Mission of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program 


            The world of the 21st century will be more complicated, and will change more rapidly, than ever before.  Knowledge will become outdated, and settled interpretations will be challenged, at an unprecedented rate.  It will not be enough to know what you learned in college.  You will have to be able to adapt, to continue learning, and to be willing to question your own assumptions and convictions. 


            The program of emphasis in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics puts together the perspectives of three disciplines that will be critical to your understanding of the world you live and work in.  Economics provides essential, rigorous tools of analysis for understanding the pace and progress of economic phenomena at the individual, national, and global level, and a distinctive perspective on human behavior.  Politics, at its most comprehensive, is the study of human beings living together – not merely government institutions but the historical, moral, and cultural presuppositions that motivate both citizens and institutions.  Philosophy teaches the critical evaluation of ideas and ways of thinking, challenges unexamined assumptions and convictions, and provides an integrative framework within which students come to understand both the logic and the ethics of public policy. 


            Juniata’s PPE program aims to enable its students to be thoughtful “citizens of the world,” and to prepare them for careers in business, government, or academe.  It takes its name and inspiration from the long-standing PPE program at Oxford University, which has trained generations of British leaders.  But it also is firmly rooted in the historic mission and approach of Juniata.  As a liberal arts college, Juniata has traditionally encouraged interdisciplinary inquiry.  The Program of Emphasis system encourages students to design their own “major” and thus to work across traditional departmental boundaries.  Indeed, in the past some students have designed POEs that look very much like the designated PPE program. 


            Juniata’s own faculty are distinguished for their commitment to good teaching and their contributions to their fields of study.  The college’s resources are complemented by more than a dozen sites for study abroad, which allow students to take courses and to sample a wider range of perspectives.  Already the PPE faculty have begun to establish relationships with specific study abroad sites to assure that students have the resources they need. 


            For a description of the courses and requirements of the PPE program, please click here