The UNC-Duke PPE Program
Our world is shaped by organizations and institutions that have a profound impact on our lives. Understanding how they work, appreciating their interactions, seeing their impact, and being able to assess their value, is crucial. With this in mind, the PPE Program trains students to look beyond the borders of academic disciplines by offering them an integrated study of philosophy, politics, and economics.
Historically, the separation of the social sciences occurred only recently. And they have their roots in the work of people — Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx, who saw questions of economics, sociology, political science, and moral philosophy as inextricably intertwined.
The separation of the social sciences allowed the disciplines to narrow their fields of investigation and, as a consequence, to develop specific and invaluable tools for their particular domains. Yet a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic, political and moral problems that we face requires bringing the different disciplines, and their tools, together. The PPE program aims to do that by helping students to integrate the study of philosophy, politics, and economics.
The UNC-Duke PPE Program offers a minor at UNC and a certificate at Duke. Students pursuing either the minor or the certificate can take courses at the other school to meet the relevant requirements. The Gateway and Capstone courses are often co-convened, meeting for half the semester at Duke and for half at UNC.