Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Sunday, January 24, 2021, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2020-2021 Course Catalog

Required for the major in religious studies

Students who complete the major in religious studies will understand and explain the basic historical development of at least two different religious traditions, as well as some of their complexities, specifically that religious traditions are dynamic evolving phenomena with multiple interpretive strands. They will understand and explain basic elements of at least three theories or approaches to the academic study of religion and use this knowledge to analyze religious traditions and draw their own conclusions, producing clear, thesis-driven papers reflecting these skills.

The major in religious studies requires the following:

  1. RLST 100: Introduction to Religious Studies
  2. Three 200-level courses on religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or Ancient Egypt
  3. Two 300-level theory courses
  4. One 400- or 500-level seminar
  5. Two electives in religious studies
  6. RLST 610: Senior Projects

Independent studies/tutorials may be used to fulfill only the elective requirement.

Majors must complete a senior capstone project, which includes taking the Senior Projects course and presenting at the religious studies symposium at the end of spring term of their senior year.

Senior Experience in religious studies

The Senior Experience in religious studies consists of a one-term seminar (RLST 610, taught in the winter term) that gives students the opportunity to complete a project (usually a paper, but other formats are possible) that builds upon the previous course work and academic experiences of the student. The class also offers students an introduction to several theoretical perspectives that will enable them to see their project from a broadly comparative perspective. Additionally, students are required to participate in a departmental symposium, in which student work is presented and discussed by majors, minors, and faculty. Students pursuing double majors, double degrees, or teacher certification are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors and relevant departments to plan and negotiate their overall Senior Experience as early as possible.

Required for the minor in religious studies

The minor in religious studies is intended to enable students to concentrate on a religious tradition connected to their area of interest. The requirement of both an introductory course and at least one course outside their chosen tradition ensures that religious studies minors develop some expertise in the overall study of religion. The minor requires a minimum of five courses (30 units), which include:

  1. RLST 100: Introduction to Religious Studies
  2. Two courses (12 units) in one of the following areas: Buddhism, Islam, or Christianity
  3. A 400- or 500-level seminar course
  4. One additional six-unit course outside the chosen area

Graduate school

Students considering graduate work in religious studies should note that completion of a graduate degree typically requires demonstrated proficiency in at least one modern foreign language, normally French or German, as well as one or more additional languages depending on the area of concentration. College work leading toward graduate study should be planned with these requirements in mind.