Located within the vibrant, culturally active city of Kalamazoo, itself nestled within the southwestern Michigan countryside near the beautiful Lake Michigan coastline, the Western Michigan University Department of Philosophy is home to an active philosophical community. 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, Western's program is recognized as one of the best MA 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, epistemology, philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mind. However, the program covers all core areas of contemporary analytic philosophy. 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 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 teach and design 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 Pittsburgh HPS, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Notre Dame. For many years, the department has had a 100% placement record with nearly all with funding.