Curriculum

Special PPP courses, along with courses from traditional disciplines, together enable students to explore the central concepts of this program.

Required Core

  • The freshmen semester courses follow Xavier University?s undergraduate Core Curriculum. Students are placed in selected sections of "European History I" and "Ethics as Introduction to Philosophy." In preparation for advanced work in the program's sophomore year sequence, PPP students take the following two courses during their first-year spring semester: "European History II" (HIST 134) and the "Theory of Knowledge" (PHIL 290).
  • The sophomore year sequence* brings together faculty from history and political science to develop real-world application of public and political theories. The sequence combines a rigorous, interdisciplinary investigation of public experience and civic culture in the United States with a practical experience in shaping public affairs. Its focus is on America's civic culture in its growth and development, with special emphasis upon electoral and legislative politics. The four courses are designed to develop engaged and informed citizens who are imaginative and practical, reflective and effective, possessing vision and knowing how to exercise power, equally comfortable with political argument and political technique.
  • The junior year sequence* is primarily philosophical and centers upon the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment, culminating in the French Revolution as a primary shaper of both modern democratic institutions as well as modern conceptions of ?the public.? The course will culminate with the students traveling to Paris and Brussels to meet with French specialists along with  students who are likewise investigating the changing contours of the modern Western democracies that this revolution had so profoundly affected.
  • In the senior year, all PPP students submit a research thesis for public defense. The focus of the thesis is multidisciplinary and addresses issues concerning the public that flow from the student?s own elective concentration.
  • * Some students will enroll in the junior year sequence during their sophomore year. These students will then return to the sophomore year sequence during their junior year.
  • More information about the program's core requirements »

Elective Concentrations and Additional Course Requirements

Students are encouraged to choose one or more elective concentrations in a discipline that most closely fits their own academic interest in the concept of ?the public.? Students can take a total of 18 hours of available electives in the PPP honors program. They choose either an interdisciplinary minor, such as gender & diversity, international studies, Latin American studies, peace studies, or Catholicism & culture; or select a minor that is departmentally based, such as business, economics, history, international studies, philosophy, political science, or art. Many PPP students graduate with a second major as well.

In addition to these required core and elective courses, students in Philosophy, Politics and the Public must complete either a full minor in a foreign language or complete two languages through intermediate proficiency, one additional course from a history survey of the student's choice, and two courses in economics. 

Internship & Foreign Study Opportunities

Students in the program can, if they wish, pursue summer internship opportunities in their home cities or in Washington, DC. PPP students have completed internships in the Washington Offices of United States Senators and Congressmen and women from Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, and Connecticut, as well as in the Mayor's Office in Cincinnati. Other students have chosen internships in both the Democratic and Republican National Committees as well as in the White House Budget Office. Click here for more information about PPP internships.

Students can also undertake semester-long study abroad while pursuing the program. In the past, PPP students have spent full semesters in Ireland, Scotland, England, France and Spain. Summer study has included London, Rome, Paris and Buenos Aires. The semester programs undertaken in Ireland and England, included internships in the Irish Parliament and British House of Commons alongside the academic work done in the classroom.

After Graduation

After graduation, PPP students have gone on to many varied activities. Some have gone on for more education, whether it be law school, a graduate program in public policy, or even study towards an advanced degree in a traditional discipline (such as philosophy or mathematics). Others choose to become involved in the active world of the public sphere both locally and nationally. We have had graduates go on to work in Congressional Offices and in Departments of the United States Federal Government, some have chosen to enter Teach For America or the Peace Corps, and still others have gone on to careers in journalism or to work at the grassroots level on behalf of marginalized communities. The program is an excellent preparation for careers in these areas or in related fields such as diplomacy, foreign service, or electoral politics.

"PPP is special because of its seminar discussions that challenge us to question why things are the way they are, and it fosters a climate of respect for people with different opinions."
- Adam Clark, '12