Religious Studies

About Program Admission Requirements

Visit the historical places discussed in class through a York International study abroad program.

Put most simply, religious studies is the academic study of religion, exploring the range of phenomena that fall within the categories "religion" or "religious" from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. It brings together perspectives and approaches from history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and literature to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the individuals and traditions that constitute religions and cultures.

Because religions and the religious deal with questions of meaning and orientation, religious studies provides a place for you to explore in a disciplined fashion how and why humans have appealed to spirituality and the divine as they’ve struggled to make sense of themselves and their world. To study religion is to study responses, both behavioural and intellectual, to some of the great riddles and questions that face human beings, including: death, suffering, tragedy, and the nature of the self and the universe. Religious Studies is also a "teachable" subject for students who wish to combine their BA with a teaching qualification from York's Faculty of Education.

You can focus on the major religious traditions of the West and Near East such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam - or those of the Far East such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism or pursue a more comparative approach. You will also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of religious cultures including Chinese, Korean, Caribbean and Native North American.

In the core course, you will learn how to use various analytical methods to explore the rich variety of the world's religious traditions.

Our program gives you a thorough grounding in sophisticated text analysis and improves your writing skills - excellent preparation for any number of careers, including the clergy and law. Our classes are small and emphasize personal contact between students and professors.

  • Study religious expression in a variety of cultures including those of India, China, Korea and Native communities of North America, and visit the historical places discussed in class through a York International study abroad program.
  • Leonard Wolinsky Scholarship is awarded annually to two York undergraduates for one year's full-time study in an Israeli university.
  • In the area of research, Professor Amila Buturovic is in great demand by the media to comment on Islam in the modern world. Professor Buturovic also does research on Muslim poets from the former Yugoslavia.
  • The Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Rt. Rev. Marion Pardy, is a graduate of our Religious Studies program.

Sample First-year Schedule

  • Religious Studies course
  • Humanities General Education course
  • Natural Science General Education course
  • Courses outside the major

Possible Career Paths

Explore what you can do with your degree
  • Lawyer
  • Educator
  • Social worker
  • Counsellor
  • Journalist

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (GCE). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum combined total of 1170 on the Critical Reading and Math components or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.

You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.