Sep 28, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (BA)

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This demanding major trains students in political economy, grounding their study in the historical, conceptual and moral foundations of our shared political and economic lives. The interdisciplinary major allows students to trace interconnections between political, economic and legal issues within a range of broader humanistic concerns. It also fosters the development of logical, quantitative and analytic skills needed for clear thinking and effective communication, leaving students with a wide range of options for further, more specialized study or careers in law, politics or economics. 

The major requires eleven courses including an introductory lower-division course, a final capstone seminar and a range of further courses in the three disciplines. 

Logic Course

Students must complete one of the following courses. 

Lower-Division Political Science Recommendation

One lower-division POSC course is strongly recommended before taking any upper-division POSC courses. 

Philosophy of Economics, Political or Legal Philosophy

Students must complete one of the following courses.

Moral Philosophy

Students must complete one of the following courses. 

Upper-Division Political Science

Students must complete any two 4-unit upper-division POSC courses, excluding internship, research, special topics and seminar (POSC 390, POSC 391, POSC 392, POSC 395, POSC 398, POSC 410, POSC 420, POSC 490, POSC 499). Students may also choose IR 309. 


Students must complete the following two courses in economics. 

Upper-Division Economics

Students must complete one 4-unit, 300-level ECON course after having completed ECON 203g  and ECON 317 

Capstone Course

Students must complete the following capstone course. In semesters when the capstone course is not offered, students may enroll in an acceptable course equivalent with departmental approval. 


Majors may graduate with departmental honors by doing the following: (i) completing all major requirements, (ii) having a GPA of at least 3.5 for upper-level courses for the major, and (iii) completing the Honors Capstone Seminar (PHIL 495), or if that’s not possible, the Senior Thesis Seminar (PHIL 494).  To take PHIL 494 of PHIL 495 students must be seniors and we recommend having completed 2 other 400-level Philosophy courses first.

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