Major Requirements

Majors complete a departmental concentration concurrently with the core and area courses.

Students are encouraged to review sample paths to the PPEL major, keeping in mind that there are many other combinations of classes students may choose in order to complete it. Please note that some courses that students may wish to take to fulfill requirements towards the PPEL major have prerequisites. Students are responsible for fulfilling all prerequisites necessary for courses taken towards major requirements.

Students with concentrations in Philosophy or Politics are encouraged to complete the Economics elective early in their studies.

The Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Major

Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.0, with no course grade below a C- (1.7). A grade of C or better is required in ECON101.

14-15 units, including:

  • Core Courses

    • ECON101 Principles of Microeconomics

    • PPEL261 PPEL Seminar in Theory and Public Policy

    • PPEL262 PPEL Seminar in Law and Social Order

    • PPEL363 Rational Choice and Political Theory

    • PPEL401 PPEL Capstone Seminar

  • Area Courses

    • One course in normative ethics

    • One course in normative political theory/political philosophy

    • One law-related course

    • Note: Area requirements can be fulfilled by courses in a variety of departments and schools. Majors should consult the PPEL website for an up to date list of approved courses. Exactly one area course may also count toward the 5 units within the primary concentration field.

  • Concentration

    • A required concentration chosen from Economics, Politics, or Philosophy including:

    • Five units selected from within the primary concentration field.

    • One unit from each of the other two concentration fields.


Students may petition the coordinator to have a new course count as an area or concentration course.

No more than half of the courses satisfying the requirements of the major may be taken in a single department.

With the exception of students double majoring with a PPEL and a major in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies or Robins School of Business, no more than three courses that count toward the completion of another major may also count toward the PPEL major. No more than four courses that count toward the completion of a major in Jepson or Robins may also count toward the PPEL major.

Study abroad is strongly encouraged. Upon approval of the PPEL coordinator, relevant coursework abroad can substitute for PPEL major requirements with the exception of PPEL261, PPEL262, PPEL363 and PPEL401.

Students seeking an exception to any of the major requirements must submit a petition to the PPEL Advisory Committee. No exceptions or substitutions will be made for the four core courses. Please see the PPEL coordinator for additional information. Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major. Prerequisites do not count toward the major unless otherwise noted.