Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Calendar - 2019/2020
Canadian Excellence

MA in Religion, Culture and Global Justice

The MA program in Religion, Culture and Global Justice focuses on the academic study and interdisciplinary analysis of religions, cultures and global issues. By deepening their understanding of global contexts of religious and cultural content through training in relevant methods and theories at the graduate level, students develop strong inter-cultural competencies for confronting global- and local- level changes, challenges, and transformations, particularly as they relate to broader questions and understandings of justice. The program draws upon shared faculty strengths, research specializations, and teaching and advising interests in the departments of Religion and Culture and Global Studies.

Additional Information
 
Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MA program must have completed, or be in the process of completing, an honours (four-year) BA or its equivalent. They must meet the minimum university standard of a B average in the fourth year, and have a B+ in their major. Students who do not meet these criteria may apply for admission as qualifying students.

The department welcomes applications from students in religious studies and global studies, and also from students in other departments in the humanities and social sciences whose training and proposed program involves significant interdisciplinary research pertinent to global contexts of religions and cultures. Normally, such applicants will have taken the equivalent of 5 full-year courses in either religious studies or global studies.

Applicants must submit a writing sample, such as a term paper, as well as an application essay, guidelines for which are available from the department and in the application package. 

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing or exemption is occasionally granted on the basis of work completed previously. Such standing will be considered upon written application by the student at the beginning of the program.

 
Program Requirements

All students follow one of two options in the MA in Religion, Culture and Global Justice: the course option or the thesis option. Students are initially admitted into the course option. Admission to the thesis option is granted upon the successful completion of an accepted thesis proposal.

Required courses:

  • RE693 - Religions and Cultures in Global Contexts. This course provides a common grounding in influential methods and theories for the academic study of religious, cultural, and global studies. In case of a failing grade, the course can be repeated once.
  • RE690 - Colloquium. 
  • Four other half-credit electives. Of these, a maximum of two courses may be offered outside the program.
In addition, depending upon the option selected, students must complete the following:

Course option students only: RE698* - Major Research Project. For the research project, students focus on an area of study chosen in consultation with the course supervisor, then present that work, or a distillation of it, to a public audience, e.g., a lecture at a university colloquium, a conference or other off-campus venues. The assessment of the project includes both the written work and the public presentation.

Thesis option students only: RE699 - Thesis, which includes the preparation of an acceptable thesis proposal, completion of a thesis, and passing an oral defence. A student cannot register in RE699 - Thesis until the proposal is formally accepted. Thesis option students are not permitted to take RE698* - Major Research Project for credit.

Proposals must follow the departmentally approved guidelines. A proposal may be submitted any time after admission to the program. Acceptance is dependent upon the quality of the proposal and the department's assessment of a student's overall ability.

Students whose thesis work necessitates the use of a second language will be required to demonstrate competence in that language before the thesis proposal is accepted. Decisions about language requirements and how they shall be satisfied are made by the student's thesis committee, in consultation with the graduate officer.

Course-option students enrolled full-time normally take three terms (12 months) to complete their degree, while thesis-option students normally take four terms (16 months).

A student's specific program, including course selections, must be approved by the graduate program co-ordinator.