To major in religion (i.e. religious studies) means to pursue the academic study of religion from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, including anthropology, archaeology, history, philosophy, sociology, and textual analysis. Because religion is deeply implicated in history, culture, politics, and literature, the study of religion is critical to understanding and explaining complex global issues in both the past and the present. One does not have to be “religious” or “spiritual” to study religion, nor is the study of religion directed toward establishing the truth of one religion over another. Since religious studies is an interdisciplinary field of study, students may use the major in religion in many different ways, including preparation for graduate school, as a major or second major in a program of study leading to a career in business, health care, or teaching, as well as for personal enrichment. In addition to a number of professional options, the basic intellectual purpose of religious studies is to develop an appreciation for, an understanding of, and a critical insight into, the rich variety of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions in the complex global realities of the twenty-first century.
Beyond the general requirements for the B.A. degree, a major in religion consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours in the field, of which at least 18 hours must be in upper division courses. The department requires of all religion majors the following courses:
Undergraduate Minor in Religious Studies
An undergraduate minor in Religious Studies requires 18 hours, nine hours of which must be upper division (300 or higher) religion courses. RELI 1010 is strongly recommended for the minor in religion.
Graduate Minor in Religious Studies
A graduate minor in Religious Studies requires nine hours of graduate coursework approved by the Religious Studies chair.