Religion Master Students studying in a group
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    • Faculty of Arts
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

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    • Joint Master of Arts in Religion

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    Expected duration

    • 2 years

  • icon pathway

    Program options

    • Thesis-based route
    • Course-based route
    • Pre-master's

Study with us

The study of religion aims to understand religious thought and practices as aspects of the culture and society that produced them. It offers an opportunity to explore beliefs and ideas, philosophies and mythologies, rituals and symbols, etc., that shape the cultures and civilizations of the world both in historical perspective and as contemporary phenomena. In the process of this exploration, our program teaches students to think critically about how religion has shaped the way individuals understand themselves, their communities, and the world around them and sensitizes students to the variety of traditions, commitments, and cultures which exist in our world, both globally and locally. It also provides an environment for students to thoughtfully reflect upon their own religious traditions and experiences as well as to think about issues and problems of modern life from a variety of perspectives.

Program details

The Master of Arts in Religion is a joint program through the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. Students may pursue the degree through a thesis-based route or course-based route.

Master of Arts in Religion 

Expected duration: 2 years

Tuition and fees: Program fees are assessed in the first two terms of study, followed by a continuing fee in the third and any subsequent terms. (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)

In addition to the minimum course requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section of the Academic Calendar, students must meet the requirements for their selected route.

Thesis-based route

Students pursuing the thesis route must:

  • Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework in religion at the 7000 level offered through the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg or a combination of both.
  • Demonstrate competence in a second language relevant to their program of study
  • Complete an oral examination of the thesis

Course-based route

Students pursuing the course-based route must:

  • Complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework at the 7000 level offered through the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg or a combination of both.
    • 18 credit hours must be in religion at the 7000 level
    • Up-to 6 credit hours at the 7000 level may be taken in another department
  • Demonstrate competence in a second language relevant to the program of study
  • Must present and defend an original paper

Sample course offerings

  • RLGN 7080: Seminar in Research Methods and Theory (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 7180: Seminar in Early Modern, Modern and Contemporary Christianity (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 7190: Seminar in Religion and Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 7200: Seminar in Religion and Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 8260: Seminar in Hinduism (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 8280: Seminar in Islam (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 8290: Seminar in Buddhism (3 credit hours)
  • RLGN 8310: Seminar in Judaism (3 credit hours)

For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.

Graduate advisors

Visit our graduate advisor section for more information on finding a graduate advisor and the diversity of our research interests.

Pre-master's option

Expected duration: 1 year

Tuition and fees: Varies (refer to the pre-master's section in Graduate tuition and fees)

The pre-master’s program consists of 24 credit hours of religion courses at the 4000 level.

For students with academic backgrounds that do not meet the requirements for a given program in a department, the department may recommend the student be admitted to a pre-master’s program. The pre-master’s program is intended to bring a student’s standing to approximately the level of a four-year degree with a major in the appropriate discipline.

Admission requirements

The following are minimum requirements to be considered for entry into the program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Admission decisions are based on the qualifications of the applicant as well as the ability of the Departments of Religion at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg to serve the applicant’s intended program of study and area of specialization.

To be considered for admission to the Religion (MA) program, you must have a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion. Applicants without sufficient background for direct admission may be recommended to the pre-master’s program.

In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Pre-master's admission requirements

To be considered for the pre-master's program, you must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

How to apply

The joint master's program has two application deadlines per year. Applications must be completed online and include several parts:

  • $100 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Publication/writing sample
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation (must be requested from within the application)
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if required

Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.

Application deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a committee basis. The Admissions committee for Religion reviews applications in February/March.

Applications open up to 18 months prior to start term.

Canadian/US/International applicants

Term Annual application deadlines
Winter (January) May 1
Fall (September) January 15

Pre-master's applicants

Term Annual application deadline
Fall (September) March 1 (International applicants)
Fall (September) June 1 (Canadian and US applicants)
Winter (January) July 1 (International applicants)
Winter (January) October 1 (Canadian and US applicants)

Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

Start or continue your application

Learn more

Contact us

Admission and application inquiries

Faculty of Graduate Studies
Room 500 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Phone: 204-474-9377

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Program inquiries

Department of Religion, Faculty of Arts
328 Fletcher Argue Building
15 Chancellor's Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
Phone: 204-474-9516
Fax: 204-474-7601

Visit the Department of Religion

Meet Religion faculty and staff