Student-Centered Programs

WHAT WE OFFER TO STUDENTS

Students majoring in Religious Studies will learn to:

  • Identify and explain the diverse historical, cultural, and textual dimensions of religion
  • Identify the concerns and methods that typically distinguish the academic study of religion from other approaches to religious belief and practice
  • Evaluate sources that illustrate the integral role of religion in cultures, especially related to issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, identity, and power
  • Apply the critical methods and approaches of the academic study of religion to a range of sources and issues
  • Make effective, clear, and valid arguments about religion, based in relevant and appropriate sources, in speech and writing

The undergraduate program primarily consists of courses that focus on a wide range of cultures, religions, and traditions within America and abroad. Although the undergraduate program mainly consists of three modes of inquiry employed by religious scholars – historical, textual, and cultural analysis – our department also equips students with the tools necessary for understanding the theoretical underpinnings of research. In order to distinguish our department from others, however, we highly encourage students to work closely with faculty members in order to prepare them for future graduate and non-graduate work. For students interested in advancing and honing in on their research interests, the Honors Program allows students to choose a faculty member to serve as their advisor for a resulting Honors Thesis.

The graduate program further advances students in their research and career interests within the field of Religious Studies. By providing courses on different theories engaged with by scholars, along with including other thematic courses, the graduate program excels in its mission to allow students to creatively interact with the society around them while challenging certain aspects. Our graduate program also provides students with the foundations of pedagogy while allowing them to incorporate the skills acquired within a classroom. While our graduate students mainly continue their studies by enrolling in PhD programs, we also aim to successfully prepare students for a non-academic track.