Why enroll in the political economy, philosophy, and politics certificate?

The political economy, philosophy, and politics (PEPP) certificate is rooted in a core insight: social, economic, and political problems have ethical, political, and economic dimensions. While the first program (politics, philosophy, and economics, or PPE) formally combining these three approaches was created at Oxford University in 1920, it drew on a tradition of inquiry that brought the three perspectives together. Since its creation at Oxford, similar programs have been created at a wide range of the world’s leading universities.
If we move from the insight behind the program to what it means in practice, we can see that understanding, for example, immigration requires understanding it from political, economic, and ethical perspectives. In short, understanding the pressing political, economic, or philosophical problems of the day entails seeing them from a perspective that brings together all three disciplines. As a result, the PEPP curriculum brings together faculty and coursework from three different academic departments: Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science. This cross-disciplinary curriculum is important not just for intellectual development, but also for fostering the habits of mind central to democratic citizenship.
Students who enroll in the PEPP certificate will thus take coursework from political science, economics, and philosophy, and the certificate program will culminate in a small-enrollment, research- and writing-oriented capstone seminar, POLI SCI 461. Combining breadth across the three disciplines with depth within two of the three, the PEPP certificate is a rigorous and exciting opportunity for cross-disciplinary study.

Students can declare the program via the online declaration form.

requirements for the certificate

18 credits are required, as follows: 1

Core Breadth

Four courses for 12 credits, one course each from these areas:


ECON 330 Money and Banking4
ECON 435 The Financial System3
ECON 464 International Trade3-4
ECON 465 The American Economy to 18653-4
ECON/​HISTORY  466 The American Economy Since 18653-4


PHILOS/​ECON  524 Philosophy and Economics3
PHILOS 541 Modern Ethical Theories3
PHILOS 549 Great Moral Philosophers3
PHILOS 555 Political Philosophy3
PHILOS 559 Philosophy of Law3

Political Science: Political Theory 

POLI SCI 266 The Development of Modern Western Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI 360 History of American Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI 361 Contemporary American Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI 363 Literature and Politics3-4
POLI SCI 411 The American Constitution : Powers and Structures of Government4
POLI SCI 463 Deception and Politics4

Political Science: Institutions and Political Economy

POLI SCI 274 Political Choice and Strategy3-4
POLI SCI 330 Political Economy of Development3
POLI SCI 340 The European Union: Politics and Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 350 International Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 356 Principles of International Law3-4

Elective Depth Course

Take one (1) additional course (3 credits) from the list of courses above in either Economics or Philosophy.

Capstone Seminar

POLI SCI 461 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Political Economy, Philosophy, & Politics3

Residency and Quality of Work

  • 2.000 GPA in all courses eligible for the certificate
  • 9 credits in residence


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Knowing key concepts and arguments from economics, philosophy, and political science.
  2. Synthesizing arguments, concepts, and methods from philosophy, politics, and economics.
  3. Applying arguments, concepts, and methods from philosophy, politics, and economics to contemporary policy debates.

Cassie Chulick - Undergraduate Advisor, 210 North Hall
Amy Gangl - Undergraduate Advisor, 302 North Hall
Rachel Margolies - Undergraduate Advisor, 311 North Hall

Joel Clark - Undergraduate Career Advisor, 306 North Hall

Appointments scheduled with Starfish

Faculty Director: Daniel Kapust, Associate Professor, Political Science

Program Core Faculty with Departmental Affiliation:

  • Jim Walker, Professor, Economics
  • Maria Muniagurria, Economics
  • Daniel Hausman, Professor, Philosophy
  • Harry Brighouse, Professor, Philosophy.
  • Daniel Kapust, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Helen Kinsella, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Howard Schweber, Professor, Political Science
  • John Zumbrunnen, Professor, Political Science
  • Genevieve Rousseliere, Assistant Professor, Political Science
  • Michelle Schwarze, Assistant Professor, Political Science
  • Richard Avramenko, Associate Professor, Political Science


  • Cassie Chulick, Undergraduate advisor, Political Science
  • Eunsook Jung, Undergraduate advisor, Political Science