Religious studies seeks to develop understanding and empathy for diverse religious traditions and the people who practise them. It approaches the study of religion from a multidisciplinary perspective using methods drawn from various disciplines. The most common approaches are anthropological, sociological, historical, philological, and philosophical. In many cases, more than one method is used to illuminate a religion or a religious issue. Thus, the field is identified in terms of its subject matter (i.e., religion), and not the disciplinary approach taken by scholars. Within the field, understanding is seen to precede criticism, with critical discussions of religious beliefs and traditions developing in a normal academic manner once understanding has been achieved.
Nature of Religion
Outcomes and next steps
Former students have become academics, teachers, social workers, hospital chaplains, journalist and human relations professionals some have even entered the diplomatic service.
A master’s degree in religious studies will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.
Topics include Western religions, Eastern religions, the nature of religion and critical discourses in the study of religion.
Students will complete and defend an original research thesis.
Master's Thesis Inquiry
Students participate in a Master's thesis course tailored to their field of study.
Admission requirements and information
Requirements for the Religious Studies Program
A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
A minimum of 36 units (6.0 full-course equivalents) in Religious Studies (or their equivalents), usually including at least 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) from each of the three streams (Eastern, Western, Nature), as determined by the graduate committee.
A sample of written work (e.g. a recent research essay).
A reading knowledge of a modern language other than English or of a classical language appropriate to the thesis research. The language requirement normally should be met before admission to the master’s program. If this is not the case, the language requirement should be met during the students’ course of study in the master’s program.
English language proficiency
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
TOEFL score of 86 with no section less than 20 (Internet-based) or 560 (paper-based). Our institution code is 0813
IELTS score of 6.5 with no section less than 6.0 (Academic version)
All graduate students must pay general fees each year, as well as program fees.
Estimate for full-time students
Canadian and permanent resident
12 months of study
First 12 months of study
For first year of studies
General fees and program fees
General fees are annual and per-term fees. Annual fees are paid once per year, while per-term are paid each term (3 terms per year).
Program fees cover standard academic costs. Textbooks and other course material costs are not included.
What are annual continuing fees?
Domestic Continuing Fees: $1,627 CAD
International Continuing Fees: $3,693 CAD
Continuing fees apply after the first full year of studies.
MA students receive on average $14,000 per year for two years.
Fees listed here are estimates only, and have been rounded to the nearest dollar. These amounts should not be considered accurate. All amounts are in Canadian Dollars.
Fees are subject to change.
For more details and the most accurate information go to the Academic Calendar
For more general information, see our Fees and Funding Guide
Have you made your final decision and you’re ready to apply?