Attention: See the latest on Pomona College’s spring planning. Learn More

Philosophy, Politics & Economics Major

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
The senior course, Freedom, Markets and Well-Being is team-taught by two professors from different disciplines.

Learning at Pomona

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.

Remy Rossi

Interning for the Boston Cyclists’ Union

Remy Rossi ’19 learned the ins and outs of non-profit advocacy work by attending policy meetings, managing donations, and fixing bikes in low-income neighborhoods.

Remy Rossi ’19

I am majoring in PPE because while this world seems to become more chaotic, the intersections of politics, philosophical thought, and economic issues seem more pronounced and important than ever. I love the freedom to choose classes from three great departments and tailor the major to my specific interests.

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.