College of Arts & Sciences

The Religious Studies program offers courses in four areas:

  • Biblical Studies and Sacred Texts
  • Christian Traditions, Theology and Ecumenical Studies
  • Comparative Religion
  • Religious and Social Ethics 

In addition to meeting the standards and requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, degree candidates must complete a minimum of 30 credits in religious studies. Students may modify the major program only in consultation with a department adviser.   

PLEASE NOTE: As of Fall 2014, Religion majors may take 2-3 classes (6-9 credits) in other departments to meet program requirements. The courses listed below are acceptable for the program requirement specified; other courses may be approved by the department on a case-by-case basis. Courses taken outside the Religion Department can count for upper level (i.e., 2xxx, 3xxx) electives only. Courses outside the Department do not substitute for Rels. 2010 or Rels. 4010.

The following courses have been approved for inclusion in the Religion major (additional courses may be approved by the Religion Department chair on a case-by-case-basis):

    • SOCI 3816: West African Derived Religions in the Americas in Dialogue with Catholicism
    • SOCI 2412: The Sociology of Religion
    • ANTH 2412: Anthropology of Religion
    • PSYCH 1223: Psychology of Religion [only as elective]
    • PSYC 3330: Neuropsychology of Religious Experience
    • DIPL 3851: Religion, Law and War
    • DIPL 3850: Church, State and Politics in Latin America
    • POLS 3412: Church-State-Law-Pol in US
    • POLS 3611: Political Ferment-Mid East
    • POLS 3101: Catholics in the Political Process
    • POLS 3696: Philanthropy and Christianity

 View the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum requirements »

Major Program Requirements
The curriculum for the religious studies program comprises three levels. Courses designated with an asterisk (*) are required for all religious studies majors.

 Level I:
 Introductory Level Courses (6 credits)
 Choose two of the following five courses:
 RELS 1010  Religious Dimension of Life
 RELS 1102
 Introduction to the Bible
 RELS 1104  Introduction to the New Testament
 RELS 1202
 Christian Belief and Thought
 RELS 1302
 Introduction to Catholic Theology
 RELS 1402
 World Religions
 RELS 1502
 Contemporary Moral Values
 RELS 1503  Christian Ethics
 RELS 1504  Faith and Justice
 RELS 2411  Jewish Beliefs and Practices *
 RELS 2415  Introduction to Islam * 
 RELS 2418  Buddhist World of Thout and Culture *
  * Prerequisite: CORE 1101
 Level II:
 Advanced Level Courses (21 credits)
 RELS 2010**
 Methods in the Study of Religion and Theology
 RELS courses numbered between 2100-3999
** In consultation with their departmental advisers, religious studies majors complete the course in method (3 credits), and then choose four advanced courses (12 credits) from each of the four major areas of study. At least one of these courses must be at the 3000 level.  In order to ensure depth of study, majors complete two additional advanced courses (6 credits) from one of the four areas of study, at least one of which must be at the 3000 level.
If RELS 2411 (Jewish Belief and Practices), RELS 2415 (Intro to Islam), and/or RELS 2418 (Buddhist World of Thought and Culture) are taken to complete the introductory level requirements, then they may not be applied toward the 21 credits of advanced courses
 Level III:
 Seminar (3 credits)
 RELS 4010***
 Religious Studies Seminar
 ***This seminar serves as the capstone for the religious studies program. Prerequisites are 75 credits overall, with 27 credits in religious studies (including RELS 2010).


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