If you have questions regarding this major, please contact our director colin Bird at:


PPL is a selective interdisciplinary major for students who wish to study law and public policy from a philosophical perspective. Students in the program take a self-designed combination of classes and complete a final year research project on a topic of their choosing. 


PPL majors study such questions as: Are democratic institutions in trouble and if so how should we fix them?  How should the freedoms of private citizens and the authority of democratic states be balanced?  How far does justice require public provision of welfare? What do the values of ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ entail? How far should free speech rights extend?  Is Affirmative Action an appropriate way to address forms of discrimination and disadvantage? Do members of affluent societies have obligations to relieve poverty overseas?  When and under what conditions may states go to war?  What is the status of international law and how far should its jurisdiction encroach upon that of domestic law?  Should the state fund the arts?  How should the need for security and secrecy be balanced against our interests in freedom of information? On what basis may the state restrict immigration?  How might practices of criminal punishment be understood and justified?  

If these and similar questions are of interest to you, PPL may be the major for you.

Great minds that don't think alike