Common Foundations

The common foundations ensure every PPE student has an intellectual base in each of the allied disciplines. Moreover, these courses serve as the intellectual backdrop for the integrating Core Courses and area of depth developed in the thematic concentration. For example, a globalization student may begin with PHIL 271 (Global Justice) and PSCI 152 (International Political Economy) where a Public Policy and Governance student may take PHIL 077 (Philosophy of Law) and PSCI 271 (Constitutional Law). Though the foundation courses do not have to relate to your theme, this is a good time to explore your interests!

The student needs to take 7 classes, two each in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and one in Psychology. To ensure you have broad exposure to the major, we recommend completing the common foundations by the end of the sophomore year.


PPE Common Foundations - Fall 2019 (<- click to download handout)

Philosophy Foundation

PHIL 008: The Social Contract


Philosophy Foundation (choose 1)

PHIL 002: Ethics

PHIL 072: Biomedical Ethics

PHIL 079: Environmental Ethics

PHIL 233: Philosophy of Economics

PHIL 271: Global Justice

PHIL 277: Justice, Morality and Law

Political Science Theory Foundation (choose 1)

PSCI 180: Ancient Political Thought 

PSCI 182: Contemporary Political Thought


Political Science Foundation (choose 1)

PSCI 107: Introduction to Data Science

PSCI 110: Introduction to Comparative Politics

PSCI 116: Political Change in the 3rd World

PSCI 130: Introduction to American Politics

PSCI 150: International Relations

PSCI 152: International Political Economy

PSCI 271: Classic American Constitutional Law


ECON 001: Microeconomics

ECON 002: Macroeconomics

see ppe policies or below if you have a waiver

Psychology Foundation (choose 1)

PSYC 170: Social Psychology

PSYC 253: Judgments and Decisions

PSYC 272: Evolutionary Psychology


Courses Approved for Common Foundations


Philosophy Foundation

PHIL 008 (The Social Contract)


Philosophy Foundation, Choose 1:

PHIL 002 (Ethics)

PHIL 012 (Introduction to Moral Philosophy)

PHIL 025 (Philosophy of Science)

PHIL 072 (Biomedical Ethics)

PHIL 074 (Business Ethics)

PHIL 077 (Philosophy of Law)

PHIL 079 (Environmental Ethics)

PHIL 231 (Intro to Theory of Knowledge)

PHIL 233 (Philosophy of Economics)

PHIL 244 (Intro to Philosophy of Mind)

PHIL 272 (Ethics and the Professions)

PHIL 273 (Ethics and the Professions: Business Ethics)

PHIL 277 (Justice, Law and Morality)

PHIL 279 (Contemporary Political Philosophy)

PHIL 291 (Philosophy of Race)

LGST 226 (Markets, Morality and Capitalism)


Political Science

Political Science Theory Foundation, Choose 1:

PSCI 180 (Ancient Political Thought)

PSCI 181 (Modern Political Thought)

PSCI 182 (Contemporary Political Theory)

PSCI 183 (American Political Thought)

PSCI 281 (Intro to Democratic Theory)

PSCI 280 (Feminist Political Thought)


Political Science Foundation, Choose 1:

PSCI 110 (Intro to Comparative Politics)

PSCI 116 (Political Change in the Third World)

PSCI 130 (Intro to American Politics)

PSCI 150 (Intro to International Relations)

PSCI 152 (International Political Economy)

PSCI 271 (American Constitutional Law)

PSCI 272 (American Constitutional Law II)



Economics Foundations

ECON 1 (Introductory Microeconomics)

ECON 2 (Introductory Macroeconomics)

If the student has AP waivers for Econ 1 and 2, any two other Econ classes may be used to fulfill the requirements of the Economics Foundation. If the student is in Wharton, and plans to take Econ 10, then this class may be used in lieu of Econ 1 and any second class in the Econ department may be used for Econ 2.



Psychology Foundation, Choose 1:

PSYC 170 (Social Psychology)

PSYC 253 (Judgments and Decisions)

PSYC 272 (Evolutionary Psychology)