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Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Location

  • Faculty of Religious Studies
  • William and Henry Birks Building
  • 3520 University Street
  • Montreal, QC H3A 2A7
  • Canada

About Religious Studies

The Faculty of Religious Studies offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (M.A.) (Thesis and Non-Thesis), Master of Arts (M.A.) (Thesis) with specialization in Bioethics, Master of Arts (M.A.) (Thesis) with option in Gender and Women’s Studies, Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). An interdisciplinary option in Gender and Women's Studies is also available for doctoral students.

The areas of graduate specializations of our world-renowned Faculty are: Hebrew Bible and/or Old Testament Studies; Early Judaism; Greco-Roman Judaism; New Testament and Early Christianity; Church History; Christian Theology; Philosophy of Religion; Religious Ethics; Biomedical Ethics; Hinduism; and Buddhism. The many different areas of research interest among members of the Faculty frequently require the hiring of graduate students as research assistants, especially as the Faculty is so successful in gaining research grants. The Faculty also seeks to train young scholars in the art of lecturing/teaching; to this end it has created opportunities for Ph.D. students to teach courses in the summer and permits M.A. and Ph.D. students to work as teaching assistants. The individual programs are described below.

Adequate library facilities are available in the William and Henry Birks Building and elsewhere in the University for the courses listed, and for research.

Language Requirements

The Faculty of Religious Studies offers courses in primary text source languages, such as Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Biblical Greek, Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil, and classical literary Tibetan. The Faculty does not guarantee instruction in any languages other than those mentioned above. Therefore, if a student wishes to have a language such as French, German, or Japanese counted as a second language, instruction may have to be sought outside the Faculty. The successful completion of at least 12 credits at the post-secondary level in a language course, or successful completion of a language examination administered by the appropriate member of the Faculty, will constitute evidence of the student's having the required reading knowledge of the language in question.

  • M.A.
    Students are required to give their area committee evidence of reading knowledge of a scholarly language other than English. This language may be either a modern language in which there is a significant amount of scholarship relevant to the student's area of research, or a classical language relevant to the student's area of research. If a classical language is chosen, it must be in addition to any prerequisite language for the area in question.
    Note: The M.A. with specialization in Bioethics has no language requirement.
  • Ph.D.

    Students are required to give their area committee evidence of reading knowledge of two languages other than English. These languages must be chosen from modern languages in which there is a significant amount of scholarship relevant to the student's area of research or classical languages relevant to the student's area of research.

    Research in some disciplines, or on certain thesis topics, may require proficiency in more than two languages besides English. In that case, additional language requirements may be stipulated by the supervisor.

  • S.T.M.

    The S.T.M. program has no language requirement.

Master of Arts (M.A.); Religious Studies (Thesis) (48 credits)
The purpose of the M.A. (Thesis) degree is to encourage advanced study and research in one of the disciplines of Religious Studies for those who wish to become scholars or teachers, or will be engaged in some field of religious or public service. The M.A. (Thesis) program in Religious Studies offers a specialization in Bioethics and an option in Gender and Women's Studies.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Religious Studies (Thesis) — Bioethics (45 credits)
The M.A. (Thesis) with specialization in Bioethics is offered in conjunction with the Bioethics Unit. Please contact the Religious Studies Department or Bioethics Unit for more information about this specialization. The curriculum is composed of required courses (6 credits) offered in the Biomedical Ethics Unit, Bioethics courses (6 credit minimum) offered by the base faculty or department, and any graduate course required or accepted by a base faculty for the granting of a master’s degree, for a total of 21 credits. A minimum of 45 credits is required including the thesis.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Religious Studies (Thesis) — Gender and Women’s Studies (45 credits)
The graduate option in Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet degree requirements in Religious Studies (and other participating departments and faculties) and who wish to focus on gender-related issues and feminist research and methodologies. Research focus is on a topic relating to gender issues or women’s studies.
Master of Arts (M.A.); Religious Studies (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)
The M.A. without thesis is intended to ensure a student's well-rounded exposure to several religions and to several of the disciplinary approaches currently used in their academic study. Particular to this program is its ability to provide the student with the opportunity to develop three different research papers with reference to the student’s own interests in Religious Studies under the supervision of professors from various parts of the University.
Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.); Religious Studies (Non-Thesis) (48 credits)
The S.T.M. is meant for those who intend to enter the ministry of the Christian Church or another religious institution, or proceed to a teaching career or to some form of social work. This degree enables students to specialize in one area or discipline of theological study before or after the third year of the M.Div. and is unique in Canada. The S.T.M. program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Religious Studies
The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to engage students in advanced academic studies normally in preparation for an academic career. The community of graduate scholars in this program is engaged in a broad spectrum of critical research involving any number of interdisciplinary approaches conducted on a number of different religious traditions. The Faculty members are committed to the training of teaching scholars, making the Faculty of Religious Studies one of few schools that prioritizes offering graduate students opportunities under faculty supervision to teach/lecture during their time in the program.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Religious Studies — Gender and Women’s Studies
The graduate option in Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students meeting the degree requirements in Religious Studies who wish to focus on gender-related issues and feminist research and methodologies. Research focus is on a topic relating to gender issues or women’s studies. Please contact the Department for more information about this option.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 14, 2013).

