and Criticism (3 cred.)

An exploration of trends and developments in the Western tradition of the visual arts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, considering Modernism, Post-Modernism, and recent tendencies. The visual arts of these periods are viewed through the lens of theories and ideas that have powered change in Western art, including current revisionist and theoretical considerations in Art and Art History. Prerequisite: minimum junior standing or instructor permission.

 ENG 371 - Literary Theory and Criticism (3 cred.)

An introduction to some of the primary conversations structuring debates in literary theory and criticism. Students learn to identify central questions, assumptions, and conflicts in theoretical and critical texts. Students also gain an understanding of the ways that theory and criticism influence their immediate experiences in English courses. Prerequisites: ENG 250 with a minimum grade of "C" and at least one 300-level literature course, or instructor permission.

 ENVS 410 - Environmental Ethics (3 cred.)

A seminar on the complexities of environmental issues from a philosophical perspective. The course also offers a survey of the evolution of environmental moral philosophy as well as in-depth analysis of major thinkers in the field. Students confront ethical concerns from both historical and personal perspectives, with an emphasis on the ability to critically evaluate and apply these perspectives to their work in environmental fields. Prerequisite: ENVS 301 and 350; or PHIL 335.

 PHIL 101 - Introduction to Philosophy (3 cred.)

An introduction to the central philosophical questions that have historically spanned and conceptually founded Western civilization. The course surveys key thinkers, philosophical movements, and academic fields of the discipline. Questions regarding the meaning of existence, the freedom of the self, the nature of a just society, and the workings of human knowledge expose students to the pursuits of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science, moral and political philosophy, and ethics.

 PHIL 200 - Symbolic Logic (3 cred.)

Introduces students to the systematic study of the form of arguments, including inductive reasoning, syllogistic logic, sentential logic, the logic of quantification, and modal logic. Teaches the basic conventions of propositional notation and acquaints students with the concerns of meta logic and philosophy of logic.

 PHIL 201 - Epistemology (3 cred.)

An introduction to historical and contemporary approaches to epistemology, philosophical methodology, systems of classification, and methods of validation. Emphasis is placed on critical inquiry into the complex relationships among ways of knowing (such as empiricism, rationalism, idealism, and materialism), while focusing on the real-world implications of epistemology itself. Prerequisite: PHIL 101

 PHIL 315 - Eastern Philosophy (3 cred.)

An introduction to the central philosophical questions which have conceptually founded Eastern philosophy. This course surveys primary texts, intellectual movements, and cultural traditions that inform and influence Eastern philosophy while investigating the theoretical spaces that exist between philosophical assumptions of the East and West. Prerequisite: PHIL 101

 PHIL 325 - Women and Gender in Philosophy (3 cred.)

A discussion of the significance of women and gender in the development of philosophy.  This course questions how the philosophical canon has appropriated, incorporated, and sometimes erased women's contributions.  Drawing upon a variety of discourses in and outside of philosophy itself (including feminist and queer theory), students will assess how the philosophical endeavor changes in light of previously overlooked and currently influential gender studies work.  Students will use gender and sexuality as a framework that enriches and interrogates philosophical fields ranging from cultural theory to epistemology. Prerequisite: PHIL 101

 PHIL 335 - Advanced Ethics (3 cred.)

An examination of influential moral philosophers and contrasting theories concerning how one "ought" to live, from ancient Greek and Eastern philosophers to contemporary thinkers. Central questions of the course explore the "good life," critique ideologies that limit ethical options, and imagine how to expand individual choices in cultivating a just society. The course concludes with student applications of ethical theories to current global issues. Prerequisite: PHIL 101.

 PHIL 355 - Philosophy of Science (3 cred.)

An exploration of the ongoing relationship between philosophy and science, and an examination of how philosophical movements have informed some of the major shifts in scientific paradigms throughout history. The course concludes with an examination of how scientific revolutions potentially "de-center" humans, and reorient the relationship between the self and the world. Prerequisite: PHIL 101.

 POLS 309 - Political Theory I- Ancient to Early Modern (3 cred.)

A survey of the historical development of western political theories from their origins in ancient Greece to the development of early modern political theories such as liberalism and republicanism. Students study thinkers such as Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Prerequisite: POLS 117 recommended.

 POLS 310 - Political Theory II- Late Modern and Contemporary (3 cred.)

A survey of the historical development of modern and contemporary political theories since the French Revolution. Issues investigated might include the rise of liberal democracy and its critics, the impact of the industrial revolution on modern politics, and how technological change and environmental limitations have affected contemporary political thought. Students study thinkers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.POLS 117 recommended

 SOC 380 - Social Inequalities (3 cred.)

An examination of major theories and concepts associated with social inequality as well as the causes and consequence of social inequality. The historical and contemporary aspects of social inequality in the United States are explored. Forms of resistance to social inequality are also considered. Prerequisite: SOC 101 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ.

Faculty & Staff


Tyson Hausdoerffer, Ph.D. headshot
Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
Phone: 970.943.2298
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222B
John C. Hausdoerffer, Ph.D.  headshot
Dean, School of Environment & Sustainability
Phone: 970.943.3450
Office Location: Kelley Hall 142
Anthony Miccoli, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Philosophy, Director of Philosophy Program
Phone: 970.943.3004
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208D
Terry Schliesman, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2036
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E


Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit our scholarships page.

Early Action Credit

If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Bistro Philosophy: A monthly gathering of philosophy students and faculty at a local bistro to discuss concepts taught in classes, then brainstorming and expanding upon them creatively to address “burning questions” that arise through the semester.
  • Philosophy Intersections: A series of discussions and lectures that highlights work among disciplines campus-wide, where students and faculty look at how their fields intersect and interact with Philosophy.

Philosophy students explore the history of philosophy, examine diverse worldviews and analyze the core assumptions underlying contemporary society. Philosophy as a discipline allows individuals to see the world from varied perspectives and helps provide practical, rational approaches to evaluate ideas. The Philosophy minor deepens the value of a liberal arts education itself by providing the intellectual skills needed to understand and appreciate relationships among other fields of study.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Headshot of Anthony Miccoli
Professor of Philosophy, Director of Philosophy Program
Office Location: 
Taylor Hall 208D

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