Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.
Religious studies seeks to develop understanding and empathy for diverse religious traditions and the people who practise them. Evaluators, here, will guide you through the study of religion from a multidisciplinary perspective, using methods drawn from various disciplines. The most common approaches are anthropological, sociological, historical, philological, and philosophical. In many cases, more than one method is used to illuminate a religion or a religious issue. Other approaches may include aesthetics and economics. Thus, the field is identified in terms of its subject matter, religion, and not the disciplinary approach used by scholars. Within the field, understanding is seen to precede criticism, with critical discussions of religious beliefs and traditions developing once understanding has been achieved.
Courses: Topics include Western religions, Eastern religions, the nature of religion and advanced critical discourses in the study of religion.
Language: Students demonstrate reading knowledge of at least two languages other than English prior to the candidacy examination.
Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.
Colloquium Course: Students participate in a PhD departmental colloquium.
Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.
Former students have become academics, teachers, social workers, hospital chaplains, journalist and human relations professionals some have even entered the diplomatic service.
A PhD in religious studies is usually considered a final degree.
Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.
Five courses minimum
A minimum of 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
A degree comparable to the University of Calgary Religious Studies Master of Arts.
A sample of written work (e.g. a recent research essay).
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
For admission on September 1:
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4