Undergraduate Studies | Major and Minor Requirements | Career Planning | Admissions
Welcome to the Undergraduate program at the Department of Religion. The objective of this course of study is to provide students with an expansive and comprehensive understanding of the variety of the world’s religious traditions, as well as to sharpen students’ mental faculties of objective analysis and critical thinking. Individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree from our department are able to proceed into the professional world or still higher education with a vast knowledge of religious culture and a greater appreciation for its diverse array of expressions.
The major in Religion is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge of the world’s religious traditions and the skills necessary for analyzing and understanding their various dimensions. Students will learn to interpret religions as systems of meaning and will be able to explore the numerous cultural phenomena that comprise them – the peoples, texts, sacred places, practices, rituals, art, music, and beliefs that perpetuate specific ways of living. The academic study of religion teaches students about a variety of religious beliefs from an outside perspective, rather than how to practice a specific religion as an insider. This methodology demands that students be neutral and open minded with respect to different cultures and their religious beliefs. The academic study of religion is also a journey of self-exploration and increasing self-awareness and self-understanding, as it is the nature of the subjects discussed to stimulate contemplation and reflection. The curriculum does not favor one religion over any other, and students are expected to be aware of how their own personal beliefs affect their understanding of other cultures.
The Department of Religion belongs to the College of Arts and Humanities. Neighboring disciplines include Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Art, and History. It is the role of this department to increase knowledge about religion, one of the most pervasive and powerful realms of human experience.
Thank you for your interest in our department. You can explore the links above to learn more about the Undergraduate program, such as how to apply, the specific requirements for majors and minors, and the career options that will be available with a bachelor's degree in Religion. Any questions about the program can be directed toward the Undergraduate Advisor.
Image to the left: A Mount Hiei ritual for world peace, held in March 1990. Photography: Rod Low