Degree Requirements

The PPEL program aims not simply at breadth of knowledge, but detailed understanding. To do this the major is composed of 34 units.


  • 120 total units to complete the degree
  • 34 units in the major; 16 of which are upper-division
  • Electives may be required to reach these totals

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General Education

The General Education curriculum described below applies to all students who matriculate in Fall 2021 or earlier.


  • 1st Year English or equivalent
  • Math: PHIL 110, LING 123, MATH 105, 107, 112 or higher
  • 4th semester second language proficiency

General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Arts
  • 3 units Diversity

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The General Education curriculum described below applies to all students who matriculate in Spring 2022 or beyond.

UNIV 101

1 course, 1 unit - Introduction to the General Education Experience 


3 courses, 9 units (number of units is variable depending on method of meeting writing & second language requirements)

  • Math
  • Writing
  • 4th semester second language proficiency

Exploring Perspectives

4 courses, 12 units

  • Artist
  • Humanist
  • Natural Scientist
  • Social Scientist

Building Connections

3 courses, 3 units

UNIV 301

1 course, 1 unit - General Education Portfolio

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Disciplinary Foundations (6 units)

In their first and second years of university study, potential PPEL majors must complete two courses of disciplinary study.

Economics Foundations

  • Complete one course (3 units)

Philosophy Foundations

  • Complete one course (3 units)
  • Choose one of the following:

Core Curriculum (19 units)

Students admitted to Advanced Standing are required in their junior year to take PPEL 401 (formerly 301), 410 (formerly 310), and 326; in their senior year they must take PPEL 440 (formerly 340) and 418 (formerly 350), as well as the capstone seminar, PPEL 496 (4 units).

The PPEL program guarantees course and place availability, allowing all students to complete the core in their third and fourth years of university study. Except with special permission, only students who have completed their disciplinary foundation courses can enroll in the core courses.

Junior Year Core Curriculum (2018-19)

Senior Year Core Curriculum (2018-19)

Areas of Concentration (9 units)

The third element of the PPEL major is 9 units of advanced work in the allied disciplines.

concentration options