Program Requirements

Note: Effective Fall 2021, courses associated with New College programs have new three-letter designators based on the area of study: “AFR” (African Studies), “BPM” (Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health), “CAR” (Caribbean Studies), and “CSE” (Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity). For program completion purposes, the courses previously offered under the “NEW” designator are interchangeable with the new designator(s).

Buddhism, Psychology & Mental Health Minor Program

Consult the Program Administrator for more information at or 416-978-5404.

To complete this Minor Program, students should take 4 full courses or their equivalent, including one FCE (full course equivalent) at the 300+level.

First Year: No specific first-year courses are required.

Required for Higher Years:
1. BPM232H1 Buddhism and Psychology
2. 2.0 full course equivalents from the Core Group
3. 1.5 full course equivalents from Group A

Core Group of courses:

  • BPM100H1 The Art & Science of Human Flourishing
  • BPM214H1 Socially Engaged Buddhism
  • BPM232H1 Buddhism and Psychology
  • JNR301H1 The History of Buddhist Meditation
  • BPM330H1 Mindfulness-Informed Interventions for Mental Health
  • BPM332H1 Buddhism and Psychotherapy
  • BPM333H1 Buddhism and Cognitive Science
  • BPM334H1 Science of Wisdom: Buddhist and Western Traditions
  • BPM335H1 Meditation and the Body
  • BPM336H1 Special Topics in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health
  • BPM337H1 Special Topics in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health
  • BPM338H1 Exploring Mindful Awareness
  • BPM339H1 Mind, Consciousness and the Self
  • BPM381H1 Buddhist Perspectives on Current Social Issues
  • BPM432H1 Advanced Research in Meditation, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • BPM433H1 Advanced Exploration of Buddhist Psychology and Practice
  • BPM438H1 Mindfulness Meditation: Science and Research
  • BPM498H1 Advanced Topics in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health
  • BPM499H1 Advanced Topics in Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health

Group A course options (See full course descriptions below)

ANT100Y1ANT204H1ANT207H1ANT253H1ANT348H1ANT356H1CAR316H1COG250Y1COG341H1COG342H1EAS241H1EAS361H1EAS393H1EAS393Y1ETH201HETH220H1ETH230H1FAH260H1, HIS280Y1HIS282Y1HIS489H1HMB300H1HMB434H1HPS100H1HPS110H1HPS200H1HPS250H1, HPS352H1HST209H1HST305H1HST306H1INS300Y1INS340Y1JAR301H1JFP450H1JSR312H1NEW302Y1NEW303H1PHL100Y1PHL200Y1PHL201H1PHL217H1PHL232H1PHL235H1PHL237H1PHL240H1PHL243H1PHL244H1PHL275H1PHL281H1PHL302H1PHL310H1PHL311H1PHL319H1PHL320H1PHL331H1PHL332H1PHL335H1PHL340H1PHL341H1PHL344H1PHL375H1PHL376H1PHL382H1PHL383H1PHL404H1PHL405H1PHL406H1PHL407H1PHL414H1PHL415H1/PHL455H1PHL478H1,PHL479H1PSY100H1PSY210H1PSY220H1PSY230H1PSY240HPSY260H1PSY270H1PSY280H1,PSY311H1PSY312H1PSY313H1PSY321H1PSY326H1PSY331H1PSY333H1PSY336H1PSY337H1PSY341H1PSY342H1PSY343H1PSY370H1PSY371H1PSY414H1PSY425H1PSY426H1PSY434H1PSY435H1,PSY450H1PSY473H1PSY493H1RLG100H1RLG101H1RLG106HRLG200H1RLG206H1RLG209H1,RLG211H1RLG212H1RLG235H1RLG301H1RLG303H1RLG304H1RLG309H1RLG311H1RLG317H1,RLG318H1RLG319H1RLG371H1RLG372H1RLG373H1RLG374H1RLG376H1RLG387H1RLG407H1RLG421H1RLG426H1RLG463H1RLG465H1RLG469Y1RLG470H1RLG478H1RLG479H1SOC243H1SOC250Y1SOC363H1SOC448H1SOC483H1VIC106H1VIC206H1RLG470H1RLG478H1RLG479H1SOC243H1SOC250Y1SOC363H1SOC448H1SOC483H1VIC106H1VIC206H1

See Full Courses Descriptions Here


ANT100Y1 Introduction to Anthropology: Society and culture from various anthropological perspectives: socio-cultural, evolutionary, archaeological, and linguistic.

ANT204H1 Social Cultural Anthropology and Global Issues: A course focused on recent anthropological scholarship that seeks to understand and explain the transformation of contemporary societies and cultures. Topics may include some of the following: new patterns of global inequality, war and neo-colonialism, health and globalization, social justice and indigeneity, religious fundamentalism, gender inequalities, biotechnologies and society etc.

ANT207H1 Core Concepts in Social and Cultural Anthropology: Society, culture, kinship, exchange, community, identity, politics, belief: these and other core concepts are explored in this course, which lays the foundation for advanced courses in social and cultural anthropology.

ANT253H1 Language & Society: This course introduces linguistic analysis with a view towards its application to the study of the relation between culture and social structure. The interplay of pronunciation, grammar, semantics, and discourse with rituals, ideologies, and constructions of social meaning and worldview are discussed in tandem with the traditional branches of linguistic analysisphonology, morphology, grammar, syntax, and semantics. The objective of the course is to provide a broad framework for understanding the role of language in society.

