Students majoring in religious studies should have developed the following competencies by the time they graduate:

  • familiarity with the principal concerns and methods of the field of religious studies.
  • knowledge of a chosen focal area that allows the student to converse with ease on subjects related to the area and make appropriate judgments based on critical study.
  • capacity to make effective use of appropriate historical, literary, and critical tools for the study of religious texts and traditions.
  • evidence of integrative self-reflection showing that the student is engaged in a serious effort to synthesize new information and insight into a personally meaningful world view.

Students majoring in religious studies must take the basic course, Introduction to Religious Studies (RE 201H), and at least two courses from each of the following areas: Biblical studies (including RE 242H), historical and theological studies (including RE 244H), non-Western religions (including RE 240G) and one additional religious studies courses of the student's choice. At least four of the courses beyond the introductory course must be 300 level or above. Directed and independent study courses may be taken toward fulfillment of this major.

In addition to the successful completion of courses just described, students must take RE 498, the senior comprehensive exam.

For a minor in religious studies a student must take RE 201H, three additional courses in the discipline (one of which must be at the 300 level or above), and one 400 level course (preferably RE 480) for a total of five courses.

An interdisciplinary concentration in Religious Education is also available. This concentration, under the supervision of a three-member interdisciplinary faculty committee, requires the completion of at least nine courses, including two in Biblical studies, and two in Abrahamic traditions (including RE 244H). The remaining five courses are selected from the area of psychology and counseling studies. This concentration should appeal especially to students contemplating professional careers with church and synagogue, and to students who wish to work as lay people in religious institutions.