The Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) The PPE major is designed to help students develop an interdisciplinary toolkit for approaching social and political problems. To do so, the major is divided into three components:

  1. The Common Foundations, which serve to ensure that students develop an understanding of the relevant disciplines of Philosophy, Politics and Economics,
  2. The PPE Core, which serves to ensure that students become comfortable with the integrative skills that a PPE approach to thinking requires, and
  3. The Thematic Concentration, which serves to allow students to explore PPE-related questions at different levels of political and economic organization according to their interests.

The major is completed with a Capstone course, which serves to provide students with experience in integrating these skills to study complex social challenges.

Apply to the PPE Program

Students interested in the PPE major or minor programs may contact the Director of the PPE Program for additional information and academic advice.


Ryan Muldoon, PhD, director of the PPE Program,

Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the UB Division of Undergraduate Studies, the BA in PPE requires students to earn a earn a total of at least 45 credit hours. Students must complete 15 courses, with courses consisting of three (3) or four (4) credits each.

Common Foundations

Students must complete two (2) courses in each of the associated programs:

  • Two (2) courses in Philosophy:
  • One (1) of the following:
  • Two (2) courses in Political Science:
    • PSC 200 Empirical Political Science, and
    • One (1) of the following:
      • PSC 101 Introduction to American Politics
      • PSC 102 Introduction to International Politics
      • PSC 103 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • Two (2) courses in Economics:
    • One (1) of the following courses in Microeconomics:
    • One (1) of the following:
      • ECO 181 Introduction to Macroeconomics
      • ECO 380 Economic Statistics and Data Analytics
      • ECO 407 Macroeconomic Theory

PPE Core

Students must complete one (1) course in each of the following core competencies:

  • One (1) course in Model-Based Reasoning:
  • One (1) course in Game or Decision Theory:
  • One (1) course in Policy and Change:
  • One (1) course in Political Economy:

Thematic Domains

Students must complete four (4) courses from one (1) of the following three domains, where the selected courses are from at least two (2) different departments and at least (3) of those courses are completed at the 300/400 level:

Local Domain Courses:

  • APY 474 Cities and Cultures
  • ECO 209 Introduction to Urban Economics
  • ECO 421 Urban Economics
  • END 212 Urban and Environmental Planning
  • END 279 Exploring the Design of Buffalo Niagara
  • END 301 Perspective on Land Use and Development
  • END 302 Sustainable Urban Environments
  • END 304 Transportation in Environmental Design and Urban Life
  • END 308 Health and Urban Environments
  • END 313 Local Government, Policy and Politics
  • END 322 Race and Place in the Built Environment
  • END 406 Housing and Community Development
  • END 408 Race, Class, Gender and the City
  • END 422 Economic Development Planning
  • END 439 Legal Government Finance and Budgeting
  • END 441 Nonprofit Management
  • END 442 Central City Revitalization
  • END 467 Legal Issues in Planning and Development
  • GEO 366 Urban Geography
  • GEO 367 urban Social Geography
  • GEO 430 Applied Urban Geography
  • HIS 327 The City in American History
  • HIS 448 Race and American Urban History
  • PSC 312 Urban Politics
  • SOC 315 Sociology of City Life
  • SOC 342 Social Groups in Urban Spaces
  • SOC 348 Urban Sociology
  • SOC 385 Neighborhoods and Health

National Domain Courses:

Global Domain:


Students must complete the capstone course:

  • PHI 485 Integrating Insights from Philosophy, Politics and Economics