FAQ’s about applying to EP&E

What are the distinctive features of the EP&E major?

First, the major emphasizes learning in seminars. After the initial introductory courses, the requirements are fulfilled almost entirely through small seminar-style classes. We commission our own courses from both Yale and visiting faculty as well as cross-listing courses in the related fields.

Second, the major offers an approach to interdisciplinary work that does not leave behind the disciplines. You will be asked first to learn something about each of the associated disciplines, then to learn a number of methods and approaches that can be applied across disciplines, and finally you will be given the freedom to develop your own “concentration,” drawing freely from courses across the university. We hope that this progression will leave you not free from all discipline, but able to draw upon different disciplines as necessary to consider the political, moral, philosophic and economic aspects of problems in public life. You will be asked to demonstrate this ability in the senior essay.

What do EP&E majors do after college?

Our majors go on to many different sorts of careers, including law, education, academics, journalism, politics, non-governmental organizations, military service, business and finance. The major has a reputation among many employers as a source for intellectual talent.

What courses should I take during my first three semesters at Yale if I would like to keep open the possibility of majoring in EP&E and maximize my chances of being admitted?

We recommend that you take two or three of the introductory courses listed on our list of requirements: introduction to political philosophy, introduction to ethics, and/or the introductions to micro- and macro-economics. (Please see the “requirements progress report” on our website to confirm the exact courses that fulfill these requirements for us.) If we receive an application from someone who has not taken anything at all in one of the associated fields – no economics, no philosophy or no political science – we may wonder whether the individual truly has an interest in all three fields. Also, taking these courses is a way for you to explore whether you’d like to go further in them.

What is the application process?

Interested students should email a pdf of their transcript, a writing sample of one paper that they have submitted to a course at Yale (preferably in a field related to EP&E), and a brief statement (1-2 pages) explaining why they feel that EP&E would be the best way to pursue their academic interests. Applications for the class of 2021 are due on December 3, 2018. Admitted students will be notified by the end of December.

Please do not request recommendation letters or grade projections from faculty members, as they are not a part of our application process.

Can I include EP&E as part of a double-major?

Yes, though keep in mind that EP&E already asks you to master a number of different disciplines. There is a danger in spreading yourself too thin.

Is there a special relationship between Directed Studies and EP&E?

While we typically draw a fair number of students from Directed Studies, there is no formal relationship between the programs. We do count the “history and politics” track of DS as one way of completing our requirement for an introductory course in political philosophy.

What is the acceptance rate?

We typically receive about 80 applications, and we have room for about 40 students each year.

Why can’t everyone be admitted?

EP&E is a seminar-based major, and we only have the teaching staff to run two sections of the key seminars each year.

Do you have a list of senior essay titles from previous years?

Yes, click here for a list.