Buddhist Studies Graduate Programs in Canada

This list aims to provide an overview of current graduate programs in Buddhist Studies across Canada’s universities (conducted in English). 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: April 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
  • 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
  • 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

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

Manitoba

University of Manitoba

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

  • Research areas: Buddhism, Religion in Canada, Ethics; Body History; Critical Theory
  • Financial assistance: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research Grant, University of Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (UMGF)
  • Award & Fellowships: The Ruth and Gordon Harland Fellowship, The August Dyck Fellowship, The Donald Snider Fellowship, The Moshe Stern Award

PhD in Religion

  • Research areas: Religions of South and East Asia, esp. Hinduism and Buddhism; Methodology, Hermeneutics and Critical Theory
  • Financial assistance: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research Grant, Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (MGS), and other Graduate Studies Funding & Awards
  • Fellowships: The Ruth and Gordon Harland Fellowship, The August Dyck Fellowship, The Donald Snider Fellowship

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: Focusing on the study of social and political aspects of religion from the comparative, historical and contemporary perspectives
  • Funding: External Awards, Internal Awards

McMaster University

MA in Religious Studies

  • Research areas: Asian Field – Buddhism
  • University scholarships: Standard Graduate Scholarships, Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Scholarship, the Ashbaugh and the Dalley Fellowship
  • External awards: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Award and OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarships)
  • Department-nominated awards and travelling scholarships are also available

PhD in Religious Studies

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

University of Ottawa

MA in Religious Studies | MA in Religious Studies Specialization in Women’s 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. The Department participates in collaborative programs in Women’s Studies and in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the MA level.
  • 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. 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.

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 can be found here

Wilfrid Laurier University

MA in Religion, Culture and Global Justice

  • Research areas: Our world faces pressing questions of global justice in relation to issues such as armed conflict, human migration, economic inequality and environmental change. To understand and address these issues, no single disciplinary perspective will suffice. The MA in Religion, Culture and Global Justice was developed precisely to offer students a crucial interdisciplinary space of reflection. Alongside questions of policy, the program fosters critical analysis of cultural and religious processes as well as their political implications in a globalizing world.
  • 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.

Quebec

Concordia University

MA in History and Philosophy of Religion

  • Research areas: The MA in Religion enables an in-depth study of religious traditions and religious phenomena in their social and historical contexts from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. The Department’s graduate programs provide advanced training in the study of major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) as well as traditions in particular regional contexts: Religions of Iran, Religions of Southern Asia, and Religions of China and Tibet.
  • 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
  • General financial aids & Awards; additional internal and external 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
  • General financial aids & Awards; additional internal and external graduate funding

McGill University

MA (Asian Religions):

PhD

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

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

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