PHI 485: Integrating PPE Capstone Project

Poster for PHI 485: Integrating Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Make the world better by confronting complex social issues in the fields of philosophy, politics and economics. 

Project description

This project is a core component of PHI 485: Integrating Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. This course has students explore advanced issues at the intersection of philosophy, political science, and economics. Each of these disciplines considers complex social problems with its own toolkit, and with its own set of questions. By the end of the course, students will be better able to integrate these different approaches into a richer lens on how we can confront complex social issues.

For this capstone project, students will work in teams of 4 or 5 to (1) think about how to make the world demonstrably better and (2) then actually do it. That is, each team must identify a problem in the world (whether local, national, or global) and address it in some tangible way.

In completing this project, students will learn how to...

  1. Examine a social problem from multiple perspectives,
  2. Integrate those insights to formulate a solution to that problem,
  3. Carry out the necessary steps to implement that solution, and
  4. Do all of the above while working within a group of their peers.

Finally, each team is highly encouraged to apply for up to $750 in grant funds through UB's Experiential Learning Network. While not required, such funds may prove extremely helpful for a team to complete its project. 

Project outcome

Each team of students is responsible for submitting a 10-page final report and conducting a 15-20 minute group presentation.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment One semester
Start time Spring
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Large group project (4+ students)
Benefits Academic credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

David Emmanuel Gray

Associate Teaching Professor


Phone: (716) 645-0164


Start the project

  1. Ensure you are enrolled in the course for the correct semester.
  2. Click the button to start the digital badge below.

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

In order to prepare for this project, each team of students must first do the following:

  1. Identify a problem which they want to solve.
  2. Explain why they believe this is a problem that they may be able to meaningfully address by May 13, 2022.
  3. Justify why solving this problem would make the world demonstrably better.
  4. Put together a list of resources needed to solve that problem.
  5. Outline an agenda and/or action plan for solving that problem by May 13, 2022.
  6. If seeking a $750 grant from the Experiential Learning Network (ELN), putting together a detailed budget and submitting to ELN by February 16, 2022.