ANT348H1 Medical Anthropology: Health, Power and Politics: This course deepens students’ understandings of health and illness as social, cultural, political and historical phenomena. Drawing on theories and approaches from social-cultural anthropology, students will develop skills in critical analysis of experiences and meanings of healing and illness in particular contexts, with a focus on anthropological critique of dominant health policies, discourses, technologies and practices.

ANT356H1 Anthropology of Religion: This course introduces anthropological definitions of religion; debates on rituals and rites of passage; rationality, religion and modernity; belief and body; religion and the media. It also engages with studies in the anthropology of popular and transnational religion, and the politics of religious movements.

JAR301H1 Plagues and Peoples: From Divine Intervention to Public Health: Infectious diseases have afflicted human societies throughout the history of our species. How are diseases shaped by the societies in which they spread, and how do they change culture and politics in turn? This course introduces perspectives from medical anthropology and religious studies to analyze the intersection of cultural, religious and scientific narratives when people confront plagues. We focus on historical and contemporary examples, such as the Spanish flu and COVID-19, giving students the tools to understand how cultural institutions, religious worldviews, and public health epidemiology shape living and dying during a pandemic.


CAR316H1 Caribbean Religions: Explores the complex and dynamic practices, philosophies and political and cultural contexts of Caribbean religions. Topics may include the profound impact – in both the Caribbean and its diasporas – of Caribbean Christianities, Hinduism and Islam as well as Afro-Creole religions such as Vodun, Rastafari and Santeria.


COG250Y1 Introduction to Cognitive Science: An introduction to the problems, theories and research [strategies central to the interdisciplinary field focusing on the nature and organization of the human mind and other cognitive systems. Interrelations among the philosophical, psychological, linguistic and computer science aspects of the field are emphasized.

COG341H1 Issues in Cognitive Science I: Attention, Perception, and Consciousness: An examination of core topics in cognitive science building on introductions in COG250Y1. Typical topics include perception and attention; concepts; imagery; consciousness.

COG342H1 Issues in Cognitive Science II: Concepts, Theories of Mind, and Cognitive Evolution: An examination of core topics in cognitive science building on introductions in COG250Y1. Typical topics include: concepts; theories of mind; cognitive evolution.


EAS241H1 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy: A historical introduction to Chinese philosophy, covering selected figures and texts from the Warring States period through the Qīng dynasty. Schools of thought covered include Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, “Profound Learning,” Neo-Confucianism, and “Evidential Learning.” Texts and thinkers include the Confucian AnalectsMòzǐ, Mèngzǐ, Xúnzǐ, Dàodéjīng, Zhuāngzǐ, Hán Fēi, Guō Xiàng, Zhū Xī, Wáng Yángmíng, and Dài Zhèn.

EAS361H1 Zen Buddhism: This course introduces the Zen Buddhist traditions of China, Korea, and Japan. Emphasis is placed on the radical views of history, language, ritual, self, and enlightenment espoused by these traditions. The course also examines issues related to Zen monasticism, the development of koans, and the definition of orthodoxy in both premodern and modern Zen. Students will be asked to explore these and other topics by paying close attention to the historical, doctrinal, and institutional contexts from which they arose.

EAS393H1 Chinese Buddhism: Topics vary according to the instructor’s interests.


ETH201H1 Contemporary Moral Problems: How should we live? Which course of action is the right one? When and why should we blame ourselves and/or others? We all have and exercise moral opinions; this course is about justifying them. The course begins with some critical reasoning skills, and then explores philosophical strategies for justifying moral beliefs. We will then examine some specific issues of moral and political significance before concluding with psychological mechanisms behind moral attitudes and behaviour.

ETH220H1 Moral Psychology: A study of issues that arise at the intersection of psychology and moral philosophy. Why do people act morally? What role do reason and emotion play? Can we know what is right, yet not be motivated to do it? What role can science play in advancing our understanding of morality?

ETH230H1 Morality in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Is morality universal, or does it vary by time and place? This course will examine cultural differences in moral codes from both empirical and philosophical perspectives.


FAH260H1 The Artistic Landscape of East Asia: An overview of major monuments and themes in the art and architecture of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia and Tibet), from the Neolithic to the present.


HIS280Y1 History of China: A critical history of the place we today call China from prehistoric times to the 21st century, tracing shifting borders, identities, governments, and cultures while challenging any singular definition of “China.”

HIS282Y1 History of South Asia: An introductory survey addressing major themes in the history of South Asia, examining South Asian political economy, social history, colonial power relations and the production of culture. Emphasis is on the period after 1750, particularly the study of colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial citizenship and modernity.

HIS489H1 The History of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Illness: Introduces students to current issues in the history of psychiatry and some of the major developments in the evolution of this unique medical specialty. the format is class discussion based on themes covered in the course textbook, covering such topics as changing perspectives on the nature of psychotic illness, the psychoneuroses, disorders of the mind/body relationship, psychiatric diagnosis, and presentations of illness.


HMB300H1 Neurobiology of Behaviour: This neuroscience course focuses on higher brain functions and the mechanisms underlying human and animal behaviours. Topics may include the emerging role of the gut microbiome’s impact on behaviour, pathogens that alter neuronal development and the biological basis of mindfulness and placebos. In addition, the impact that exercise and sleep play in modulating these behaviours are examined. Common experimental techniques used in neuroscience research such as brain imaging and cellular genetics are emphasized.

