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Home > Academics > Undergraduate >
Politics, Economics, Policy and Law

Degree Requirements

Politics, Economics, Policy and Law Major

(a minimum of 38 semester course credits)

Foundation Courses

ECON 050 Introduction to Economics (2-4)

GOVT 093 Law and Society (3)

GOVT 121 The Public Policy Making Process (3)
or PPOL 015 Introduction to Policy (3)

SOC 091 Methods of Social Research (4)
or PPOL 100 Methods of Policy Analysis (4)

Interdisciplinary Module (1 semester course credit)

Multiple lectures or workshops on interdisciplinary problems or topics

Student designed project (1 semester course credit)

Connecting two courses being taken by the student in the same semester

Individual Concentrations (six or seven courses)

Practicum and Capstone

PEPL 191 Senior Seminar (4)



This concentration constitutes the Mills undergraduate program in political science. Students build on the methodological and interdisciplinary training of the PEPL foundation by (1) studying political institutions in the United States and other countries, (2) learning and applying key political science concepts and related analytical approaches, and (3) thinking critically about the origins and exercise of power in society. Students will be exposed to three political science sub-fields: American politics, comparative politics, and political theory.


GOVT 16 Comparative Politics (3)

GOVT 90 American Foreign Policy (4)

GOVT 117 Minority Political Behavior (3)

Electives (choose four):

GOVT 137 Middle East Politics (4)

GOVT 141 States and Nations (3)

GOVT 142 African Politics (3)

GOVT 150 Political Representation in Congress (3)

GOVT 151 Political Polarization in the US (3)

GOVT 187 Comparative Politics of Social Policy (3)

PHIL 128 Political Philosophy (3)

SOC 160 Political Sociology (3)

Economic Analysis

This concentration prepares students for doing economic analysis in a variety of organizations, including established corporations, startups, government agencies, and non-profits. The concentration adds to the PEPL foundation by deepening student understanding of how markets work and how decisions by firms and households influence the allocation of resources in the economy. The emphasis on robust and flexible analytical tools will prepare students for rewarding careers in international economics, finance, government regulation, environmental management, corporate planning, and many other fields.


ECON 081 Introduction to Statistics (4)
or MATH 102 Statistics (4)

ECON 100 MicroeconomicTheory (4)

ECON 101 Macroeconomic Theory (4)

Principles and Institutions (choose two):

ECON 113 Money and Financial Institutions (4)

ECON 116 Corporate Finance (4)

ECON 121 Labor Economics (4)

ECON 136 Managerial Economics (4)

ECON 142 Industrial Organization and Public Policy (4)

GOVT 087 Political Economy (4)

Issues and Areas (choose two):

ECON 121 Labor Economics (4)

ECON 130 Economics of Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination (3)

ECON 141 Economics of Education (3)

ECON 150 Strategic Behavior (4)

ECON 153 Environmental Economics (4)

ECON 155 International Trade (4)

ECON 159 Economic Development (4)

ECON 164 Econometrics and Business Forecasting (4)

GOVT 141 Politics of Comparative Social Policy (3)

Public Policy

This concentration in the PEPL program is similar to an undergraduate major in public policy. The academic discipline of public policy offers an integrative framework for using the tools and insights of economics and political science, as well as other social science disciplines, in the analysis of public problems and the design of policy solutions. Public policy at Mills College prepares students for engaged citizenship, further study, and/or careers in such fields as law, city and regional planning, economic development, public health, nonprofit and public sector management, and policy analysis.

The goal of the concentration is to build on the foundation courses a set of analytical skills, substantive expertise, and a practitioner's sensibilities that will allow the graduate to assess alternative solutions to policy problems in light of feasibility, ethical, and political considerations. In addition, students will choose electives in substantive policy areas, including as examples education, housing and communities, environment, women and politics.

Students in the public policy making concentration begin to build their toolbox with research and policy analytic methods and statistics. In public sector economics students learn how the actions of government interact with markets.


ECON 81 Introduction to Statistics (4)or
MATH 102 Statistics (4)

ECON 134 Public Sector Economics (4)

Ethics (choose one):

GOVT 139 Ethical Reasoning in Public Policy (4)

PHIL 062 Ethics(3)

Applied Policy Analysis (choose three):

ECON 130 Economics of Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination (4)

ECON 139 Urban Economics (4)

ECON 141 Economics of Education (3)

ECON 153 Environmental Economics (4)

PHIL 125 Philosophy of Law (4)

PPOL 114 Social Policy Analysis (4)

PPOL 118 Women and Leadership (4)

PPOL 125 Gender and Public Policy (4)

PPOL 150 Environmental Policy Analysis (4)

PPOL 180 Special Topics in Policy (4)

SOC125/PPOL 225 Simulation in the Social and Policy Sciences (3)

OR any policy-related course in ANTH, ECON, EDUC, ETHS, ENVS, GOVT, HIST, SOC, or SOSC with advisor’s approval.

For honors in the major an additional thesis is required beyond participation in the capstone course.

Legal Institutions and Processes

This concentration serves both students who seek a career in law and those who plan to pursue other careers both in the public or private sectors and who will benefit from a deep understanding of the role of law in contemporary society. The PEPL foundation provides students with analytic, problem solving, and methodological skills and findings from the study of human institutions and behavior. The legal concentration adds to the foundation by (1) familiarizing students with legal institutions and processes in the United States and internationally, (2) exposing students to the philosophy and reasoning behind legal decision making, and (3) improving students’ ability to analyze the relationship between law, politics, economics and society.


GOVT 152 Fundamental Freedoms (3)

Electives (choose five):

ECON 117 Women and the Economy (4)

GOVT 148 International Organizations (3)

GOVT 150 Political Representation in Congress(3)

PHIL 125 Philosophy of Law (3)

PPOL 118 Women’s Leadership in Politics (4)

PPOL 141 Law and Public Policy (4)

SOC 101 Sociology of the Family (3)

SOC 112 Social Control (3)

SOC 134 Social Inequality (3)

SOC 145 Sociology of Education (3)

SOC 149 Sociology of US Immigration (3)

SOC 156 Sociology of Oakland (4)

SOC 160 Political Sociology (3)

Program Information

Faculty and Staff

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Full Course List

Contact Information

P: 510.430.2338
F: 510.430.2304

Last Updated: 6/22/17