Religious Studies

Religious studies seeks to develop understanding and empathy for diverse religious traditions and the people who practise them. It approaches the study of religion from a multidisciplinary perspective using methods drawn from various disciplines

Degrees offered

  • Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based in Religious Studies
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religious Studies

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Graduate programs in Religious Studies

Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based

Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based

Thesis-based programs require that you pursue independent and original research culminating in a thesis. You will work under the supervision of a faculty member whose expertise matches your research area.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The aim of this doctoral program is to train research-minded students, already armed with original ideas and initiative, to become inspiring teachers and insightful professional scholars. In our small and vibrant department, you will get the access and attention you need from our faculty of internationally recognized scholars.



Eastern Religions, Western Religions and Nature of Religion

Thesis-based study

Pursue independent research guided by a supervisor who shares your research interests. If you want to advance your knowledge or expand your expertise in a specific field or research area, our thesis-based programs are for you.

Course-based study

Ideal for students seeking to advance their careers, our course-based programs offer research, project and group work components in a wide variety of delivery methods.


A supervisor is a faculty member who oversees your research and the development of your thesis.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must meet the minimum entrance requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Graduate programs in Religious Studies also have the following requirements:

  • A University of Calgary four-year baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a recognized institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.30 on a 4 point scale for the work done in the last ten full course equivalents
  • A minimum of six full-course equivalents in Religious Studies (or their equivalents), including at least one full-course equivalent from each of the three streams (Eastern, Western, Nature), as determined by the departmental graduate committee
  • A reading knowledge of a modern language other than English or of a classical language appropriate to the thesis research. The language requirement normally should be met before admission to the MA program. Exemption from this requirement will be accorded to those who have proof (e.g., one full course equivalent of language study; native linguistic skills) of reading competency in an appropriate language

Acceptance to graduate programs at the University of Calgary is competitive. Success in meeting our minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to the MA program.

  • A degree comparable to the University of Calgary Religious Studies Master of Arts with a minimum grade point average of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale

Acceptance to graduate programs at the University of Calgary is competitive. Success in meeting our minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to the PhD program.


Graduate Program Advisor

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Religious Studies:
Greek and Roman Studies:

Graduate Programs Director

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Dr. Peter Toohey