Thematic Concentrations

Students design a thematic concentration composed of challenging classes, allowing them to think deeply about interdisciplinary topics, building on the knowledge acquired in the Foundational and Core parts of the major. This affords the opportunity to create an area of interdisciplinary depth of focus within the major. We encourage student to pursue research in their theme – both through advanced research seminars and independent studies – which ideally bring different disciplines together.

PPE Thematic Concentrations

Guidelines for Developing your Theme

  • The theme provides a focus or concentration to your major. Your five theme classes must create a cohesive story and will need to be approved by the PPE Associate Director. Submit your request using the the thematic concentration course proposal form.
  • Theme courses are your advanced courses in the major. Consult with the PPE Associate Director if you think a lower level course is appropriate for the development of your theme.
  • Theme classes must come from more than one discipline, typically from disciplines like economics, political science, psychology, and philosophy, but also any other social science, such as anthropology, sociology, and history.
  • You are encouraged to look for classes outside of the sample course list in order to tailor your theme to your specific interests. Some departments we recommend looking for courses in are: ANTH, BIBB, COMM, ECON, HIST, HSSC, MKTG, PSCI, PSYC, and SOCI.
  • As of the 2023-2024 academic year, PPE no longer accepts 1000-level Wharton classes in any concentration. For information, please contact the Associate Director.
  • No more than two non-College courses can be used in the major. Consult with the Associate Director if you have any questions about whether a course counts as non-College. 

Thematic Concentration Course Proposal Form

In order to have a course approved to use towards your theme, you will need to submit a request using the thematic concentration course proposal form. All requests will be reviewed by the PPE Associate Director. You are encouraged to search for courses outside the sample course list in order to refine your theme.