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Why I Majored in PPE

Roman Ahmed ’21

I decided to major in PPE because I wanted to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the world functions in order to develop the skills needed to be a change agent. The interdisciplinary approach of PPE equipped me with tools to think rationally and critically, solve problems and expand my perspective. I plan to use my PPE degree to be a champion of education equity and housing justice.

Isabel Callahan ’21

Why did I major in PPE? Indecision between the three disciplines! (Kidding! Mostly). I majored in PPE as I believe our world is an interdisciplinary one, wherein the challenges of one ‘sector’ are inherently intertwined with those of another. I wanted a major that would allow me to develop a multi-fold approach to some of today’s most pressing challenges. What are the ethical ramifications of capitalism? What are its political ties? Though a single class does not necessarily cover these issues, majoring in PPE has given me the space to ask broad questions and the critical skills needed to approach them from different perspectives.

Agnes Mok ’21

I have always been extremely interested in politics and came to Pomona with the intent of majoring in politics. As I continued my political studies, I felt myself increasingly drawn to exploring other related interdisciplinary field to supplement my politics classes. After taking two introductory economics classes and political philosophy, I found that these disciplines were incredibly helpful in informing my understanding of politics. A background in philosophy has helped me better understand political theory, and economics has been an integral component for navigating policy. Some of my favorite classes that combine these disciplines have been Classical Political Theory, American Constitutionalism and Democracy, Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy.

The summer before my junior year, I worked as a policy research intern in Hong Kong. I conducted two research projects: one regarding education policy for the greater Bay Area initiative, and one regarding the 2019 anti-extradition protests. The work I completed gave me a hands-on experience of policy research that combined all three components of my major.

As a declared PPE major with a focus in politics, I feel PPE has equipped me with perspective, structure, and interdisciplinary knowledge. I learned to think rationally, formulate clear and logical arguments, and communicate those arguments effectively in writing. The PPE program combines these disciplines in such a liberal arts manner that yet reinforces expertise and specialization. I feel I have a fuller, more varied, and more solidly rooted understanding of not only politics, but all three fields: politics, philosophy, and economics. Studying PPE has not only supported my initial interest in politics, but fueled my passion for it. I’ve been able to dive deeper, ask more complex questions and seek answers with curiosity and confidence.

Brandon Peevy ’21

My goal upon graduating from Pomona College is to attend law school. I know that this will be a difficult experience, even more so than Pomona, so any academic preparation I can undertake in undergrad will definitely be beneficial. To that end, the PPE major offered me a rigorous curriculum that helped prepare me for the academic difficulty I will soon face in law school. Of the three areas (philosophy, politics, economics), I found that philosophy was the most beneficial to me.

Much of the legal framework in America relies upon philosophical theory. What is a “just” state? What is a right? What role should the government play in society? These questions and many others like them can trace their roots back to philosophers like John Locke, Thomas Aquinas, Baron de Montesquieu, Voltaire and Cesare Beccaria, many of whom I studied in my classes. By offering me early exposure to the foundations of American law, philosophy has given me a “leg up” on other students in law school. Additionally, with the extensive amounts of writing, speaking and analyzing that I did in my classes, I have also developed and improved upon crucial skills needed to not only succeed in law school, but to excel as well. By far, I believe that the subject of philosophy did the most to prepare me for law school.

Sally Sohn ’22

I have always wanted a career in business, so naturally, I chose to attend a business school. However, even as a business major, I felt as if something was missing. It wasn’t until I found out about Pomona’s PPE program that I realized it was exactly what I was looking for. My decision to transfer to Pomona and major in PPE is undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made.

The interdisciplinary nature of PPE drew me in right away. Philosophy, politics, and economics are integral disciplines that shape so much of the world, so I knew studying them alongside each other would be an incredibly insightful and valuable experience. Moreover, I chose PPE because it presented the opportunity to broaden my perspective and adopt an open mindset, which I desired not only for business but also for life in general. Each PPE class teaches me to form original thoughts, make creative connections, and face new challenges with confidence. In addition, while I gain a firm foundation in all three disciplines, I am also able to tailor my experience by choosing classes that fit my personal interests. Studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Pomona is an invaluable and unreplicable experience that I will always carry with me and be thankful for.