Skip to main content

Honors Program in Religious Studies

You'll be guided in an independent, critical inquiry of the academic study of religion.

Challenge Yourself

The Honors Program in Religious Studies exposes highly qualified students to the challenges of identifying problems deserving systematic investigation in the academic study of religion — and to engage them in independent, sustained, critical inquiry into such issues.

Our students will formulate an individualized program of study with a member of the faculty.


Admission to the program requires students to have junior standing, completion of nine credits in the major, and a 3.25 GPA both overall and in religious studies. Interested students should contact the religious studies honors director, who will guide them through the details of application for admission and will appoint an honors committee to evaluate the honors paper.


To graduate with honors in religious studies, a student must:

  • Complete no fewer than nine credit hours of honors-option coursework (all courses numbered REL 314 and higher with consent of the instructor), including at least one 400-level course.
  • Submit an honors paper on a critical issue in the field of religion as part of an independent study course (REL 498).
  • Maintain a 3.25 GPA within the major and overall.

Honors Paper

The honors paper may be based on a paper submitted earlier to an honors option course, but the final paper must be substantially rewritten during the independent study course to reflect the reading and research requirements of the course. The paper should incorporate primary material and attention to secondary literature, as well as demonstrate methodological awareness. The honors paper will be evaluated by the student’s honors committee. Appointed by the honors director, the honors committee will usually consist of three faculty members, including the professor of REL 498 and (if applicable) the professor for whom the paper was originally written.