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 Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator, Simon Coleman at simon.coleman@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 

 

Major in Religion

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. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”

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. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”

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. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion” 

Specialist in Religion

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. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion” 

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. RLG407H1 – The World of “World Religion”

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.