Undergraduate Program Information

It is highly recommended that students who are interested in pursuing graduate training also complete two full years of a relevant foreign language. Please view our Languages page for more information. 

Please contact the Acting Associate Chair, Undergraduate, Laura Beth Bugg at laura.bugg@utoronto.ca, or Undergraduate Program Assistant, Phoebe To at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca, with any questions you may have about the Department for the Study of Religion. We can help you: 

  • Choose courses
  • Make sure your courses are in your interests
  • Stay on track with your program’s requirements

Students in our programs may go on to graduate study, or into a wide range of careers such as teaching, law, public policy, cultural institutions, medicine, government, international development, media, and social work. 

Please see the Religion listing in the Arts & Science Calendar for the full details of each program.

The Minor Program in the Study of Religion is designed for students who have a general interest in the study of religion but who do not wish or need specialized knowledge. It allows you to customize your minor to complement your professional interests. Accordingly, it is the most flexible of the Department’s programs, aimed at students who wish to complement their studies in other areas across Arts & Science—including in the quantitative and biological sciences—by developing a strong awareness of the role of religion across multiple societies and historical periods, as well as skills of critical reading, writing, research, and oral presentation. The knowledge students acquire in this program will help them recognize the significance of religion across a range of cultural and professional contexts.

Completion Requirements:

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. 1.0 RLG credit at the 300+ level 
  3. 2.0 additional RLG credits 

 

The Major Program is aimed at students who seek a broad and critical understanding of a range of religious traditions. Students in this program have the opportunity to experience a broader range of study of religion scholarship across historical and contemporary periods in a variety of societies, regions, cultures, and linguistic groups. While offering a wide-ranging introduction to the discipline as a whole, the program also encourages students to develop expertise in particular methodological approaches that can cut across specific traditions and historical periods, such as textual criticism, ethnographic approaches, material culture studies, popular culture, and philosophical and literary texts. This program appeals to students who wish to develop an understanding of specific religion traditions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, while also learning to think critically about the history of religion as an English-language concept that emerged in complex colonial and Christian-dominated settings.

Completion Requirements:

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. RLG200H1 
  3. 0.5 credit from a tradition course listed below: 
    1. RLG201H1 – Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions 
    2. RLG202H1 – Judaism  
    3. RLG203H1 – Christianity 
    4. RLG204H1 – Islam 
    5. RLG205H1 – Hinduism  
    6. RLG206H1 – Buddhism  
    7. RLG208H1 – Sikhism  
    8. RLG241H1 – The Earliest Christians 
  4. 2.0 RLG credits at the 300+ level, 0.5 credit of which must be in the same tradition as chosen above 
  5. 2.0 credits chosen from other RLG courses
  6. 0.5 credit from a capstone integrative course listed below
    1. RLG404H1 – Departmental Capstone – Research 
    2. RLG405H1 – Departmental Capstone – Practical
    3. RLG406H1 – Constructing Religion
    4. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”
    5. RLG426H1 – Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

Major in Buddhist Studies

The Major Program in Buddhist Studies is based on the general Religion Specialist and Major, but also gives students the chance to gain greater depth in the study of Buddhism through requiring a concentration of courses related to Buddhism in various geographical and temporal contexts. The Program builds on the required courses in the more general religion programs while also including several options from Art History, East Asian Studies, and the minor in Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health. In the upper years, students have opportunities for advanced study and independent research projects. The sequence of required courses in the Buddhist Studies Major is intended to provide students with increasing depth of comprehension of Buddhism across historical and regional difference, as they proceed through the program.

 

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. RLG200H1 
  3. RLG206H1 – Buddhism 
  4. 4.0 credits from a pre-approved list of courses 
  5. 0.5 credits at the 400-level from a pre-approved list 
  6. 0.5 credit from a capstone integrative course listed below 
    1. RLG404H1 – Departmental Capstone – Research 
    2. RLG405H1 – Departmental Capstone – Practical 
    3. RLG406H1 – Constructing Religion
    4. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”
    5. RLG426H1 – Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

Major in Islamic Studies

The Major Program in Islamic Studies is based on the general Religion Major, but also gives students the chance to gain greater depth in the study of Islam through requiring a concentration of courses related to Islam in various geographical and temporal contexts, oriented by historical, textual, and ethnographic methods. The Islamic Studies Major builds on the required courses in the more general religion programs while also including several options from Near and Middle Eastern Civilization and Art History. In the upper years, students have opportunities for advanced study and independent research projects. The sequence of required courses in the Islamic Studies Major is intended to provide students with increasing depth of comprehension of Islam across historical and regional difference as they proceed through the program.

 

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. RLG200H1,  
  3. RLG204H1 – Islam 
  4. 0.5 credit from a course listed below: 
    1. RLG209H1 – Justifying Religious Belief 
    2. RLG211H1 – Psychology of Religion 
    3. RLG212H1 – Anthropology, Religion and Culture 
    4. RLG213H1 – Embarrassment of Scriptures 
  5. 3.5 credits from a pre-approved list of courses 
  6. 0.5 credit from a capstone integrative course listed below 
    1. RLG404H1 – Departmental Capstone – Research 
    2. RLG405H1 – Departmental Capstone – Practical 
    3. RLG406H1 – Constructing Religion
    4. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion” 
    5. RLG426H1 – Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

 

The Religion Specialist Program shares many characteristics with the Major but allows students to focus further on developing skills in the Study of Religion, often including language study, that will prepare them for further graduate study. It is beneficial for students who want to pursue further study in areas such as Religions in Mediterranean Antiquity or Buddhist Studies to have at least an introduction to source languages such as Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Modern Hebrew. 

