Politics, Philosophy & Economics Major

The first of its kind in Boston, Suffolk’s politics, philosophy, & economics (PPE) program trains students to evaluate social institutions and policy from a multidisciplinary perspective. Combining the tools, methods, and core ideas of three distinct disciplines, our curriculum helps students develop the qualitative and quantitative skills needed to analyze complex social problems and identify solutions.

As a PPE major, you’ll gain valuable experience writing, researching, and synthesizing information across subject areas while building skills in textual analysis and mathematical modeling. You’ll also have the option to tailor your upper-level courses around your interests. Common themes include law, environmental policy, social science research, and international affairs.

The PPE Club, Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, and other groups frequently bring experts with diverse viewpoints together to debate and discuss today’s most pressing issues.
The PPE Club, Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, and other groups frequently bring experts with diverse viewpoints together to debate and discuss today’s most pressing issues.

PPE is an ideal pre-law program, offering classes on argumentative writing, reading analysis, and how legal systems work. Beyond law school, graduates of our program frequently pursue careers in government, nonprofits, law, and finance.

Students in our PPE program will:

  • Evaluate public policy proposals along multiple dimensions
  • Write succinctly and directly
  • Analyze social problems with qualitative and quantitative tools
  • Learn to express an argument in a clear and engaging way for various audiences
  • Recognize points of disagreement with others and respond in ways that build consensus

Experience is Everything

Program Options

The Major

Our curriculum is designed to give students a solid base in all three academic disciplines, while offering opportunities for deeper investigation into topics that align with their interests and career goals. As a PPE major, you’ll take at least four courses each in philosophy, politics, and economics – two required and two upper-level electives. Your studies will then culminate with a senior capstone project, where you’ll research and analyze an interdisciplinary topic of your choice.
View the Politics, Philosophy & Economics Major Curriculum

Customize Your Degree

Many PPE students choose courses, minors, or double majors in areas that will complement their skills such as:

Our Students & Alumni

Beyond the Classroom

PPE Professor lecturing to his students

The PPE program hosts regular events to better connect themes from the classroom with real-world issues. We host multi-disciplinary discussions of policy debates, invite external speakers, and provide forums for student conversation. Join these events to be part of the PPE community and see unexpected ways to extend what you’ve learned at Suffolk. Some of our recent events include:

PPE policy discussions:

  • Student Debt Relief
  • Who Bears the Burden of Natural Disasters?
  • Ballot Question #1: Raising Taxes on Higher Earners

External speakers:

  • Nicholas Vrousalis (Eramus University) on Exploitation
  • Louis Antony (UMass Amherst) on Gender and Nature
  • Mike Konczal (Roosevelt Institute) on Markets and Freedom

Community discussions:

  • The Looming Government Shutdown
  • The Russian Invasion of Ukraine
  • Legality and Ethics of Mask Requirements

PPE students at annual activity fair

PPE Club

In this active student organization you’ll socialize, network, and explore timely topics from multiple perspectives. Recent events have looked at hot-button political and ethical issues such as congressional in-fighting, misinformation, and debt relief with expert input from economists, political scientists, philosophers, and other leaders in their fields.

Campus Activities

As a PPE student, you can refine your oratory and analytical skills as a member of our competitive debate, mock trial, or model UN teams. You can also immerse yourself in other perspectives by participating in events through our robust global, cultural, and affinity organizations, the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, and our Interfaith Center.

Interfaith Scholar

The Interfaith Scholar position allows an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in philosophy, religious studies, or PPE to gain hands-on experience fostering open and inclusive religious dialogue on campus. As an Interfaith Scholar, you’ll work with the Interfaith Center and the Philosophy Department to plan and execute programming such as lecture series, academic forums, and other events that educate our community and help spark meaningful conversations on faith, equity, and diversity.

PPE Student asking question during a class

During your senior year, you’ll apply the diverse set of skills you’ve gained to complete a capstone project on an issue that interests you, such as:

  • Climate change policy
  • Police and prison reform
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Economic inequality
  • International corruption

Using your highly-developed analytical skills, you’ll explore your chosen topic through multiple frameworks and craft a thoughtful piece of independent research to share with your peers and professors.

PPE student on trip to Washington D.C. in the US Capitol building

Our faculty will work with you one-on-one to explore your interests and prepare you for a rewarding future. Whether you want to pursue a full-time position, apply to law school, or even pursue a Fulbright Scholarship, we will help you gain the skills and self-knowledge you need to feel confident in your next step.

Interning—including select opportunities as part of a for-credit course—will help you build experience and refine your goals for the future. Recent internship sites for our students include the Massachusetts State House, ActBlue, Boston Public Market, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

We also partner with The Washington Center [PDF] to provide career-building experiences for students to meet with thought leaders and policymakers, take unique classes, and intern at think tanks, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Suffolk’s Center for Career Equity, Development & Success will also help you further explore career options, plan your path, and land your dream internship or job. You’ll find practical help, like how to write an effective résumé or LinkedIn profile, along with valuable connections to leading employers and successful alumni.

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Compliance Associate
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Bilingual Project Legal Assistant
Arnold & Porter Kay Scholer, LLP
Consumer Protections Examiner
Massachusetts Division of Banks
Patent Support Assistant
Nixon Peabody, LLP
Business Development Representative
SolBid, Inc.
Program Coordinator
All in Energy
Tax Analyst
Legal & Compliance Administrator
Better Earth
Law Clerk
Law Office of Michael P. Joyce
Financial Professional
New York Life Insurance Company
Environmental Specialist
Campaign Manager

Continuing Education

As a pre-law program, our students often pursue law degrees after graduation and are accepted into competitive law schools across the country, including Suffolk Law, Georgetown Law, American University Law, and Boston University Law. Recent graduates have also gone on to earn advanced degrees in public policy, environmental studies, and economics at Brandis University, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, and Boston College.

Questions? Get in touch!

Portrait of Chris Melenovsky

Chris Melenovsky

Politics, Philosophy & Economics Program Director

Email [email protected]

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