Looking Beyond the Law: What is PPL?

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Looking Beyond the Law: What is PPL?

Tatiana Lozano

Tatiana Lozano

Deadlines loom over the horizon as second-years scramble to register their major. Worries arise as students seek to enjoy their studies while meeting the demands of a future career. Plus, with at least fifty-one majors – and four politically-related degrees – what should a poor undergraduate do?

Why not apply for the Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law (PPL) major? With its interdisciplinary focus, its flexible requirements, and its union of the practical and the ideal, it is perfect for undergraduates who wish to think outside of the box.

For those unfamiliar with the program, PPL is about looking beyond the law. The official website notes that it provides “an opportunity to pursue intensive study of the connections between political philosophy and legal theory, legal thought and historical change, law and public policy.” Yet, it is so much more than that. By exploring various subjects like foreign affairs and natural law, PPL allows students to approach law more holistically by drawing upon the human condition.

Nicole Bailey, a former Editor in Chief of the Virginia Advocate and a PPL graduate herself, had this to say about the major:  “PPL has allowed me to take a variety of courses that I would not have been able to take in a regular major.  I have made friends, and I have had many intense yet pleasant discussions. The PPL faculty are of the highest quality and seem legitimately interested in helping…students.”

As a PPL major myself, I also concur with her statement. Along with my philosophy courses, I have been able to squeeze in a graduate course in public health, a class in Ancient and Medieval Political Theory, and a lecture on economics. Furthermore, as a double-major in Religious Studies, I have found PPL very compatible as both provide the ethical building blocks needed to form good public policy. Finally, the saying that “iron sharpens iron” holds as students cordially debate over topics like immigration, drones, and global poverty. These aspects – along with the professional-level colloquia and other benefits shown here – provide excellent reasons to apply for the PPL major.

If this continues to pique one’s interest, consider attending next week’s info session on February 24 at 7:30 pm in Gibson 141 (as seen on Facebook). Finally, one can always fill out the form by March 6 at midnight. Either way, it would be amiss not to take advantage of this great opportunity here at the University.

By Tatiana Lozano, Associate Editor
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