Major Overview

In an increasingly but unevenly interdependent world, analyses of normative claims (philosophy), power constellations (politics), and efficient allocation of resources (economics) must be brought together in order to achieve a sufficiently profound grasp of global political processes. While inspired by the long-established and highly successful PPE degree offered at the University of Oxford, AUP’s major sets itself apart with an integrated approach, so that courses across the three disciplines mutually reinforce each other. We will help you establish a solid academic foundation, with introductions to the main concepts and theories within philosophy, politics, and economics, and discuss what their respective merits and limits are. 


The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • You will grasp the main concepts, approaches and theories within philosophy, politics and economics.
  • You will gain the ability to discern the assumptions and logics of distinct types of social scientific reasoning, to see how different modes of analysis interact, and what their respective merits and limits are.
  • You will gain the ability to structure and analyze complex phenomena from different perspectives, and to evaluate policy choices and outcomes according to different criteria or logics.

Learning Environment

We aim to equip you with the analytical tools you’ll need to understand crucial phenomena like globalization and democratization, as well as evaluate how policy choices affect human development. You’ll find that all three of the major’s disciplines are integral to helping you develop your critical thinking and reasoning skills, more effectively interpret the impact of political institutions on modern societies and systems, and master the ins and outs of government and business, with each course revealing new nuances and perspectives. 

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision. 

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Each elective provides you with entry to a variety of subject areas which you can choose among to further focus your studies. With the help of your academic advisor, you’ll be able to tailor your major so that it most effectively prepares you for the next step in your academic and professional journey.

See all Major Electives

Core Courses

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Philosophy, Politics and Economics will help pave the way for your successful completion of other Philosophy, Politics and Economics courses.

PL2003 Political Philosophy

Political philosophy forms that branch of philosophy that reflects on the specificity of the political. Why are humans, as Aristotle argued, political animals? How are they political? What are the means and ends of the political, and how best does one organize the political with such questions in mind? The course offers a topic-oriented approach to the fundamental problems underlying political theory and practice.


Choose one of three:

PL2071 Critique Of Political Economy

The course focuses on the impact of the emergent discipline of political economy on modern philosophy. A brief overview of the work of Adam Smith and David Ricardo will introduce the concerns of political economy before the course focuses on Karl Marx's attempt to re-orientate philosophy through the critique of political economy.

PL3076 Kant, Hegel, And Beyond

Philosophical and political modernity concerns the development of rationality, freedom, and social responsibility from out of the tensions between ethics, religion, politics and the economy. With postmodernist epistemology, the so-called 'return' of religion, and economic globalization, this 'modernity' has been questioned. In this historical context the course re-elaborates the problematic of modernity through selective reading of Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.

PL2041 Environmental Ethics

Introduction to ethics by the example of environmental ethics, exploring the role of humans as moral agents with regard to other living beings, the whole planet or its biosphere, and future generations. Through cases studies and to understand implicit assumptions and theoretical problems of standpoints taken by stakeholders in the debate.



PO1011 Foundations Of Modern Politics

What is politics - the quest for the common good or who gets what, when, and how? We study what defines politics in the modern age: states and nations in the international system, collective action and representation in mass societies, trajectories of democracy and dictatorship, politics and development in the context of capitalism. The course will introduce the student to the concerns, the language and the methods of Political Science.

PO2015 Comparative Politics

This course introduces students to the comparative study of politics, focusing on political behavior and the structures and practices that political systems have in common and those that distinguish them. We study different forms of democratic and authoritarian rule, state-society relationships, and key issues of political economy like development and welfare states. While the emphasis is on domestic features, we also analyze the impacts of globalization on national politics.

PO2031 World Politics

This course analyses the basic setting, structure and dynamics of world politics with emphasis on current global problems, practices and processes. In doing so, it introduces the major theoretical approaches to international politics, and uses theory as a methodological tool for analyzing sources of change and causes of conflict and/or cooperation in the global arena.



EC2010 Principles Of Microeconomics

Focuses on the role played by relative market prices in our society and on the forces of market supply and demand in determining these prices. Since the actions of consumers and firms underlie supply and demand, the course studies in detail the behavior of these two groups.

EC2020 Principles Of Macroeconomics

Examines the determinants of the levels of national income, employment, rates of interest, and prices. Studies in detail the instruments of monetary and fiscal policy, highlighting the domestic and international repercussions of their implementation.

EC2060 The Commons And The Market

What are the justifications and implications of using markets, and what arrangements are necessary to establish and protect the commons? This course studies foundational texts of (neo-)liberal economics that aim to legitimize market mechanisms; philosophical treatments and critiques of key concepts, such as rationality and motivation, property and common goods; political analyses of how allocative institutions produce distributional outcomes



Multi-disciplinary Capstone
EC4037 Multi-disciplinary Perspect On Polit'l Econ

As the bridge-course for the major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, this team-taught course offers a multidisciplinary perspective on key questions of political economy. First presenting the similarities and differences between philosophical, political and economic approaches to political and economic rationality, the course offers varied analyses of representation and government, the commons, security, inequality and debt. The overall purpose of the course is to engage students, at various levels of theoretical abstraction and empirical precision, with the fundamental issues lying between ethics, politics, and economics.