Majors & Minors

Religious Studies Major | Religious Studies Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the religious studies department count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities except for courses numbered RELI 604, RELI 614, , RELI 634, and RELI 644.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and multiculturalism will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The religious studies department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the religious studies department are available from either the department office or the Director of Academic Programs.

Topics Courses

RELI 194, RELI 294, RELI 394, RELI 494

Examination of special topics of interest to faculty and students, such as a study of certain crucial questions that the various religious traditions raise and attempt to answer. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Religious Studies Major

Major Requirements

The major in religious studies consists of eight courses in religion, and two supplementary courses, approved by the advisor, in a field that provides sustainable skills or theoretical tools for the study of religion. For example, for students with a primary interest in Biblical studies, a reading course in Hebrew or Greek would count toward the major, courses in philosophy, anthropology, sociology, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies might strengthen a student’s grasp of theoretical issues in the study of religion. Courses in history and literature may also provide valuable substantive knowledge that compliments the student’s work in religious studies. In order to encourage breadth of understanding, students majoring in religious studies are required to take courses in more than one religious tradition. Reading proficiency in at least one foreign language is advised for students contemplating graduate study in religion. A “senior dialogue” with the members of the department is required for all majors. The “senior dialogue” represents a sharing of views on questions of mutual interest rather than an oral examination and also helps the department faculty to assess its program. Majors are required to take the disciplinary seminar Thought Method in the Study of Religion and, preferably in their senior year, Approaches to the Study of Religion, which is offered annually.

The general college-wide capstone requirement in a major is satisfied by RELI 469 - Approaches to the Study of Religion.

Religious Studies Minor

Minor Requirements

The minor in religious studies consists of a minimum of five courses in religious studies taken in consultation with the department. To assure diversity, students minoring in religious studies are required to take a course in at least two religious traditions.