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.

How to Get in

Students can declare the program via the online declaration form.


18 credits are required, as follows: 1

Core Breadth

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


ECON/​HIST SCI  305 Development of Economic Thought3-4
ECON 330 Money and Banking4
ECON 435 The Financial System3
ECON 461 International Macroeconomics3-4
ECON 464 International Trade3-4
ECON 465 The American Economy to 18653-4
ECON/​HISTORY  466 The American Economy Since 18653-4


PHILOS 341 Contemporary Moral Issues3-4
PHILOS/​ENVIR ST  441 Environmental Ethics3-4
PHILOS/​MED HIST  505 Justice and Health Care3
PHILOS/​MED HIST  515 Public Health Ethics3
PHILOS/​ECON  524 Philosophy and Economics3
PHILOS 541 Modern Ethical Theories3
PHILOS 549 Great Moral Philosophers3
PHILOS 555 Political Philosophy3

Political Science: Political Theory 

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 364 Christian Political Thought3-4
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 304 The Political Economy of Race in the United States3-4
POLI SCI 330 Political Economy of Development3-4
POLI SCI 340 The European Union: Politics and Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 350 International Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 354 International Institutions and World Order3-4
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

 Courses taken Pass/Fail do not count

Residency and Quality of Work

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA in all certificate courses
  • At least 9 certificate credits must be completed in residence

Certificate Completion Requirement

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

Learning Outcomes

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


Cassie Chulick: Undergraduate Advisor, 303 North Hall
Amy Gangl: Undergraduate Advisor, 302 North Hall
Rachel Margolies: Undergraduate Advisor, 301 North Hall

Appointments scheduled with Starfish

L&S Career Resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


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
  • Amy Gangl, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Rachel Margolies, Undergraduate Coordinator