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Goals and Requirements for Majors and Minors

Goals for Majors and Minors

In successfully completing a major in Religious Studies, apart from the general objectives of a liberal arts education (including strong oral and written communication skills, problem-solving ability, and familiarity with various methods for conducting academic research), a student will:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking about religion, drawing upon various scholarly understandings of religion and its place in human life;
  • Provide evidence of exposure to some of the historical and cultural diversity of global religious traditions;
  • Show depth of study in either one religious tradition (at least) or the religions of one geographically, culturally or historically circumscribed area (for instance, Biblical studies, Buddhist studies, American religions, Asian religions, etc.);
  • Engage, at least once, a “constructive” approach to the study of religion, such as religious ethics, practical theology or comparative philosophy of religions;
  • Take opportunities (one or more) for personal growth and reflection through experiential learning.

In successfully completing a minor in Religious Studies, a student will demonstrate some familiarity with academic approaches to the study of religion, provide evidence of exposure to some of the historical and cultural diversity of religion and satisfy in a partial way some combination of the remaining objectives listed above.

Requirements for Majors and Minors

The religious studies major is available as a bachelor of arts degree only, as defined in the section on degree requirements for all majors in this course catalog.

For a major: 40 credits, including 110, 485 and 490. (Ideally students should take 110 sometime during their first two years. The courses 485 and 490 together constitute the Departmental capstone experience taken in Fall and Spring of the senior year. Other courses should be selected in consultation with a member of the Religious Studies faculty in order to fulfill all the goals of the major.)

For a minor: 20 credits, including 110. (Other courses should be chosen in consultation with a member of the Religious Studies faculty in order to fulfill the goals of the minor.)