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Judaic Studies MA

Students apply to the guided research paper (GRP) option. Once admitted to the program, students have the opportunity to transfer to the thesis option. To enter the thesis option students must complete 9 credits and normally achieve a minimum GPA of 3.70.

Admission Requirements

  • BA or equivalent with high standing in Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, or a discipline in the Social Sciences, Humanities, or Fine Arts.
  • 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.

Qualifying program. 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.

Transfer Credits. See Transfer Credits in Graduate Admissions section.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

MA (Judaic Studies) with Guided Research Paper Option

3 credits – Core Course

RELI 6001 - Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (3 credits)

15 credits – Elective Courses

RELI 6012-6018 Topics in Judaic Studies
RELI 6002-6008 Topics in Religions and Cultures
Normally students may not take more than two 3-credit courses outside the Department. Up to six credits may be taken from courses offered by other departments or other universities.

3 credits – Guided Research Paper Proposal

RELI 6040 - Guided Research Paper Proposal (3 credits)

24 credits – Guided Research Paper

RELI 6041 - Guided Research Paper (24 credits)

MA (Judaic Studies) with Thesis Option

3 credits – Core Course

RELI 6001 - Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (3 credits)

9 credits – Elective Courses

RELI 6012-6018 Topics in Judaic Studies
RELI 6002-6008 Topics in Religions and Cultures
Normally students may not take more than one 3-credit course outside the Department. Up to three credits may be taken from courses offered by other departments or other universities.

3 credits – Thesis Proposal

RELI 6050 - Thesis Proposal (3 credits)

30 credits – Thesis

RELI 6051 - Thesis (30 credits)

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. 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.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
  2. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is 3 terms of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.
  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have satisfied all degree requirements and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
     

Courses

Required Course

All students must take RELI 6001 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (3 credits)

RELI 6001 Method and Theory in the Study of Religion
This course provides students with an understanding of the major approaches to the academic study of religion. It introduces students to key theories of religion as a social and cultural phenomenon, as well as contemporary methodologies and the ways in which they colour, control, and reflect the representation of religious experience and expression. Students develop a critical theoretical orientation for their research and a familiarity with the skills that they apply in their coursework and final paper.
Note: Students who have received credit for RELI 609 or 610 may not take this course for credit.

Electives

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Judaic Studies may select courses from those listed below as well as those offered by the Master of Arts program in Religions and Cultures. Students in the guided research paper option select five (5) elective courses and students in the thesis option select three (3) elective courses.

RELI 6012 Jewish Texts and Literature: Interpretation and Reception
This course analyzes the sacred texts of Judaism and its interpretation through the ages. It enables students to comprehend the historical contexts and transitions of text as shifts and adjustments prevail. Topics may also include contemporary literature and popular transmissions of foundational texts into the present.

RELI 6013 Canadian Jewish Studies 
This course covers the history, literature and ethnography of Canada's Jews. Exploring both the experiences and expressions of Canadian Jewry, the course examines lived religion and scarcely explored communal documents. Students are exposed to a variety of methodological approaches, such as literary criticism, ethnography and historiography.

RELI 6014 Jewish Philosophy and Ethics
This course examines Jewish philosophy in various historical periods. Topics may include ethics, metaphysics, cosmology, Jewish thought post-Holocaust, and reflections on the State of Israel. The course may focus on select Jewish thinkers or particular philosophical corpora.

RELI 6015 Material and Popular Culture in Judaism
This course explores the study of Jewish history and communities through material and popular culture. Topics may include the production and use of objects, images, ornament, iconography, epigraphy, and sacred space, art, film, and music. It considers how attention to material and popular culture allows for a nuanced understanding of the complexity and variety of Jewish cultures.

RELI 6017 Jewish Communities in Historical and Regional Contexts
This course examines Jewish communities in particular historical and cultural regions, notably the Middle East and Israel, North America, and Eastern Europe. It emphasizes how Jewish communities have interacted with outsiders, constructed intercommunal boundaries, responded to patterns of migration and immigration, and been shaped by changing social and political circumstances in these particular locations.

RELI 6018 Jewish Community Engagement
Prerequisite: Permission of the Graduate Program Director.
In this course, students work in a local Jewish community organization or institution in order to apply their training in religions and cultures to address real-world problem solving around religious tolerance, diversity, or issues of social justice. Examples include, working as a religious educator inside or alongside a particular religious community; organizing and supporting grassroots of Jewish communities, or organizations working with these, in regards to social issues, such as sustainability, racism and Islamophobia, anti-Judaism, disability, LGBTQ, or Indigenous rights.

Guided Research Paper Option

RELI 6040 Guided Research Paper Proposal (Judaic Studies) (3 credits)
The proposal for the guided research paper (GRP) is 2,500-3,000 words in length. The GRP proposal outlines the nature of the student’s paper. It outlines how the paper is connected to a student’s coursework, career or academic goals and the timeframe in which they complete the paper. It includes a bibliography of at least ten academic sources, and any primary materials (such as editions of critical texts), which the students use.

RELI 6041 Guided Research Paper (Judaic Studies) (24 credits) 
The guided research paper (GRP) is 11,000-12,500 words (about 40-50 pages) in length, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. The GRP is usually undertaken in a student’s third or fourth semester (after the completion of coursework). This research paper develops themes or subjects with which the student engaged in his or her coursework. Students in the MA in Judaic Studies write on an aspect of Jewish history or culture.

Thesis Option

RELI 6050 Thesis Proposal (Judaic Studies) (3 credits)
The proposal for the thesis is 2,500-3,000 words in length. A thesis proposal outlines the student’s proposed research paper, locates their research in relation to existing scholarship, clarifies their methodology and research questions, and includes a bibliography of at least ten academic sources, and any primary materials (such as editions of critical texts), which the students use.

RELI 6051 Thesis (Judaic Studies) (30 credits)
The thesis is 18,000-24,000 words (about 60-80 pages) in length, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. The thesis provides an opportunity for the student to both demonstrate their historical and cultural knowledge and depth of understanding of a particular subject in the study of religions and cultures. Students in the MA in Judaic Studies write on an aspect of Jewish history or culture. Students also demonstrate facility with one or two methodological approaches studied in the course of their program and illustrate their capacity to apply the approaches to a particular problem or issue in religious studies. Thesis writers have the requisite language skills to undertake this more rigorous type of research, for instance, Yiddish or Hebrew.
An oral thesis defence is not required for this program. Please refer to the Master’s Thesis regulations section for further information on the master’s thesis evaluation.

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