Temple University


The Department of Religion offers full-time graduate programs leading to master’s (M.A.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees. All applicants to the Graduate Program in Religion at Temple must apply either for admission to the M.A. or to the Ph.D. program, and a student’s admission will be to one or the other of these. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program directly may pick up the M.A. degree on the way to their Ph.D. when they have fulfilled the M.A. requirements. Students admitted only to the M.A. program may apply for the Ph.D. program separately upon completing their M.A.; such applications are considered on the same basis as all other new Ph.D. applications.
As a component of a large state-related university, the Graduate Program in Religion at Temple deals with religion as an academic discipline without bias or favoritism for one religious or philosophical tradition over another, nor for any particular form of spirituality or secularism. While part of the program’s purpose is to offer a broad coverage of the phenomena of religion in the world in general, it also possesses certain areas of greater strength according to the specializations and knowledge of its faculty. One area of major emphasis is Religion, Race, and Ethnicity.
Students will encounter two broad categories of graduate courses at Temple. First are general introductory courses, called Foundations courses, for specialists and non-specialists alike. These cover a broad spectrum of religious traditions. Each course covers the basic thought, practices, and history of one of the following: African religions, African American religions, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, or Judaism. Other Foundations courses deal with methodologies in the study of religion, including historical-textual, social scientific, and philosophical approaches. Foundations courses are designed to provide a broad background both in discrete religious traditions and in methodology for students in the M.A. program or in the first two years of the Ph.D. program. Second are advanced or specialized seminars in the areas of expertise of the professors. These include in particular courses dealing with religion, race, and ethnicity in various traditions, time periods, and areas of the world. Other courses outside of this area are also available. Some specialized seminars may be counted on a case-by-case basis as Foundations courses at the discretion of the director of graduate studies.

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