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Prospective students

Religious Studies - plan overview

The course offerings of the Religious Studies department at the University of Waterloo fall into three general areas: (1) Religions of the World, (2) The Christian Traditions, and (3) Religion, Culture, and Society. Each of these areas has three additional concentrations, which are of primary relevance to students who wish to choose a specialization.

  1. Religions of the World
    1. Religions of the East
    2. Religions of the West
    3. Global Religion
  2. The Christian Traditions
    1. Biblical Studies
    2. History of Christianity
    3. Christian Thought and Practice
  3. Religion, Culture, and Society
    1. The Study of Religion
    2. Religion and Culture
    3. Religion and Social Life

Courses in Religious Studies have been assigned an area and a concentration, which are indicated below the course description.

Three-Year General Religious Studies

Continuation in this academic plan requires an overall cumulative average of 60% and a cumulative Religious Studies average of 65%.

Eligibility for graduation in the Three-Year General Religious Studies academic plan includes successful fulfillment of the following requirements:

  • Religious Studies (RS) Plan-level requirements:
  • Appropriate BA Program-level requirements. See "BA Degree Requirements."
    • at least five academic course units (ten courses) must be in Religious Studies with a minimum cumulative average of 65%, including:
      • three academic units (six courses), at least one unit (two courses) from each of the three Areas
      • RS 100, 110, 260
      • one of RS 202, 203, 204
      • one of RS 210, 216, 240, 250
      • two RS courses at the 300- and/or 400-level

Four-Year General Religious Studies

Continuation in this academic plan requires an overall cumulative average of 60% and a cumulative Religious Studies average of 65%.

Eligibility for graduation in the Four-Year General Religious Studies academic plan includes successful fulfilment of the following requirements:

  • Religious Studies (RS) Plan-level requirements:
  • Appropriate BA Program-level requirements. See "BA Degree Requirements."
    • at least seven academic course units (14 courses) must be in Religious Studies with a minimum cumulative average of 65%, including:
      • 4.5 academic units (nine courses), at least 1.5 units (three courses) from each of the three Areas
      • RS 100, 110, 260
      • one of RS 202, 203, 204
      • one of RS 210, 216, 240, 250
      • four RS courses at the 300- and/or 400-level

Honours Religious Studies

Continuation in this academic plan requires an overall cumulative average of 60% and a cumulative Religious Studies average of 75%.

Eligibility for graduation in the Honours Religious Studies academic plan includes successful fulfilment of the following requirements:

  • Religious Studies (RS) Plan-level requirements:
  • Appropriate BA Program-level requirements. See "BA Degree Requirements."
    • at least ten academic course units (20 courses) must be in Religious Studies with a minimum cumulative average of 75%, including:
      • 4.5 academic units (nine courses), at least 1.5 units (three courses) from each of the three Areas
      • RS 100, 110, 260, 499
      • one of RS 202, 203, 204
      • one of RS 210, 216, 240, 250
      • four RS courses at the 300- and/or 400-level in addition to RS 499

Honours Religious Studies (Arts and Business Co-op and Regular)

A student may combine an Honours Religious Studies academic plan with Arts and Business. The requirements in Religious Studies are identical to the Religious Studies Joint Honours academic plan requirements listed below. See the Arts and Business requirements.

Joint Honours Religious Studies

A Joint Honours academic plan with Religious Studies may be taken in combination with most Arts disciplines in which an Honours academic plan is offered or with many Honours majors in other Faculties. See the department for the most recent list of approved combinations.

Continuation in this academic plan requires an overall cumulative average of 60% and a cumulative Religious Studies average of 75%.

Eligibility for graduation in the Joint Honours Religious Studies academic plan includes successful fulfilment of the following requirements:

  • Religious Studies (RS) Plan-level requirements:
  • Appropriate Program-level requirements for the Home Faculty, including at least 20 academic course units. If the Home Faculty is Arts, see "BA Degree Requirements."
    • at least seven academic course units (14 courses) must be in Religious Studies with a minimum cumulative average of 75%, including:
      • 4.5 academic units (nine courses), at least 1.5 units (three courses) from each of the three Areas
      • RS 100, 110, 260
      • one of RS 202, 203, 204
      • one of RS 210, 216, 240, 250
      • RS 499 [Note: Students in the Joint Honours Religious Studies plan may forego the RS 499 requirement by completing honours requirements in the student's other department. Please consult the RS undergraduate advisor for details.]
      • four RS courses at the 300- and/or 400-level in addition to RS 499
  • Plan-level requirements for the second Major.

Religious Studies Specializations

Students majoring in Four-Year General, Honours, or Joint Honours Religious Studies academic plans have the option of selecting an area of specialization:

  • World Religions Specialization : a course of study providing both breadth and depth into religious traditions around the globe, requiring at least three courses each from Areas 1A (Religions of the East), 1B (Religions of the West), and 1C (Global Religion).
  • Christian Traditions Specialization : a course of study focusing on the Christian traditions, requiring at least three courses each from Areas 2A (Biblical Studies), 2B (History of Christianity), and 2C (Christian Thought and Practice).
  • Religion, Culture, and Society Specialization : a course of study focusing on religion as a social and cultural phenomenon, requiring three courses each from Areas 3A (The Study of Religion), 3B (Religion and Culture), and 3C (Religion and Social Life).

Students considering a specialization are encouraged to consult the Undergraduate Advisor for sequence of courses.

Religious Studies Minor

The Religious Studies (RS) Minor requires successful completion of a minimum of four academic courses units (eight courses) in Religious Studies with a minimum cumulative average of 65%, including:

  • RS 100, 110, 260
  • two additional RS courses at the 200-level or above

Students are encouraged to consult the Undergraduate Advisor of the Religious Studies Department to determine a suitable sequence of courses.

Important Changes to Plan Requirements

Effective Fall 2015 there are important changes to the plan requirements for Religious Studies and other programs. You can find more information about the new requirements on the Arts Major page.

Religious Studies Joint PhD Program

Jewish Studies