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. RLG200H1 
  3. 0.5 credit from a tradition course listed below: 
    1. RLG201H1 – Indigenous Spiritualities and Religions 
    2. RLG202H1 – Judaism  
    3. RLG203H1 – Christianity 
    4. RLG204H1 – Islam 
    5. RLG205H1 – Hinduism  
    6. RLG206H1 – Buddhism  
    7. RLG208H1 – Sikhism  
    8. RLG241H1 – The Earliest Christians 
  4. 0.5 credit from a course listed below: 
    1. RLG209H1 – Justifying Religious Belief 
    2. RLG211H1 – Psychology of Religion 
    3. RLG212H1 – Anthropology, Religion and Culture 
    4. RLG213H1 – Embarrassment of Scriptures 
  5. 0.5 credit in any other 200-level RLG course 
  6. 3.5 RLG credits at the 300+ level – students should develop an area of focus 
  7. 0.5 RLG credit at the 400-level in your area of focus 
  8. 2.5 other RLG credits at any level 
  9. 0.5 credit from a capstone integrative course listed below 
    1. RLG404H1 – Departmental Capstone – Research 
    2. RLG405H1 – Departmental Capstone – Practical 
    3. RLG406H1 – Constructing Religion
    4. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion” 
    5. RLG426H1 – Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

Specialist in Buddhist Studies

The Specialist Program in Buddhist Studies is based on the general Religion Specialist and Major, but also gives students the chance to gain greater depth in the study of Buddhism through requiring a concentration of courses related to Buddhism in various geographical and temporal contexts. The Program builds on the required courses in the more general religion programs while also including several options from Art History, East Asian Studies, and the minor in Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health. In the upper years, students have opportunities for advanced study and independent research projects. The sequence of required courses in the Buddhist Studies Major is intended to provide students with increasing depth of comprehension. Compared to the Buddhism Studies Major, the Specialist Program requires a great focus on Buddhism alongside 1.0 FCE of language training in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Pali or Tibetan.

 

 

  1. 1.0 RLG credit at the 100-level chosen from courses offered at the St. George campus 
  2. RLG200H1 
  3. RLG206H1 – Buddhism  
  4. 0.5 credit from a course listed below: 
    1. RLG209H1 – Justifying Religious Belief 
    2. RLG211H1 – Psychology of Religion 
    3. RLG212H1 – Anthropology, Religion and Culture 
    4. RLG213H1 – Embarrassment of Scriptures 
  5. Two consecutive language courses (2.0 credits) in one of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit, Pali, or Tibetan 
  6. 4.5 credits from a pre-approved list of courses 
  7. 0.5 credits at the 400-level from a pre-approved list 
  8. 0.5 credit from a capstone integrative course listed below 
    1. RLG404H1 – Departmental Capstone – Research 
    2. RLG405H1 – Departmental Capstone – Practical 
    3. RLG406H1 – Constructing Religion
    4. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”
    5. RLG426H1 – Religion in the Public Sphere: Community-Engaged Learning

 

The Department for the Study of Religion offers courses in Hebrew, Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan and supports students in other languages, such as Burmese, Newar, and Tamil. Our language programs are the largest in Canada, and our online classes are joined by students from across Canada and the world. Through language teaching, we encourage our students to appreciate cultural change, diversity, and the role of interpretation in assessing truth and conducting oneself ethically. Our classes are linked to more expansive fields of study in and beyond religion within the university, drawing students from classics to computational linguistics. 

Join us in studying Hebrew, Sanskrit, Pali, or Tibetan.

ASIP is a professional work-integrated learning program for Faculty of Arts & Science students enrolled in specific programs of study, including the following Department for the Study of Religion (DSR) programs:

  • Religion Major
  • Religion Specialist

Students enrolled in the ASIP stream complete mandatory Professional Development programming plus a minimum of 12 and maximum of 20 months of paid, full-time, academically related work experience. The time to degree completion for students enrolled in ASIP is normally 5 years. ASIP is administered by the Faculty of Arts & Science’s Experiential Learning & Outreach Support (ELOS) Office.
 
The ASIP stream of each program is limited enrolment. Students will typically be admitted to the ASIP stream of their program for the Fall term of Year 2 of study. Please refer to the ASIP Eligibility page for further details for detailed entry requirements. 

The mandatory Professional Development programming will help students prepare for their work opportunities and maximize their learning while on their work terms. It will consist of 4 zero credit weight courses taken over 4 academic terms (Year 2 entry) or 2 academic terms (Year 3 entry). The completion of these courses is mandatory for the ASIP stream of each program, in addition to the regular academic requirements of the program.
 
The work experience component will consist of 12-20 months of paid, full-time work in the private, not-for-profit, and/or public sectors.  For students enrolling in the ASIP stream of their program for the Fall term of Year 2, the first, 4-month work term will take place in the summer between Year 2 and 3, followed by a longer 8, 12 or 16-month work term following the completion of Year 3. Students enrolling in the ASIP stream of their program for the Fall term of Year 3 will complete 12 or 16 months of work experience after Year 3 over one or two work terms.  Students completing all mandatory Professional Development requirements and a minimum of 12 months of work experience will graduate with the ASIP stream acknowledged on their transcript.
 
Students will be provided a wide range of professional development supports as they progress through the ASIP stream of their program, including workplace readiness and job search coaching, access to the ASIP job board, professional skill development training, access to the Employer Relations Staff and Student Development staff, industry information sessions, resources to support students facing barriers to employability, and community-building events. Acceptance into the ASIP stream of a program does not guarantee a student’s employment in each work term.
 
The cost to students to participate in the full program will be paid over a series of six installments, paid as ancillary fees which will be assessed on each Professional Development work term course, while the final two payments will be assessed on the first two work terms between Year 3 and Year 5. Refer to the ASIP Fees & Financial Aid website for further details.