Religious Studies

Explore the fundamental beliefs that bind us — and divide us

An open book.

Who or what is the divine? What does it mean to be human? How do spiritual beliefs shape our world? In this program, you’ll examine how religions have influenced politics, economics, culture, art, science, and society throughout history — and continue to do so today.

Tailor your degree to your passions. We offer more than 100 undergraduate courses covering the religions of the world, Jewish studies, Christian traditions, and religious culture and society. Thanks to strong links with the Department of Religion and Culture at neighbouring Wilfrid Laurier University, you’ll have access to even more learning opportunities.

You’ll graduate equipped with the multicultural understanding, critical thinking skills, and historical knowledge to succeed in a variety of careers. And, if you take the co-op stream, up to two years of work experience on your resume.

Program highlights

Get serious work experience. Explore careers and earn money to pay for school by completing four optional co-op work terms – and graduate 20 months of career-building work experience.

Seek understanding. A degree in religious studies prepares you to work in Canada’s multicultural society and participate meaningfully in the global economy.


What will you learn? 

First-year courses

During your first year, you'll take two introductory Religious Studies courses. Plus, you'll have electives to explore an additional major of your choosing. In upper years, 40% of the classes you'll take will be Religious Studies courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Religious Studies degree.

Customize your degree

You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.


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Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Religious Studies as your major at the end of first year.

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business.

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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

Please contact our Faculty of Arts recruitment team who can answer any questions you have.