Students who value their undergraduate work in a wide array of disciplines – Judaic Studies, religious studies, history, literature, political science and philosophy – find their way to Concordia’s MA in Judaic Studies. Our faculty is diverse, trained in many fields that include anthropology, gender studies, rabbinics and literary studies. They are experts in a range of cultural traditions, and interested in the most up-to-date contexts of academic research and discussion.
The cultural moment in Montreal, and Quebec more broadly, is in intense discussion with its religious past, and with the meaning of diversity in a province with a particular identity and political history. The local Jewish community offers multiple opportunities for study and career development. The Department of Religions and Cultures is an exemplary place to study such developments, as well as to attain skills that will aid students in seeking meaningful involvement in the wider society and workplace.
The normal minimum requirement for admission to the MA program in Judaic Studiesis a BA or equivalent with high standing in Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, or a discipline in the Social Sciences, Humanities, or Fine Arts.
Applicants with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation may be required to take a qualifying program. Qualifying program students in the Department of Religions and Cultures must complete their program with a minimum GPA of 3.50 with no courses graded lower than a "B+" to be considered for admission to the graduate program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
Program Options. All students enter in the guided research project option, and later have the opportunity to apply for the thesis option.
Language Requirement. Normally, students acquire knowledge of Hebrew or another Jewish language either before or during the program. In addition, if the candidates’ research necessitates knowledge of another classical or modern language, the Graduate Studies Committee may require proficiency in that language. Specific requirements are established in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies at the PhD level are especially encouraged to gain proficiency in the language or languages of the primary sources relevant to their proposed research.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Judaic Studies) with Guided Research Project Option
Core Course. RELI 6001 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (3 credits).
Elective Courses. Five 3-credit courses (15 credits). Courses are grouped into RELI 6012-6018 (Topics in Judaic Studies) and RELI 6002-6008 (Topics in Religions and Cultures) and selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Normally students may not take more than two 3-credit courses outside the Department. With the permission of the Graduate Program Director, up to six credits may be taken from courses offered by other departments or other universities.
Guided Research Project Proposal. RELI 6040 (3 credits). Students must submit a guided research project proposal on a topic chosen in consultation with the GRP supervisor and the proposal must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
Guided Research Project. RELI 6041 (24 credits). This may take one of three forms:
Substantial Academic Research Paper. Students complete a major research
paper (normally in their third or fourth term) under the supervision of a faculty
member, in which they develop themes or subjects engaged in coursework.
An Artistic Production. These projects entail creating art or an artistic performance that reflects fluency with the rituals, practices, and cultures of particular communities that the student has studied. Projects can address and respond to issues facing these communities.
A Technical Project. Projects in this area focus on the acquisition and demonstration of technical skills related to the study of religions and cultures.
Master of/Magisteriate in Arts (Judaic Studies) with Thesis Option
Core Course. RELI 6001 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (3 credits).
Elective Courses. Three 3-credit courses (9 credits). Courses are grouped into RELI 6012-6018 (Topics in Judaic Studies) and RELI 6002-6008 (Topics in Religions and Cultures) and selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Normally students may not take more than one 3-credit course outside the Department. With the permission of the Graduate Program Director, up to three credits may be taken from courses offered by other departments or other universities.
Thesis Proposal. RELI 6050 (3 credits). Students must submit a thesis proposal on a topic chosen in consultation with the thesis supervisor and the proposal must be approved by the Department's Graduate Studies committee.
Thesis. RELI 6051 (30 credits) The thesis is a work of primary research that normally runs to 18,000-24,000 words (about 60-80 pages), exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. Students are expected to have the requisite language skills to undertake their proposed research. Prepared under the supervision of a faculty member, the thesis is defended orally before a committee comprised of the Graduate Program Director, the faculty supervisor, and one additional member of the Religions and Cultures faculty.
Statement of purpose (1-2 pages) should describe your particular academic interests, the pertinence of your educational background to those interests, and how this degree program would support them. The statement should clearly outline what it is you wish to study, why you would like to study it, and what your interests are in pursuing this graduate degree. Please also include your competence in languages relevant to your study
Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
Funding opportunities include a variety of entrance scholarships and fellowships, which are available on a competitive basis. Consideration for entrance awards is given to applicants applying for fall admission, and is automatically part of the admission process.
Teaching assistantships are available and awarded to students on a competitive basis. Faculty members offer research assistant positions based on their own research grants.
The Department of Religions and Cultures currently offers MA level internships at The Canadian Jewish Archives, The Multi-faith and Spirituality Center and The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies. In each of these internships the candidate has the opportunity to work in a community or professional environment advancing their career and academic skills while earning three credits.
The intern is an MA level candidate in excellent standing. They will be supervised by the local administrator or site supervisor and will be graded by a faculty member of this department. Students will be chosen on academic criteria of excellence and proven ability to work independently.
Faculty members are internationally renowned for their work in a variety of historical and geographical areas (including Europe, North America, the Middle East, South and East Asia) and spanning multiple traditions (including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism). Faculty are well-represented in numerouspublications.
The Department has unique strengths in the areas of:
Canadian Jewish Studies
Religions and Cultures in Roman Late Antiquity
Women, Gender and Sexuality (WGS)
Amongst other department activities, our faculty hosts a monthly Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar that attracts students and faculty from around the university and from other local universities. This Seminar brings world-class faculty to present their research in the department. Recent visitors include:
Isabelle Clark-Decés (Princeton)
Robert Orsi (Northwestern University)
Caroline Walker Bynum (Emerita Columbia)
Joan Wallach Scott (Institute for Advanced Studies)