In a world where one is increasingly asked to employ tools that cut across disciplines, the PPE major offers an integrated, cross-disciplinary perspective that combines broad and rigorous training in the foundations of three subjects (plus study opportunities in some areas of psychology related to PPE) with a specialization and research experience in a concentration of choice.
PPE students are free to explore and integrate many relevant disciplines and research areas. They may examine the nature and implications of human decision-making, the nature of distributive justice, the ethical consequences of the competitive market economy, and the dynamic relationships between the economic, political and legal orders. Some examples of research themes that PPE students have investigated are provided below.
1. A student wants to study human decision-making in a variety of domains, and learn to apply several methodologies such as rational choice models, behavioral models built from experimental evidence, and evolutionary models applied to the social sciences. This student could design a program that includes courses in philosophy, political science, economics, psychology, cognitive science/neuroscience, computer science and mathematics and investigates decision-making from many angles and with a range of tools.
2. A student interested in voting rules or theories of deterrence in political science may want to learn more about game theory and history, and want to take courses in other departments. The PPE major allows these courses to count towards the major.
3. What are the ethical parameters that should guide professionals in a variety of disciplines? A student can answer this question with inputs from philosophy, political science, law, business, and bioethics, and get credits for a variety of courses.
Since its inception PPE has been very popular and today it is one of the largest majors in the college. The major is intended to prepare its graduates for careers in public policy and public service, consulting, journalism (reporting on political and economic issues), law and international affairs. It is an excellent pre-law major and it also offers suitable preparation for graduate study in any of the participating disciplines. PPE majors have gone on to some of the nation's most prestigious law and professional schools; to successful careers in business, public service, policy-making and journalism, and to graduate studies in the various sub-fields.