Global Scholars: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics

One of the hallmarks of a global education in the twenty-first century is the ability to expand the minds and enlarge the sensibilities of students through distinctive study abroad experiences.  At the same time, many of most pressing issues facing the world today such as environmental degradation or the recent crises in the financial markets lie at the intersection of politics, economics, and ethics.

In this program at Villanova, incoming students are admitted to the University Honors Program bearing the special designation “Honors PPE Global Scholar.”  While at Villanova, they are enrolled in a distinctive series of classes built around the special character of this different program. In sophomore year they will study abroad for one semester, taking a course of studies appropriate for their area of focus.  Typically, students in PPE program study in Cambridge, England, with Cambridge University faculty, or in London, England, with faculty from the London School of Economics. Other destinations and opportunities are available. This program will educate Villanova students to become transformative leaders for the global environment of the twenty-first century.

Please note, this program is in partnership with an outside Institution, and thus is subject to changes that we cannot foresee and that may be beyond our control

Links to each of these study abroad programs can be found in the right column, or at the bottom of this page on a mobile device.

This learning cohort is best for students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or in Business. For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Course Sequence

Courses in the PPE Sequence

ACS 1000: Augustine and Culture Seminar

This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of the transcendental “good.”  From the perspective of the students, the question of the good originates in the question of “How should I live?” and “How should my society be ordered?”  Thus “The Good” course is a course in Political Philosophy and Ethics.  “The Good” course is first in the learning cohort sequence, since it addresses foundational questions.  Readings include selections from Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Shakespeare, Scripture, Machiavelli, Tocqueville, etc.  Co-curricular activities such as trips and combined learning cohort lectures are also a part of this course.

ACS 1001: Augustine and Culture Seminar

This course is part of the politics, philosophy and economics track.  In it, we will focus on the conceptual underpinnings of modern day capitalism.  Where do property rights come from?  Is virtue compatible with profit-seeking?  Is homo economicus an adequate description of human nature?  What is the nature of work?  Among the authors we will be considering are Machiavelli, Adam Smith, John Locke, Malthus, and Marx. 

HON 5700: Justice Seminar

Justice – the question of what people owe each other – is the most basic social question because it investigates what might be an adequate basis for a common life.  In this course we will inquire into the meaning of justice by interrogating several rival accounts.  Specifically, we will investigate different accounts of justice arising in modern and ancient democracy.  The class will conclude by thinking about the meaning of justice as it arose in the great crisis of American democracy – the Civil War – through a consideration of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. 
This course fulfills a Social Science requirement in the Core.

Courses for Study Abroad

Courses to take at Villanova in the first and second year:

LAS Students:

  • Ethics 2050
  • Natural Sciences courses
  • Philosophy 1000
  • Theology 1000
  • Theology upper level
  • Core History
  • Sophomore Literature and Writing Seminar

VSB Students:

  • Ethics 2050
  • Natural Science Core requirement
  • Philosophy 1000
  • Theology 1000
  • Theology upper level
  • VSB 2010, 2020 (as appropriate)
  • VSB 2006, 2008

Course to keep available for study abroad:

LAS Students:

  • Social Science Core course
  • Electives in major
  • Fine Arts Core requirement

VSB Students:

  • Humanities Core course
  • Social Science Core course
  • Electives in major
  • Economics 3108
  • History course
  • Theology course

*These are intended as suggestions and do not fully represent courses students must complete at Villanova or options available for study abroad.

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Honors Program Brochure

Click the image to access our latest brochure and learn more about the program.

Contact Us

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4650
Fax: 610.519.5405