Major in Religious Studies

Religious Studies majors must complete 33 units of coursework, including 12 units from a set of Area Requirements. Three courses (9 units) at the introductory level are designed to provide students with broad, working knowledge of Western and Asian religious traditions. An advanced course at the 400 level (3 units) assumes knowledge and skills students will have acquired in their course work in Religious Studies. It engages students in critical reflection on religious phenomena broadly conceived and represents the culmination of their experience as Religious Studies Majors. Students are also required to complete 21 units of electives. 

Required Courses
Area 1
RLST 105INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF RELIGION3
RLST 470SEMINAR IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES3
Area 2
Select one of the following:3
INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY
INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM
JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM
Area 3
Select one of the following:3
INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM
INTRODUCTION TO HINDUISM
RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS OF ASIA
Electives
Select 21 elective units. Minimum 15 units must be at the upper (300-400) level. Minimum 15 units must be selected from Religious Studies courses (maximum 6 units may be from related disciplines in consultation with advisors and with approval of the department chair.)21
Total Units33

Departmental Honors Program

The Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies offers a departmental honors program for students who demonstrate exemplary abilities in religious studies. Students pursuing this option are required to complete RLST 498 with a minimum grade of A-. Completion of  RLST 498 requires students to produce and defend a 15-20 page paper presenting substantial research in religious studies.

Applicants for departmental honors must have earned 75 units with a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA, including 18 units in Religious Studies courses. In addition, applicants must find a faculty advisor to guide the thesis research and evaluate the final paper and thesis defense. Departmental honors are designated on the graduate's transcript for students earning a minimum A- grade in RLST 498. RLST 498 counts toward an upper level elective RLST course for the major.

To apply for departmental honors, students must complete an application with the department. Students who wish to take RLST 498 in the Fall term should apply during the previous spring by March 1. Students who wish to take RLST 498 in the Spring term should apply during the previous fall by Oct. 1. 

Required Coursework for Departmental Honors in Religious Studies
RLST 498HONORS THESIS IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES3

Suggested Four-Year Plan

Based on course availability and student needs and preferences, the selected sequences will probably vary from those presented below. Students should consult with their adviser to make the most appropriate elective choices.

Freshman
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
Core 1 (or Core 2)3RLST 105 (Area 1) (Core 12)3
Core 33Core 2 (or Core 1)3
Core 43Core 103
Core 63Core 113
Core 73-4Core 143
 15-16 15
Sophomore
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
Select one of the following: (Area 2)3Select one of the following: (Area 3)3
RLST 202 (Core 5)
RLST 206 (Core 13)
RLST 209 (Core 13)
RLST 210 (Core 13)
RLST Elective3
RLST Elective3Core 83-4
Core 5 (if not taken in Area 2) or Elective3Core 13 (if not taken in Area 2 / 3) or Elective3
Core 93Elective3
Elective3 
 15 15-16
Junior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
RLST Elective3RLST Elective3
RLST Elective3RLST Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Senior
Term 1UnitsTerm 2Units
RLST 470 (Area 1)3RLST or other approved Elective3
RLST or other approved Elective3RLST or other approved Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Total Units 120-122
  1. Demonstrate content knowledge of world religions.
  2. Demonstrate ability to compare culturally and historically diverse religious phenomena.
  3. Exhibit understanding of and apply methods utilized in the academic study of religion in the analysis, explanation, and/or critical evaluation of religious phenomena.
  4. Write clearly and persuasively for a variety of purposes and for different audiences, and revise and improve such texts.
  5. Read, interpret, analyze and evaluate written discourse.
  6. Engage intellectually and seek to understand the experiences and views of people with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, whether in one’s own country or abroad.
  7. Make use of scholarly information sources and technologies both online and offline in order to access information effectively and evaluate critically the sources and content of that information.