Buddhist Studies Graduate Programs in Canada

This list aims to provide an overview of current graduate programs in Buddhist Studies across Canada’s universities. Many of them offer degrees in Buddhist Studies while others have faculty who specialize in the field. It is a work-in-progress and will be updated periodically. We don’t have any affiliation to these institutions. If you have any question about a specific program, please contact their representatives directly. If you wish to share your program’s information or find the listed information incorrect, please leave a comment below and/or contact us.

Latest update: August 2017

Alberta

University of Alberta

MA East Asian Studies

University of Calgary

MA in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: Eastern Religions – Buddhist Studies; East Asian Religions; Chinese philosophy; Indian philosophy; South Asian Religions and Nature of Religion – Comparative religion; comparative philosophy and religion; religious pluralism; science and religion; women and religion; religion and film; religion and place studies; new religious movements; hermeneutics; theory and method in the study of religion
  • Faculty Research Interests
  • Department’s Funding
  • Awards & Scholarships

PhD in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: Eastern Religions – Buddhist Studies; East Asian Religions; Chinese philosophy; Indian philosophy; South Asian Religions and Nature of Religion – Comparative religion; comparative philosophy and religion; religious pluralism; science and religion; women and religion; religion and film; religion and place studies; new religious movements; hermeneutics; theory and method in the study of religion
  • Faculty Research Interests
  • Department’s Funding
  • Awards & Scholarships

University of Lethbridge

MA in Religious Studies

British Columbia

University of British Columbia

MA in Asian Studies

  • Interested applicants can apply to have their studies supervised directly by scholars specializing in Buddhist Studies. See the department’s list of teaching faculty here

Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Studies

  • In special cases, PhD degree programs can be arranged jointly between Asian studies and other departments. For interdisciplinary programs, please contact the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program directly http://www.isgp.ubc.ca/. Interested applicants can apply to have their studies supervised directly by scholars specializing in Buddhist Studies. See the department’s list of teaching faculty here

University of Victoria

MA Pacific and Asian Studies

  • Research areas: A multidisciplinary program, with an emphasis on analytical approaches to language, literature, history, theatre, film, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and social issues, and more.
  • Fellowships
  • Faculty Research Interests

Manitoba

University of Manitoba

MA in Religion (Joint Master of Arts program with the University of Winnipeg)

PhD in Religion

University of Winnipeg

JMP in Religion (Joint Master of Arts program with the University of Manitoba)

Newfoundland and Labrador

Memorial University

MA in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: 1) Religious texts: Chinese philosophy; 2) Religious context: Religion and Popular Culture, Religion in Newfoundland and Labrador; 3) Method and Theory: Historical critical methods, Historical textual approaches, manuscripts, Anthropology of Religion, lived religion and field-based approaches, Secularism and post-secular studies, Critical discourse methods, Modernism and postmodernism, Philosophy of Religion, Ritual Studies; Religion and Women: Women in China
  • Financial Assistance: Graduate Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research Grant

Nova Scotia

Saint Mary’s University

MA in Theology and Religious Studies

Research areas: The focus of the program will be research on religious and theological issues and religious communities regionally, nationally and internationally in order to recognize the importance of the multicultural, religiously plural realities of Canada, the Americas and many nations around the world. Students may also choose to study the traditional religious studies and theological areas, such as comparative religions, comparative ethics, biblical studies, systematic theology and pastoral theology.

Faculty with research areas in Buddhist Studies

Ontario

Brock University

MA in Philosophy

  • Research areas: 1) Eastern Philosophy: Indian and Upanishadic Philosophy: texts from the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy, especially Vedanta, Early Indian Buddhist traditions, especially Madhyamika schools and Yogacara Buddhism; Bhakti traditions, Gandhi; Chinese Philosophy, especially Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism; 2) Comparative Philosophy: Comparison of Eastern and Western traditions with respect to problems of being, knowledge, person, values, and philosophical method.
  • Awards & Scholarships: The Victoria Andic-Whealy Award in Memory of Martin Andic, Johanna Tito and David Goicoechea Award, The John Mayer Graduate Scholarship, Faculty of Humanities, FGS, Distinguished Graduate Student Award

