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 coursework option or the thesis option. Students are initially admitted into the coursework option.

Internship: Students who wish to undertake an internship in their coursework degree must first obtain agreement from a program faculty member to supervise their completion of RE697* - Supervised Internship. Internships may be conducted in Canada or abroad, and will normally be related to studentsí topic of research for RE697* - Supervised Internship. Internships will normally be conducted during the Spring semester for a minimum duration of four weeks. To pursue this option, students must submit a cover letter providing information on the internship program under consideration and a resume to the Graduate Program Coordinator for approval by the end of the fourth week of the winter term. Students return after the internship to complete RE697* - Supervised Internship by the end of the Spring semester.

Required courses (coursework and thesis students):

  • 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 taken outside the program.

Coursework option students also complete:

  • RE698* - Major Research Project (no internship) or RE697* - Supervised Internship (with internship). Students focus on an area of study chosen in consultation with the course supervisor, then formally present that work, or a distillation of it, to seminar participants. The assessment of the project includes both the written work and the presentation.

Thesis option students also complete:

  • 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. 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 program coordinator.

Coursework option students (with or without internship) 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 coordinator.