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Program Requirements

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In Religious Studies, students are exposed to a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary study of the way in which both individuals and civilizations are deeply influenced by human religious experience. The goal is to enable the educated person to understand better the various ways in which religious values and institutions shape human behavior through a comparative study of religions and cultures. Such an education is invaluable for careers as diverse as journalism, law, medicine, business, as well as careers more directly related to the practice of religion. Majors in Religious Studies will also find courses designed to give them the methodological, theoretical and linguistic skills needed to go on to advanced graduate study in the field.

Recommended Prerequisites (State Mandated Common Prerequisites)
Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at the community college. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

There are no State Mandated Common Prerequisites for this degree program.

Course Requirements for the Religious Studies Major
Students must choose a total of 36 credit hours from Religious Studies courses. Transfer students may not apply more than 12 hours taken elsewhere toward the major at the University of South Florida. Only letter grades will be counted toward the minimum of 24 credit hours taken at the University of South Florida for transfer students or 36 (for non-transfer students) credit hours necessary to complete the 36 credit hours required for the major. Students taking Religious Studies as a second major need to complete only 30 credit hours. To do so they must make a written request to the Undergraduate Director at the time they declare their major.

All majors must take

  1. One of the following (only one will count toward Religious Studies requirements)
    1. REL 2300 Introduction to World Religions (3)
    2. REL 2306 Contemporary World Religions (3)
    3. REL 3308 World Religions (3)
  2. REL 3040 Introduction to Religious Studies (3)
  3. REL 3043 Introduction to Major Religious Texts (3)
  4. REL 4931 Seminar in Religion (3)
  5. Majors must complete 24 additional credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:
    1. Take at least one course from each of the areas (Western Religions, Non-Western Religions, and Issues and Approaches)
    2. Take at least 18 credit hours at the 3000/4000 level, of which a minimum of 12 must be at the 4000 level
    3. Earn at least a "C-" for courses to count toward the major.

It is the prerogative of the Department of Religious Studies to determine whether courses taken at other universities may be applied toward the major at USF. This will be decided as soon as the student becomes a major in the Department of Religious Studies at USF.

The department’s course offerings are sufficiently varied that a student should expect to enroll in its scheduled classes. No more than three directed studies courses may be applied toward the major. Any student who wishes to take any type of directed study, including REL 3900, must have the (written) approval of his/her instructor.

For purposes of the major requirement, religion courses are divided into the following three (3) areas:

Western traditions (primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)
REL 2210, 2240, 3120, 3131, 3132, 3280, 3303, 3363, 3367, 3500 3561, 3602, 3607, 3611, 3613, 3936, 4133, 4171, 4215, 4217, 4245, 4250, 4252, 4626, 4499, 4670, 4930

Non-Western traditions (Religious traditions other than those other Western Tradition)
REL 3000, 3318, 3330, 3380, 3936, 4333, 4343, 4344, 4930

Issues and Approaches
REL 3101, 3111, 3114, 3116, 3117, 3140, 3145, 3146, 3170, 3191, 3335, 3375, 3391, 3420, 3465, 3801, 4113, 4161, 4218, 4193, 4177, 4930, 4939

Variable Credit Courses (Students are limited to six (credit) hrs of the following courses)
REL 3900, 4910, 4911, 4931, 4937, 4938

Requirements for the Minor in Religious Studies

Students choose a total of 18 credit hours from Religious Studies courses. Transfer students may not apply more than 6 credit hours taken elsewhere toward the minor at USF. Only letter grades will be counted for transfer. Requests for transfer of credit must be made to the Undergraduate Director in writing when declaring a minor.

All minors must take

  1. REL 3040 Introduction to Religion (3)
  2. REL 3043 Introducation to Major Religious Texts (3)
  3. An additional 12 credit hours chosen from Religious Studies courses. Students are expected to study at least two different religious traditions

It is the prerogative of the Department of Religious Studies to determine whether courses taken at other universities may be applied toward the minor at USF. This will be decided as soon as the student declares a minor in the Department of Religious Studies at USF.