HMB434H1 Complementary & Integrative Medicine: Introduction to complementary and alternative medical therapies. Topics include, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Ayurvedic, and Mind-Body Practices. Biological mechanisms will be emphasized and therapies will be critically analyzed from an evidence-based research perspective. Integrating alternative therapies into Western practices with a focus on personalized medicine will be discussed.

Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST)

HPS100H1 Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science and Technology: An investigation of some pivotal periods in the history of science with an emphasis on the influences of philosophy on the scientists of the period, and the philosophical and social implications of the scientific knowledge, theory and methodology that emerged.

HPS110H1 The Science of Human Nature: Why do we do what we do? What factors play a role in shaping our personality? What biological and social elements help configure a person’s moral and emotional character? In this course, we examine landmark studies that shook standard beliefs about human nature in their time. We analyze those studies in their historical context and discuss their relevance to social, ethical, and policy debates.  The studies may include research on mother love, obedience, conformity, bystander intervention in emergencies, deception, race, and gender stereotypes.

HPS200H1 Science and Values: An introduction to issues at the interface of science and society. Including the reciprocal influence of science and social norms, the relation of science and religion, dissemination of scientific knowledge, science and policy. Issues may include: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons; Genetic Engineering; The Human Genome Project; Climate Change.

HPS250H1 Introductory Philosophy of Science: This course introduces and explores central issues in the philosophy of science, including scientific inference, method, and explanation. Topics may include underdetermination, realism and empiricism, and laws of nature.


HST209H1 Introduction to Health: Determinants of Health & Health Care: A multidisciplinary approach to understanding perspectives in health, health equity, and primary health care. Themes include critical discussion of the measurements of health outcomes and the socioeconomic and political factors that affect health, including neglected and marginalized populations in Canada and globally.

HST305H1 Perspectives in Health, Gender, Ethnicity and Race: This course will examine historical and contemporary health disparities with respect to gender, ethnicity, and race. Other intersectional issues such as Colonialism, class, sexuality, and the urban/rural divide will also be considered as they to social determinants of health. Attention will be focused on examples of disparities that perpetuate and exacerbate current epidemiological challenges for underrepresented populations in Canada and globally.

HST306H1 Health, Nutrition and Food Security: This course examines the antecedents (for example: social structure, environments, human development and behaviour) that underlie nutrition-mediated aspects to human health and disease. This will include review and analysis of seminal, primary, and current research as well as contemporary issues surrounding nutritional literacy and deficits, food insecurity and access, as these relate to morbidity and pre-mature mortality. The course will also examine existing public health practices for health promotion and access, and population-level disease prevention and interventions.


INS300Y1 Worldviews, Indigenous Knowledges, Oral Tradition: A study of the languages and culture of Indigenous peoples through exploration of oral histories, from creation stories until present times, including the role of oral history and methods for studying oral history through accounts told by elders.

INS340Y1 Indigenous Health Science: This course is themed in six-week quarters addressing four aspects of Western Science (basic, applied, clinical and population health). Within each quarter, the Western Science theme is examined holistically using Indigenous Science and the four aspects of the Medicine Wheel (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).

JFP450H1 Indigenous Issues in Health and Healing: This course consists of an examination of health and healing from a holistic perspective (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) and how colonialism, culture, and public policy have impacted the health of Indigenous peoples in the present day. This course is built around a case-based project in which students working in interdisciplinary groups take on the role of a traditional Indigenous healer, and then assess their healing strategy from a biomedical perspective.


JSR312H1 Queer Religion and Religiosities: This course will introduce students to key terms, theories, and debates in Queer and Religious Studies and to the history of queer identities as they are expressed within various religious traditions, texts, and communities. It asks how dominant heteronormative discourses on gender and sexuality are adhered to, legitimized, negotiated, and contested within various religious traditions. The course will also allow students to interrogate how power and power relationships are shaped by sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, and ability in the world of religion.


NEW302Y1 C.G. Jung: Stories, Patterns, Symbols: Impact of Jung’s analytical psychology, critical methodology and interpretative practice on issues in religion, anthropology, art and literature, popular culture, gender studies and postmodernist critique. Theoretical studies include traditional Jungian and contemporary post-Jungian texts together with feminist and non-Jungian sources.

NEW303H1 Hypotheses of the Unconscious: Current discussions of the hypotheses, starting with Freud’s and Jung’s hypotheses, especially Jung’s collective unconscious; critical examination through retrospective analysis of the evolution and development of the concept in works from philosophy, psychology, poetry, ethnology, science and popular culture that anticipated, influenced or were influenced by the work of Freud and Jung, post-Freudians and post-Jungians.


PHL100Y1 Introduction to Philosophy (Historical): An introduction to the central branches of philosophy, such as logic, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. Writings from the central figures in the history of Western and non-Western philosophy, as well as contemporary philosophers, may be considered.

PHL200Y1 Ancient Philosophy: Central texts of the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and post-Aristotelian philosophy.

PHL201H1 Introductory Philosophy: An introduction to philosophy focusing on the connections among its main branches: logic, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and ethics. This course is intended for those with little or no philosophy background but who have completed Year 1 in any area of study.

PHL217H1 Introduction to Continental Philosophy: An introduction to some of the post-Hegelian thinkers who inspired the various philosophical movements broadly referred to as continental, such as phenomenology, existentialism, deconstruction, and post-modernism. Questions include the will, faith, death, existence, history and politics, rationality and its limits, encountering another. Authors studied may include: Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Heidegger, Sartre.

