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College of Arts and Sciences School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs


Welcome to the website of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University.  The School offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses leading to the B.A. degrees in Political Science and in Philosophy, the M.A. degree in Political Science (Certificate in Global Justice and Security Studies), the Master of Public Affairs degree (offered at the Vancouver campus), and a Ph.D. degree in Political Science.  Students who graduate from our programs are imbued with a desire to engage in life-long learning and are also very competitive in a variety of job markets.

In addition to teaching and public service, faculty and graduate students engage in problem-oriented research addressing some of the most pressing political and philosophical issues of our time including global climate change and environmental policy, bioethics, health policy, national security and international terrorism, political communication, global justice, and political psychology. Many of the faculty embrace interdisciplinary research programs which allows for a multi-dimensional approach to addressing societal issues and problems.

We welcome inquiries from current and prospective students, alumni, news organizations, and the general public.

Steven Stehr
Interim Director

SPOTLIGHT on Philosophy and Political Sciences courses for Fall 2018:


PHIL 321 – History of Modern Philosophy: Course Prerequisite: 3 hours PHIL. Renaissance, 17th and 18th century philosophers. Cooperative: Open to UI degree-seeking students.

PHIL 333 – Development of Marxist Thought: Marxist theory from the original writing of Marx and Engels to contemporary developments. (Crosslisted course offered as POL S 333, PHIL 333).

PHIL 413 [CAPS] – Mind of God/Book of Nature: Science & Religion: Course Prerequisite: 3 hours PHIL; 3 hours [BSCI] or [PSCI] UCORE; junior standing. Methodological comparison and philosophical investigation of the relation between religion and natural science and related issues.

PHIL 443 – Philosophy of Language: Course Prerequisite: 3 hours PHIL. Investigation of philosophical issues concerning meaning, reference, truth, the nature of language, and the relation between language and thought. Credit not granted for both PHIL 443 and PHIL 543. Cooperative: Open to UI degree-seeking students.

PHIL 475 [CAPS] – Zombie Apocalypse: Course Prerequisite: Junior standing. Uses zombies to model responses to global pandemics and critically assesses awareness of pandemic threats in contemporary popular culture.

POL_S 450 [M] – The Legislative ProcessRole of legislatures in a democratic system; problems of representation; election and tenure of lawmakers; legislative organization and procedures.







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