In this major, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics are combined in a multidisciplinary effort to study modern political science, questions of political philosophy, pursue social scientific research, and apply economic analysis in problem solving. The multidisciplinary trio provides a foundation in philosophy, logic, critical thinking, and political processes within the U.S. and in the international system, and the functioning of the economy with attention to economic analysis tools.  Students are given preparation in the foundational materials of each of these fields, and encouraged to explore classes at the intersection of political and economic issues.  Because it draws on three different research disciplines, this combined major strives to provide students with an interdisciplinary set of skills related to critical reasoning and analysis, problem solving and decision making, and social scientific research.  The PPE combined major is not a triple major; rather, it strives to provide a broad exposure to these three fields.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics. The Department of Political Science and Department of Philosophy are part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond the Classroom

Students are encouraged to join clubs in any of the three disciplines:

Some students work with the department or Career Services Center to find internships. Examples of recent student internships include the WA State House of Representatives and the Whatcom County Office of Public Defenders.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Politics/Philosophy/Economics (PPE) major prepares its graduates for careers in public policy and public service, consulting, journalism (reporting on political and economic issues), law, and international affairs. An excellent pre-law major, PPE also offers suitable preparation for graduate study in any of the participating disciplines. PPE majors have gone on to some of the nation's most prestigious law and professional schools, to successful careers in business, public service, policy-making and journalism, and to graduate studies in various sub-fields.


Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • New York City Law Department: Paralegal
  • Washington State House of Representatives: Legislative Assistant to Representative Kristine Lytton
  • Western Washington University: Veterans Program Coordinator

“I like Economics because it is logical and systematic, but can be applied in different ways.”

- Sam Martinez, Student


Sample Jobs

  • Attorney
  • Analyst
  • Lobbyist
  • Diplomat
  • Urban/Regional Planner

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.