The best and the brightest minds around the globe have expertise in multiple backgrounds.
The political science, philosophy, and economics (PPE) program was created to satisfy a growing interest among our student body in a challenging, cross-disciplinary degree program that samples from theoretical literature from a number of disciplines. The result is a degree program comparable to many taught in Europe but unique among other colleges in our area.
PPE utilizes existing strengths in the three areas – political science, philosophy, and economics – to allow students to develop a broader, interconnected vision of the forces driving today’s most important events. While students will choose a concentration in one of the departments, they will integrate the material from all three in order to evaluate and analyze social, political, ethical, and economic policy issues around the globe.
Faculty in the Political Science Department host and participate in a number of events throughout the year for our majors and the wider La Salle community. Among these events are the annual Constitution Day Panel, the Lasallian Forum for Politics and Policy, film nights, and election night parties. They are also actively involved in supporting University initiatives like those of the Diplomat-in-Residence Program (DRP) and Explorer Cafés.
Lasallian Forum for Politics and Policy
The Lasallian Forum for Politics and Policy, established in 2010, brings informative speakers from a range of fields—federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, law firms, court officials, campaign officials, lobbyists, and interest group activists—onto campus to talk about their work and career trajectory. The Forum aims to give students a firsthand account of each speaker’s field of practice and expose them to the multiple career opportunities in political science. Recent forum speakers and topics include:
Amilcar Moreira, Ph.D., Institute of Social Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal, “The Economic Crisis and European Labor Markets”
Michael Cleary, Esq., Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, former military officer in Iraq and Kuwait, “Issuing Warrants: Pursuing ”
Karen Kaiser, Esq., Associate General Counsel for The Associated Press and La Salle alumnus Thomas Curley, former CEO of The Associated Press, “Government Seizing Phone and E-Mail Records”
Jamie Malanowski, author and journalist, “Commander Will Cushing: Daredevil Hero of the Civil War”
The Political Science Department offers two awards to members of each graduating class for outstanding academic achievement.
Political Science Department Academic Award
This Departmental Award is given each year to the graduating student with the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA). The award is given during Commencement Weekend at a special awards luncheon for all Department winners and their parents.
Joseph V. Brogan Senior Research Seminar Award
Inaugurated in 2011, the Joseph V. Brogan Award, named in honor of Dr. Joseph Brogan, ’72, who taught political theory in the Department from 1987 to 2009, is given each year to a graduating senior to honor excellence in undergraduate student research. The award is given to the best paper produced in the senior seminar classes. The award winner is presented with a plaque after graduation and his/her name is engraved on a larger plaque maintained in the Department.
Courses in this Major
Students enjoy a wide range of interesting and unique courses including:
POL 171 Political Analysis
This course surveys the theoretical foundations, approaches, and methodologies of political analysis, introducing students to the “science of politics” and providing a basic grounding in the social scientific study of political behavior and phenomena. The course equips students with the tools of inquiry (such as the description and analysis of quantitative data and the systematic use of case studies) most commonly used in the discipline of political science.
POL 221 Politics of the Developing World
This course is an introductory survey to the politics of the developing world, where most of humanity lives. We will examine some of the extraordinarily complex challenges faced by the developing world. Among these are poverty, environmental change and degradation, violence, population growth, the status of women and the forms and sources of misrule.
PPE 300 Readings in PPE Classics / POL 361 Democracy and its Critics
This course is an analysis of modern liberal democratic thought and the various criticisms of it from both the left and the right are topics to be addressed in this course. Emphasis is on the reading of original sources by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, J.S. Mill, Rousseau, Burke, Marx, Nietzsche, etc. This course is required of all political science majors.
PHL 303 American Philosophy
This course presents a critical history of thought in North America, tracing its gradual transformation from 17th-century Puritanism to 20th-century pragmatism
"PPE enables students to understand and critically evaluate the social, political and economic world in which they live and will become leaders."
— Michael R. Dillon, Ph.D. J.D., Marc Moreau, Ph.D., H. David Robison, Ph.D.
Blaze Your Own Path
A thorough understanding in political science, philosophy, and economics helps students to analyze and evaluate information quickly and thoroughly. Our program trains students to address social, political, ethical, and economic policy issues seen globally. The program aims to broadly educate students in all three areas and later allow them focus on whichever will propel them farther down their path to success. All of these skills and abilities will prepare our graduates for positions in international business, global nonprofits, public service, or public policy.
Each student in the PPE program completes a senior research project on a subject of their choosing. The project must fall under one of the three areas of study and can be on any topic that interests the student. The work our students produce shows how the PPE program has helped them develop a higher level reasoning ability. Students have used this research to apply for law and graduate school or when applying for jobs.
The breadth of the PPE program exposes students to critical and logical thinking in all three areas. Their experience in persuasive speaking and writing, comprehensive reading, and critical evaluation of arguments will leave them prepared for the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT.
While in their graduate and law programs, students will have the resources and foundation to succeed. Having practiced and developed their research and study skills, they’ll be prepared for rigorous curricula in the U.S. and abroad.