Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics & Economics
In Drexel’s PPE program, we start from the idea that the economy is fundamentally political, politics is fundamentally economic, and both are shaped by philosophical inquiry.
Drexel University’s Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) exemplifies the University’s commitment to a comprehensive education at the intersection of thought and practice. A joint endeavor of the School of Economics, the Department of Politics and the Department of English and Philosophy, the BA in PPE provides a multidisciplinary foundation for students who want to address the complex, interconnected challenges of contemporary life. Students in the program build on a foundation of rigorous philosophical thought, applied research skills, and scientifically grounded political and economic theory. Each discipline enhances the others by providing complementary and critical perspectives on the subject matter.
Philosophy, Politics and Economics Major Curriculum
Students in the PPE major begin their studies with PPE101, an interdisciplinary, discussion-based course that examines how the three disciplines work together to tackle real-world problems. Students develop a clear understanding of the “PPE perspective” and apply it to current issues such as world poverty, inequality, press freedom, war, patriarchy, racism and human rights violations.
In the interactive seminar capstone course, PPE450, students work with an instructor as they evaluate public policy proposals, research or theoretical perspectives using the tools, arguments and methods drawn from the three fields. The curriculum also includes core courses and electives across a range of disciplines:
Philosophy courses in the major are focused on establishing a powerful set of logical reasoning, writing and dialogical skills oriented toward questions in ethics, logic, philosophy of law, and social and political philosophy. PPE students take two upper-level philosophy seminars and may take more as electives. Recent seminars have included Objectivity in Science, Rawls and Political Liberalism, The Dialogues of Plato, Marx’s Philosophy and Theories of Sustainability.
The major’s politics courses constitute a solid foundation in political science, covering a variety of topics that include comparative politics, history of political thought, qualitative or quantitative research methods, theories of justice, American foreign policy, social protest movements and more.
The economics courses are designed to give the student a foundation for profound analysis and insight. Topics explored include microeconomics, macroeconomics, economic ideas, public finance, and electives chosen from courses that include Game Theory and Applications, Economics of Small Business, Labor Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, Resource and Environmental Economics, and more.
PPE majors also take electives courses in many disciplines, choosing from courses like Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequality, Wealth and Power, Gender and Society, Development and Underdevelopment in the Global South, Environmental Justice and more.
Learn more about the degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in the Course Catalog
Drexel Co-op for PPE Majors
Through Drexel’s cooperative education program, students embark on six-months of résumé-enhancing employment, exploring their career options and building a professional network in the process. PPE majors have access to a wide range of co-op positions, such as those related to public service, government, international and domestic business, law, community organizing, education, publishing, journalism, academic research and more.
CAREERS WITH A PPE DEGREE
A degree in philosophy, politics and economics prepares students for a wide variety of careers that require thoughtful analysis and engaged leadership. These include roles in:
- Academic research
- Community organizing
- International and domestic business
- Public service
- And many more!
WHY STUDY PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS & ECONOMICS?
The world needs flexible thinkers who can adapt to unexpected situations and help solve problems in ways that are neither narrowly political nor purely profit-driven. The study of PPE helps to develop perspectives with real-world advantages that include:
- Historical insight: PPE helps students make sense of historical events and ideas in a comprehensive and insightful way.
- Marketable skills: PPE students develop analytical, writing, reading and dialogical skills that prove valuable in academic research and many business occupations.
- Pre-professional readiness: The skills acquired through the major make PPE students likely to fare well on graduate, law, business and medical school entrance examinations like the GRE and LSAT.
- Foundation in legal studies: PPE is particularly suited for pre-law students, since its subject matter involves major legal areas like public policy, government, civil rights and corporate responsibility.
HISTORY OF PPE
Philosophy, Politics and Economics as an interdisciplinary program began in the early 20th century at the University of Oxford. The goal was to ensure that scholars were ready to apply their learning in practical, governmental, legal and business contexts to become leaders and change agents.
Historically, the disciplines we know today as political science and economics descend from what was previously called “political economy” — the application of philosophical reflection and criticism to issues in markets and politics. It considered how societies decided what goods should be produced, under what conditions they were produced, and ultimately how those goods would be distributed and enjoyed. PPE today acknowledges the insight that is often lost in the separation of politics and economics, and is devoted to the idea that re-engaging them will inspire and empower students to leave an impact on the world.
START YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD A DEGREE IN PPE
To find out more about this exciting new major, please contact one of the co-directors: Peter Amato, PhD, teaching professor and director of programs in philosophy, Amelia Hoover Green, PhD, assistant professor of politics, or Roger McCain, PhD, professor of economics. You can also apply now, or visit campus to experience life at Drexel firsthand.