New interdisciplinary major focuses on how society is organized

By ALYSSA ANN ALFANO
BGIN Student Contributor

Choosing a major can be a tough decision for college students, but now, BGSU has a new major that might provide more opportunities.
Students can start enrolling in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL) as their major in January 2017.
Kevin Vallier, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at BGSU and one of the contributors in putting this major together said that “the PPEL major was inspired by similar programs at other universities, especially Oxford, which has had a PPE program for nearly a century. But in the last two years, 25 new programs have sprouted around the United States.”
Vallier believes that the unique interdisciplinary focus of PPEL is what interests many students.
According to Vallier, the benefits of enrolling in this major take on two forms.
One benefit is that PPEL equips students to “think about the big questions about how societies should be politically, socially, and economically organized.” He believes that this will better prepare students to ask questions such as what the government should do and how the economy should function.
The second benefit, according to Vallier, is vocational. Students are permitted to choose the direction they will go within the major so that they are focusing on areas in which they have career interest.
Vallier explained that the template for the coursework was inspired by other large public universities, but that “the heart of the coursework” is designed to give students the basic tools of philosophy, political science, economics and law so that they can integrate these tools to other core courses within the major.
In addition to benefits obtained by coursework and the tools gained from this major, the PPEL program sponsors a PPEL club that meets every other Wednesday in order to discuss political events and broad questions about political policy.
A great deal of time and paperwork has gone into getting this major started because, as Vallier said, “BGSU attempts to be as careful as it can when it comes to benefiting its students.”
Several students that have PPEL minors, as well as dozens of other students have expressed interest already.

print