2018-2019 Academic Bulletin 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religious Studies Major

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Religious Studies Major Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete a major in Religious Studies should be able to:

  • Recognize and identify similarities and differences among various historical religious cultures and communities and the meaning of those similarities and differences for the religious beliefs and practices of the members of the respective communities;
  • Read and comprehend (in translation) religious literature of various sorts within the context of the historical religious culture which gave rise to that literature and has in turn been shaped by it;
  • Engage in critical analysis of religious phenomena, beliefs, and practices on the one hand, and conflicting interpretations of them on the other, while also recognizing the validity and value of those phenomena, beliefs and practices for those who adhere to them;
  • Appreciate the mutual influence of culture and historical context and a given religious tradition, and how each may affect the other at different times and in different places, while also recognizing the continuity of the faith tradition throughout history;
  • Articulate their own thoughts effectively both orally and in writing, exhibiting command of the preceding abilities in terms appropriate to the academic study of religion.

The Religious Studies Major

Religious Studies majors are required to have a GPA of at least 2.0 in the major. No more than eight credits in Religious Studies may be taken Credit/No Credit; two of these credits must be RELST 600 , which is only offered Credit/No Credit.

The major in Religious Studies leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree and requires the successful completion of 42 semester credit hours in Religious Studies.



A major program should include at least one course from each of the following approaches below. Specific courses may appear in multiple approaches, but double-counting courses for multiple approaches is not permitted.


In addition to the Approaches requirement above, the major should also include courses in three of the five different religious traditions listed below. Specific courses may appear in multiple traditions, but double-counting courses for multiple traditions is not permitted. Courses that satisfy the approaches requirement can also satisfy the traditions requirement.

Junior Group Tutorial:

Senior Project:

Advanced Course Requirement:

  • In addition to RELST 580 , RELST 600 , and RELST 610 , which are required, students must take two courses above the 100 level and an additional course above the 200 level.


Majors in Religious Studies can take an approved cognate course from another discipline in fulfilling major requirements, which along with carefully chosen electives, can create an emphasis in a specific area of Religious Studies.

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