University of Calgary : Religious Studies - RELS

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Graduate Studies Calendar 2011-2012 Program Descriptions Religious Studies RELS
Religious Studies - RELS
Contact Information

Location: Social Sciences Building, Room 1301
Faculty number: 403.220.6988
Fax: 403.210.0801
E-mail address: rels@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: http://www.ucalgary.ca/rels/

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based

The three study streams at the graduate level are Eastern Religions, Nature of Religion, and Western Religions. Feasibility of programs within these streams depends on available research resources and faculty expertise.

Research is supported in the following areas:

Eastern Religions – Buddhist Studies; East Asian Religions; Chinese Philosophy; Hinduism; Indian philosophy; South Asian Religions 

Nature of Religion – Comparative religion; comparative philosophy and religion; religious pluralism; science and religion; women and religion; religion and film; religion and place studies; African religions; new religious movements; hermeneutics; theory and method in the study of religion

Western Religions – Ancient Israel; Biblical mythology; Second Temple Judaism; Rabbinic Judaism; Jewish philosophy; Christian origins and early Christianity; women in early Christianity; early modern Protestantism (Anabaptism, German Pietism, Protestantism and Enlightenment); Christian spiritual autobiography

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Arts
a) An admission grade point average of 3.30 or higher on a four-point scale and a minimum of six full-course equivalents in Religious Studies (or their equivalents), usually including at least one full-course equivalent from each of the three streams (Eastern, Western, Nature), as determined by the graduate committee

b) 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

c) Two reference letters

Doctor of Philosophy
a) A degree comparable to the University of Calgary Religious Studies Master of Arts with a minimum grade point average of 3.50 on a four-point scale

b) Two reference letters

Students with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a grade point average of 3.70 or higher, and evidence of competence in the required languages may be admitted directly into the doctoral program or may be considered for transfer to the doctoral program after the first year of the Master’s program. Such applicants must include in their application package a substantial piece of written work and a detailed statement (10 pages) of the purpose, field, and course of study to be pursued in the program.

3. Application Deadline

Deadline for the submission of complete applications is January 7 for September admission.

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants must make advanced credit requests when applying for admission. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission. Graduate course work completed before admission and not counted toward satisfying undergraduate degree requirements will be assessed by the Departmental Graduate Committee to determine course requirements.

5. Program/Course Requirements

Note: The Departmental Graduate Committee will determine the exact number and kinds of courses in each student's program.

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department normally requires:

Master of Arts (thesis-based)
a) Five half-course equivalents in addition to individualized requirements set by the Departmental Graduate Committee at the time of admission. These will normally consist of:

b) A thesis proposal to be presented to the Graduate Studies Committee for evaluation and approval before the second annual registration.

Doctor of Philosophy
a) For students with a Master of Arts in Religious Studies, five half courses are required in addition to individualized requirements set by the Departmental Graduate Committee at the time of admission:

b) For students with a BA Honours or for students transferring from the Master's program, eight half courses are required in addition to individualized requirements set by the Departmental Graduate Committee at the time of admission:

6. Additional Requirements

PhD Language Requirements
Before the written candidacy examination, doctoral students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of at least two languages other than English. At the discretion of the Department and upon recommendation of the Graduate Director, competency in additional languages may be required. The foreign language requirement may be satisfied in two ways:

a) Successful completion (final grade of "B" or higher) at some stage of the student’s university program of at least two full-course equivalents in a first language other than English, and one full-course equivalent in a second language; or

b) Successful completion (grade of "B" or higher) of a language examination administered by the Department of Religious Studies or by another department on behalf of the Department of Religious Studies. When the test is administered by another department, it will consist of a passage or passages selected by the supervisor and/or any requirements that the other department may deem necessary; the test will be graded by the examiner(s) of the other department. When members of the Department of Religious Studies administer the test, the examination questions will be determined, administered, and graded by two members of the Department (one of whom normally will be the supervisor) who have expertise in the language under consideration. In the event that a second person with expertise in the required language is not available, the Department Head may seek an expert from outside the department.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses Credit for undergraduate courses will be given only upon approval of the Departmental Graduate Committee.
8. Time Limit Expected completion time for full-time students is two years in the Master’s program and four years in the PhD program. Maximum completion time is four years in the Master’s program and six years in the doctoral program.
9. Supervisory Assignments The Departmental Graduate Committee makes interim supervisory assignments when applicants are recommended for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. A regular supervisor must be assigned by the beginning of the second registration year.
10. Required Examinations

The doctoral candidacy examination includes two written components and one oral component. Each written candidacy examination focuses on one aspect of the student’s doctoral research in Religious Studies:

Examination A – theory and method in the study of religion
Examination B – religious beliefs and practices in context

The written examinations are based on a bibliography established by the candidate in consultation with the supervisory committee and must be taken no later than 26 months after admission to the program. The oral examination is based on the bibliography, the written examinations. Questions on the research proposal will not be included in the oral candidacy examination.

Final thesis oral examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

The thesis proposal must be approved by each member of the student’s supervisory committee, acknowledged by individual signature and date on the front cover, and by the Departmental Graduate Committee, no later than 24 months after admission to the program with a completed Master’s degree. The proposal should be no more than 20 pages in length and must obtain all required approvals before the student is allowed to take the candidacy examination.

An approved thesis proposal is the basis of consensus on a candidate’s research program. When, as sometimes happens in the course of a research project, the research focus or methodology shifts markedly:

a) The candidate shall forward a letter to the supervisory committee to document the shift and the reason for the shift. The student also shall compose an addendum, to be appended to the initial proposal, detailing the new direction and supplying any necessary additions to the bibliography.

b) The supervisor, on behalf of the supervisory committee, will reply to the revised proposal indicating acceptability and/or required revisions.

Students should be aware that such shifts may entail revision of the supervisory committee structure.

12. Special Registration Information None.
13. Financial Assistance Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar or inquire of the Department.
 
Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to the Department by February 1.
14. Other Information None.
15. Faculty Members/Research Interests Current faculty research areas can be found at http://rels.ucalgary.ca/research/interests.