Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to the Ethics, History & Public Policy Major

In many ways Ethics, History & Public Policy (EHPP) is a quintessentially Carnegie Mellon degree program.  A highly interdisciplinary  program, EHPP is jointly administered by the Departments of History and Philosophy. The program provides a unique skill set that will benefit students in whatever career path they choose including: the tools to develop a deep historical understanding of how modern-day problems have evolved, a facility with frameworks for ethical decision-making necessary to formulate and evaluate solutions to these problems, and a grasp of public policy necessary to transition to a better state of affairs.

In addition to providing a solid liberal arts background, EHPP majors learn how to: conduct historical research, analyze and construct arguments; evaluate evidentiary statements; find persuasive means of presenting their ideas; conduct research under time and resource constraints; and craft policies that address real world problems in a way that is sensitive both to history and competing sets of values.

In a nutshell, the EHPP major prepares students for leadership positions in law, public policy, ethics, and advocacy by providing them with a rigorous, interdisciplinary humanistic and social-scientific education. It also serves as an excellent spring board for graduate study in a wide variety of disciplines.


We have alumni working in a vast array of careers, including law practice, business and finance, non-profit management, and government.

EHPP students are required to take a History core (four courses), a Philosophy core (four courses), in addition to the senior capstone project course. The capstone project was designed to give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained over the course of their time in EHPP to a contemporary policy problem 

Students also are required to take an Economics class and three elective courses from a wide range of departments on campus, including the Institute for Politics and Strategy, History, Business, Philosophy, and Social and Decision Sciences, to name a few.

The major allows for many choices, and is designed to allow students to design a course plan that is individualized to their specific interests.

For more specific information about the classes that EHPP students take, please visit our requirements page.