2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Religion, M.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Recommendations should be obtained from former instructors or academic persons who know the applicant best.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

No specific coursework is required. Applicants are invited to consult with the Graduate Director regarding specific academic preparation.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required; a degree earned in a Liberal Arts discipline is preferred. Applicants with no Liberal Arts background should consult with the Graduate Director.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals must be 2-3 pages in length, and describe the student's background and specific interests and reasons for pursuing an M.A. in Religion. Students must also demonstrate knowledge of the scope and limits of the Religion Department's offering and outlook.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Scores in the range of 1,200-1,600 combined on the verbal and quantitative sections are expected. The verbal score is weighed more heavily than the quantitative.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper. The paper should be no more than 10 pages in length and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. It should be in the field of Philosophy or a closely related area.

Transfer Credit:

Courses taken at an accredited institution that are compatible with the offerings at Temple's Religion Department and graded "B" or better are eligible for transfer credit. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Test Waivers:

The GRE is waived for international students whose native language is not English. They are, however, required to take the TOEFL and attain the score minimum noted above.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

On either track, and with both options, students take at least 12 credits in relevant Foundations courses, 12 credits in relevant Seminars and/or Independent Study, and 6 additional credits. Three to 6 credits of this work ordinarily are taken in graduate courses outside the Department in a cognate field at Temple University. No later than at the completion of her/his first 18 credits of coursework in either track, the student must choose either the thesis or portfolio option as well as an advisor for the final project. This choice must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The advisor has primary responsibility for supervising the student's work for the remainder of the program and is the primary reader of the thesis or portfolio.

Thesis Option:

Recommended for, but not limited to, students intending to apply to a doctoral program or planning to teach at the college level. Six credits must be taken in a 3-credit Independent Study that prepares the student to register the following term for a 3-credit M.A. thesis project prepared under the direction of a thesis advisor. Reading knowledge of a language relevant to the thesis topic and oral defense of the thesis are required.

Portfolio Option:

Recommended for students to augment their primary area of experience and professional training in fields other than Religion.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: A language examination is required. Reading knowledge of a language relevant to the area of focus is required. However, at the discretion of the student's supervisory committee, this requirement can be waived for those who are planning to do graduate work that does not require foreign language proficiency.

Culminating Events:

Thesis Option:

A thesis is required when the student selects the thesis option.

Portfolio Option:

This program has no culminating events.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Religion
Anderson Hall, 6th Floor
1114 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Department Contacts:


Linda Jenkins

Graduate Chairperson:

Khalid Blankinship



Terry Rey


About the Program

The Department of Religion at Temple University offers a 30-credit master's program. For those seeking to qualify for the Ph.D. program at Temple University or other leading universities, it offers intensive training in research methods and in special fields of concentration in religion studies. (Note: Admission to the Temple Ph.D. program requires a separate application and the completion of qualifying examinations not required for the M.A. degree.) For those who plan to teach religious studies in community colleges or high schools, it provides advanced training in methods of research and in-depth study of the world's major religious traditions. For those in various forms of religious ministry, it offers post-graduate training and exposure to the newest research methods and developments for use in understanding their own or other religious and cultural traditions. For those who wish to bring cultural and cross-cultural analytical tools to professions such as business, government, journalism, medicine, and social work, it provides additional training in research methods and graduate-level study in the major world religious and cultural traditions. For qualified persons in the general public, it allows the opportunity to acquire competence in the study of religions, values, and cultures broadly defined, and in areas of special interest to the student.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Religion
Anderson Hall, 6th Floor
1114 West Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The M.A. program offers two tracks: Religion, Values and Global Cultures; and Religion, Values and Public Life. In each track, the student has a choice between the Thesis Option or the Portfolio Option.  The Religion, Values and Public Life track is built around our Foundations seminars in the historical, philosophical, and social-science methods of study in the field of Religion, together with Advanced seminars in various areas of the interaction of religion and values in public life, such as interfaith dialogue, race/gender/sexuality and religion, religion and ethics, and religion and the political process. Students taking courses in this track may also take courses on related topics in world religions. The Religion, Values and Global Cultures track is built around our Foundations seminars in the world's religious traditions, together with Advanced seminars that permit further study in various Western and Asian religious and values traditions relevant to the student's area of concentration. Students may also take courses from the other track if they draw on materials from one of these religious traditions. Note: Upon entering the program, students choose the track they wish to follow. While admission requirements and procedures are identical, requirements for the degree vary, as indicated below.

Job Placement:

The master's degree at Temple University is viewed as enhancement of knowledge about religion for those already employed in various professional capacities or as the foundation for pursuit of a Ph.D. degree.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may complete three graduate courses before being admitted into the degree program. Credit toward a subsequent degree program at Temple University is limited to 9 credits.

Financing Opportunities

University Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships, and Academic Internships are ordinarily reserved for Ph.D. students.

Updated 2.17.10