Trinity One Ethics Stream


The Ethics stream introduces and examines some of the most challenging and urgent moral issues of our time. The goal of the stream is to allow students to become more deeply aware of the assumptions about right and wrong that undergird public debate and personal experience.

The stream has a deeply interdisciplinary approach to examining ethical questions. With this broad base students are better able to navigate the complexities of ethical issues. This provides a solid foundation for further specialization in the study of ethics, be that in medicine, law, politics, economics, or other related fields.

The University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics located at Trinity College offers access to seminars, speaker series, conferences, symposia, and roundtables. The Centre for Ethics is an important hub for scholarly investigation and cross-community within the university community.

The Ethics stream is a good fit for students interested in philosophy, literature, and critical thinking.



Students in the Ethics stream enroll in two Trinity One seminar credits in their first year.


TRN170Y1 Ethics and the Creative Imagination

How should we live? What does it mean to have moral integrity? In this seminar we investigate ethical questions through a wide range of literature—novels, poetry, and drama—and a broad historical perspective ranging from ancient Greek theatre to contemporary fiction. These works, concerned with complex ethical dilemmas and the people caught up in them, will allow us to discuss such issues as choice, responsibility, autonomy, authenticity; they will also help us to engage our own creative imaginations with those of the poets, dramatists, and novelists whose works we read.


TRN171Y1 Ethics and the Public Sphere 

What does it mean to be morally required to do something? What rights do we have over ourselves, our bodies, our privacy, our choices? In this course, we will read texts from philosophy, history, political science, cultural studies and beyond that engage with the theme of ethics in the public arena. These will provide valuable analytic tools as we go on to confront contemporary issues that raise urgent ethical questions.



The University of Toronto’s Ethics, Society, and Law (ES&L) undergraduate major program, hosted by Trinity College, is one possible destination for students of the Ethics stream. The seminars taken in the Ethics stream can count towards 2 of the 3 credits required for entry into ES&L.

Students interested in the public dimension of ethical questions often continue their studies at The School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG) at the University of Toronto, which offers both an undergraduate Major, and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

Students interested in continuing to think practically and theoretically about ethical questions often major in Philosophy. Students interested in delving deeper into the literary aspects of the Ethics stream seek out majors in the English and Classics departments.