Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC)
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Contact: Sara Lennox, Director or
The Social Thought and Political Economy Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for students who want a challenging major. Courses meeting STPEC requirements are drawn from a variety of departments in the humanities and social sciences, including Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Women’s Studies.
Course requirements for STPEC majors are both flexible and highly directed. Students are able to develop their own individualized course of study while they acquire a foundation in areas of concern to the STPEC Program. Courses in these areas are chosen from a list of recommended courses drawn up each semester and available from the STPEC office. Transfer students may petition to have courses taken at other institutions accepted for STPEC credit. STPEC also encourages its students to spend one or two semesters studying abroad and, with program approval, to use courses taken abroad to satisfy STPEC requirements.
Students must take two introductory courses selected from the STPEC course list, one in social theory and one in political economy, before they will be admitted to STPEC’s Junior Seminar I. Once admitted, students must complete at least 40 credits within the STPEC Program distributed as follows:
A) Five upper-level courses (15 credits): Includes one course each in modern Western social theory, political economy, history and politics of women, history and politics of race in the U.S., and the non-Western world, all of which must be selected from the STPEC course list.
B) One upper- or lower-level history course (3 credits).
C) One graded internship (3 credits minimum).
D) Four STPEC seminars (16 credits):
E) STPEC 393A Writing for Critical Consciousness (3 credits). Fulfills the University’s Junior Year Writing requirement. Offered every semester; enrollment limited to 20 STPEC majors.
Note: All requirements for completing a degree in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences apply, including the Global Education requirement.
Matriculated students new to the STPEC Program must contact the STPEC office for an initial advising session, complete an application form, and attend an introductory meeting with the STPEC Program Director and several STPEC students.
Since STPEC is an interdisciplinary program, possible career opportunities for its graduates vary according to the focus of each student’s program of study. Many STPEC graduates continue on to law school or to graduate study in fields such as American studies, anthropology, education, economics, history, international relations, labor studies, political theory, social work, and urban planning. Others pursue careers in social service work, teaching, community, grassroots, and labor union organizing, political advocacy, alternative publishing houses and journals, government service, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Possibilities for employment upon graduation are similar to those available to students graduating from any of the other departments in the social sciences.