Religion

Program Overview

The Department for the Study of Religion offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs in the study of religion and facilitates research and publication on religion. The department consolidates the vast curricular and faculty resources that are distributed throughout the many departments and colleges of the University and enables its students to use any resource in the University which serves the study of religion.

The department conceives the academic study of religion in interdisciplinary terms and embraces humanistic, historical, and social scientific approaches and methods. Programs of study are constructed individually to fit the specific needs and interests of each student. As a guideline for areas of strength in the department, the department is organized by the following fields:

  • Buddhist Studies
  • Christianity
  • Hinduism and South Asian Religions
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Religion, Culture, and Politics
  • Religion, Ethics, and Modern Thought
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity

These fields do not determine program requirements. Most faculty and students participate in multiple fields.

At the doctoral level, from the point of admission onward, student programs must be matched with the expertise of at least three professors who help supervise the student’s work. The department’s Graduate Studies Handbook, available on the web and from the department, gives full information on admissions and programs as well as the research and teaching interests of the faculty.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA, PhD:

15-Dec-2019

MA, PhD:

15-Dec-2019

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

15-Dec-2019

MA, PhD:

15-Dec-2019

Minimum admission average MA:

B+ standing in the final year

PhD:

A– in coursework and with no individual course falling below B

MA:

B+ standing in the final year

PhD:

A– in coursework and with no individual course falling below B

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MA, PhD:

After

MA, PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MA, PhD:

No

MA, PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MA, PhD:

Jointly

MA, PhD:

Jointly

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years

MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years


Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The department's Graduate Studies Handbook, available on the web and from the department, provides additional details on admissions and programs as well as the research and teaching interests of the faculty.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department for the Study of Religion's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, an appropriate bachelor's degree with specialization in religion or a cognate discipline from a recognized university, broadly equivalent to the University of Toronto's BA Specialist degree in religion, with at least B+ standing in the final year. Students without appropriate preparation may be required to take additional work either before admission or during an extended master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Courses. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • RLG 2000Y Major Research Paper (1.0 FCE)

    • RLG 1200H MA Method and Theory Workshop (0.5 FCE)

    • In some cases, students may be required to take additional courses, some of which may be at the undergraduate level. Students may be required to take more than 4.0 FCEs if their preparation is considered deficient in a subject required for their program.

    • Satisfactory performance requires the completion of all coursework taken for graduate credit with an average grade of at least A–.

  • Language(s). Reading knowledge of at least one language, in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and/or necessary source languages, as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 to 8 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time



Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

From the point of admission onward, doctoral student programs must be matched with the expertise of at least three professors who help supervise the student's work. The department's Graduate Studies Handbook, available on the web and from the department, provides additional details on admissions and programs as well as the research and teaching interests of the faculty. The PhD program is taken on a full-time basis.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department for the Study of Religion's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, completion of all requirements of the department's MA program, or a comparable program at another university, with an average of at least A– in coursework and with no individual course falling below B.

Program Requirements

  • Courses. Students must complete a minimum of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including:

    • RLG 1000Y Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (1.0 FCE)

    • At least 0.5 FCE outside the area of specialization.

    • Students may be required to take more than 4.0 FCEs if their preparation is considered deficient in a subject required for their program.

    • Satisfactory performance requires the completion of all coursework taken for graduate credit with an average grade of at least A–.

  • Languages. Reading knowledge of at least two languages in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and necessary source languages provided that at least one shall be a language of modern scholarship, as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The language requirements must be fulfilled before writing the general examinations.

  • Professionalization seminar. Doctoral students must complete SRD 4444Y Doctoral Seminar Series—Compulsory Attendance (CR/NCR, 0.0 FCE). This seminar consists of a series of workshops which must be completed to fulfil the requirement.

  • General examinations. Upon completion of coursework, the language requirements, and the thesis pre-proposal, the student's supervisory committee will set General Examinations to assess the student's readiness for thesis research. There are three components in the General Examinations:

    • A four-hour written examination will cover the student’s area of specialization.

    • A three-hour written examination will cover at least one important cognate area.

    • A two-hour oral examination on all materials assigned for the General Examinations.

  • A student who fails any portion of the General Examinations may be re-examined once, no later than nine months after the date of the first examination. The General Examinations must be completed before the end of the third year of doctoral study.

  • Thesis proposal. Within three months of successful completion of the General Examinations, the student must submit a thesis proposal for approval by the student's supervisory committee.

  • Thesis. Upon approval of the thesis proposal by the student's supervisory committee, the candidate proceeds to research and write a doctoral thesis which must be defended successfully at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Colloquium presentation. Once general examinations are completed, PhD candidates are required to present at least once in the Department for the Study of Religion's colloquium before undertaking their Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The supervisory committee must approve the completed thesis before it is submitted for examination.

  • Residence. Students are required to spend at least two Fall and Winter sessions on campus in full-time study, normally in Years 1 and 2.

Program Length

4 years (some students may take longer)

Time Limit

6 years



Geith Maal-Bared

“Make time for friends, family, and leisure. There’s more to life than research and academic pursuit.”

Geith Maal-Bared
PhD Candidate, Medical Science
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