Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies (PhD)

Overview

The PhD in Religious Studies at present provides training in early Judaism, Christian origins, and religions of the Late Antique Mediterranean. 

Students develop range and breadth through coursework and comprehensive examinations in Years 1 and 2 of the program; after that, students will be encouraged and enabled to narrow their focus so that they become world experts in their chosen dissertation topic.

What makes the program unique?

The program takes advantage of the unique combination of disciplines in the Department, exposing students to a wide range of academic approaches to the ancient world. 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
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Religious Studies
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

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

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
22
21
22
21
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

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

PhD students complete coursework, comprehensive exams, modern language exams, and a dissertation.

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.

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 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. In addition, the Department provides support for student travel and research abroad. 

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

Career Options

Our aim is to equip our graduating PhD students with all the professional skills they may need to attain a tenure-track teaching position and to carry out the varied responsibilities which such a position brings. Graduates may also pursue career opportunities in government, higher education, business, not-for-profit, and more. 

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications83563
Offers   11
New registrations   11
Total enrolment33334
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

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)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Clement Tsz Ming Tong
    "Dr. Tong studied the earliest Chinese translations of the Christian Bible by Protestant missionaries, and demonstrated that factors such as patronage, rivalry, and networking often played a more important role than literary and linguistic considerations. His research provides new and challenging insights into the beginning of Chinese Protestantism." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Justin Matthew Glessner
    "Dr. Glessner examined competing views of conventional masculinity in early Christian literature focused on the character of Joseph of Nazareth. His findings expose the political mechanics behind Joseph's colourful characterizations and open interpretive possibilities for rethinking normative views of manliness in early Christianity and beyond." (November 2014)
  • Dr. Tracy R Ames
    "Dr. Ames studied the Talmud Yerushalmi, demonstrating that it was carefully constructed and deliberately edited. Contrary to traditional claims that the Talmud Yerushalmi was improperly and hastily compiled, Dr. Ames concluded that biblical and rabbinic traditions were subjected to an interventionist editorial process, with novel creative input." (May 2013)
 
 

September 2021 Intake

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

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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