Departments, Schools and Programs
Anthropology is the study of human diversity in all places and at all times, addressing the most fundamental questions about human origins and human nature. Sub-fields include physical, cultural, and evolutionary anthropology; linguistics; and archaeology.
Andrew Duff, chair and professor
College Hall 150
Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides a broad, systematic knowledge of Asia and deepens students’ appreciation of the complexity and diversity of Asia through the study of history, language, culture, philosophy, religion, society, and politics.
Lydia Gerber, director and clinical associate professor
Wilson-Short Hall 310
Biology is the science of life, and encompasses molecular, cellular, and physiological processes, evolutionary diversity, ecological relationships, and global systems. Biologists study life from prehistoric times to organisms alive today and model how life may change in the future. In addition to specialization in botany, entomology and ecology, WSU offers a degree in zoology (the biology of animals).
Larry Hufford, director and professor
Abelson Hall 312
Chemistry studies the molecular nature and characteristics of substances and the changes they undergo. It is a fundamental discipline that is interconnected to many other scientific disciplines and technologies.
Kerry Hipps, chair and professor
Fulmer Hall 305
Together, criminal justice and criminology examine the causes and patterns of criminal behavior, the institutions and individuals that work within the criminal justice system, and the role law plays in the prevention and responses to crime.
Craig Hemmens, chair and professor
Johnson Tower 701
Two degrees are available: comparative ethnic studies and women’s studies. Comparative ethnic studies (CES) provides opportunities to analyze the stories and experiences of communities of color, particularly in the United States. Through understanding the historical forces and social dynamics of racism and racial inequality worldwide, students gain the knowledge, tools, and motivation to become agents of change. Women’s studies is an interdisciplinary field rooted in scholarship and activism and places gender at the center of inquiry. Students investigate and challenge social inequalities based on systems of gender as they intersect with class, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and age.
David Leonard, chair and associate professor
Wilson-Short Hall 111
DTC is an interdisciplinary degree program that combines the creative production and critical exploration of digital media. DTC emphasizes a historical, rhetorical, and cultural understanding of digital media so as to prepare students for problem solving and communicating both locally and globally.
Kristin L. Arola, director and associate professor
Avery Hall 309
Scholars in this discipline study the English language in many forms, including literature, technology, and its cultural function. Study in English involves applied skills in reading, critical thinking, and various kinds of writing – creative, professional, and analytical – in a range of contexts, including print and electronic media.
Todd Butler, chair and associate professor
Avery Hall 202
Focusing on the study of the earth, the environment, natural resources, wildlife ecology and the role of humans in modifying earth and environmental systems, this interdisciplinary unit increases team-based research and scholarly output while providing cutting-edge training for the next generation of scientists, resource managers, policy makers, and well-informed global citizens.
James R. "Dick" Pratt, interim director and professor
Webster Hall 1228
The fine arts are vital to cultural expression: they enrich our lives while challenging and broadening our views of the world. WSU faculty foster an educational environment that encourages creativity, individual growth, and meaningful expression. Students have the opportunity to put their ideas into form while becoming visually literate, historically grounded, and familiar with the diversity of arts and cultures worldwide.
Thom Brown, chair
Fine Arts Center 5072
Studying a foreign language allows for direct access to people and cultures other than one’s own and furthers the development of global understanding and sensitivity. Proficiency in foreign language is also an important tool in a broad variety of professions.
Jolyon "JT" Hughes, chair and professor
Thompson Hall 110
Sudents can design a multidisciplinary degree in social sciences, humanities, or general science. The unique plans result from students’ focus on individual values, interests, and abilities to achieve fulfillment of lifelong personal, educational, and professional goals.
Thomas Whitacre, director of advising
Daggy Hall 201
History is the ongoing effort to understand the diverse people, institutions, and cultures of the past. Historical inquiry builds knowledge of past events and in doing so helps inform the decisions we make about our future. At WSU, faculty specialize in many areas of historical research and teaching, including environmental, world, American west, religion, gender, military, and diplomatic history.
Ray Sun, Chair
Wilson-Short Hall 301
Mathematics is the foundation of physical and social sciences and an essential tool for scientific research. Modern industries and technology rely on advanced mathematical theory. Mathematics itself has also been a special art throughout the development of human civilizations.
Charles N. Moore, Chair
Neill Hall 103
Music is art in sound, universally beloved, and an essential part of every culture on earth. People around the world use music to worship, communicate, commemorate, celebrate, and share their deepest emotions, to express what words cannot.
Gregory Yasinitsky, director and professor
Kimbrough Music Building 260
Physics is the study of the natural world, from its most fundamental to its most extreme, and is a foundational science. Astronomy is the study of the universe from the size scales of planets to the ultimate size scale of all that is known. From subatomic particles to the universe itself, physicists and astronomers study matter, energy, and space and time. They probe the laws and forces of nature and search for symmetries, patterns, and properties that define the workings of the universe.
Matthew McCluskey, chair and professor
Webster Hall 1245
Political science focuses on the uses and consequences of public authority in the allocation of societal resources. Faculty at WSU conduct problem-driven research that confronts both traditional and emerging challenges, with specializations in American politics and public law, global politics, public policy, political theory and psychology, and American foreign policy. Philosophy is the attempt to answer certain broad-ranging, fundamental questions: What sorts of things can we really claim to know? What makes for a morally right act or just society? Our faculty specialize in bioethics, ethical theory and applied ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and science, and the philosophy of religion. The study of public affairs brings theory and engaged scholarship to help those serving the public interest.
Patricia (Trish) Glazebrook, director and professor
Johnson Tower 801
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and the mental processes that determine behavior. Psychology also applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems.
Rebecca Craft, chair and professor
Johnson Tower 233
Sociology looks at society from every angle—it is the social science that aims to answer questions about why and how we group together to form societies, as well as the individual’s roles within society. The fundamental insight of the discipline is that the social matters: our lives are affected by our personal psychology and by our place in the social world. Sociologists study a range of issues, from inequality to human ecology, from deviance to religion, from medicine to politics.
Lisa McIntyre, Chair
Wilson-Short Hall 204
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- Biological Sciences
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- Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs