Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Concentration

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students majoring in Government and International Politics and Public Administration may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Those students selected for participation in this program take a two-course sequence: GOVT 491 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) and GOVT 496 Directed Readings and Research. To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50.

Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Core Courses
GOVT 101 Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 103 Introduction to American Government (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 132 Introduction to International Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 133 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 300 Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 16
Senior Seminar
Select one from the following: 3
GOVT 490
Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core)  
GOVT 491
Honors Seminar (Mason Core) 1  
Total Credits 3

This option is for students who have been accepted to pursue honors in the major.

Government Field Study

Students complete the following coursework:

American Politics  
Select one course from the following: 3
GOVT 301 - GOVT 319
GOVT 401 - GOVT 419
Political Theory and Law  
GOVT 323 Classical Western Political Theory 3
International and Comparative Politics  
Select one course from the following: 3
GOVT 330 - GOVT 349
GOVT 430 - GOVT 449
Public Policy and Administration  
GOVT 467 Current Issues in Economic Policy 3
GOVT 469 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
Additional Upper Level GOVT Courses  
GOVT 422 Constitutional Interpretation 3
Two additional upper division GOVT courses 6
Total Credits 24
Additional Concentration Courses
PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 3
or PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory
PHIL 357 Philosophy of the Social Sciences 3
or PHIL 371 Philosophy of Natural Sciences
PHIL 358 Ethics and Economics 3
PHIL 411 Theories of Decision 3
ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 306 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
ECON 412 Game Theory and Economics of Institutions 3
Total Credits 24

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors. Students majoring in government and international politics may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing GOVT 490 Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core) or GOVT 491 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) in their major programs.

Schar Requirements in Addition to Mason Core Below

One course in Philosophy or Religion  
One additional course in Social and Behavioral Sciences  
One course in Non-Western Culture  
Proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level  

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements  
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Integration Requirements  
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.


Minimum 3 credits required.