Religious Studies Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts (M.A.) Thesis

Applicants must possess a B.A. with a Major or Honours in Religious Studies or a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.), or a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, normally with a minimum CGPA of 3.3/4.0 (B+) from an accredited university or college. Applicants with fewer than 30 appropriate credits in Religious Studies or Theology are normally required to take a Qualifying Program before entering the M.A.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Religious Studies (Thesis) – Gender and Women’s Studies Option/Concentration

The graduate option in Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet degree requirements in Religious Studies (and other participating departments and faculties) who wish to focus on gender-related issues and feminist research and methodologies. Research focus is on a topic relating to gender issues or women's studies.

Master of Arts (M.A.) (Thesis) in Religious Studies with specialization in Bioethics

For information contact the Chair, Master's Specialization in Bioethics, Biomedical Ethics Unit, 3690 Peel Street, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9; telephone: 514-398-6980; fax: 514-398-8349; email: jennifer [dot] fishman [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

Master of Arts (M.A.) (Non-Thesis)

Applicants must possess a B.A. with a Major or Honours in Religious Studies or a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.), or a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, normally with a minimum CGPA of 3.3/4.0 (B+) from an accredited university or college. Applicants with fewer than 30 appropriate credits in Religious Studies or Theology are normally required to take a Qualifying Program before entering the M.A.

Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)

Applicants must possess a B.A., normally with at least a good second-class standing (B+ or CGPA 3.3/4.0), in a major or honours program in religious studies or theology from an accredited university or college. Those who have a McGill B.Th. or an equivalent degree in addition to a B.A. degree with a second-class standing may be admitted to the second year of the S.T.M. program.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Entry into the doctoral program is limited to applicants who have earned an academic master's degree in religious studies or theology in a recognized graduate program, or those who have finished the course requirements of such a program with a minimum CGPA of 3.5/4.0.

Advanced Standing (Ph.D. 2) may be granted if the completed master's-level work including a thesis is in the same area as that of the intended doctoral specialization and involved not less than six (6) courses (18 credits).

It is recommended that a foreign language related to the area of study be included in the bachelor's or master's work preceding doctoral study.

Applicants for doctoral programs are requested to submit a substantial sample of their scholarly writing (15–20 pages) with their application. The application should specify one of the specializations listed in About Religious Studies.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Religious Studies – Gender and Women’s Studies Option/Concentration

The graduate option in Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet the degree requirements in Religious Studies who wish to focus on gender-related issues and feminist research and methodologies. Research focus is on a topic relating to gender issues or women's studies.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.

See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:
  • Personal Statement – approximately 500 words
  • Written Work – recent academic writing

Application Deadlines

Canadian International Special/Exchange/Visiting
Fall: March 15* Fall: March 15* Fall: March 15*
Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15 Winter: Sept. 15
Summer: N/A Summer: N/A Summer: N/A

* For funding consideration, the application for September admission must be submitted by January 15.

Note: Applications for Winter term admission to the M.A. Bioethics option will not be considered.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2013-2014 (last updated Jul. 14, 2013).

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