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PHE FAQ

What is “public life?"
Public life happens when different parts of society (such as government, businesses, churches, non-profits, social movements, community organizations, and media) come together to make decisions about issues of common concern. For example, a church advocating for a change in social assistance policies; a labour union negotiating an agreement with business owners; a charity working with a school to set up a community garden; a government body making a ruling about Canadian content on a radio station; and a newspaper publishing articles that spark debate on funding for First Nations schools, are all examples of public life.

What kinds of careers does the PHE program prepare me for?
The PHE degree prepares students for a variety of careers ranging from politics, to business, social service, and beyond. See our Careers page for more information, and check out career-related stories from our graduates.

Will PHE prepare me for graduate school?
Yes! PHE graduates have been accepted into a variety of graduate programs in areas such as public policy, law, international affairs, community development, international development, rural planning and development, journalism, and contemporary ethics. The PHE major is especially attractive to students interested in interdisciplinary graduate programs. With careful program choices, students are also able to pursue graduate studies in one of the PHE disciplines.

How does the program work?
All PHE students take introductory courses in each of the three disciplines: politics, history, and economics. You then take at least six senior-level courses in two of the disciplines and two senior-level courses in the third. Your choice of courses is guided by a number of themes, including international studies, Atlantic studies, and public policy.

Do I have to take economics?
All PHE students take at least four economics courses. There are good reasons for this! Public life is unavoidably intertwined with, and sometimes even determined by, economic issues. The basic economic questions, “who does what?” and “who gets what?” are part of all public decision-making. Informed participation in public life requires preparation in economics--if only to avoid being fooled by misleading economic arguments!

King's offers a variety of economics courses to choose from. They range from basic introduction to particular areas of interest (such as international development and ecological economics), more technical theory-based courses that form the basis for policies, or those that focus on a philosophical and historical view of economic ideas. We focus on applying economic ideas to real-life issues, and small class sizes allow us to use interactive and hands-on learning methods.

Does  PHE offer opportunities to study abroad or pursue internships?
Yes! Many PHE students study abroad or experience an internship in a related field. See Off-Campus Opportunities for more details, or read stories from our graduates and current students.

I have more questions about the PHE program. Who can I ask?
Contact any of the Politics, History, or Economics faculty with questions.