Home > Study: Arts & Science > TRINITY ONE > Policy, Philosophy & Economics Stream

Policy, Philosophy & Economics Stream

In Trinity One’s Policy, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) stream, students will examine some of the most challenging issues that confront contemporary governments and citizens from diverse theoretical perspectives. The stream has two fundamental goals: first, to introduce students to the moral challenges of political decision-making and second, to introduce students to current governance practices in Canada and other democratic nations.

Students will discuss issues related to social inequality, educational policy, crime and punishment, health care, economic growth, tax policy, and the transfer of wealth. Students will have the opportunity to think creatively and from a number of theoretical perspectives about pragmatic policy solutions to such issues.

STREAM REQUIREMENTS

Students in the PPE stream must enrol in two Trinity One seminars in their first year: TRN160Y1: Public Policy and the Public Good and TRN172Y1: Political Economy and Social Inequality. Each of these courses amounts to 1.0 FCE and will continue throughout the fall and winter semesters. These credits will account for 2.0 credits of the typical 5.0 credit load in first year.

AFTER TRINITY ONE

Students who complete the Policy, Philosophy and Economics stream are well-equipped to pursue further studies in related academic disciplines. Students may apply concepts and skills learned in the PPE stream to studies in the sciences, social sciences or humanities.

Students in the PPE stream may be especially interested in pursuing a major in at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Alternatively, students may wish to build on the stream’s core themes by pursuing studies in economics or philosophy. Finally, PPE students commonly express interest in Political Science, History and Ethics, Society and Law or International Relations  (both hosted by Trinity College).

STREAM MENTORS

Your stream mentors will support you throughout the academic year by hosting workshops and activities to assist you with course assessments and to facilitate community building. They will be your first point of contact should you have any academic concerns or questions about student life! Meet your stream mentors below!

Rio Tang

Program(s) of Study: Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Hometown: Singapore, Singapore
College: Woodsworth College

Rio is an incoming third-year student majoring in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, and was in the PPE stream for the Trinity One programme. Professionally, he seeks to pursue a career in Strategy Consulting. As a humanities student himself, he thoroughly understands how difficult it is looking for job opportunities in the market, and has taken up the role of TrinOne senior mentor in hopes of providing guidance where he struggled to find any. Academically, engage him about any moral philosophy or philosophy of mind and you might see 2 hours fly by. He’s a huge fan of music, and has been playing blues guitar for 8 years (he used to play at a blues bar) and has been doing street dance for 3 years!

 

Jolie Gan

Program(s) of Study: Political Science and Health Studies
Hometown: Calgary, AB
College: Trinity College

Bio: Jolie is a second-year student studying Political Science and Health Studies – an amalgamation of her time in the Medicine and Global Health stream and, this year, as a mentor in the Policy, Philosophy, and Economics stream. Trinity One was undoubtedly a highlight of Jolie’s first year and she is incredibly excited to support first-year students as they tap into the integrative, interdisciplinary learning that the Trinity One programme uniquely offers. Beyond academics and serving as a mentor, Jolie works as a Policy and Analytics Student at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, serves as a Global Health Fellow to the United Nations General Assembly and World Health Organization, and enjoys trying new recipes in her spare time. At U of T, Jolie conducts research with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health as a Laidlaw Scholar and is an Executive on the Arts and Science Students’ Union.

 

ALUMNI REFLECTIONS

Hear from graduates of the Trinity One program – Policy, Philosophy & Economics stream!

Wenny Jin & Paul Grewar | 2019

Paul Grewar, a PPE alum.  Wenny Jin, a PPE alum.

The past school year has been rife with uncertainty. The graduates of 2022 have shown perseverance and a willingness to adapt to quickly changing circumstances. I had the pleasure to sit down with two graduates of Trinity One’s Policy, Philosophy and Economics Stream as they approached their convocation– the first in-person convocation since 2019! I spoke with Wenny Jin and Paul Grewar about their experiences at UofT and in the Trinity One program.

Wenny Jin is graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a specialist in International Relations and a minor in Spanish. Wenny completed Trinity One’s PPE stream in 2019. She spoke about how the PPE stream exposed her to complex readings and content that informed her critical thinking skills and inspired her future research.

