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Religious Studies Major Program of Study

GEP Common Courses (See Curricula): Six Signature courses

GEP University Distribution (See Curricula)

Eight variable core courses, three integrative learning courses and three overlay requirements. These latter may or may not require students to take an additional course.

GEP Foreign Language

No foreign language unique to the department is required. But it is recommended that students consult with their advisors to fulfill the GER foreign language requirement with a language relevant to their religious or theological interest.

GEP Integrative learning

Students in the Religious Studies major must strengthen their skills in the study of religion by taking three complementary courses in other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students have considerable flexibility in choosing these courses because familiarity with a wide variety of issues, methods, and tools is vital to the academic study of religion. Students must choose three courses from the following categories, with no more than two of these courses may be taken in any one department. These three courses may be drawn from any program and or department that focuses on:

  1. Cultural and historical contexts

    of various religious traditions, such as Ancient Studies, Asian Studies, Classics, Fine Arts, History, Latin American Studies, and Political Science;
  2. Methodologies

    that are applied in the study of religion, such as Biology, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology;
  3. Research tools

    that are employed in the study of religion, such as Computer Science, Mathematics, and Foreign Languages.

Courses used to satisfy the Integrated Learning Requirement may not fulfill a GEP Common Core or Variable Core Requirement. Students should consult with their advisors to determine what courses are best suited to their own interests in Religious Studies when choosing the courses needed to satisfy the integrated learning requirement.

Major distribution:

Ten courses distributed as described below. At least eight must be at the 200-level or above. GEP courses will be used to partially satisfy the major concentration. (For examples of specific courses in each area, see the department web site at:

1-6) Non Christian Religions, six courses.

7) THE 154 Faith, Justice and the Catholic Tradition, Signature Core in the GEP

8) Institutional Identity Course: New Testament, History of Christianity, Systematic Theology, or Ethics, one additional course at any level.:

9) REL 495 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion

10) Religious Studies Elective: Any course in THE or REL at the 200 level or above

Among the ten courses above, one must be explicitly comparative in scope (i.e., not tradition specific) and one must concentrate on a South or East Asian religion. Graduating seniors must demonstrate that they have completed at least one significant research paper in Theology or Religious Studies.