Requirements of the Major

Requirements of the Major

Summary of requirements for the Class of 2018 and Class of 2019

*Note to the Class of 2018 and Class of 2019 With DUS approval, the changes to the requirements of the major may be fulfilled by students who declared their major under previous requirements (see below for the Class of 2020 and subsequent classes).

To complete the Ethics, Politics and Economics major, students must take fourteen term courses.

Six introductory courses survey central issues in ethics and political philosophy and provide a basic familiarity with contemporary economic analysis. Every student in the major must take introductory macroeconomics and introductory microeconomics, introduction to political philosophy, introduction to ethics, and an introductory statistics course.  Every student must also take an intermediate level microeconomics course.

Four core courses comprise the center of the major. All students must take “Classics of Ethics, Politics and Economics” as one of their core courses. Students must complete two seminars, one each in two of the remaining three fields. and at least one Advanced Seminar.  Ordinarily three of the four core classes must be completed before the beginning of the senior year.  We suggest students take Advanced Seminars later in their program, after they have determined their concentration.

Four concentration courses, drawn from any part of the university, must cohere together into a unified area of concentration. Each student conceives of his or her area of concentration in personal consultation with the director of undergraduate studies during the second half of their junior year. The purpose of the concentration is to enable students to frame an important problem and shape a systematic course of inquiry, employing analytic methods and substantive theories drawn from the various disciplines. The concentration be constructed with the senior essay in mind. At least three of the four concentration courses must be seminars; only one can be a lecture.

In addition, all students in the major must write a senior essay. The essay may be written in the context of a concentration seminar, or it may be written independently. If it is written independently, it may be written over the course of either one term or the entire academic year. Independent essays, written in consultation with a faculty adviser, may count as one course towards the concentration.

Which courses fulfill introductory requirements (Class of 2018 and 2019)?

EPE Introductory Courses for the Class of 2018 and 2019

  • Economics: Econ 110 or 115, and Econ 111 or 116, Econ 108
  • Political Philosophy: Phil 178, Political Science 114, 118, or Directed Studies
  • Ethics: Philosophy 175 (Directed Studies students may substitute Normative Ethics for this
    requirement.)

In addition, one statistics and one intermediate microeconomics course are required:

  • Statistics: STAT 100, STAT 101-106, STAT 230, STAT 238, STAT 242, ECON 131, ECON 132, ECON 135, and ECON 136
  • Intermediate microeconomics: Economics 121 or 122

Which courses fulfill core requirements (Class of 2018 and 2019)?

EPE Core Courses for the Class of 2018 and 2019

  2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018  
Rational Choice and Social Theory 221, 223, 224, 227, 228, 230, 235, 236, 238 297, 298 220, 221, 224, 227, 230, 233, 235, 236, 270, 295, 297, 298, 299 221, 224, 230, 232, 234, 235, 236, 294, 297, 298 and PLSC 346  
Political Systems 240, 242, 243, 244, 245, 248, 249, 250, 257, 258, 259, 271, 280, 285, 286, 289, 294 242, 243, 245, 248, 249, 250, 253, 254, 255, 258, 259, 286 240, 242, 245, 248, 250, 254, 259, 286, 287  
Advanced Seminar 300, 310, 312, 324, 334, 353, 365, 380, 390, 410, 411, 420, 426, 466, 470, 472, 477, 481, 482, 484, 485, 486, 487, 488, 490, 494, 495, 496, 497 300, 310, 324, 334, 380, 390, 396, 401, 404, 474, 482, 484, 490, 494, 496, 497, 498 310, 312, 324, 334, 337, 352, 353, 380, 390, 411, 421, 470, 478, 479, 487, 494, 496, 497, 499  
Social Theory and Cultural Analysis 267, 271, 276, 353 263, 269, 301, 303 264, 267, 269, 353  

Designing your Concentration

Each student is expected to define a particular area of concentration in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Initial discussions with the DUS about the concentration should occur in the spring of the junior year, and final confirmation of the courses included in the concentration will be required in the spring of the senior year

The concentration is intended to enable students to frame an important problem and shape a systematic course of inquiry, employing analytical methods and substantive theories drawn from the three fields of inquiry.  Students should not only recognize the accomplishments of varied interdisciplinary efforts, but also attempt to represent and in some cases further develop those accomplishments in their own work. For most students, the concentration will treat a contemporary problem with a substantial policy dimension (domestic or international), but some students may wish to emphasize philosophical and methodological issues. 

