Politics, Economics & Law, B.A.

Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts

The Politics, Economics and Law curriculum has various objectives: to introduce students to the disciplines of political science, political economy and economics and to examine how these different areas intersect to shape U.S. and international law, institutions, and policies. Such a course of study provides the student with a strong background in the historical development of corporations, social welfare policies, labor organizations, and civil liberties and civil rights movements.

The program also provides students with an opportunity to develop an international perspective in the study of politics and economics - a vantage point vital in the new global marketplace. . The department takes a comparative approach to the study of different societies and to the relations among them, with particular emphasis on the developing nations and globalization. The global component focuses on issues such as international trade, foreign debt, economic inequality, transnational political and social movements, environmental concerns and international institutions.

Career Opportunities

The PEL department provides a rigorous and integrated preparation in the social sciences for students who intend to enter graduate or law school and for students who plan to seek employment in government, business, social services, and political organizations.

Graduates have gone on to obtain employment in:

  • Law
  • Banking & Brokerage Firms
  • Government & Public Administration
  • Social work
  • Education
  • Community agencies
  • Labor organizations

Many graduates also go on to earn graduate degrees in law, public policy, economics, or international relations.



A student wishing to graduate with a major in PEL must complete 120 credits overall including a minimum of 90 liberal arts credits, fulfillment of the Liberal Education Curriculum requirement (Refer to the Liberal Education Curriculum Bulletin for specific requirements.) and 52 credits, or 13 courses, as listed below.

1-3. Three of the following four courses:

  • PE2300 Introduction to Law 4cr.
  • PE2420 Principles of Microeconomics 4cr.
  • PE2430 Principles of Macroeconomics 4cr.
  • PE2650 Introduction to U.S. Politics 4cr.

4. An additional course from the four courses listed above OR one of the following:

  • IR2210 Unions and Management: An Introduction 4cr.
  • PE2220 Introduction to Urban Issues 4cr.

5. One of the following:

  • PE3100 International Relations 4cr.
  • HI3600 Global Geography: People, Places and Environments 4cr.

6. PE3400 Global South 4cr.
7. PE3410 U.S. Political Economy 4cr.
8. One of the following:

  • PE4320 Jurisprudence: Legal Thought 4cr.
  • PE4470 History of Economic Thought 4cr.
  • PE4620 Political and Social Thought 4cr.

9. One of the following:

  • PE4580 Origins of the Capitalist Economy 4cr.
  • PE4590 Global Economy in the 20th Century 4cr.

10-13. Four additional upper-division PEL courses, which may include Industrial and Labor Relations ("ILR") courses (3000-level and above), at least two of which must be at the 4000-level