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Financial Aid & Scholarships for Graduate Students

Financial Assistance

Financial support from the university is available to full-time students on a competitive basis. The "Plan for Graduate Education at McMaster" sets a minimum guaranteed funding for doctoral students (currently $13,500 a year for four years, plus full-time tuition).

University Scholarships

Scholarships may be available for the first two years of the M.A. programme and the first four years of the Ph.D. program. Outstanding students are eligible for additional university scholarships such as the Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Scholarship, the Ashbaugh and the Dalley Fellowship. 

Please note that the Department of Religious Studies cannot guarantee scholarship and teaching assistantship funding for international and VISA students. 

The department is responsible for nominating candidates for these awards:

The Abby Goldblatt Memorial Scholarship

To be awarded to a graduate student who demonstrates academic excellence in the study of Early Judaism. The award will be made by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

Alvin Irwin Ogilvie Graduate Scholarship

To be awarded to a student registered in a Ph.D. program in the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences. The award is made annually by the Scholarships Committee of Graduate Council on the basis of departmental nominations.

The Julian F. Pas Memorial Scholarship in Chinese Religions

To be awarded to a student in a master=s or doctoral program in Chinese Religions (Taoism, Chinese Folk Religion or Chinese Buddhism). The School of Graduate Studies will make the award on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

The Passi Bursary

To be awarded to a graduate student who demonstrates financial need and is studying Hinduism and Jainism. The award will be made by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies.

The Krishna Sivaraman Memorial Scholarship

To be awarded to a student in the master's or doctoral program in Hinduism and Indian Philosophy. The School of Graduate Studies will award the scholarship on the recommendation of the chair of the Department of Religious studies, taking into consideration academic achievement and a demonstrated interest in Hinduism and Indian Philosophy.

External Awards

As a condition of retaining their McMaster Scholarship funds, all graduate students who are eligible are required to apply for appropriate external awards such as SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) and OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarships). Application forms and further information will be available online in September. Further information about scholarships and awards will be communicated in September at our annual scholarship workshop. Information about scholarships and awards is posted regularly on the bulletin board outside the department office.

Student Assistantship Bursaries

There are some funds available for bursaries, awarded on the basis of financial need. Students apply directly to Student Financial Aid.

Travelling Scholarships

Mary Margaret Scammel Travel Scholarship

For a Religious Studies Graduate Student to support travel costs associated with thesis research or language study. Value: $1,000.00.

James. F. Harvey and Helen. S. Harvey Travel Scholarships

Three scholarships of $1,000.00 awarded for graduate students to engage in research requiring travel.

Graduate Students Association Travel Assistance Grants

First priority is for research travel; second, for expenses incurred in attending a conference to present a paper, abstract or poster; third, for conference attendance. Application dates are generally in September, January, and May.

Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Student Fellowships

For graduate students to do research or language training in India.

The Freeman Family Foundation Bursary Fund for Study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Established in May, 2000, this bursary is offered on an annual basis to members of the University at large. The highest priority is given to graduate students who would benefit from study at Hebrew University to complete their theses; second priority is given to graduate students at the pre-thesis stage, especially for language work. Graduate students may apply for sums up to a maximum of $17,000 for a year's work at Hebrew University; smaller amounts are available for students who want to restrict their study to the summer.While there is a rolling application process with no set deadline, applications should be submitted at least two months prior to your proposed term of study at Hebrew University. For further information, please read over the application form and consult with a biblical studies faculty member.

School of Graduate Studies | Awards & Funding

Teaching Assistantships

Many full-time students are employed as teaching or research assistants. The salary for this work (negotiated annually) is approximately $5,978 per term for 2021–2022. The maximum duration of guaranteed teaching assistantships is four years for Ph.D. students. MA students are also often able to be employed as teaching assistants, however this is not guaranteed. Each student with a teaching assistantship will be assigned in September to work with one of the members of the faculty. Students with teaching assistantships are expected to work the equivalent of ten hours per week during the academic year.

Limitations on Employment

Full-time graduate students are encouraged to limit time spent on employment both inside and outside the University. They may not be employed more than 10 hours per week (on an average in a term) for work that is paid through McMaster University. Exceptions to this rule are possible with the approval of the School of Graduate Studies. Students are referred to the regulations in the Graduate Calendar.

Contact the School of Graduate Studies