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New interdisciplinary degree offered

Associate Professor Jim Farney will be one of three instructors teaching PPE 200. Photo: Derek Cameron
Associate Professor Jim Farney will be one of three instructors teaching PPE 200. Photo: Derek Cameron

Program offers joint degree in philosophy, politics, and economics

Starting this year, the University of Regina will be offering an interdisciplinary degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). This decision arose when the University saw the opportunity to offer what is “an internationally-acclaimed qualification offered by major universities around the world,” according to the Faculty of Arts page. The page also makes mention of the current Prime Ministers of England and Australia, both of whom are PPE graduates.

Dr. Tom McIntosh, department head of Politics and International studies, says that, “as a combined major, the PPE program draws upon the best traditions of the liberal arts, allowing for breadth as well as depth through specialization in both the humanities and social sciences.”

McIntosh believes that interdisciplinary programs will have increasing importance in the future, especially in the liberal arts.

Department head of Philosophy Dr. Eldon Soifer attested to the uniqueness of the PPE degree.

“The PPE program allows for critical reflection by students on what a good life consists of, and how to achieve it, both at home and in the workplace. Not many other undergraduate programs are able to achieve this kind of impression.”

Dr. Hafiz Akhand, head of the Economics department, spoke on the viability of the program. According to Dr. Akhand, it makes sense to host the program in Regina because, “local, provincial and federal government offices are based in Regina, as well as national and international businesses and organizations; the specialization of the three areas in our new PPE program provides a natural linkage to these sectors. PPE students can take advantage of this opportunity by participating in the Arts Co-op program while pursuing their major.”

Students approve of the program as well. First-year political science student Katelynn Kowalchuk says, “I think it’s a lovely idea. Having significant knowledge on one topic will get you very little, especially in politics; it is absolutely crucial to have knowledge in other aspects of government as well, such as economics and philosophy.”

Students who are in the process of completing degrees in each of the subject areas have the ability to join a PPE 200 class taught collaboratively by three professors, one from each subject area. The three instructors for this joint course are Jim Farney (Politics), John Wright (Economics) and Roger Petry (Philosophy).

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