Requirements of the Major

Introductory courses 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. 

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

  • Introduction to Ethics*: PHIL 175 or Directed Studies
  • Political Philosophy*: PHIL 178; PLSC 108, 114, 118, 119 or Directed Studies
  • Introduction to Political Science: PLSC 111, 113, 116
  • Other Perspectives*: This course should be from history, sociology, anthropology, ER&M, WGSS or other disciplines, decided in consultation with the EPE DUS, or Directed Studies.
  • Introductory Micro-Economics: ECON 108, 110, 115
  • Introductory Macro-Economics: ECON 111, 116
  • Econometrics: ECON 117, 123, 135; GLBL 121 or S&DS 230, S&DS 238
  • Game Theory: EP&E 220, 231, 295, 297 or ECON 159

*The three Directed Studies courses qualify as substitutes for these three introductory requirements.

Students who officially test out of Introductory Microeconomics or Introductory Macroeconomics (through the Economics Department) must take instead, with the approval of the EP&E DUS, another course in Economics or a course in another department that lists the introductory course in question as a prerequisite.  Students are very strongly encouraged to complete these introductory courses before the beginning of their fifth semester, because of the demands of the overall EP&E course load and the related need to demonstrate the ability to complete the major.  The introductory courses needed to complete the EP&E major have been carefully selected because they provide students with a strong foundational knowledge across the disciplines that constitute the program. For this reason, EP&E students may not substitute courses other than those listed as prerequisite choices as they complete the program.

Core courses The major requires that students take three core courses, Classics of EP&E - EP&E 213, 214, 215, 216, or 217, plus two additional core courses, one each in two of the remaining three fields. One of those two must be an advanced seminar that explores a combination of at least two of the three areas of ethics, politics, and economics (a list of eligible 2023-2024 courses can be found here; a list of eligible fall 2024 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.

Each semester a new Requirements Progress Report must be filled out and sent to the EP&E registrar Kellianne Farnham.

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 three seminars appropriate to the theme, one of which is the course in which the senior essay is written.  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 three officially selected concentration courses and may only count one lecture toward this requirement.  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.  More information can be found here.

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

Forms for the spring 2024 semester are due to Kellianne Farnham on January 23, 2024.