As a PPE major, you’ll learn to combine knowledge of economic and political institutions with a broader vision of the goals and purposes of society.

Study philosophy, politics and economics in this major offered jointly by the three departments. The intersection of these fields of study will allow you to form your own educated opinions on matters crucial to the human condition.

You’ll take four classes in each discipline, receiving a foundation in the methods and issues of each. Then, you’ll choose one department to focus on with two more courses and a faculty advisor from that discipline.

All seniors take the course, Freedom, Markets and Well-Being, and complete the senior thesis and exercise.

The major provides excellent preparation for careers in law, business and public service.

  • Student meeting with Professor Eleanor Brown
    Student meeting with Professor Eleanor Brown
  • In class with Professor Stephen Erickson
    In class with Professor Stephen Erickson
  • In class with Professor Heather Williams
    In class with Professor Heather Williams

What You'll Study

  • Ethics and history of philosophy
  • American or comparative politics
  • Macroeconomics and microeconomics
  • Five electives
  • A senior thesis
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The senior course, Freedom, Markets and Well-Being is team-taught by two professors from different disciplines.

Learning at Pomona

  • Matthew O'Connor '15
    Does Race Affect Salary? A Test for Racial Discrimination in the NFL

    Matthew O’Connor ’15 evaluated the current climate for African American players in the NFL using regression analysis to measure whether race affects a player’s salary.

  • Emlyn Foxen
    Sexual Politics in Romance Novels of the 1970s and 1980s

    Emlyn Foxen ’16 explored how forces that influenced sexual politics and changing sexual mores were reflected and engaged with in romance novels about white, heterosexual women. 

  • Reese Gaines PPE
    The Presidency and Congressional Polarization

    Reese Gaines ’16 studied the skills needed by modern U.S. presidents to pass legislation with a polarized Congress, and the role of earmarks and unilateral actions.

  • Alving Trinh
    ACOs: The Solution to Healthcare Problems in the United States

    Chrissie Alving-Trinh ’15 explored how Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will reduce costs in healthcare and whether the methods they use are ethically acceptable. 

Reese Gaines
Reese Gaines ‘16

I love the Politics Department! The knowledge I’ve gained has made me a competitive person when applying to positions in D.C. I look at the world and realize that there are problems, and someone has to step up, be a leader and offer solutions. I want to be that someone.

Faculty & Teaching

 Drawing from three departments, our PPE faculty has a wealth of experience and expertise. Four main faculty members administer the program, but through your electives and discipline focus, classes are available from more than 35 faculty members with diverse research interests and scholarly backgrounds.

Professor Eleanor Brown

The PPE major takes economics’ detailed understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of markets and their regulation, adds politics’ understanding of political institutions and processes, and takes the larger view of philosophy to help us to ask what it is we might hope to achieve through these institutions. It is a major for the student who wants to see the big picture while tackling the details.