The world today is increasingly aware of and responsive to the diversity in religions and cultures. The Department of Religions and Cultures offers an exceptional environment for graduate studies. Strong mentoring and a collegial environment are hallmarks of our program.
The Master’s in Religious and Cultures will provide you with the opportunity to explore how religion interacts within this globalized world. This program has been revamped and rethought, with an eye to students’ needs. Our broad spectrum of seminars will give you the means to examine a variety of religious traditions, and discover emerging subspecialties based on your research interests. The inter-disciplinarity of our program and research expertise of our acclaimed faculty members spans multiple traditions and fields of study.
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 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.
Admission Requirements. An undergraduate degree in religious studies or Judaic studies, or its equivalent. Qualified applicants requiring prerequisite courses may be required to take up to 12 undergraduate credits in addition to and as a part of the regular graduate 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. Qualifying students must reapply to the MA program on completion of their qualifying 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.
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)