Areas of concentration must consist of at least four courses appropriate to the theme. They may be drawn from any department in the university, so long as they are relevant to the student’s proposed area of study. In general, the courses chosen should collectively convey what each of the three main fields of inquiry combined in this major has to offer to the themes of their concentration. They are selected by the student in close consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and, often, the senior essay advisor.  Students, of course, may want to take other relevant courses in addition to their four officially selected concentration courses.  In designing the area of concentration, students would be well advised to include general intermediate courses related to their interests.  The Director of Undergraduate Studies and the senior essay advisor will also require students to show adequate competence in data analysis when the themes of their area of concentration require it. Students should seek advice early in shaping a sufficiently rich area of concentration that draws on all three fields of the curriculum.

Directed Reading and Research

At any point in the major, students may develop a course of directed reading and research with a faculty advisor, in which case they should enroll in EP&E 471 and complete a Directed Reading and Research form along with their course schedule. Proposals for directed readings must include a course description, a reading list, a schedule of meetings with the advisor and a description of the written work to be completed.

If applicable, a Directed Reading and Research may count towards one of the four required courses in the concentration.

Requirements of the major for the Class of 2020 and subsequent classes

All students majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics must take twelve term courses, including five introductory courses (1 introductory course in ethics, political philosophy, game theory, intermediate microeconomics, and econometrics); three core courses (one of which must be an advanced seminar), and four concentration courses, which comprise a student’s individual area of concentration and must include a course for the senior essay (in a seminar, or in EP&E 491 for a one-semester essay, or in EP&E 492 and 493 for a yearlong essay). The concentration is developed in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies and should culminate in a senior essay written in the area defined by the concentration.

Introductory courses for the Class of 2020 and subsequent classes Introductory courses provide a basic familiarity with contemporary economic analysis and survey central issues in ethics and political philosophy. Such a background is necessary to understand theories that combine different approaches to the three areas of inquiry and to assess policies with complex political, economic, and moral implications. 

Many of you are eager to know the math and economics requirements for the EPE major. EPE has no math requirements, but it would be a good idea to take Math 115 or 118 so when it comes time to take  intermediate microeconomics, you are well prepared.

Macroeconomics is no longer a requirement for the major, but you should feel free to take it if you like, to broaden your base.

The introductory courses include one course from each of the following five topics:

  • Ethics: Philosophy 175 (With DUS permission, Directed Studies students may substitute Normative Ethics for this requirement.)
  • Political Philosophy: Phil 178, Political Science 114, 118, or Directed Studies
  • Game Theory: ECON 159, PLSC 346
  • Intermediate Microeconomics: ECON 121 or 122
  • Econometrics: ECON 131, or its equivalent (ECON 135, SOCY 162, GLBL 121, S&DS 230, or S&DS 238).

Core courses for the Class of 2020 and subsequent years The major requires that students take three core courses, EP&E 215 and two additional core courses from the major’s three core areas, one of which must be an advanced seminar anchored in at least two of the major’s three core areas of ethics, politics, or economics (a list of this year’s eligible courses can be found here). The DUS can also offer guidance regarding appropriate courses to fulfill this requirement.

The Ethics core draws from courses on normative thinking from philosophy and political science (theory only), or from EP&E courses with Philosophy or Political Science listed as secondary departments.  

The Politics core includes courses offered by Political Science as the primary department, or EP&E courses with Political Science listed as the secondary department.

The Economics core comprises courses offered by Economics as the primary department, or Political Science courses cross-listed with Economics.