Ethics, History & Public Policy-Department of Philosophy - Carnegie Mellon University

The Major in Ethics, History, and Public Policy

Alex John London, Director
Office: Baker Hall 150A

The B.A./B.S. in Ethics, History, and Public Policy is an interdepartmental major offered jointly by the Departments of History and Philosophy. It prepares students for leadership positions by providing them with a rigorous, interdisciplinary humanistic and social-scientific education. It also serves as an excellent springboard for graduate study in a wide variety of disciplines such as law, public policy, ethics, and advocacy.  The program focuses equally on the historical understanding of how modern-day problems have evolved, and the importance of developing clear criteria for ethical decision-making. The capstone project course provides students with the opportunity to engage with real-world public policy challenges using the methods, theories, and knowledge that they have gained through the major. Offered jointly by the departments of History and Philosophy, the B.A./B.S. in EHPP encourages specialization, internship experiences, and research in a wide range of policy areas.


Students graduating with a primary major in Ethics, History, and Public Policy may elect to receive either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science Degree (additional requirements apply; see below). Basic requirements include 120 units encompassing 9 units in Economics, 36 units in History, 36 units in Philosophy, 27 units of elective courses, and a 12-unit senior capstone course. This program may also be taken as an additional (e.g., second) major.

I. Economics Requirement - 9 units

Choose one of the following:

73-100 Principles of Economics 9
88-220 Policy Analysis I 9

II. History Core - 36 units

Choose one 9-unit course from each category below:

Policy History (9 units)

79-300 History of American Public Policy 9

U.S. History (9 units)

79-240 The Development of American Culture 9
79-249 20th Century U.S. History 9

Non-U.S. History (9 units)

79-202 Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750 9
79-203 Social and Political Change in 20th Century Central and Eastern Europe 9
79-205 20th Century Europe 9
79-207 Development of European Culture 9
79-222 Between Revolutions: The Development of Modern Latin America 9
79-223 Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Drug War 9
79-226 African History: Earliest Times to 1780 9
79-227 African History: Height of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the End of Apartheid 9
79-229 Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1880-1948 9
79-230 Arab-Israeli Conflict and Peace Process since 1948 9
79-237 Comparative Slavery 9
79-251 India/America: Democracy, Diversity, Development 9
79-261 Chinese Culture and Society 9
79-262 Modern China 9
79-264 Tibet in History and Imagination 9
79-265 Russian History: From the First to the Last Tsar 9
79-266 Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism 9
79-307 Religion and Politics in the Middle East 9

Historical Methods and Approaches (9 units)

79-200 Introduction to Historical Research 9

III. Philosophy Core - 36 units

Choose one 9-unit course from each category below. No more than 9 units at the 100 level may be counted toward this requirement.

Ethics (9 units)

80-130 Introduction to Ethics 9
80-230 Ethical Theory 9

Political Philosophy (9 units)

80-135 Introduction to Political Philosophy 9
80-334 Social and Political History 9

Foundations of Social Science (9 units)

80-221 Philosophy of Social Science 9
80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy 9
80-324 Philosophy of Economics 9
80-337 Philosophy, Politics & Economics 9

Applied Philosophy (9 units)

80-136 Social Structure, Public Policy & Ethics 9
80-244 Environmental Ethics 9
80-245 Medical Ethics 9
80-247 Ethics and Global Economics 9
80-335 Deliberative Democracy: Theory and Practice 9
80-348 Health Development and Human Rights 9
80-447 Global Justice 9

IV.  Senior Capstone Project Course (79-449/80-449) - 12 units

79-449 EHPP Project Course
80-449 EHPP Project Course 12

The Ethics, History and Public Policy Project Course is required for the Ethics, History and Public Policy major and is taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In this capstone course, Ethics, History and Public Policy majors carry out a collaborative research project that examines a compelling current policy issue that can be illuminated with historical research and philosophical and policy analysis. The students develop an original research report based on both archival and contemporary policy analysis and they present their results to a client organization in the community.

V.  Elective Courses - 27 units

Choose any three courses from any category or categories shown below.

Engineering and Public Policy (some courses have prerequisites; see EPP catalog listing)

19-424 Energy and the Environment 9


70-311 Organizational Behavior 9
70-321 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution 9
70-332 Business, Society and Ethics 9
70-364 Business Law 9
70-365 International Trade and International Law 9
70-430 International Management 9

Economics (some courses have prerequisities; see Economics catalog listing)

73-148 Environmental Economics 9
73-310 Evolution of Economic Ideas and Analysis 9
73-352 Public Economics 9
73-358 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources 9
73-359 Benefit-Cost Analysis 9
73-365 Firms, Market Structures, and Strategy 9
73-372 International Money and Finance 9
73-375 History of Money and Monetary Policy 9
73-408 Law and Economics 9
73-476 American Economic History 9


76-492 Rhetoric of Public Policy 9


Courses from the EHPP History Core (above) may be taken as electives only if they are not being used to fulfill the core requirement. Double counting is not permitted.

