The Department of Religion offers students opportunities to study the major religions of the world, East and West, ancient and modern, from a variety of academic viewpoints and without sectarian bias.
Each major is assigned a departmental advisor who assists the student in formulating a plan of study in religion and related courses in other departments. The advisor also provides counsel in career planning and graduate study.
Requirements for the Major in Religion
The major consists of nine courses in religion, including two required courses—Religion 101: Introduction to the Study of Religion and Religion 390: Theories about Religion. For the seven remaining courses, four courses are to be taken at the 200 level, one in each of the following four designated areas: (1) Asian Religions, (2) Bible and Comparative Studies, (3) Christianity and Gender, and (4) Islam and Post-Biblical Judaism. Majors must also complete an additional 300-level course in religion and two electives, one of which may be a first year seminar and the other (or both) at the 100, 200, or 300 level.
In order to enroll in Religion 390, a major normally will be expected to have taken four of the nine required courses. This seminar is also open to qualified non-majors with permission of the instructor. In addition, candidates for honors complete a tenth course, advanced independent study, as part of their honors projects. (See below, “Honors in Religion.”) No more than one first-year seminar may be counted toward the major. No more than three courses taken at other colleges or universities will count toward the major. Courses that will count toward the major or minor must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail).
Honors in Religion
Students contemplating honors candidacy should possess a record of distinction in departmental courses, including those that support the project, a clearly articulated and well-focused research proposal, and a high measure of motivation and scholarly maturity. At the start of the fall semester of their senior year, honors candidates enroll in an advanced independent study with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the project. If the proposal, due toward the end of the fall semester, is accepted, the student goes on to enroll in an advanced independent study for the spring semester in order to complete the project. Please see the religion website for more details.
Requirements for the Minor in Religion
A minor consists of five courses—Religion 101, three courses at the 200 level or higher (among these three electives, at least one course shall be in Western religions and cultures and one in Asian religions and cultures), and Religion 390.