PHL232H1 Knowledge and Reality: An introduction to issues in the fundamental branches of philosophy: metaphysics, which considers the overall framework of reality; epistemology, or the theory of knowledge; and related problems in the philosophy of science. Topics in metaphysics may include: mind and body, causality, space and time, God, freedom and determinism; topics in epistemology may include perception, evidence, belief, truth, skepticism.

PHL235H1 Philosophy of Religion: Some central issues in the philosophy of religion such as the nature of religion and religious faith, arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, varieties of religious experience, religion and human autonomy.

PHL237H1 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy: A historical introduction to Chinese philosophy, covering selected figures and texts from the Warring States period through the Qīng dynasty. Schools of thought covered include Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, “Profound Learning,” Neo-Confucianism, and “Evidential Learning.” Texts and thinkers include the Confucian Analects, Mòzǐ, Mèngzǐ, Xúnzǐ, Dàodéjīng, Zhuāngzǐ, Hán Fēi, Guō Xiàng, Zhū Xī, Wáng Yángmíng, and Dài Zhèn.

PHL240H1 Persons, Minds and Bodies: Consciousness and its relation to the body; personal identity and survival; knowledge of other minds; psychological events and behaviour.

PHL243H1 Philosophy of Human Sexuality: Philosophical issues about sex and sexual identity in the light of biological, psychological and ethical theories of sex and gender; the concept of gender; male and female sex roles; perverse sex; sexual liberation; love and sexuality.

PHL244H1 Human Nature: Aspects of human nature, e.g., emotion, instincts, motivation. Theories of human nature, e.g., behaviourism, psychoanalysis.

PHL275H1 Introduction to Ethics: An introduction to central issues in ethics or moral philosophy, such as the objectivity of values, the nature of moral judgements, rights and duties, the virtues, and consequentialism. Readings may be drawn from a variety of contemporary and historical sources.

PHL281H1 Bioethics: An introduction to the study of moral and legal problems in medical practice and in biomedical research; the development of health policy. Topics include: concepts of health and disease, patient rights, informed consent, allocation of scarce resources, euthanasia, abortion, genetic and reproductive technologies, human research, and mental health.

PHL302H1 Ancient Philosophy After Aristotle: A study of selected themes in post-Aristotelian philosophy. Topics may include Stoicism, Epicureanism, Neoplatonism, and various forms of scepticism.

PHL310H1 The Rationalists: Central philosophical problems in philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and their contemporaries.

PHL311H1 The Empiricists: Central philosophical problems in philosophers such as Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and their contemporaries.

PHL319H1 Philosophy and Psychoanalytic Theory: A study of the fundamentals of psychoanalytic theory from a philosophical perspective, focusing on the works of Freud and others. Topics include mind (conscious and unconscious), instinctual drives, mechanisms of defence, the structure of personality, civilization, the nature of conscience, and the status of psychoanalysis.

PHL320H1 Phenomenology: Phenomenology is a method used in the analysis of human awareness and subjectivity. It has been applied in the social sciences, in the humanities, and in philosophy. Texts studied are from Husserl and later practitioners, e.g., Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gurwitsch, and Ricoeur.

PHL331H1 Metaphysics: Historical and systematic approaches to topics in metaphysics, such as the nature of reality, substance and existence, necessity and possibility, causality, universals and particulars.

PHL332H1 Epistemology: Historical and systematic approaches to topics in the theory of knowledge, such as truth, belief, justification, perception, a priori knowledge, certitude, skepticism, other minds.

PHL335H1 Issues in Philosophy of Religion: Some specific problem(s) in the philosophy of religion, such as the relationship of religious faith and religious belief, the ontological argument for the existence of God, theories about divine transcendence, the philosophical presuppositions of religious doctrines, the modern critique of religion.

PHL340H1 Issues in Philosophy of Mind: Typical issues include: the mind-brain identity theory; intentionality and the mental; personal identity.

PHL341H1 Freedom, Responsibility, and Human Action: Human action, and the nature of freedom and responsibility in the light of contemporary knowledge concerning the causation of behaviour.

PHL344H1 Philosophy of Emotions: A survey of philosophical topics related to the emotions, from a range of philosophical perspectives. Questions to be considered may include the following: What exactly is an emotion? Are emotions feelings? What emotions are there, and how are they shaped by culture and society? How are emotions related to reason, the brain and the body? What role do — and should — the emotions play in decision-making? Can an emotion be morally right or wrong, and what makes it so? 

PHL375H1 Ethics: An intermediate-level study of selected issues in moral philosophy, or of influential contemporary or historical works in ethical theory.

PHL376H1 Topics in Moral Philosophy: A focused examination of a selected issue in moral philosophy.

PHL382H1 Ethics: Death and Dying: An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the philosophical significance of death, the high-tech prolongation of life, definition and determination of death, suicide, active and passive euthanasia, the withholding of treatment, palliative care and the control of pain, living wills; recent judicial decisions.

PHL383H1 Ethics and Mental Health: An intermediate-level study of moral and legal problems, including the concepts of mental health and illness, mental competence, dangerousness and psychiatric confidentiality, mental institutionalization, involuntary treatment and behaviour control, controversial therapies; legal issues: the Mental Health Act, involuntary commitment, the insanity defence.