Carleton University

MA in Religion and Public Life

  • Research areas: The MA in Religion and Public Life offers you the opportunity to examine the social, cultural, and political aspects of religion in a variety of historical contexts from antiquity to the 21st century. While the degree focuses on religion, its inherent interdisciplinary approach provides numerous engaging avenues of exploration. From a practical perspective the course work of the MA concentrates on case studies related to how aspects of religion interact with the “public sphere”. These case studies address how religious ideology and discourse have interacted with institutions such as the law, the state, the economy, the media, and many others
  • Awards & Scholarships

McMaster University

MA in Religious Studies

PhD in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: Asian Field – Buddhism
  • Scholarships and Awards: See information under MA in Religious Studies

Queen’s University

MA in Religious Studies

University of Ottawa

MA in Religious Studies

PhD in Religious Studies | PhD in Religious Studies Specialization in Canadian Studies

  • Research areas: The programs focus on religions in Canada, including Amerindian and Inuit traditions, and on religions in the comparative cultural context as well as religions in the Graeco-Roman World. The comparative cultural approach provides an opportunity to explore religious phenomena across different religious traditions expressly within their specific cultural contexts. The program favours the methods of anthropology, history, psychology and sociology.
  • Scholarships and Financial Support

University of Toronto

MA & PhD in the Study of Religion

  • Research areas: Field of Study – Buddhist Studies: The field currently highlights a context-sensitive study of Buddhism, focusing on ritual, philosophy, medicine and other intellectual developments and modes of practice in South Asia, the Himalayas, Nepal, Burma/Myanmar, Central Asia, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan.
  • Financial Assistance: All doctoral students are offered tuition plus a stipend of at least $15,000 for five years.  Sixth year doctoral students are eligible for the Doctoral Completion Award (values vary from year to year). All students are encouraged to apply for external awards (SSHRC, OGS) and the DSR provides extensive resources in support of external award applications. Other potential sources of funding can be found on the graduate scholarships page.
  • Canadian students should consider applying for OSAP, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, various SSHRC programs, SGS University Wide Awards and Restricted Departmental Awards. Deadlines are as early as October of the year preceding registration. International students should seek financial support from their home countries and should also apply for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
  • Faculty’s fields of study

University of Waterloo

Joint PhD program in Religious Diversity in North America (with Wilfrid Laurier University)

  • Research areas: The program concentrates on the diverse nature of, and interactions among, the religious traditions and movements of Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. The emphasis is largely, although not exclusively, contemporary, in order to understand the religious complexity of the North American continent, essential textual and historical background is provided.
  • Funding: Full-time graduate students at both universities are automatically considered for teaching assistantships and scholarships, both of which may be held concurrently. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account grade-point averages, recommendations, and other indicators of academic performance and promise. A student’s financial assistance package may be adjusted to take into account external awards such as Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships and Ontario Graduate Scholarships. Other awards and funding
  • Faculty

Wilfrid Laurier University

MA in Religion and Culture

  • Research areas: Buddhism in North America, Religion among immigrant and refugee communities, Psychology and religion, Religion and popular culture, Food and religion, Gender, sexuality and religion
  • Funding & Awards

Joint PhD program in Religious Diversity in North America (with University of Waterloo)

  • Research areas: The program concentrates on the diverse nature of, and interactions among, the religious traditions and movements of Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. The emphasis is largely, although not exclusively, contemporary, in order to understand the religious complexity of the North American continent, essential textual and historical background is provided.
  • Funding & Awards
  • Graduate students are eligible for funding and scholarships at the University of Waterloo.
  • Faculty

Quebec

Concordia University

MA in Religions and Cultures

  • Research areas: The MA in Religions and Cultures enables an in-depth study of religious traditions and religious phenomena in their social and historical contexts from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. The expectation is that students will acquire a sophisticated understanding of the variety of approaches to the study of religion, as well as familiarity with more than one religious tradition. This program serves the needs of a broad range of students, including those working in social services, education, non-profit organizations and development, as well as those interested in continuing on to doctoral studies in Religion.
  • Faculty research interests: History of the study of religion, Anthropology of Religion, Social history of Indian Buddhism, Religions of Tibet and China, Tibetan- Buddhism and popular religions of China, Ecology and religion, Contemporary new religious movements, Business ethics and medical ethics, Comparative study of religious ritual, Women in Buddhism
  • Graduate Funding

