Graduate Advising and Faculty Mentors
There is no formal advising process for course selection but you are encouraged to speak to the Graduate Coordinator or another professor whenever you want advice. In general, students should consider their philosophical interests, potential thesis topic (if applicable) and the program requirements when deciding what to take. Outside commitments should be considered when deciding how much to take. All courses are reading and writing intensive so make sure that your schedule allows time for productive study. Also remember that graduate study at WCU has a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 3.00 and that you must earn a C- or better in order for a particular course to count toward your degree. Students wishing to take courses offered by other schools or West Chester departments must obtain approval before registering. Courses which are not approved in advance might not transfer or count toward your degree.
It is also urged that every student (especially those moving towards the thesis-track) have a faculty mentor once they've completed 12-15 credits. Your faculty mentor will typically be the person you have studied with the most. They will be familiar with your work and you will likely have an interest in theirs. If you choose the thesis option, your faculty mentor will typically act as your thesis advisor, but their role is not limited to this. They might advise any independent studies you wish to pursue, keep you informed about events and publications relevant to your interests, help you build your CV, and provide assistance and advice when you apply for jobs or to Ph.D. programs. Forming such a relationship is not difficult, and the rewards are priceless. A faculty mentor will not only benefit you academically and professionally, but personally. In a recent WCU Philosophy Department survey, several students and faculty members stressed the importance of this relationship, and one noted how simple it is to achieve-just find the right match, send a few emails and keep showing up during office hours.