Admissions

Religious Studies

The academic study of religion is central to the creation of a community of world citizens. Our program is designed for students who live in a pluralistic society and who wish to investigate the role religions play in human life and society. Because religion has shaped the human story of almost every culture, it is difficult to understand human behavior or to interpret world events without grasping how religion has helped to determine them. As United States Supreme Court Justices Clark and Goldberg wrote in their decision allowing the study of religion in public schools, “one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization.” Part of the liberal arts, religious studies employs critical analysis and methods from a variety of disciplines to understand religious traditions as well as to question the dogmas, stereotypes and prejudices that may surround those traditions. In addition to investigating religious symbols, texts, practices, and belief systems, the study of religion examines the relationship of religion to ethics, contemporary social issues, politics, history, psychology, science, literature, and the arts.

Program Overview

Because Religious Studies is interdisciplinary and multicultural, it is an excellent degree to complement many other majors. Double majors are easily accommodated within a well-designed four-year course of study, since the Religious Studies major has only a 36-unit requirement. Graduates from the program have had double majors with Psychology, Biology, History, Communications, and other fields where the study of religion enhances or focuses the second major.

The minor in religious studies consists of a minimum of 15 units to include at least three lower division units in religious studies and 12 units selected from any of the four areas of study. The minor is a less ambitious way to combine your major interests with the academic study of religion. Anyone who is interested in the beliefs, behavior, and values of other people would benefit from a minor in religious studies.

Special Features

Because Religious Studies is interdisciplinary and multicultural, it is an excellent degree to complement many other majors. Double majors are easily accommodated within a well-designed four-year course of study, since the Religious Studies major has only a 36-unit requirement. Graduates from the program have had double majors with Psychology, Biology, History, Communications, and other fields where the study of religion enhances or focuses the second major.

The minor in religious studies consists of a minimum of 15 units to include at least three lower division units in religious studies and 12 units selected from any of the four areas of study. The minor is a less ambitious way to combine your major interests with the academic study of religion. Anyone who is interested in the beliefs, behavior, and values of other people would benefit from a minor in religious studies.

Career Opportunities

Religious Studies prepares students for any career that requires critical thinking, analysis, oral and written communication skills, and the ability to reflect on questions of meaning and value. The study of religion is excellent pre-professional preparation for fields such as law, teaching, medicine, counseling, social work, conflict resolution, international business, foreign service, journalism, various ministries and other careers in non-profit organizations and public service.

While some of our majors go on to do graduate work in religion or related academic fields, other graduates find themselves well prepared for careers requiring imagination, problem solving, communication, self-understanding, and awareness of human diversity. Our graduates are teaching, working in banking and insurance, film, family therapy, social work, deaf interpretation, and full-time parenting.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Religious Studies program in the General Catalog or the department Web site. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.