Advice to New and Potential Majors

Exploring courses

Freshmen year is a great time to explore! Both in our common foundations and in the college's sectors and foundational approaches, take courses to see if PPE seems right and to get a sense of what kind of direction you would like to take the major. PPE brings together several different disciplines, so it's important to have broad academic exposure to know whether PPE is right for you!

Keep in mind that PPE is a 16 course major, which requires 36 overall courses to graduate. That said, 16 cus comes out to an average of 2 per semester - you don't have to do everything at once!


Common Foundation Courses


On campus PPE-related opportunities & future planning

From research to study abroad to centers of activity on campus, Penn has a lot of PPE-related opportunities to offer inside and outside the classroom. Whether attending an event or applying for a fellowship, these provide additional ways to explore PPE and think through what you would like to accomplish in the major. Check them out!


Penn Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program

  • A great way for Freshman and Sophomores to connect with faculty on research projects.

Public Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES) Student Research Fellowships

  • The PORES Student Research Fellowship is a paid position. During the academic year, students are expected to work at least 10 hours a week for the duration of the semester. For the summer fellowship, students are expected to be in residence and work 35 hours a week. As part of the fellowship, students may also have the opportunity to visit NBC News in New York City.  

Wharton Public Policy Research Scholars

  • Similar to a minor, PPRS offers an organized course of study developing a student's ability to analyze policy. Student apply to the program at the end of Freshman year.

Perry World House

  • Perry World House presents a lot of quality global programming and invited students to apply to become Perry World House Fellows.

Andrea Mitchell Center for Democracy

  • With ongoing debates and talks about all areas of democracy, the Andrea Mitchell Center for Democracy also offers undergraduate research grants on any dimension of democracy.

Decision Processes Brown Bag Lunch

  • Designed for faculty, but students are welcome. The Decision Processes Brown Bag provide an opportunity for faculty from across the University to discuss recent research on how people make decisions.

Penn's Social and Behavioral Sciences Initiative

  • Driving discovery and innovation by supporting the interdisciplinary study of social and behavioral science at Penn. The Initiative links together scholars who are addressing similar questions and provides infrastructure for research.


  • Most famous for their work during elections, Factcheck works to improve the quality of our public discourse. They also have an undergraduate fellows program.


  • Think a semester abroad, only in D.C. while interning for a think tank, federal agency, or on capitol hill.


Study abroad

  • PPE is one of the only majors on Campus with major-specific study abroad exchange programs.

Careers and Life after PPE

  • See the career services data and peruse several vignettes and interviews with recent majors.


Finding out more about the program

For more on your particular situation, make an appointment with PPE's Associate Director.

If you have questions for current PPE Majors, please reach out to members of the Major Advising Program.


Next steps

Prospective students should read the process for declaring the major.