The Murphy Institute

The Murphy Institute The Murphy Institute

Undergraduate Program in Political Economy

Tulane University’s most popular and acclaimed multidisciplinary major, the Political Economy major aims to promote sustained reflection on the multiple connections between political and economic activities and institutions.

The Political Economy major supports and promotes Tulane University’s mission to create, communicate and conserve knowledge in order to enrich the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to think, to learn, to act and to lead with integrity and wisdom.

The Political Economy major at Tulane is designed to avoid the sometimes excessive specialization that characterizes more traditional undergraduate majors. Our multidisciplinary approach allows students to develop complementary strengths in multiple areas.

The program offers different tracks or concentrations in: Law, Economics, and Policy, Moral and Historical Perspectives, International Perspectives, and Economics and Public Policy.

The Murphy Institute offers summer internship grants to its majors and maintains strong connections with program alumni as they advance in their careers.

Testimony to the success of the program has been abundant. Since Spring, 1986, more than 750 students have graduated with B.A.s in political economy, and gone on to pursue graduate and professional degrees at leading universities such as Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, and the London School of Economics. Many now are pursuing lucrative and rewarding careers in law, finance, business, medicine, politics, and education.

The building blocks of the program’s success have been numerous. Every semester the Murphy Institute’s “core” faculty teach courses designed specifically for the major. Faculty affiliates in Economics, History, Philosophy, and Political Science also teach departmentally based courses that are available as electives for the four different concentrations in the major. Faculty associated with the program have won numerous teaching honors and awards. The Associate Director of the program received the 2007 Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Non-Tenured Teaching from the Newcomb Memorial College Institute and the Newcomb Alumnae Association, and was the 2009-2010 Honors Professor of the Year.

The basic contours of the undergraduate program’s curriculum were put in place in the late 1980s with grant support from the National Endowment for Humanities. In the early 1990s, a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided generous support for faculty positions in international political economy.

Since 1989, the Murphy Institute’s affiliation with the Institute of Economic and Political Studies (INSTEP) has provided Newcomb-Tulane undergraduates both academic semester and summer study abroad programs in London and Cambridge, England. While the Murphy Institute still serves as the academic partner of INSTEP, the administration of Tulane’s INSTEP program is now handled by the Office of Study Abroad.


For more information about this Program, please contact John Louis Howard.