Religious studies

Campus: St. John's Faculty: Humanities and Social Sciences
Department: Religious Studies Honours available: Yes
Degree(s): Bachelor of arts; International bachelor of arts; Joint arts and science degree
Length: Four years
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Religious studies is the scientific exploration of religion. It neither upholds a particular set of religious beliefs, nor seeks to debunk any of them. Rather it strives to understand the many and varied ways people in the past and present express themselves in a religious manner. In our program you can examine specific religious traditions like Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. You can also study a wide range of religious behaviour as expressed in popular culture, arts, and ritual as well as how religion manifests in connection with science, politics, law, and contemporary ethical issues.

Religious studies at Memorial

Memorial is home to one of the largest religious studies department in Atlantic Canada. The wide range of courses offered includes opportunities for language study (in Mandarin, Biblical Hebrew and Sanskrit), as well as the study of religion and politics, religion and popular culture, religion and gender, ethics, ritual and sacred narrative, and religion and art.

Admission requirements

You may apply for admission into the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences by indicating bachelor of arts as your program choice on the undergraduate application for admission. Direct entry into the faculty is subject to your meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University.

You may choose religious studies as your major at the time of application or you can explore your options and declare a major in a later semester by emailing to make your choice official.

Sample first year

Wondering what courses you would take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses for religious studies students.

Sample courses and degree map

RELS 2180 - Jerusalem and the Politics of Sacred Space
RELS 2340 - Islam
RELS 2812 - Religion and Popular Culture

Religious studies degree map

Degree maps are navigational tools, designed to help you make the right choices throughout your bachelor of arts degree. They cover information pertaining to your studies, provide study tips, career guidance, suggestions for involvement, advice on go abroad activities and on your well being.

Career opportunities

A religious studies degree is good preparation for any career that includes working with people and their cultures. A few examples:

  • international relations
  • education
  • journalism
  • government
  • legal profession
  • refugee/immigration support

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.