Politics, Economics & Law


The Politics, Economics & Law Department encourages its students to prepare for the global economies of today by developing both national and international perspectives on the impacts on everyday life that occur through the disciplines of political science, political economy and economics.

Politics, Economics and Law (PEL) is an interdisciplinary department in the social sciences with a national and international focus. Students majoring in PEL earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Industrial and Labor Relations are also offered by the PEL department.  PEL has upper division concentrations in politics and law, economics, political economy, public policy and global studies.

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

The PEL 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.

PEL 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.

Undergraduate Offerings

PEL Student Association - Constitution Day Event

professor Carolyn Cocca Talks: Feminism, Militarism, and Diversity in Superhero Comics!

As part of the #OWmade in a Minute series, Politics, Economics and Law Professor Carolyn Cocca talks about her research into the history, and representation of female superheroes. How did we get from barely-dressed damsel in distress to Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel? And, where do we go from here?



PEL students are encouraged to gain practical experience by undertaking an internship as part of their course of study. Among the internships students have successfully completed are:

  • Washington Semester Internship
  • New York State Senate and Assembly
  • Office of the County District Attorney
  • New York City Summer Internship
  • County Legislature
  • Political Campaigns – U.S. Senate to County Legislature
  • New York Public Interest Research Group
  • Private Law and Financial Firms
  • Nonprofit Organizations