A new class of leaders

Welcome to the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

Inspiring leadership and statesmanship

for the common good

Welcome to a new kind of program. One that looks beyond time and borders to explore the fundamental questions of life, freedom, and governance. One that looks inward to the guiding principles of America’s founders and the leaders who have inspired us. One that combines classic works and altruistic statesmanship to develop a new kind of leader: trained in critical thought, humble about human imperfection, and ready for anything. 

Polarization and Civil Disagreement Lecture Series and Conference

The polarized and compartmentalized intellectual climate on American campuses both mirrors and contributes to similar maladies in American civic life. To examine the problem and begin to discuss possible solutions both at the level of the campus and society, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, together with its partners in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, are hosting a lecture series and conference entitled Polarization and Civil Disagreement: Confronting America's Civic Crisis.

Course Spotlight: Race and the American Story

The School's Spring 2019 course, Race and the American Story, has a unique origin story. What began as a program at University of Missouri for incoming freshman and transfers in response to the protests in 2015 has been tailored into a course to broaden and extend existing conversations on campus about race and bring these important topics to the classroom. The course is also taught at University of Missouri and University of Massachusetts with curriculum that incorporates readings, speeches, and music playlists. A student conference in April brings the experience full circle, allowing participants to engage with the topic alongside students from these other universities who have taken the same course.



Are you interested in social issues? Our rigorous program combines classic texts with experiential learning opportunities to prepare students to tackle contemporary issues and lead and serve in civil society, public affairs, or government.

Why Study Here?

A New Class of Leaders

ASU is #1 in the U.S. for innovation

The unprecedented complexities of the 21st century demand a new approach to developing leaders. The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership provides the multifaceted perspective and the comprehensive educational resources necessary to succeed in our globalized world. The result is a new breed of scholars who are uniquely positioned to address contemporary challenges through a traditional lens.

Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society

Public Programs

Each year, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, along with university partners like the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law,  invites thought leaders from around the country to present a variety of perspectives on a timely civic theme. Students get front-row access to some of the world's most influential thinkers discussing and debating some of today's most critical issues. 

See Upcoming Events

Charles Drummond: CEL 394 Ideological Origins of Anglo-American Liberty: Four Modern Revolutions


SCETL students look at relevant issues through a classical, liberal arts lens. Courses combining philosophy, history, economics, and political science teach students to examine great ideas and solve contemporary problems. Courses like "Great Ideas in Politics and Ethics,"  "Justice and Virtue," and "Great Debates in American Politics and Economics" prepare students for leadership in a diverse and changing world. 

Learn About Spring 2019 Courses

SCETL Global Intensive Experience in India, March 2018

Experiential Learning

Through a partnership with ASU Study Abroad, students will have opportunities, through the Global Intensive Experience program, to hone their leadership skills outside of the United States. In the Spring of 2018, twelve students, along with School Director, Paul Carrese, visited India, where they joined Fulbright scholars to discuss education in India, met with the editor of the leading Indian daily newspaper, and worked in teams at Barefoot college, a nonprofit dedicated to building sustainable communities in developing countries. 

Learn About the GIE

Upcoming Events


Second Annual Martin Luther King Day Lecture: 'The Real Martin Luther King'

Location: University Club
Jan 22 2019 - 4:00pm

'Bringing America Together' with Arthur Brooks

Location: Old Main
Jan 24 2019 - 5:00pm

Recent News


It’s official: Arizona is now a battleground state. This, according to Margie Omero, one half of the “The Pollsters” podcast duo rounded out by Kristen Soltis Anderson.

Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict interim director John Carlson warned audience members at an event Tuesday evening on Arizona State University's Tempe campus that they’d better be havi

Assistant Professor Karen Taliaferro, in Arizona State University's School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, has been named an affiliate scholar for