Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law

College of Arts and Sciences

310 Shatzel Hall, 419-372-2560

Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law Major

The major in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that provides students with an integrated curriculum, drawing on the methods and insights of philosophy, political science, and economics. Its aim is to provoke critical reflection on the relationship between different social institutions-political, legal, social, and economic. It emphasizes grappling with the moral and historical bases of political and economic life, while also equipping students with rigorous analytic thinking skills that are increasingly important in business, policy, law, and other fields.

The program consists of 36 credit hours, divided into three groups. First, the Groundwork courses (12 credits) ensure that students have a foundation in philosophy, economics, and political science. Second, the Core courses are four PPEL major only courses (12 credits) that integrate the three fields, from formal analysis to history and original research. PPEL majors may then select a "Track" within the major that allows them to further pursue their research questions. Three tracks are offered: Law, Ethics and Policy, and National and International Perspectives. The tracks emphasize multidisciplinary skills.

Admissions Requirement

  • Completion of 30 credit hours and at least three of the four groundwork courses, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Under exceptional circumstances, a student may request admission review on an individual basis. Contact the PPEL program for information.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the major, students in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law are expected to:

  • LO1: Inform: Demonstrate familiarity with key economic, political, and philosophical ideas necessary for identifying problems that require a multidisciplinary response.
  • LO2: Inquire: Formulate concrete research questions with multidisciplinary tools.
  • LO3: Investigate: Apply the research and writing skills necessary to conduct research using qualitative and/or quantitative evidence to provide answers to concrete research questions.
  • LO4: Interact: Contribute to public deliberation concerning important political and economic questions in ways that respect cultural and intellectual diversity.

Assessment of LO1 will be conducted through entry and exit surveys in the Core courses, along with major assignments for each Core course. LO2-LO4 will be assessed based on the final PPEL research project, completed in PPEL 4800, in the major's senior year.

Major, Bachelor of Arts (36 hours) - Fall 2017 course requirements

Students are required to take courses from three major fields of study: Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics. All students must take PPEL 2240, PPEL 3000, and PPEL 3100. The senior capstone, PPEL 4800, is taken in the senior year. Students must select a track, and may suggest substitutions, that can be granted by the PPEL director. These courses cannot count towards other majors.

Groundwork Courses: ECON 2020, ECON 2030, POLS 1100 (or POLS 1710), PHIL 1250

Core Courses: PPEL 2240, PPEL 3000, PPEL 3100, PPEL 4800 (Capstone)

Tracks: Law, Ethics and Policy, and National and International Perspectives. Course pools for each track listed in PPEL Major Checklist. (Note: students interested in policy are advised to take an introductory statistics course, either POLS 2900, PSYC 2700 or SOC 2690.)

Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law Minor

The minor in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for a critical understanding of the production, maintenance and interaction of social, political, legal and economic institutions. In particular, students will learn to combine empirical knowledge and methods, formal tools of analysis, and normative inquiry.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the minor, students in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law are expected to:

  • LO1: Be prepared to closely examine important normative and political questions by applying key economic, legal, political and ethical concepts (such as opportunity cost, marginalism, comparative institutional analysis, political ideology, theories of justice and governmental systems) to solve real-world challenges.
  • LO2: Be able to analyze contemporary social conflicts and coordination problems in a multidisciplinary (economic, legal, political and ethical) context.
  • LO3: Possess research skills necessary to conduct a research project using qualitative or quantitative evidence to evaluate and contribute to the resolution of debates and policy disputes in the law, political disagreement, economic conflicts, etc.
  • LO4: Possess critical thinking, theoretical understanding, and communication skills necessary to responsibly address pressing political and economic questions.

Assessment of learning outcomes will be conducted through entry and exit surveys and a general assessment of the final PPEL research project, completed in PHIL 4800 in the minor's senior year. Papers produced in PHIL 4800 can be used to assess all learning outcomes.

Minor only (21 hours) - Fall 2017 course requirements

Students are required to take courses from each of the three major fields of study in PPEL, Philosophy, Political Science and Economics. All students must take PPEL 2240 as the gateway course and PHIL 4800 as the capstone. All minors must complete PHIL 3120 or PHIL 3020 and ECON 2020 or ECON 2000. There is no specific requirement in political science, though PPEL minors must take at least one political science course. With prerequisites, students can select three other electives from the approved list. Substitutions are possible with permission from the PPEL director. Note that none of these courses may be counted towards the relevant major.

Philosophy Electives: PHIL 2180, PHIL 2200, PHIL 2320, PHIL 2420, PHIL 3020, PHIL 3120

Political Science Electives: POLS 3040, POLS 3350, POLS 3720, POLS 4160, POLS 4170, POLS 4180, POLS 4200, POLS 4240, POLS 4260, or POLS 4760

Economics Electives: ECON 3210, ECON 3230, ECON 3350, ECON 4050, ECON 4220, ECON 4730*

*With instructor permission PPEL minors may count ECON 2020 and/or ECON 2000 as the prerequisite course(s) for all listed ECON electives, without ECON 2030.