PPE Major

The course requirements for the PPE Program are divided into three sections:

  1. Core Courses (13 courses)
  2. Electives (5 courses)
  3. Senior Research (one semester)

Core courses are chosen to provide students with a basic understanding in each of the three disciplines. Also included in the core is PPE 201, a course in which students independently design the final portion of their PPE studies by developing a topic of focus that unifies their five elective courses and senior research. Electives allow students to concentrate on a specific area or topic of interest, while the senior research project offers a capstone experience where students integrate work in the three disciplines. In effect, the PPE major is a double major distributed across three departments.

Core Courses

Philosophy (4 courses)
The following two Philosophy courses:
PHIL 121Ethics: Philosophical Considerations of Morality
PHIL 126Social and Political Philosophy
And any two of the following:
PHIL 250Philosophy of Law
or PHIL 275 Philosophy of Feminism
or PHIL 294 Topics in Ethics
or PHIL 295 Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
or PHIL 321 Metaethics
or PHIL 326 Theories of Justice
Politics (4 courses)
PPA 132Introduction to Theorizing About Political Life: Normative Issues Common to Democratic Systems
Plus any one of the following two courses:
PPA 102Introduction to Policymaking in Democracies
or PPA 122 Introduction to Global Governance
Plus any one of the following courses:
PPA 381Ancient Political Theory
or PPA 382 Modern Political Theory
or PPA 383 Contemporary Political Theory
Plus one additional upper-division PPA course (300-level) that is not PPA 381, PPA 382, PPA 383, or American Political Thought.
Economics (4 courses)
The following two Economics courses:
ECON 101Introductory Macroeconomics
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomics
And any two of the following:
ECON 201
Economic Justice
or ECON 401
History of Economic Thought I
or ECON 402
History of Economic Thought II
or ECON 466
Evolution of the Western Economy

PPE Course of Study Proposal

Each prospective PPE major must submit a formal PPE course of study proposal (COSP) by mid-March of their sophomore year, indicating a general topic or theme that will serve as the focus of the major and proposing a program of more focused courses for their elective. The COSP must include an account of the student's progress toward completion of the core courses and an argument regarding why the proposed elective courses prepare them for senior research. Students will develop and submit the COSP while enrolled in PPE 201. To continue in the major, students must: a) have their COSPs approved by the PPE committee before registering for junior year courses, and b) earn a "Satisfactory" grade in PPE 201. 


A student must select five additional advanced courses (generally, 200-level or above) in at least two of the three departments. The courses which satisfy this requirement must be approved by the PPE Committee. Under special circumstances, and with the approval of the PPE Committee, a student may be permitted to fulfill up to two elective requirements with courses outside of the Philosophy, Politics and Public Affairs, and Economics departments. It is the responsibility of each student's PPE advisor and ultimately, the PPE Committee, to see that the student's course of study realizes the overall goals of the PPE Program.

Senior Research

In addition to completing the course sequence indicated above, each PPE student must complete at least one semester of senior research culminating in a senior research project linking the three areas.