PHL404H1 Seminar in Epistemology: Typical problems include the nature of knowledge and belief; perception; theories of truth and necessity; skepticism.

PHL405H1 Seminar in Philosophy of Mind: Advanced study of a problem in the philosophy of mind.

PHL406H1 Seminar in Metaphysics: Typical problems include causality and determinism; ontological categories; mind and body; the objectivity of space and time.

PHL407H1 Seminar in Ethics: Advanced discussion of issues in moral philosophy, including issues of applied ethics.

PHL414H1 Seminar in Philosophy of Religion: Advanced study of topics in the philosophy of religion.

PHL455H1 Seminar in Philosophy of Science: Advanced study of some area or problem in the philosophy of science. Previous course number: PHL415H1

PHL478H1 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Religion: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Religion.

PHL479H1Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind


PSY100H1 Introductory Psychology: A brief introductory survey of psychology as both a biological and social science. Topics will include physiological, learning, perceptual, motivational, cognitive, developmental, personality, abnormal, and social psychology.

PSY210H1 Introduction to Developmental Psychology: The developmental approach to the study of behaviour with reference to sensorimotor skills, cognition, socialization, personality, and emotional behaviour.

PSY220H1 Introduction to Social Psychology: Contemporary areas of research in social psychology: social perception, attitudes, inter-personal relations, and group processes.

PSY230H1 Personality and Its Transformations: Theory and research in personality structure and dynamics: the interaction of cultural and biological factors in the development and expression of individual differences.

PSY240H1 Introduction to Abnormal Psychology: A critical survey of concepts, theories, and the state of research in the area of psychopathology and therapeutic methods.

PSY260H1 Introduction to Learning and Plasticity: Concepts, theories, and applications of classical and contemporary learning theories, including classical and operant conditioning. Current theories of the physiological and anatomical basis of learning and memory, including synaptic plasticity, the role of the hippocampus, amygdala, frontal cortex and other brain regions. Theories will be related to a practical understanding and applications such as drug addiction, phobias and other disorders.

PSY270H1 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An introduction to research and theory on the neural and cognitive architecture of attention, memory, language, thinking and reasoning.

PSY280H1 Introduction to Sensation and Perception: An introduction to the physiological and psychological basis of perception across the different sensory modalities in humans and lower animals, with an emphasis on vision. Exploring visual perception such as shape and objects, scenes, colour, space, and motion as well as auditory perception of simple and complex sounds, and location. Further topics may include touch, including perception of temperature, pain and body posture, the chemical senses, and cross-modal influences of the senses on one another. In-class demonstrations may supplement the lectures.

PSY311H1 Social Development: Theory and research in social attachment, aggression, morality, imitation and identification, altruism, and parental discipline, with discussion of methodological issues.

PSY312H1 Cognitive Development: Examines the developmental of knowledge in fundamental domains such as spatial perception, navigation, object perception, number, language, and theory of mind. Emphasis is on current experimental findings and how they address centuries-old debates surrounding the origin and nature of human knowledge.

PSY313H1 Psychology of Aging: Age changes in sensory and perceptual processes, motor skill, learning, memory, and personality. Theory, methodological problems, social, cultural, and environmental influences that shape behaviour and attitudes towards and among the elderly.

PSY321H1 Cross-Cultural Psychology: One of the hallmarks of human behaviour is its diversity. Some of the ways in which we differ are thought to be relatively idiosyncratic (e.g., specific aspects of personality), whereas others are fairly systematic. Cultural psychology is one area of research in human behaviour that examines systematic differences resulting from individuals’ cultural backgrounds. This course will introduce you to the consideration of cultural variation in the study of human thought and behaviour.

PSY326H1 Social Cognition: An examination of theory and research on how we make sense of ourselves and our social world. Topics covered include goals, mood, memory, hypothesis testing, counterfactual thinking, stereotypes, and culture.

PSY331H1 Social Psychology of Emotion: An in-depth review of the role of emotion in human psychology, with an emphasis on the links between emotion and cognition. Topics include theories of emotion, emotion regulation, emotional expression, and emotional experience, the role of emotion in decision-making, and the relationships between emotion, motivation and behaviour.

PSY333H1 Health Psychology: Examines research evidence concerning the impact of psychological factors on physical health and illness.

PSY336H1 Positive Psychology: A review of the field of positive psychology, which is the study of happiness and fulfillment. Topics include personal growth, meaning, hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to well-being, gratitude, awe, flow states, mindfulness and meditation.

PSY337H1 Advanced Personality Psychology: This course covers major topics in personality psychology including prominent theories and current research in the area. Theoretical frameworks are integrated with specific applications in primary sources. Specific topics may include personality structure, personality development, psychodynamic approaches, genetic methodology, and emotion regulation.

PSY341H1 Psychopathologies of Childhood: This course focuses on cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in children from clinical and theoretical perspectives.

PSY342H1 Cognition and Psychopathology: Work in psychological disorders has increasingly used the theories and methodologies of cognitive psychology to guide research. This course will examine accounts of clinical disorders informed by cognitive experimental psychology, with emphasis on recent work in affective disorders.

PSY343H1  Theories of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy: Examines various theories of how personality functioning may become impaired and corresponding psychotherapeutic interventions. Emphasis on empirical assessment of personality dysfunction and therapy effectiveness.

PSY370H1 Thinking and Reasoning: Problem-solving as a model of directed thinking; conceptual behaviour and mental representation; induction, deduction and learning; probabilistic reasoning; creative thinking and complex problem solving.

