Welcome to Undergraduate Studies in Religion!

As an intellectual inquiry into an important dimension of human experience, the exploration of religion is intrinsically valuable. It constitutes a resource for reflection on meaning in life and for personal growth. It also contributes to preparing students for a wide range of careers, such as law, medicine, social work, teaching, politics from the local to the international level, and leadership in religious organizations. Religious studies is distinguished by the uniqueness of its subject matter and the diversity of its methods. Its subject matter is global: the scriptures, institutions, teachings, rituals, devotions, iconography, and moral injunctions of all the world’s religious traditions. And it addresses this subject matter with the full range of investigative tools made available by the various disciplines, especially modern historical and scientific human studies and modern philosophy. As such, religious studies is inherently both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary.

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Join the Undergraduate Listserv

Keep in touch with what's happening at the department.
The LISTSERV is directed to students in the religion specialist, major and minor programs and is also open to other students taking religion courses. The purpose of the listserv is to inform students of any new courses the department will be offering; to draw attention to events, talks and colloquia taking place at the department; and provide general information about the undergraduate program. It is not a discussion list.

To subscribe to the list:

  • Send an email message from your own email account to listserv@listserv.utoronto.ca (upper or lower case is acceptable).
  • In the BODY of the message type the following message (using your own first and last name): subscribe rlgmajspe-L firstname lastname
  • If you are experiencing difficulty with the list or you would like to ask a question, email rlgmajspe-l-request@listserv.utoronto.ca.



For information about course additions, cancellations, room and time changes please go to

Enroll in a 400-Level Course

  1. Email the instructor for permission to take the course.
  2. Email Marilyn Colaço at religion.undergrad@utoronto.ca indicating you have permission from the instructor. Include the course name and number; your full name and student number; and your subject post.
  3. Please follow up with an email if you have not been enrolled by the end of two weeks. 400 level courses are ‘E’ indicator courses and students cannot enroll in or drop these courses through ACORN.

Independent Study Courses

Independent study courses are student initiated projects open to Religion Specialists and Majors that allow students to work one on one with a department faculty member. Normally students have taken courses with the instructor they wish to work with.
To enroll in an independent study course

  • Fill out an independent study form and return it to the department for approval.
  • Make sure the form is signed by you and the instructor.
  • The department will enroll you in the course after we have approved the form.
  • Please keep a copy of your form.

Download Independent Study Form

Auditing Courses

The Department of Religion allows students to audit courses under certain conditions:

  1. Auditors must have the permission of the instructor.
  2. The classroom size can accommodate auditing students.
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Fees for auditing a course for 2016-7 are $456.00 for a full course and $228.00 for a half course. Students registered in the University, senior citizens and employees of the University will not be charged an audit fee. Auditors are not evaluated, do not submit assignments, and do not write tests and examinations. The Department for the Study of Religion does not issue a Certificate of Attendance and therefore does not keep a record of attendance. To audit a course:

  1. Downland and complete the Auditing form here.
  2. Have the instructor sign it.
  3. Bring the form to the department with a cheque made payable to ‘The University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion’.

For information on the University of Toronto’s policy on auditing courses, please see www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppoct201994.pdf.

Program Requirements

If you are aiming to complete any RLG program, you should consult the Undergraduate Office at least once a year. In a brief meeting, you will receive assistance in selecting courses that address your interests and that fulfill the program’s requirements. To make an appointment, call (416) 978-2395.

Enrollment in Religion programs requires completion of four courses. We offer a Specialist program in Religion, Christian Origins, and Buddhist Studies; a Major in Religion, Buddhist Studies, and Islamic Studies; and a Minor in Religion.

Course Descriptions

St. George Campus

UTM Campus

UTSC Campus

Cross-Listed Courses

For an RLG specialist program, up to two full course equivalents from the following may be counted. For an RLG major program, up to one may be counted. View cross-listed courses.

Scholarships and Awards

There are numerous general excellence scholarships and awards available to students in all disciplines. For further information about scholarships and awards, check the arts and science website at www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/undergraduate/undergraduate-scholarships and with your college registrar. The following are designated exclusively for students in Religion. Students do not apply for these awards; they are considered automatically if their marks so warrant.
The McNab Scholarships in Religion

An approximately $400 scholarship will be awarded at the end of the fourth year to the student, either full-time or part-time, who has completed a specialist program in religious studies and who has the highest average in at least three religion courses (full course or their equivalents) taken in the fourth year.An approximately $200 scholarship will be awarded at the end of the third year to the student, either full-time or part-time, who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and whose program in third year includes at least three courses in religion.

An A- average is required for these awards.

General Academic Information

Academic Counseling

For academic counseling see any faculty member. The Undergraduate Secretary is responsible for the coordination of academic counseling and should be consulted whenever you need approval of a program. Joint specialists should consult regularly with the special faculty adviser listed for their program.

Language Preparation

Ability to read the literature of a religious tradition in the original languages greatly increases understanding and appreciation of that tradition. For this reason, facility in the languages of the tradition one expects to study is a requirement of most graduate programs. Students considering graduate studies in religion should begin the study of relevant languages as early as possible in their undergraduate programs. For further information in this regard, please consult the course offerings of such departments as Classics, East Asian Studies, French, German, or Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.As an illustration of the importance of language skills in graduate studies, note the language requirements for graduate degrees in religion at the University of Toronto. For the MA: reading knowledge of at least one language, in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and/or necessary source languages. For the PhD: reading knowledge of at least two languages, in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and necessary source languages, provided that at least one shall be a language of modern scholarship.

Student Exchanges

Arts and Science students in all departments are encouraged to participate in an international or Canadian exchange offered through the Centre for International Experience.  For more information please  go to  http://cie.utoronto.ca/

Other Useful Arts and Science Information