The School of Religious Studies aims to assist graduate students with their tuition costs during their time at McGill. 

Tuition information can be found on the Student Accounts website.  Resources for financial planning of graduate studies are available through the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website and the Scholarships and Student Aid website.  Additionally, the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website includes information on fellowships in-course students may apply for.


Doctoral entrance fellowships

For incoming students admitted to begin doctoral programs (PhD full time), the School of Religious Studies may award a four-year "Cantwell Smith" Funding Package of at least 16,000 CAD per year. There are only a certain number of packages available and they are not offered yearly. Each of these packages includes a Wilfred Cantwell Smith Graduate Fellowship, honouring the memory of an influential and internationally renowned professor in the Faculty. Wilfred Cantwell Smith Graduate Fellowships are available through the generosity of Barbara and Patrick Keenan.

In combination with these major funding packages, the School of Religious Studies may assign Differential Fee Waivers for PhD students who are not Canadian residents. Such Differential Fee Waivers cover the difference between the award-holder’s international tuition fees and Quebec residents’ tuition fees. (The award-holder remains responsible for the equivalent of Quebec residents’ tuition fees.) For more information see Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

All doctoral entrance fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis; all applicants who have completed their applications by the funding deadline will be considered.

Dissertation finishing fellowships

The generosity of Barbara and Patrick Keenan has also provided for two annual PhD Dissertation Finishing Fellowships for doctoral students in Religious Studies.

The professors, staff and friends of the School of Religious Studies have also established a PhD “Student Dissertation Fund” to assist students in the final stages of their doctoral program. All students in PhD 6 or 7 and on track to complete their program will be considered in consultation with supervisors and the Graduate Program Director; students do not need to apply for these funding opportunities.

In-program funding

Each year, all current graduate students will be considered in consultation with supervisors and the Graduate Program Director for a range of internal School of Religious Studies graduate bursaries and awards, including the following:

Awards & Bursaries


Arthur and Jessie Lochead Bursary Fund A bursary for student preparing for ordination.
Birks Fellowships For graduate students in any field of study in the School of Religious Studies.
Deirdre and Robert Stevenson Award Awarded to a student entering a graduate program in the study of Asian Religions.
Ellen Bradshaw Aitken Graduate Fellowship In memory of the former Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies, for outstanding graduate students in any field of study in Religious Studies.
McBurney Graduate Fellowship Fund for Inter-religious Studies & Social Engagement to support key activities in this field (graduate support, travel support, research, public lectures, and workshops or curriculum development.
Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem Graduate Award For graduate students pursuing research on ecumenical topics, such as issues in pastoral, ethical, or spiritual studies, within a variety of contemporary contexts, with reference to Christianity. Preference to Canadian students. Note that students have to apply for this award.
Religious Studies Bursary Fund

Established in 1980 by anonymous donors for graduate students in degree programs in the School of Religious Studies. Awarded by the School of Religious Studies on the basis of academic standing and financial need.

Samuel Finley National Bursary

Awarded to a graduate student who is pursuing advanced studies in divinity.

Topping Memorial Bursary Established in 1976 by C.W. Topping in memory of his father, the Reverend N.B. Topping, a minister of the Methodist Church of Canada for fifty years. This is awarded to a graduate student pursuing advanced studies in religion or theology who has financial need and shows promise of becoming both a scholar and a humanitarian.

External funding

Potential applicants are strongly urged to investigate all external funding sources well in advance of making application to a graduate program and to enter the competition for such fellowships as SSHRC and FQRSC in the fall of the year prior to commencing graduate studies. Thus, potential MA students should consider applying in the final year of their undergraduate studies; potential PhD students should apply in the final year of their MA studies.

Students who receive School of Religious Studies graduate funding are expected to apply for all external funding for which they are eligible.

All students who are eligible are strongly urged to apply early in the fall to the following competitions:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents:

  • SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)
  • FQRSC (Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture) (specific residency requirements)

International students:

  • PBEEE (Programme de bourses d'excellence pour étudiants étrangers)

All graduate students:

  • Trudeau Foundation Scholarships
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

For up to date funding information, including application procedures, agency websites, and deadlines, please consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Funding website.

Research travel funding


The Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Awards (GREAT) are allocated by the School of Religious Studies throughout the year for graduate student travel for the purposes of research (including archival research or field work) and the dissemination of research (including conference presentations and talks).

Application deadlines are October 15, February 1 and April 1. Completed application form and supporting documents (detailed in the application form) should be e-mailed to studaffairs.relg [at]

In the event that the deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day.

Graduate Mobility Awards

This award encourages graduate students to study and conduct research abroad by defraying the cost of the international experience. To apply, students are asked to complete an application form and send supporting documents (detailed in the application form) via e-mail to studaffairs.relg [at]

After the School of Religious Studies approves your application, you will be able to move forward with receiving the award by applying to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office.

New Funding Opportunity at SRS

Katherine Young Travel Award for Studies in Religion and Society. Established in 2018 by Katherine Young, PhD 1978, Professor in Asian Religions at McGill’s Faculty of Religious Studies between 1975 and 2011 and James McGill Professor (2001-2011). Awarded to graduate students and faculty in the School of Religious Studies to enable them to undertake research in religious studies to the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria in Victoria B.C., and participate in the activities of the Centre. The award will support students at various stages of writing their thesis on religion, and those who graduated with a PhD from McGill within the past year, and faculty who are doing research related to religion. Preference will be given to those studying Asian religions. Participation subject to Centre approval. Value: Varies.

Applications should consist of a two-page statement of purpose that explains how the Travel Award would be used and an up-to-date curriculum vitae. Applications should be sent to professors Mikaël Bauer (mikael.bauer [at] and Hamsa Stainton (hamsa.stainton [at], and they are also happy to answer any questions about the Travel Award.


For more travel funding opportunities, continue to check the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.