PSY371H1 Higher Cognitive Processes: This course covers selected topics pertaining to higher cognitive processes including rationality, consciousness, creativity, and human and artificial intelligence.

PSY414H1 Moral Development: Lecture courses examining cognitive-developmental, psychoanalytic, sociobiological, behaviouristic and cultural-anthropological approaches to moral development. Issues covered include definitions of morality, the relationship between moral judgement and action, gender differences and commonalities, and the role of culture in moral development.

PSY425H1 Self-Consciousness: The distinguishing feature of our species is the reflexivity of our consciousness — the ability to conceive of and interpret ourselves and our experiences. For us, consciousness involves self-consciousness. All our higher symbolic capabilities rest upon this foundation. The aim of this lecture course is to trace out a variety of frames through which we can examine and understand the shared aspects of our subjectivity as self-conscious agents. Using a multidisciplinary approach that draws together ideas and insights from psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and biology, the course is designed to foster articulacy and critical acumen in how we think about reflexive experience.

PSY426H1 Motivational Theories in Social Psychology: With intensive reading and discussion of ‘classic’ and contemporary articles, this advanced lecture course in social psychology focuses on the central issues, methods, and findings in the study of motivation. Topics include self-regulation, achievement, and reward/punishment.

PSY434H1 Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief: This lecture course is based on the book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. Maps of Meaning lays bare the grammar of mythology, and describes the relevance of that grammar for interpretation of narrative and religion, comprehension of ideological identification, and understanding of the role that individual choice plays in the maintenance, transformation and destiny of social systems.

PSY435H1 Environmental Psychology: This lecture course explores how psychologists can contribute to finding solutions to today’s pressing environmental challenges. Topics include persuasion, community-based social marketing, social influence, social capital, and the many ways in which the physical environment affects psychological processes. The course takes a multi-scalar approach to the human-environment relationship, covering individual, community, cultural and global levels of scale, through the lens of complex dynamic systems theories.

PSY450H1 History of Psychology: This lecture course discusses the philosophical predecessors and early development of modern psychology, schools of thought, and shifts in areas of theory and research, as well as history and philosophy of science, in general.

PSY473H1 Social Cognitive Neuroscience: Social cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field that seeks to integrate theories of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience to understand behaviour at three fundamentally interrelated levels of analysis (social, cognitive, and neural). Topics such as self-regulation, cooperation, decision-making, emotion, morality, and prejudice will be examined in this lecture course.

PSY493H1 Cognitive Neuroscience: This is a capstone lecture course surveying research on how the mind arises from the brain. The first objective of the course is to understand how processes in human brains (ranging from the firing of a single neuron to the dynamics of billions) support cognitive abilities (such as recognizing a face, remembering a birthday from childhood, understanding the words in a spoken lecture, or planning a route home from class). The second objective of the course is to understand the methods of contemporary cognitive neuroscience research, to enable students to read primary literature and to understand ongoing debates.


RLG100H1 World Religions: An introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of the major religions of the world, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

RLG101H1 Reason and Religion in the Modern Age: An introduction to critical thinking about religion as it took shape in modern European thought. We examine major thinkers such as Baruch Spinoza, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, and others. Issues covered include freedom of thought, the relationship between religion and politics, belief and truth, rational ethics in relation to religious ethics. We explore how issues addressed by these classical authors remain relevant in today’s world.

RLG106H1 Happiness: Are you happy? Today happiness is a metric by which a growing number of people assess the quality of their lives, with a range of experts offering innumerable life hacks and opportunities to optimize life. But what does it mean to be happy? And how have people tried to achieve this ever-elusive state? Situated squarely within the study of religion, this course considers how different traditions from around the world and for thousands of years have raised similar questions about happiness—not simply for the sake of reflection but also to do something about it. And their answers have varied: fast, meditate, pray, go to the desert, come together, get high, suffer, renounce God, and/or make lots of money. Readings will include selections from social theory and religious texts as well as a few authors who seem to be (against all odds) kind of happy.

RLG200H1 The Study of Religion: An introduction to the discipline of the study of religion. This course surveys methods in the study of religion and the history of the discipline in order to prepare students to be majors or specialists in the study of religion.

RLG206H1 Buddhism: The development, spread, and diversification of Buddhist traditions from southern to northeastern Asia, as well as to the West.

RLG209H1 Justifying Religious Belief: A survey course that introduces students to a range of epistemological and ethical issues in the study of religion. The issues include: the justification of religious belief; the coherence of atheism; reason vs. faith; the nature of religious language; religious pluralism, exclusivism, and inclusivism.

RLG211H1 Psychology of Religion: A survey of the psychological approaches to aspects of religion such as religious experience, doctrine, myth and symbols, ethics and human transformation. Attention will be given to phenomenological, psychoanalytic, Jungian, existentialist, and feminist approaches.

RLG212H1 Anthropology, Religion and Culture: Is religion a matter of belief or a matter of practice? Do all religions share common features? Is one born into religion, or does one learn to be religious? This course is designed to introduce students to some of the ways in which anthropologists have studied and thought about religion. The emphasis is not on memorizing things people believe and do in different societies but on understanding how anthropologists have tried to explain religious phenomena. The themes covered in the course include: magic and religion; the (ir)rationality of belief; the body as a site of knowledge; ritual; ethical self-cultivation; and religion’s role in the secular age.

