Core curriculum

Munk One students sit around seminar table

As a Munk One student, you’ll study problems that are not limited to any one academic field. You’ll learn to recognize the array of tools that can be deployed to develop better insights and solutions to global challenges. Most importantly, you’ll learn to not only ask the right questions, but also to discover innovative answers.

The smallest of the first-year foundation programs at U of T, Munk One offers you the rare opportunity to work closely with professors and distinguished experts at the beginning of your university career and to form a tight-knit, small community within Canada’s largest university.

Your courses

MUN101H1: Global Innovation I: Issues and Perspectives

Innovation has always been a key driver of economic growth, population health, and societal success. Transformative change has historically been linked to major innovations such as urban sanitation, pasteurization, the printing press, and the industrial revolution. Currently, the opportunity to enhance life chances worldwide relies on innovating for the poor, social innovation, and the ability to harness scientific and technological knowledge. What precisely is innovation? When does innovation happen? Who benefits from innovation? How can innovation be fostered, and how do innovations spread? Relying on major global transformations and country-specific case studies (for example, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, and India), this course examines the drivers of innovation, the political, social, economic, and scientific and technological factors that are critical to promoting innovation and addressing current global challenges, and the consequences of innovation.

MUN102H1: Global Innovation II: Challenges and Solutions

How can innovation address pressing global challenges? Innovation solution are critical to improving the life chances of the poor, to improving global public health, to increasing access to education around the world, or to safeguarding the environment while promoting sustainable development. Yet innovation faces a series of challenges, such as “scaling up” successful local models, transferring and diffusing institutions across environments, enhancing capabilities for successful implementation, and monitoring and assessment. This course takes a problem-oriented approach by relying on case studies of some of the most complex challenges worldwide, and examining the innovations that have succeeded and failed to address them.

MUN105Y1: Global Problem-Solving: Laboratory Opportunities

This course provides students with placements in research labs working on real-world global problems. Students will be placed in labs focused on a range of issues, such as health care delivery in post-conflict states, the challenges of promoting scientific innovation globally, global justice and human rights regimes, cyber-security, or frugal innovation. Through these laboratory opportunities students will work with interdisciplinary research teams to conduct research, develop reports, participate in roundtables, and learn how to identify and address complex global problems.

Last year's lab opportunities:

  • Environmental Governance Lab: How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
  • Digital Governance Lab: How can the global convergence of information and communications technologies work for everyone?
  • International Political Economy Lab: How can ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
  • Global Health Lab: How can the threat of new and re-emerging diseases and immune microorganisms be reduced?
  • Security Lab: How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and the use of weapons of mass destruction?

Apply Munk One credits to other degrees

Munk One students enrolled in a PCJ Specialist program can count Munk One credits as 1.0 FCE toward their Cluster 4 requirements, and students in a PCJ Major program can count  MUN101H1 or MUN102H1 as 0.5 FCE toward their Cluster 3 requirements
Munk One students enrolled in a Contemporary Asian Studies Major or Minor can count 0.5 FCE of MUN105Y1 towards their CAS requirement of a quantitative methods or research-based course