The M.A. degree in Religious Studies provides opportunities for students with backgrounds in the scholarly study of religion to expand their knowledge of the social, cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts of religion, to develop a greater in-depth knowledge of particular religious traditions, and to acquire proficiency with a variety of pertinent methodologies and theoretical perspectives. The degree serves the needs of students who pursue careers in health professions, in education, journalism, law, business, politics, and social work. It will be of special value to those interested in pursuing a doctorate in religious studies.
Accreditation: Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.
Major Research Areas: Philosophy of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Archaeology of Religion, Biblical Studies, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Chinese Medicine, Vedic Religion, Native American Religions, Religion in Culture and Society.
Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.
Program Admission Requirements
are the same as the university's plus:
- Three (3) letters of recommendation, and
- A writing sample
- A statement of intellectual interest (1-3 pages, double-spaced)
DEGREE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Students choose between a thesis track and a non-thesis track, both of which require completion of thirty-six credit hours. On the thesis track, six of these credit hours are devoted to a thesis project, and the remaining thirty are devoted to coursework. Of these thirty credits, three are earned through a required Theory and Methods course (ideally during the first semester of study), no more than six may come from outside the department, no more than six may come through independent study, and no more than six may come through 4000-level (advanced undergraduate) Religious Studies courses. In addition, students complete three comprehensive exams, one of which covers Theory and Methods, two of which are on topics of the student’s choosing, in consultation with professors. The requirements for students on the non-thesis track are identical except that six additional credits of coursework replace the thesis hours.
The Department of Religious Studies “Graduate Student Handbook” should be consulted for additional information about basic requirements and specific procedures.