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Why Study at McMaster?

Drawing on ethnography, textual analysis, and critical historical methods, our Department is a leading centre for the study of religion in the contemporary world. Covering themes as diverse as death, technology, hip hop, art, politics, and poetics, our Department reflects the reality that for many around the world religion is a major source of meaning and controversy in human culture. Religious Studies is more than studying ancient manuscripts. It is a dynamic site for understanding life, history, philosophy, and ethics. Religious Studies at McMaster is fundamentally inter-disciplinary in its approach to traditions, texts, and practices


Graduate Funding

Did you know that there are numerous funding opportunities to support your graduate studies? The minimum guaranteed funding for doctoral students is currently $20,500 a year for four years. Further financial support from the university is available to full-time students on a competitive basis. Some of our MA students receive upwards of $8,000 a year.

McMaster's Department of Religious Studies offers teaching assistantships, various scholarships, external awards, travel scholarships, and bursaries.

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Conferences, summer internships, language programs, teaching opportunities, and research are just some of the ways that graduate students travel. Travel grants from the University and the Department support student initiatives overseas and locally, giving students the opportunity to conduct research and develop professional skills.

Discover Hamilton


Scholarly activities are only part of the total experience of being a grad student. Extra-curricular activities in the Department include summer softball, hockey leagues, departmental gatherings, writing seminars, professional development, and more. Boasting the largest university gym in Canada, graduate-only bar (where you’ll often find us after a seminar), an amazing array of restaurants, and kilometers of hiking trails, Hamilton offers plenty beyond the classroom.

McMaster is situated in Hamilton, Ontario, a city of more than half a million wrapped around the western most shore of Lake Ontario, approximately equal distance between the cities of Toronto and Buffalo, New York.

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Look to the Future

Of our more than 40 students who have received a PhD since 1996, approximately 60% have moved on to hold full-time academic positions, and another 20% to part-time teaching. Masters students have also gone on to careers in the private sector and have been accepted into prestigious PhD programs. Beyond academia, graduates have gone to positions in government, NGOs, and the private sector. Find our more about PhD graduates, and MA graduates.

Recent Graduates

Joseph Wiebe

Where has your graduate education taken you?

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Religion and Ecology at the University of Alberta Augustana. After writing my dissertation on the religious moral imagination of Wendell Berry, my ongoing research is on the ways Mennonite, and Métis relationships to the land in Manitoba shaped their religious identities within decidedly different legal contexts.

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Meet Your Professors

Go to Dana Hollander profile

Dana Hollander

Associate Professor | Member, MA Program in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory | Associate Member, Department of Philosophy

photo of Ellen Amster

Ellen Amster

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Department of Religious Studies | Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine