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Major in Religious Studies

Study all aspects of religion and its influence on society, politics and world affairs.

What We Offer

Our B.A. program provides a reliable understanding of the nature and impact of religion, which prepares students for graduate study, professional training and work in many fields.

You’ll develop your capacity to understand, criticize and construct arguments about religions, identify and engage major issues in the field, and elaborate your ideas and present them — whether orally or in written form — in a clear, coherent and well-organized form.

Degree Requirements

The major in religious studies consists of 30 credit hours. The courses must include:

  • REL 200 (3 credit hours)
  • Non-Western religious traditions (3 credit hours)
  • Western religious traditions (3 credit hours)
  • Textual methods (3 credit hours)
  • Historical methods (3 credit hours)
  • Critical/theoretical methods (3 credit hours)
  • Advanced religious studies classes (9 credit hours)
  • Religious studies electives (3 credit hours)

Note: In the standard case, a course taken to satisfy one major requirement may not be counted toward the satisfaction of any other major requirement. The rule of thumb is no “double counting.” A copy of any student papers written for any course above REL 317, without the instructor’s comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Our alumni work in a variety of fields, including diplomacy, education, fundraising, journalism, museum projects and public service.

A man views a museum exhibit.

Religious Studies Prize

The Religious Studies Prize in honor of professor W. Curtis Fitzgerald was introduced in 2010-11. The prize, which includes a cash award, is presented each spring to an outstanding senior in the religious studies major.

  • 2022: Mac Hamilton 
  • 2021: Pippin Payne
  • 2020: Thomas Long
  • 2019: Morgan Barbre
  • 2018: Jesse Young
  • 2017: Kyle Greyson Kentopp
  • 2016: Zane Edwin Vermette
  • 2015: Sarah Michelle Adcock
  • 2014: Hunter Houston Ross
  • 2013: Amanda Margaret Jones
  • 2012: Allison Aurora DeLargy
  • 2011: Mary Catherine Hamner