Political Economy Major

Additional Information on the Political Economy program

The political economy major aims to promote sustained reflection on the interrelations of political and economic activities and institutions. It provides undergraduate students with the basic skills of economic analysis. The major is also based firmly on the view that the study of the interrelations of politics and economics has a rich humanistic tradition and that its pursuit can encourage sustained reflection on fundamental values. Political economy is an interdisciplinary major built on a core of eight required courses and five additional courses drawn from economics, political science, history and philosophy.

This major is designed to avoid the sometimes excessive specialization that characterizes more traditional undergraduate majors. While providing students basic skills of economic analysis, the political economy major at Tulane is distinctively based on the view that technical economic analysis should not be divorced from a broader concern for understanding the moral and historical foundations of economic institutions and political structures.


The requirements of the political economy major include the following core of eight courses:

The total number of required credits in the core is 24.

The major also requires five electives chosen from an interdepartmental list of courses grouped according to the following four alternative concentrations. The required Political Economy 301-304 sequence has been designed to introduce students to the prominent and common concerns of the three tracks. Studies along one of these concentrations provides a focus within the major. Each major’s selection of a concentration is made in consultation with the Associate Director, who serves as the faculty adviser for all majors.


Political Economy Cencentrations

Law, Economics, and Policy Track

Two of the following eight:

Three of the following sixteen:

Moral and Historical Perspectives Track

Two of the following five:

Three of the following eighteen:

International Perspectives Track

Two of the following six:

Three of the following thirteen:

Additional Political Economy Courses

Internships and Honors Program

In the summer between junior and senior years, a political economy major may elect to participate in a summer internship. The Murphy Institute offers a limited number of grants in an open competition for political economy majors only. With consent of the Director, a student may pursue a degree with honors in political economy. A senior honors thesis is required.

Finally, it should be noted that undergraduate majors in political economy are invited to participate in various activities sponsored by the Murphy Institute. The Murphy Institute hosts prominent scholars and public figures in a series of annual lectures. Student majors are invited to all of these occasions, as well as to more informal meetings with our visitors.

The Murphy Institute sponsors semester and summer abroad programs in London and Cambridge. Further information on the political economy major may be obtained from the Associate Director.