The Department of Religious Studies approaches religion as a fundamentally human experience. The academic study of religion begins descriptively by exploring religious commitments, identities, practices, worldviews, and institutions. Our courses investigate religious traditions through varied theoretical and methodological approaches that generate a complex understanding of religious perspectives from an array of disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, history, theology, literature, and art.
Students majoring in religious studies gain a deep knowledge of a single tradition, region, or theme and a broad understanding of religions around the world. Successful students develop a highly portable analytical skill set that equips them to pursue graduate degrees in religion or cognate disciplines, as well as professional degrees and careers in fields such as law, diplomacy, medicine, and business. It also provides an excellent second major for a variety of disciplines that address the human condition including neuroscience; sociology; history; medicine, health, and society; and others. Majors will gain the ability to reason intelligently about one of the most difficult and sensitive topics in any society. By virtue of the variety of religious cultures studied, the training will deepen students’ mutual understanding and sensitivity to prepare them to become truly responsible global citizens.The program offers a major in Religious Studies, an Honors Program, a minor in Religious Studies, a minor in Islamic studies, and a minor in Arabic Language.