Broad Based Skills for the Expansive Thinker

In this major, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics are combined in a multidisciplinary effort to study modern political science, questions of political philosophy, pursue social scientific research, and apply economic analysis in problem solving.

Detailed Program of Study

A professor lecturing enthusiastically

Why Politics/Philosophy/Economics?

The multidisciplinary trio provides a foundation in philosophy, logic, and critical thinking, political processes within the U.S. and in the international system, and the functioning of the economy with attention to economic analysis tools.  Students are given preparation in the foundational materials of each of these fields, and encouraged to explore classes at the intersection of political and economic issues.  Because it draws on three different research disciplines, this combined major strives to provide students with an interdisciplinary set of skills related to critical reasoning and analysis, problem solving and decision making, and social scientific research.  The PPE combined major is not a triple major; rather, it strives to provide a broad exposure to these three fields. 

The PPE major prepares 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.

For more information please see a video made by the American Economics Association:  "A Career in's Much More Than You Think" 

Plan of Study

For a complete Program of Study see the university catalog.

Flowchart of econ courses. Information from this visualization is available in text form in the University Catalog link on this page.

Please download and read carefully the Politics/Philosophy/Economics 2021-22 Plan of Study. This includes a flowchart for the required courses and will also serve as your planned course schedule when submitting your paperwork for you senior evaluation for graduation.

For help with planning your courses, please see your advisor or the department office.

The required courses build a strong foundation of political, philosophical, and economic theory and should be completed by one's junior year. One course with a Communication Focus (CF) as well as a minimum of three Writing Proficiency (WP-3) points are required. The CF course must be taken within CBE, while the WP requirement can be met with courses from any of the combined major departments. These requirements can be met as part of required or elective courses.

General University Requirements (GUR)

Several of your prerequisite and required courses also count as GURs. Look for classes in the course lists below that are labeled as "GUR." By planning your schedule properly you can reduce the total number of classes needed.

  • ECON 206 - Introduction to Microeconomics Credits: 4
  • ECON 207 - Introduction to Macroeconomics Credits: 4
  • ECON 303 - The History of Economic Thought Credits: 4
  • One course from:
    • ECON 306 - Intermediate Microeconomics Credits: 4
    • ECON 307 - Intermediate Macroeconomics Credits: 4
  • ECON 310 - Public Sector Economics
  • One course from:
    • MATH 124 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry I Credits: 5
    • MATH 134 - Calculus I Honors Credits: 5
    • MATH 138 - Accelerated Calculus Credits: 5
    • MATH 157 - Calculus With Applications to Business and Economics Credits: 4 (or AP Calculus Exam with score of 3 or better)
  • PHIL 102 - Introduction to Logic Credits: 3
  • PHIL 112 - Introduction to Philosophy: Moral Issues Credits: 3
  • PHIL 114 - Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality Credits: 3
  • PHIL 320 - Ethical Theory I Credits: 3
  • PHIL 350 - Political Philosophy Credits: 3
  • PHIL 360 - Society, Law and Morality Credits: 3
  • One course from:
    • PLSC 250 - The American Political System Credits: 5
    • PLSC 261 - Introduction to Political Theory Credits: 5
  • One course from:
    • PLSC 271 - Introduction to International Relations Credits: 5
    • PLSC 291 - Introduction to Comparative Politics Credits: 5
  • One course from:
    • PLSC 309 - Globalization from Political, Economic, and Social Perspectives Credits: 5
    • PLSC 370 - Global Issues in International Politics Credits: 5
    • PLSC 372 - International Political Economy Credits: 5
    • PLSC 390 - The Politics of Development Credits: 5
  • One course from:
    • PLSC 491 - Issues in Political Economy Credits: 4
    • ECON 491 - Issues in Political Economy Credits: 4

Economic Electives Philosophy Electives Political Science Electives Political Economy Electives
12 Credits upper division 9 Credits upper division 12 Credits upper division 4 Credits upper division

As a politics/philosophy/economics combined major you have the freedom to complete additional elective credits, under departmental advisement.

12 credits in upper-division economics

Note: ECON 309, ECON 446 or ECON 447 may not be counted toward this major.

9 credits in upper-division philosophy12 credits in upper-division political science

4 credits of a 400 level political science course with political economy content, such as:

PLSC 403, PLSC 406, PLSC 420, PLSC 427, PLSC 430, PLCS 436, PLSC 450, PLSC 453, PLSC 462 or by approval of the chair

Take one Communication focus – Economics (CF-E) or a Communication Focus (CF) course within the College of Business and Economics, and a minimum of three writing proficiency points in approved upper-division writing proficiency courses (WP-3 points) at WWU with a minimum grade of C-. The WP requirement can be met with courses from any of the combined major departments. These requirements can be completed as part of the above required and elective credits. Consult the Timetable of Classes for the specific course sections that fulfill the CF/CF-E and WP requirements.