RLG235H1 Religion, Gender, and Sexuality: This course equips students to understand how norms and practices of gender and sexuality are deeply entangled with religious imaginations and traditions. We will examine how ritual, scriptural, and legal traditions enable and constrain embodied and political power. Readings will draw from feminist, womanist, queer, and other perspectives. With a combination of in-class discussions, critical reading exercises, and short essay assignments, students will strengthen their awareness of transnational intersections of religion, gender, and “religio-racial” formations. You will develop skills in analyzing the role of popular culture and legal and religious texts in shaping norms and experiences of gender and embodiment.

RLG301H1 Religion on the Couch: Freud and Jung on Religion: A comparative, critical analysis of the key writings on religion by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Particular attention will focus on the unconscious and its role in the transgenerational transmission of trauma, especially through myths and religions. Freud’s theory of dreams are compared with Jung’s ideas of universal symbols and archetypes, including the personal and collective unconscious. Jung’s theory of synchronicity will be discussed alongside Freud’s theory of telepathy or thought-transference, including their implications for different understandings of the unconscious and archaic inheritance expressed and manifested in religions and religious experience.

RLG303H1 Evil and Suffering: The existence of evil poses a problem to theistic beliefs and raises the question as to whether a belief in a deity is incompatible with the existence of evil and human (or other) suffering. This course examines the variety of ways in which religions have dealt with the existence of evil.

RLG304H1 Language, Symbols, Self: Theories of the self that involve the constitutive role of language in its various forms. Problems of socially-conditioned worldviews and sense of self as related to discourse. Myth, symbol, metaphor, and literary arts as vehicles for personality development and self-transformation along religious lines.

RLG309H1 Religion and Human Rights: We will explore the dynamic inter-relations of women, ethnicities and minorities, among others, within the context of religion in this age of human rights, focusing on the contemporary global context. Our aim will be to include both theory and praxis. The approach will be intersectional, cross-cultural, inter-religious and inter-disciplinary. We will do this by drawing on both academic and non-academic resources, grassroots movements as well as global initiatives to approach these issues.

RLG311H1 Gender, Body and Sexuality in Asian Traditions: A study of women in the religious traditions of South and East Asia, including historical developments, topical issues, and contemporary women’s movements.

RLG317H1 Religion, Violence, and Non-Violence: People acting in the name of religion(s) have incited violence and worked for peace. How can we understand this tension both today and in the past? Through examination of the power of authoritative tradition, collective solidarity, charisma, and acts of resistance, this course addresses religious justifications of violence and non-violence across varied historical and geographical contexts.

RLG318H1 Sacred & Secular Nature in the Christian West: How did we get to where we are now? How did humans come to be so alienated from nature? This course will examine how religion, particularly that of the Christian West, has shaped the understanding of, and interaction with, nature on a global level. It examines the complex shift from understanding nature as sacred and revelatory, to its conceptualization as a commodity and resource. Students will explore the ethical and cultural consequences of this shift for the human-nature relationship, and contemporary attempts to recover a notion of sacred nature in the context of the environmental crisis.

RLG319H1 Death, Dying and Afterlife: This course introduces students to various religious approaches to death, the dead, and afterlife. Through considering different ways in which death has been thought about and dealt with, we will also explore different understandings of life and answers to what it means to be human.

RLG371H1 Interdependence: An exploration of the Buddhist concept of interdependence, or interdependent origination, from doctrinal and contemplative perspectives, as presented in classic Buddhist texts and as used in contemporary environmental and activist movements globally.

RLG372H1 Engaging Tibet: A course in Tibetan Studies, with a different focus each year. Topics may include Tibetan Buddhist literature, Tibetan Buddhism and medicine, Tibet as a historical entity, the Tibetan diaspora, geographic perceptions of Tibet, or foreign representations of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.

RLG373H1 Buddhist Ritual: Daily worship, the alms round, life-crisis celebrations, healing rituals, meditation, festivals, pilgrimage, the consecration of artefacts and taking care of the ancestors are among the forms of Buddhist ritual introduced and analyzed in this course. Liturgical manuals, ethnographic descriptions and audiovisual records form the basis for a discussion of the role of ritual as text and event.

RLG374H1 Buddhist Life Stories: This course explores the genres of autobiography and biography in Buddhist literature. The course will begin with theoretical studies on narrative and religious life-writing. We will then consider the development and distinctive features of auto/biographies and hagiographies in the literature of one or more Buddhist cultures, analyzing representative examples of these genres from a range of traditions and historical periods, and considering how these sources have been understood and used in secondary scholarship.

RLG376H1 Touching the Earth: A study of Buddhist relationships with the earth, including “earth touching” contemplative practices, ritual ceremonies for land spirits or sacred sites, geomantic and cosmographic traditions, the use of landscape imagery to depict enlightenment, contrasts between wilderness and urban spaces, and contemporary ecological movements in Buddhist communities and their responses to climate disruption. The course combines experiential learning approaches and outdoor excursions with reading and written work.

RLG387H1 Religion and Science: Course explores issues at the intersection of religion and science which may include such topics as evolution and the assessment of its religious significance by different traditions, conceptions of God held by scientists (theism, pantheism, panentheism), ethical issues raised by scientific or technological developments ( cloning or embryonic stem cell research), philosophical analysis of religious and scientific discourses.

RLG407H1 The World of “World Religion”: A seminar examining the development of western discourses of world religions. We shall explore the roots of these discourses and examine their implications in the academic study of religion in North America and in other parts of the world. Open to students in the Majors and Specialists of the Department for the Study of Religion.

