Master Degree (International Program)


 Starts from:Mon, August 8, 2016

 8:30AM - 4:30PM

College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University,Salaya,Nakhon Pathom,Thailand


1.5 years August 2016-December 2017


Min Qualification
Bachelor Degree


Religious Studies in the International Master of Arts Program at the College of Religious Studies (CRS) is the scholarly study of religion seeking to understand religion as a cultural phenomenon in strictly value free terms while at the same time appreciating believers’world views and value systems as vital components of their life experiences.Religious Studies seeks to examine and understand the structure and function of religion in its social and cultural contexts. A variety of academic disciplines – history, sociology, anthropology, psychology etc.– are used in the study of religion. This academically objective study of religion is rather unique at institutions in Southeast Asia.

CRS plans to become a center for the academic study and teaching of religion in Southeast Asia with a research and teaching focus on contemporary belief, practice, and development of Thai and Southeast Asian religion in regards to ethics, politics, the environment etc and of course in regards to personal spirituality. The International MA Program will aid students in understanding the dynamics of religious adaptation in response to modernization and globalization. It is hoped that education and research in the field of religious studies will help enhance the mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among people of different religious traditions.

CRS produces graduates with appropriate professional ethics and
work habits who are capable of understanding complex belief systems, practices and their socio-cultural context. Graduates are capable of reading and understanding religious and academic texts, conducting research, writing academic reports and papers,and serving as advisors on variety of cultural, political, economic etc issues in which religious belief forms an important part. CRS graduates can communicate and interact in different religious and cultural backgrounds as well as in the secular modern world.



The International Master of Arts Program aims to provide students with the opportunity to concentrate their studies and research on one of three tracks: Religious Studies, Buddhism and Society, and Buddhism & Islam focusing on the academic study of religion, religious belief and practice in contemporary society, and current moral issues. The program is designed to promote an academic approach to religion in multi-cultural settings.


The curriculum extends over 18-months. The twelve months are devotedto course work in order to build a strong foundation for conductingindependent research, students begin the work on their Master’s thesesduring the rest of 6 months and the degree candidates will have to submit theses to fulfill the requirements of the program.


The program requirements include successful completion of the course work and a thesis, under the close supervision of the College’s academic staff. The program requires at least 24 credits for course work (8, 3 credit courses) and 12 credits for thesis. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required.

Applicants should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in sciences, social sciences, humanities or education. Applicants from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a document indicating the level of their English proficiency. Normally, A TOEFL score of no less than 500, or its equivalent, is necessary in order to keep a normal pace with the class lectures and discussions, and to manage a heavy reading load. Application for admission to the Program may be made through either of these two channels:


1) Mahidol University Selection Process (for Thai applicants) Applications must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The selection process involves a written examination and an interview. Please visit the website: for further details and application form.


2) College of Religious Studies Selection Process (for Thai and International applicants) Applications must be submitted to the M.A International Program, College of Religious Studies. The selection process involves review of the application materials with the optional of written examination and interview. Along with a completed application form and two references, applicants must also include transcripts of their undergraduate or graduate course work and pre-proposals for their Master’s theses. Completed application forms and accompanying documents must reach the program by mid – July


An application form can be downloaded from the website :

Only application form may be submitted through email

Core courses:

– Foundations of Religious Studies: History and Theories :

Foundational theories explaining religion – comparative sociological psychological anthropological phenomenological – their respective founding “fathers’ and their historical era.


-Core Concepts in Religious Studies Overview of the concepts central to the study of religion such as religion belief ritual myth texts scriptures God supernatural beings and events evil salvation afterlife.


-Research Methods for Religious Studies Basic methodological tools and concepts for conducting research in Religious Studies.


Required course:

-Geography and History of Religion

Geographical and historical overview of religion since earliest records to the contemporary world. Religious demographics, growth and disappearance of religions, involvement in governance and daily life, conflicts and reconciliation, modern secularization and globalization.


Elective courses : -Religion, Power & Politics

Historical analysis of interactions between religious traditions and political thought and institutions. Political aspects of religion, whether religion can be freed from politics and vice versa, and how religion works to legitimate or undermine political power.


-Religious Ethics of War & Peace

Ethics of war from religious and secular points of view framed by pacifist, militarist, realist and just war theory. Scriptural passages on war & peace drawn from diverse religious traditions.


-Religion and Healing

Religious concepts of physical and mental health and religious belief and practice as diagnostic and healing methods for both physical and mental illness: tribal healers, prayer, meditation, yogic practice; academic and medical science theory.


-Religion and Cognitive Sciences

Introduction to the cognitive studies of religion and its application on the study of Buddhism.   -Religion and Science History of science and its historical interactions with the major religions of the world, Buddhism Christianity Hinduism and Islam.


-Theistic Traditions: Christianity, Islam and Hindu

History, basic teachings and practices of major religious traditions of the world Christianity and Islam. Also discusses how their communities have developed in different parts of the world in the contemporary period.


-Women in Religious Traditions Status and role of women in major religious traditions: how women are described in sacred scriptures, and how these have been interpreted and adapted in different societies.

Study Plan & Registration Study Plan & Registration (M.A. Program 18 months) (36 Credits with Thesis)

Academic Year 1
First August – December Core Courses:
  • CRRS 552 Core Concepts in Religious Studies (3)
  • CRRS 553 Foundation of Religious Studies: History and Theories (3)
  • CRRS 554 Research Methods for Religious Studies (3) Studies (3)
Second January – May 1 Required & 2 Elective Track Courses: Track 1 – Religious Studies
  • CRRS 555 Geography and History of Religion* (3)
  • 2 Elective Courses (To be informed) (6)
Track 2 – Buddhism and Society
  • CRRS 564 Introduction to the Academic Study of Buddhism: History and Principle* (3)
  • 2 Elective Courses (To be informed) (6)
Track 3 – Buddhism and Islam
  • CRRS 573 Dynamics of Inter-Religious Encounters* (3)
2 Elective Courses (To be informed) (6)
Summer May-july 2 Elective Track Courses (6) CRRS 698 Thesis (12)
  • Thesis Advisor Appointment
  • Developing Thesis Proposal
18 with Thesis
* Required Track Course Academic Year 2 (6 Months)
First August – December Thesis Registration:
  • Proposal Defense
  • *IRB Submission
  • **English Test: 45 in MU Proficiency Test/
Second January – May 1 Required & Thesis Registration:
  • Thesis Defense
  • Attend an international conference, presenting the article and getting published in the proceeding Or publish the article in an academic journal.
  • 2 Elective Courses (To be informed) (6)
  • Submit the thesis, with either the published proceeding or the journal article for graduation
*Requirements prior to conducting a thesis **Requirement prior to Thesis Defense