Academic information: Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA | CEU Undergraduate

Academic information: CEU's bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

A bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at CEU will enable you to examine the world’s biggest questions from several perspectives, and acquire the skills and creativity to help find the answers or develop your own opinion. Here you can review all the academic information for the Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree program at CEU.

What is the bachelor’s degree in PPE about?

What is truth? How do societies work? What is globalization, what are its problems and benefits? Is there a real, objective difference between right and wrong? What is money? What creates inflation? Could a machine ever think or feel pain? Is democracy really the best form of government? What is taxation, and is it just? Do animals have rights? Is everybody equal? If these questions interest and challenge you, then CEU’s bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics is for you. The program will give you the training and the tools to address these big questions about society and the world around us. CEU is a leading research university with an outstanding international reputation for its work in philosophy, politics, and economics. Read more here about your opportunity to learn from real experts in their fields, whose teaching is informed by their research.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in PPE?

With an American and Austrian bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, you’ll have acquired vital skills to approach an issue you’re passionate about. You’ll know how to collect valuable information, analyze and synthesize it all, produce your own theory, generate your own solution, and communicate it in multimedia form to any audience. Transferable skills:

  • critical thinking and reasoning
  • grasping complex information
  • understanding unfamiliar views of reality and other points of view
  • quantitative and qualitative methods
  • analytical skills
  • research skills
  • communication skills (writing, presentation, public speaking)

These skills open many doors, from graduate study at CEU or another university to career options in the private, public and non-profit sectors. CEU’s Career Services Office staff will guide you in finding the right door for you to open.

Need more academic information? Here’s how the PPE program works

The bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics program integrates into the Europe-wide Bologna system and offers the best of the American undergraduate education system. That means that in four years, you’ll earn an Austrian and an American bachelor’s degree. In the first year, you’ll take courses with your classmates to get a solid foundation in the three disciplines. You’ll get to know your classmates and professors and become part of a close-knit community. You’ll also get to know students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students across CEU, people from over 100 countries. In the subsequent years, you’ll start to orient your studies to the topics and skills you’d like to pursue more deeply. By the third year, you’ll have earned an Austrian bachelor’s degree, and can go on to complete the fourth year for the dual degree. The four-year dual degree can pave the way to pursuing a one-year master’s degree, if you so choose. Some key facts about the academics of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program:

  • small class size
  • a combination of seminars and lectures
  • discussion-based classes that require your active participation
  • individual attention from leading scholars and academics
  • international faculty and student body
  • individual faculty supervision for your thesis and capstone project

Who are the professors?

CEU professors teaching in the program come from around two dozen different countries, having gained their positions through highly competitive international searches. The core of the program is taught by the faculty of CEU's prestigious Department of Philosophy, Department of Political Science, and Department of Economics and Business. Our faculty members maintain an active research agenda while involved in teaching, so you will be taught by faculty who are research leaders in their fields. For example, in the first year you'll study philosophy with Professor Tim Crane, who taught at the University of Cambridge prior to coming to CEU; politics with Associate Professor Matthijs Bogaards, who arrived from Jacobs University Bremen and economics with Assistant Professor Zsofia Barany, who taught at Sciences Po in Paris before coming to CEU.

What kind of classes can I take?

In the first year, you’ll take mandatory courses that introduce you to philosophy, politics, and economics, for a strong and wide-ranging foundation. From the second year onwards, you’ll have increasing freedom to choose your courses and focus on two of the three disciplines. In the third year, you’ll study more advanced topics in those disciplines, choose from a wide range of course options, and write a thesis. You can also take the opportunity to study in another country. In the fourth year, you’ll pursue a major, with the chance to take master’s-level courses. You’ll also research and produce a capstone project. Here’s how it works:

  • duration of the program: 4  years (US + Austrian degree) or 3 years (Austrian degree)
  • structure of the academic year: 3 terms - fall, winter, and spring
  • duration of the fall term: 12 weeks
  • duration of the winter term: 12 weeks
  • duration of the spring term: 11 weeks (teaching period is 6 weeks)
  • amount of credits required per academic year: 30 U.S. credits / 60 ECTS
  • overall amount of required credits: 120 U.S. credits / 240 ECTS (4-year degree) or 90 credits / 180 ECTS (3-year degree)

Yearly curriculum plan: Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4