Humanities and Social Sciences

A part of the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences currently offers eight majors and twelve minors in a variety of fields, including geography, history, philosophy, political science, pre-law, religion, and sociology. To learn more about what we offer, please click on the links above or contact the department chairperson Dr. Aaron Harper.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is to cultivate informed, analytical, and responsible citizens across our campus and in our communities. Our academic programs are designed to prepare majors and minors for a diverse array of professions, such as careers in public and social services, law, and education. In all students, we develop the ability to use critical reasoning techniques along with quantitative and qualitative social science methodologies. Comprising the heart of the WLU liberal arts experience, we engage students in collaborative scholarship, weaving together varied perspectives about human experience and culture to examine historical, political, spatial, and philosophical concerns.

Majors and Minors

Geography and Planning

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another and how people interact with their environment.


If you are driven to understand how the world works, how it came to its present situation, and more importantly how to take the lessons of the past and apply them towards solving the problems of the future, then a degree in history might be for you.

Political Science

By providing a strong foundation in critical thinking, research, and analytical writing, a Political Science Major prepares students for a number of careers and for further study in graduate school.

Ethics, Philosophy and Religion Studies

Philosophers are concerned with fundamental questions about who we are, what we can know, how we should live, and what makes life meaningful. Philosophers attempt to answer these challenging questions, but they also investigate how to think about these topics in the first place. Philosophers study what it means to think critically, and then attempt to apply these methods to help us gain knowledge and better understand ourselves and our world.


A student interested in law school should pursue an academic background that emphasizes and cultivates reading, writing, and verbal analytical skills along with a study of society from political, economic, cultural, and philosophical perspectives.

Social Studies Education

If you are interested in sharing your love of social studies, you may want to consider a teaching career. Additional information about a degree in Secondary Education can be found at the College of Education’s website.


Sociologists offer a critical examination of social processes, which includes analyzing their function in society and historical context. The development and existence of social inequalities over time is also a key area of study.