79-217 The War in Vietnam 9
79-221 Development and Democracy in Latin America 9
79-231 American Foreign Policy: 1945-Present 9
79-233 The United States and the Middle East since 1945 9
79-242 African American History: Reconstruction to the Present 9
79-253 American Massacres in History and Memory 6
79-267 The Soviet Union in World War II: Military, Political, and Social History 9
79-288 Bananas, Baseball, and Borders: Latin America and the United States 9
79-298 Mobile Phones & Social Media in Development & Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal 6
79-299 Trafficking Persons: Children in a Global Context 9
79-301 History of Surveillance: From the Plantation to Edward Snowden 6
79-302 Drone Warfare: Ethics, Law, Politics, History, and Strategy 6
79-303 Pittsburgh and the Transformation of Modern Urban America 6
79-305 Moneyball Nation: Data in American Life 9
79-310 From Al Qaeda to ISIS: U.S. and European Anti-Terrorism Policies, 9/11-Present 9
79-315 The Politics of Water: Global Controversies, Past and Present 9
79-320 Women, Politics, and Protest 9
79-325 U.S. Gay and Lesbian History 6
79-331 Body Politics: Women and Health in America 9
79-336 Oil & Water: Middle East Perspectives 9
79-338 History of Education in America 9
79-339 Juvenile Delinquency and Film (1920 to "The Wire") 9
79-340 Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice 9
79-342 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies 9
79-349 The Holocaust in Historical Perspective 9
79-370 Disasters in American History (2):Epidemics & Fires 6
79-371 African American Urban History 9
79-374 American Environmental History: Critical Issues 9
79-381 Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World 9
79-389 Stalin and Stalinism 9


Courses from the EHPP Philosophy Core (above) may be taken as electives only if they are not being used to fulfill the core requirement. Double counting is not permitted.

80-256 Modern Moral Philosophy 9
80-305 Rational Choice 9
80-405 Game Theory 9

Institute for Politics and Strategy

84-310 International Political Economy and Organizations 9
84-380 Grand Strategy in the United States 9
84-393 Legislative Decision Making: U.S. Congress 9
84-402 Judicial Politics and Behavior 9

Social and Decision Sciences

88-223 Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems 9
88-281 Topics in Law: 1st Amendment 9
88-345 Perspectives on Industrial Research and Development 9
88-371 Entrepreneurship, Regulation and Technological Change 9
88-387 Social Norms and Economics 9
88-444 Public Policy and Regulation 9

VI. Bachelor of Science Option

Students may elect to earn a Bachelor of Science rather than a Bachelor of Arts degree by completing two courses from the list below, or by petitioning the Director of EHPP to accept equivalent courses as substitutions.

21-257 Models and Methods for Optimization 9
36-202 Statistical Methods 9
or 36-208 Regression Analysis
36-207 Probability and Statistics for Business Applications 9
36-303 Sampling, Survey and Society 9
36-309 Experimental Design for Behavioral and Social Sciences 9
80-305 Rational Choice 9
88-251 Empirical Research Methods 9

Additional Major

The B.A./B.S. in Ethics, History, and Public Policy may be scheduled as an additional major in consultation with the Director of Ethics, History, and Public Policy, Professor Alex John London,

Ethics, History, and Public Policy Sample Curriculum

Junior YearSenior Year
Fall Spring Fall Spring
Core requirement in Economics Core requirement in History or Philosophy Capstone Course EHPP Elective Course
Core requirement in History or Philosophy Core requirement in History or Philosophy EHPP Elective Course Second Course (open)
Core requirement in History or Philosophy Core requirement in History or Philosophy EHPP Elective Course Third Course (open)
Core requirement in History or Philosophy Core requirement in History or Philosophy Fourth Course (open) Fourth Course (open)
Core requirement in History or Philosophy Fifth Course (open) Fifth Course (open) Fifth Course (open)

The above sample program is presented as a two-year (junior-senior year) plan for completing EHPP major requirements. Its purpose is to show that this program can be completed in as few as two years; not that it must be. Students may enter the EHPP major, and begin major course requirements, as early as the start of the sophomore year, or even in the first year. Students should consult their advisor when planning their program.