Master of Arts in Religious Studies (MA)

Overview

Our students explore the religions, texts, and histories of the ancient Mediterranean and the Near East. Our programs foster interdisciplinary study and help students develop relevant skill sets for future study and employment.

The MA in Religious Studies provides a foundation in the history and study of Judaism and Christianity and in the variety of methodologies that are used to study them. 

What makes the program unique?

The department offers students a unique opportunity to engage in a broad range of coursework and learning opportunities and to pursue interdisciplinary research on the material culture, religious beliefs, languages and histories of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. We are a small but engaged department and are able to provide students with programs tailored to individual interests. Students will have frequent interaction with faculty and the academic community. 

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Arts
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Religious Studies
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Research Information

Research Focus

Our research strengths in Religious Studies include Hebrew Bible studies, Jewish studies, and early Christian history and literature. Many of our faculty are interested in historiography, receptions of the ancient world, and digital approaches to the past.
Additionally, our faculty have expertise in a large range of ancient languages and we offer rigorous training in Ancient Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Classical Arabic as well as introductory courses in Akkadian, Middle Egyptian, and Coptic.

Program Components

MA students complete coursework, two comprehensive exams, and a thesis. Students may also complete ancient language courses at the undergraduate level.

Research Facilities

Our students have access to work space in the Graduate Reading Room with exclusive access to a library of ancient texts and seminal scholarship relating to Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and a computer lab for research and teaching equipped with eight powerful desktop PC computers with dual monitors and a variety of software packages (including ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Suite and Agisoft Photoscan) as well as a 3D printer.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

No

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
05 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 06 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 06 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
05 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 05 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 05 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021

Funding Sources

We aim to support all of our graduate students, with the vast majority receiving funding. Well qualified PhD applicants (with a completed MA) receive approximately $25,000 per year over four years (including scholarships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships; contingent upon academic performance). Students who are successful in major external competitions may receive over $40,000 per year. Typical support for MA students is around $16,000 per year for two years (contingent upon academic performance). In addition, the Department provides support for student travel and research abroad. 

Career Options

Our MA students have gone on to study at outstanding universities such as McGill, University of Toronto, Yale, UC-Berkeley, Stanford, and Oxford. Others have had career success in the public and private sectors as teachers, university administrators, translators, creative professionals, bankers, and more.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications22434
Offers   11
New registrations   11
Total enrolment12233

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 71.43% based on 7 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 5 graduating students from the 2008 - 2011 admission cohort the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 2.66 years with an average of 1.93 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Bablitz, Leanne (Roman history, Roman law, Roman courtrooms, , Roman social history and law, Roman topography, Roman legal procedure)
  • Cooper, Elisabeth (Archaeology of greater Mesopotamia)
  • Cousland, Robert (classical Greek mythology, Jewish-Hellenistic litereature, Greek mythology and religion, religion and comporary music, film and literature)
  • De Angelis, Franco (Ancient Greek world history, environment, urbanism, developmnet of societies, colonization, economics, ancient literature)
  • Fisher, Kevin (Archeological Data Analysis, Archeological Excavation Methods and Techniques, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Urban Spaces and Urbanity, Social Life / Societal Life, Near Eastern archaeology, Mediterranean archaeology, built environments, architecture, urbanism, digital archaeology, social interaction, power)
  • Gardner, Gregg (Judaism, Rabbinic Literature, Rabbinic Judaism, Mishnah, Talmud, Jewish Studies, Jewish Law, Jewish Ethics, Charity, Jewish Ethics, Archaeology of Israel, Archaeology and Hebrew Bible, Archaeology of Jerusalemn )
  • Griffin, Michael (Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic )
  • Keddie, George Anthony (Religion, Ethnicity, and Economy in the Roman East; Apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity; Jewish and Christian Material Culture and Epigraphy; Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; Archaeology of Roman Palestine; Urban Contexts of Christian Origins; Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Language and Literature; Theory and Method for Religious Studies and Social History)
  • Marshall, Christopher Warren (Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Performance and Theatrical Productions)
  • McCarty, Matthew (archaeology and art of the Roman Empire and Iron Age Europe/North Africa; ancient religion and ritual practice; interplays between texts, practices, and objects; imperialism, colonialism, and identity in the ancient world; interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, comparative (especially comparison with Qin/Han China), and theoretical approaches; historiography of archaeology)
  • McElduff, Siobhan (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Popular Cultures Produced and Broadcasted by Media, Translation History (pre-modern), Translation and gesture, Cheap literature and classical reception, Book history (18th, 19th centuries), Ballads)
  • Milstein, Sara (Religious Contexts, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies, literary history of the Bible, Near Eastern scribal culture, Mesopotamian literature, biblical and cuneiform law)
  • Schneider, Thomas (Egyptian history and phonoly)
  • Yoon, Florence (heralds and the representation of the absent; anonymity and naming, particularly in Greek Tragedy; props and silent characters in Greek drama)
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
05 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
06 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
06 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
05 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
05 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
05 January 2021
 

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