Program Overview

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The Philosophy, Politics & the Public Honors Program is an innovative and rigorous undergraduate program that focuses on the unifying concept of ‘the public sphere’ in democratic societies. The approach taken by this honors program is expressed in the meanings of the several conceptions identified in its very name.

"The public" represents a multi-dimensional domain of shared consciousness, ideals and action. Through course work that is both multi-disciplinary as well as centered in a particular disciplinary concentration, students are encouraged to follow their own interests in the theoretical engagement of the public in its many embodiments and meanings. The theoretical work in the program is complemented by engagement in the active world of politics through working on political campaigns, lobbying on behalf of legislation, internships in local and national government offices and summer study in Paris that includes a seminar in Brussels, the seat of the European Union.

The Philosophy, Politics & the Public Honors Program is neither liberal nor conservative by nature. Past and current students greatly differ in their political ideologies and alumni have served in both Republican and Democratic Presidential administrations. While amenable to liberals and conservatives alike, the program consistently challenges its students to analyze, critique, and defend their views.

The program is highly selective, with 30 to 35 freshman students enrolling each fall.