Carnegie Mellon University

Requirements of the Major

5/25/2023: This website is in process of being updated, please check back soon.

The B.A./B.S. in Ethics, History, and Public Policy 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. 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 EHPP major encourages specialization, internship experiences, and research in a wide range of policy areas.

Major Requirements (120 Units)

Updated fall 2019

Foundations of Public Policy Requirement (9 units)
73-102 Principles of Microeconomics
84-104 Decisions Processes in American Political Institutions 
84-110 Foundations of Political Economy 

History Core (36 units)

  • Policy History
  • US History
  • Non-US History
  • Historical Methods and Approaches

1. Policy History (9 units)

  • 79-300 History of American Public Policy

2. US History (9 units – 1 of the following)

79-240 Development of American Culture
79-242 African American History: Reconstruction to the Present
79-244 Women in American History
79-245 Capitalism and Invdividualism in American Culture
79-249 20th & 21st Century U.S. History
79-320 Women, Politics, and Protest

3. Non-U.S. History (9 units – 1 of the following)

79-202 Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-1750
79-203 Social and Political Change in 20th Century Central and Eastern Europe
79-205 20th/21st Century Europe
79-207 Development of European Culture
79-222 Between Revolutions: The Development of Modern Latin America
79-223 Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Drug War
79-226 Introduction to African History I: From the Earliest Times to the Origins of the Slave Trade
79-227 Introduction to African History II: 18th Century to Neo-Colonialism
79-229 Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1880-1948
79-230 Arab-Israeli Conflict and Peace Process since 1948
79-237 Comparative Slavery
79-251 India/America: Democracy, Diversity and Development
79-261 Chinese Culture and Society
79-262 Modern China
79-264 Tibet in History and Imagination
79-265 Russian History: From the First to the Last Tsar
79-266 Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism
79-307 Religion and Politics in the Middle East

4. History Elective (9 units)

Take at least 9 additional units in the History Department with course number 79-200 or above. The following courses may not count: 79-400, 79-420, 79-449, 79-491, 79-505, 79-506.

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Philosophy Core (36 units – no more than 9 units at the 100 level)

  • Ethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Foundations of Social Science
  • Applied Philosophy

1. Ethics (9 units - 1 of the following)

80-130 Introduction to Ethics
80-330 Ethical Theory

2. Political Philosophy (9 units - 1 of the following)

80-135 Introduction to Political Philosophy
80-335 Social and Political Philosophy

3. Foundations of Social Science (9 units - 1 of the following)

80-221 Philosophy of Social Science
80-321 Causation, Law, and Social Policy
80-324 Philosophy of Economics

4. Applied Philosophy (9 units - 1 of the following)

80-136 Social Structure, Public Policy, & Ethical Dilemmas
80-244 Environmental Ethics
80-245 Medical Ethics
80-249 AI, Society, and Humanity
80-336 Philosophy of Law
80-348 Health, Human Rights, and International Development
80-447 Global Justice

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Capstone Project Course (12 units)

This course will be taught by one faculty of History or Philosophy, and will be taken in the fall of the senior year. It is required for all EHPP majors (primary majors and additional majors). The purpose of the course is to give students a serious opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge they have acquired in the major to a single topic, in depth.

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Electives (3 courses – 27 units)

Engineering and Public Policy (some courses have prerequisites – see the catalog)

19-424 Energy & the Environment [See EPP catalog for prerequisites]


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

Economics (some courses have prerequisites – see the catalog)

73-352 Public Economics
73-359 Benefit-Cost Analysis
73-365 Firms, Market Structures, and Strategy
73-372 International Money & Finance
73-408 Law and Economics
73-476 American Economic History


76-492 Rhetoric of Public Policy

History    note that some courses are 6 units

Any course from the History core (not taken to fulfill core)
79-206 Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe
79-228 The Civil Rights Movement and the World
79-233 The United States and the Middle East Since 1945
79-234 Technology and Society
79-247 African Americans, Imprisonment, and the Carceral State
79-267 The Soviet Union in World War II: Military, Political and Social History
79-288 Bananas, Baseball, and Borders: A History of Latin America-US Relations
79-298 Mobile Phones & Social MEdia in Developmetn & Human Rights (6 units)
79-299 From Newton to the Nuclear Bomb: History of Science, 1750-1950
79-301 History of Surveillance: From the Plantation to Edward Snowden (6 units)
79-302 Killer Robots: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (6 units)
79-303 Pittsburgh and the Transformation of Modern Urban America (6 units)
79-305 Moneyball Nation: Data in American Life
79-310 Modern U.S. Business History: 1870 to the Present
78-315 The Politics of Water: Global Controversies, Past and Present
79-325 U.S. Gay and Lesbian History (6 units)
79-330 Medicine and Society
79-331 Body Politics: Women and Health in America
79-336 Oil & Water: Middle East Perspectives
79-338 History of Education in America
79-339 Juvenile Delinquency and Film (1920 to "The Wire") (6 units)
79-340 Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (6 units)
79-342 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
79-343 Education, Democracy, and Civil Rights
79-349 The Holocaust in Historical Perspective (6 units)
79-370 Disasters in American History (2): Epidemics and Fires (6 units)
79-371 African American Urban History
79-374 American Environmental History: Critical Issues
79-381 Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World
79-397 Environmental Crises and the City (6 units)


Any course from the philosophy core (not taken to fulfill core)
80-256 Modern Moral Philosophy
80-305 Choices, Decisions, and Games
80-405 Game Theory

Institute for Politics and Strategy

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

Social and Decision Sciences

88-223 Decision Analysis & Decision Support Systems
88-281 Topics in Law: 1st Amendment
88-444 Public Policy and Regulation

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Bachelor of Science Option

Two courses from the following list (or a petition for equivalents):

21-257 Models & Methods for Optimization
36-202 Statistical Methods OR 36/70-208 Regression Analysis
36-303 Samplings, Surveys, and Society
36-309 Experimental Design for Behavioral and Social Sciences
70-257 Optimmization for Business
80-305 Choices, Decisions, and Games
80-405 Game Theory
84-265 Political Science Research Methods
88-221 Analytical Foundations of Public Policy
88-223 Decision Analysis
88-251 Empirical Research Methods
88-300 Programming and Data Analysis for Social Scientists

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