Religious Studies Major & Minor Requirements

Major Requirements

Ten units are required within the field of religious studies. With the permission of the department chair, certain courses outside the department may also count toward the major.

Required Courses:

  1. REL 200, Explaining Religion (ideally taken in the sophomore year).
  2. Three 200-level survey courses, no more than two of which may be from the same religious world. A religious world is defined as one where different religious traditions have had longstanding historical contacts, and share or have been extensively influenced by each other’s texts, doctrines, religious founders, ritual practices, myths and ethical systems. Students should consult with their advisor about completing this requirement. Courses include the following: 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 231, 242, 281, and 288.
  3. Religious Studies 360: Majors Seminar (ideally taken in the spring semester of the junior year).
  4. One course at the 300-level (excluding 360). This class may not be taken off campus. Courses include 307, 331, 334, and 335.
  5. Four elective courses. No more than one of the department’s 100-level course offerings may be counted to fulfill this requirement. The other courses must be at the 200-level or above.
  6. Optional Senior-Year Experience (489/490). This is a one-semester independent research project in which seniors explore a theme or topic of their choice with a faculty member of the department, preferably in the second semester of their senior year. The Senior-Year Experience will count as one of the “four elective courses” in number 5 above.

Honors (498, 499)

To receive honors in religious studies, a student must satisfy the requirements for the major and, in addition, must meet the following two requirements: (1) a 3.5 cumulative GPA in the department, and (2) a departmentally-approved honors project taken as REL 498 and 499. See also Honors in the Curriculum section of this Catalog.

Minor Requirements

A minor consists of five courses in religious studies: REL 100 or REL 200, two surveys of traditions drawn from different religious worlds (see number 2, above), and two other courses of the student’s choice, only one of which may be a 100-level course.