PhD in Religion (offered conjointly with the Département des sciences des religions of the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses of the Université Laval)

  • Research areas: The doctoral program in Religion at Concordia places emphasis on social-scientific and comparative approaches to religion; cultural, philosophical, and historical studies; and the investigation of texts and manuscripts. The program offers advanced training in the study of major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) and traditions in particular regional contexts (Religions of Iran, Religions of Southern Asia, and Religions of China and Tibet). The department is distinguished by its interdisciplinary field areas spanning multiple traditions: Contemporary Religion and Popular Culture; Contemporary Theory, Ethics, and Philosophy; Religions and Cultures in Late Antiquity; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Students are expected to develop expertise in multiple traditions and field areas.
  • Faculty research interests: See information under MA program
  • Graduate Funding

McGill University

MA (Asian Religions):

PhD

Université du Québec à Montréal

Maîtrise en sciences des religions:

  • Ce programme non confessionnel est axé sur l’étude du phénomène religieux, au sens le plus large du terme, des croyances et des valeurs sous toutes leurs formes: grandes traditions religieuses et spirituelles de l’humanité, déplacements et transformations de l’expérience du sacré, dimensions éthiques de la culture contemporaine et enjeux de l’éducation dans le domaine de la religion et de la morale. Ce programme propose une approche pluridisciplinaire de l’étude du phénomène religieux d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, notamment au Québec, par une formation critique et en faisant appel à plusieurs domaines comme les sciences humaines et sociales, les études féministes, la phénoménologie, la didactique et la sémiotique. Ce programme vise à initier l’étudiant à la recherche par une méthodologie appropriée et tend également à développer chez l’étudiant un esprit critique à l’égard des phénomènes religieux.
  • Soutien financier
  • Professeurs réguliers

  • Le programme vise à développer et reproduire une expertise de haut niveau dans le domaine de l’étude non théologique des manifestations religieuses. Il intègre ses candidats dans l’aire des débats contemporains où se poursuit le projet d’une étude scientifique (multidisciplinaire et interdisciplinaire) de la religion en général et des traditions religieuses particulières. Il favorise une spécialisation dans l’un des cinq domaines suivants :

    • Histoire des religions
    • Phénomènes religieux contemporains
    • Éthique et religion
    • Théorie de la religion
    • Études juives.

    Le programme comprend également une concentration en études féministes. Cette concentration permet :

    • De former des chercheurs capables, à partir de leur discipline de formation, de produire des travaux novateurs et de contribuer au renouvellement de la pensée féministe ;
    • D’assurer le développement et l’approfondissement d’une réflexion théorique et d’une méthode d’analyse féministes dans le cadre de recherches doctorales.
  • Soutien financier
  • Professeurs réguliers

Saskatchewan

University of Regina

MA in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: Comparative religious studies – Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete their research on a comparative topic. The comparative emphasis enables students to investigate and analyze the various ways that different religions, at particular times and in particular spaces, have categorized similar phenomena and ‘solved’ similar problems.
  • Scholarships & Awards
  • Faculty

University of Saskatchewan

MA in Religion and Culture

  • Research areas: 1) Asian Texts and Contexts: Students opting for this area of concentration will apply an interdisciplinary approach to the academic study of religions in South Asia and East Asia with focused research into the cultural context within which the textual traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese (Daoism, Confucianism), and Japanese religions developed and continue to thrive today; 2) Culture, Tradition and Society: This area of concentration offers students an opportunity to examine other ways of reflective and/or spiritual engagement in the world that may lie outside of the traditionally defined religious practices. This stream is designed to accommodate students interested in the study of spirituality in its intersections with popular culture, folklore, ritual, language and communication, oral history and storytelling, diasporic and transnational contexts. In addition to South Asian, East Asian, Western and Canadian studies, students can also pursue research in the areas of Eastern European, Ukrainian and Russian studies.
  • Scholarships & Awards
  • Faculty
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