Religious Studies

“Religious studies” introduces students both to the academic study of religion and spirituality and also to the variety of religious traditions around the world (Hinduism and Buddhism; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; indigenous religious traditions in North America and in Africa).  In addition, students with a particular interest may pursue the study of “religion and film” or “spirituality and wellness.” Because religion is deeply implicated in history, culture, politics, literature, and medicine 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.

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, cognitive sciences, fine arts, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and textual analysis. Because 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 second major in a program of study leading to a career in business, healthcare, or teaching, as well as personal enrichment. Consistent with this interdisciplinary emphasis, religious studies faculty teach courses supporting a variety of minor programs, including Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Islamic Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Latino/a Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies, as well as the emerging program in Medical Humanities. 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.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Religion

Minors Offered

Religion Minor

Other information

All coursework taken for the Religion major or minor must be completed with a grade of “C-“ or better.


Arts and Sciences Hall, Room 205