RLG421H1 Fragments of Redemption: Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno: This course will challenge the prevailing view that the thought of Sigmund Freud and Theodor Adorno is so deeply pessimistic as to be devoid of hope. Freud’s psychoanalytic theories are widely (mis)interpreted in the register of a crude pansexualism and biological determinism. Adorno’s critique of society and the individual is often (mis)interpreted as so ruthlessly pervasive that it forecloses on any possibility for emancipatory transformation. This is a distorted view of both thinkers, that misses the hopeful, utopian currents that motivate and shape psychoanalysis and critical theory. The course will explore the emancipatory currents in Freud and Adorno, and their implications for potentialities of individual, social and ecological transformation.

RLG462H1 Newar Religion: An academic legend recounts that if you ask a Newar whether he is Hindu or Buddhist the answer is yes. The course deals with the problem of how to study religions which coexist and compete with each other creating shifting coordinates of religious identification from the perspective of one specific Nepalese community.

RLG463H1 Tibetan Buddhism: Close study of major themes, texts, and thinkers in Tibetan Buddhism. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG465H1 Readings in Buddhist Texts: An advanced study of select Buddhist texts with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Themes and texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG466H1 Sravakayana and Theravada Text: An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Theravada and other Sravakayana schools produced in Southern and Southeastern Asia from the early centuries BC till today with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG467H1  Reading Mahayana Texts: An advanced study of key texts pertaining to the Mahayana schools with a focus on issues of translation, interpretation, commentarial approaches, doctrinal and narrative strategies, as well as issues related to the production, circulation, and consumption of these works. Texts will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG468H1 Special Topics in Buddhism: Advanced study of specialized topics in Buddhist Studies.

RLG469Y1  Readings in Tibetan: Advanced readings in Tibetan literature using Tibetan language. Tibetan language skills required.

RLG470H1 Buddhist Tantra: A study of Tantric Buddhism, addressing ritual and scholastic practices, and problems of translation and interpretation. Themes will vary by year; consult the departmental website for this year’s course description.

RLG478H1 Burmese Religions: This course will question the statement that “to be a Burmese is to be a Buddhist” by introducing students to the variegated religious landscapes of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaic, and Muslim Burma/Myanmar through an analysis and discussion of historical, art-historical, anthropological, and literary sources.

RLG479H1 Burmese Buddhist Literature: Burma, also known as Myanmar, offers one of the richest literary landscapes in the Buddhist world. This course introduces students to the Buddha’s sermons, to the animal lives of struggling bodhisattvas, to the poetic creativity of Mandalay princesses, to the intricacies of the Buddhist philosophy of mind, to the textual regimes of monastic dress codes, and to cosmographies of Buddhist kingship in the interface of South and Southeast Asian religions. Students will be trained to take a critical look at the fascinating world of Buddhist texts, inflected by the scriptural language of Pali, through a specifically Burmese prism.


SOC243H1 Sociology of Health and Illness: This course examines (1) the social causes of illness and disease, (2) the experience of illness, and social processes that shape both of these issues, including medicalization. It focuses on population health, the relation between agency and structure, and macro-micro connections. Professional health care is discussed to the extent that it provides context for analyses of illness patterns and experiences.

SOC250Y1 Sociology of Religion: This course will examine religious beliefs, practices, and experiences from a historical-sociological and comparative perspective. Classical and contemporary theories will be reviewed and applied to investigate such topics as: the social origins of religions; the formation of religious communities; heresies, schisms and the making of orthodoxies; secularization and fundamentalism; cults and new religious movements; religious regulation of the body and person; and the variable linkages of religion to politics, war, art and science.

SOC363H1 Sociology of Mental Health and Mental Disorders: An overview of the link between social inequality and emotional inequality, focusing on differences in mental health across social groups and the role of stress and coping resources in explaining group differences.

SOC448H1 Sociology & Emotions: From social cohesion to intergroup violence, emotional processes influence social outcomes. Moral aspects of experience in particular are linked to emotions such as shame and pride. Students in this course will review major theories of, and a variety of empirical approaches to, the link between social and emotional processes. They will be encouraged to extend ideas and analyses in the published literature to new topics. Restricted to 4th-year sociology majors and specialists.

SOC483H1 Culture and Cognition: This course examines the social foundations of thinking and action, with a focus on how individuals think and act through shared cognitive schemas that are embedded in larger social structures. The course is organized around a wide-ranging array of classical and contemporary theories that help explain the various factors that shape culture and cognition. There is a research component to put this analytical understanding into practice. Restricted to 4th-year sociology majors and specialists.


VIC106H1 Psychology and Society: This course explores central developments and ongoing controversies in the scientific study of the human mind, brain and behaviour. It examines topics such as: psychoanalysis, behaviourism, humanistic psychology, evolutionary psychology, intelligence testing, and feminist perspectives. Goals include understanding the historical evolution and social relevance of scientific psychology. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

VIC206H1 Psychology and Society: This course explores central developments and ongoing controversies in the scientific study of the human mind, brain and behaviour. It examines topics such as: psychoanalysis, behaviourism, humanistic psychology, evolutionary psychology, intelligence testing, and feminist perspectives. Goals include understanding the historical evolution and social relevance of scientific psychology.

Note: Students are responsible for checking the co- and prerequisites for all courses.