Trinity One was just a portion of Wenny’s time at UofT, although Wenny attributes her determination to building a better society to the social justice-oriented focus of the PPE stream. Wenny worked with the G20 and BRICS Research Groups and as a consultant with 180 Degrees Consulting, where she helped a local youth education non-profit enhance its marketing and communications strategies. She also founded an organisation called “Ensemble,” which facilitated conversations between academics, industry professionals, and students about personal experiences and social issues.

Wenny felt that she had learned a lot during her time at UofT, especially regarding the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. She extended some words of advice for incoming students: “Be certain that you are enough. Come with a fresh and open mind to learn, get to know people, and embrace opportunities within and outside of the Trinity One community.”

After convocation, Wenny will be pursuing a Masters in Global Affair at University of Toronto’s Munk School for Public Policy and Global Affairs. She is excited to spend more time with her friends and family and for the opportunity to get to know Toronto a little bit more (uninterrupted by the pandemic). Paul Grewar is graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Economics (Data Analytics) and Public Policy.

Paul also completed the PPE stream in 2020. He spoke about how his time in Trinity One invited him to think differently about his academic and professional interests. In Trinity One, Paul appreciated the opportunity to examine the practical side of policy and the ways in which we can use policy to improve the lives of others. In his classes, Paul was able to break down the policy process into a policy cycle. He explored how policy makers move from an abstract problem, to possible solutions, to consultations with interest groups, to action.

Paul’s time in the PPE stream showed him that he was not as interested in political or economic theory as he was in producing tangible outcomes for the lives of others. This informed his decision to double major in economics and public policy, as well as his long-term objective of working in public policy.

At UofT, Paul was inspired by the support and passion of his professors. He spoke about how his professors really encouraged him to overcome his sense of imposter syndrome in academia.

After convocation, Paul will be pursuing a Masters in Economics at the University of Toronto. He will also be working as a research assistant for a project in Health Economics. He is excited to continue to learn how the skills he has learned in academic settings can be applied.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Wenny and Paul for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak with me. We would like to offer both of our alumni a warm congratulations and best wishes on the next chapters of their journeys. We are excited to see what their futures look like!

Written by: Katherine Delay, Trinity One Program Assistant, Ethics, Society & Law ‘20

Gabrielle Warren | 2014

Gabrielle Warren, a 2014 alum of the PPE stream.

“What equalizes us as human beings?”

“How is our consciousness connected to religion?”

“Is religion special, and if so, why?”

“Does the government have the responsibility to protect religion?”

These are questions that are tackled in the religion unit of Trinity One: Public Policy. In this unit, we strive to explore not just the expression of religion, but how religion relates to a person’s dignity and how it is often in conflict with secular society. For example, if a person believes that they should eat halal food because of an internal conviction, where does that conviction fit in a world where halal slaughtering rituals are deemed cruel against animals? Should a government accommodate these convictions or not?

In the beginning of the unit, the class’ biggest discussion was “What made religion special?” Some students believed that religion was not special and should be treated like any other conviction. I did not see it that way. Religion seemed to go deeper than a conviction to refuse to shop at Walmart. However, at the beginning we had not yet been given the arguments for me to encapsulate my feelings on the subject. Through different examples, we wrestled with the friction that takes place between religious conviction and secular standards. Examples included the contraception mandate in Obamacare in the United States and the ban of halal and kosher slaughter in the Netherlands and Poland.

Differences placed on the importance of religion, created two different schools of thought. One school of thought believes that religion must fit itself into secular society. If a law is made that does not align with a religious belief, the followers of the belief will have to adjust. There is a small scope of accommodation. The alternative school of thought is that religion is an intrinsic part of many human experiences and that the government has a duty to accommodate it. It claims that to have a society that is truly free, all citizens must have a right to live by their convictions and beliefs. Therefore, the state must provide a wide accommodation.

The questions that I posed at the beginning of this piece are complex, but they need to be discussed in order to create public policies that bring the greatest utility to society and respect all citizens. When making a law or a policy, we are making statements as to what we want our society to be, defining the future trajectory of society. Regardless of your feelings toward religion, this unit will provide you tools to think critically about the human experience.

Contact Us:

Susan He
Program Coordinator, Margaret MacMillan Trinity One
trinityone@trinity.utoronto.ca

 

Have a question? Ask a mentor!