banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of Religious Studies

Program Requirements

Last Supper

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 courses (only one will count toward Religious Studies requirements):
    A. REL 2300 Introduction to World Religions
    B. REL 2306 Contemporary World Religions
    C. REL 3308 World Religions
  2. REL 3040 Introduction to Religious Studies
  3. REL 3043 Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  4. REL 4931 Seminar in Religion
  5. 24 additional credit hours of Religious Studies courses, of which at least 18 credit hours must be at the
    3000-and/or 4000-level and of which no more than 6 credit hours can be the following variable credit
    individualized courses: REL 3900 Directed Readings or REL 4910 Undergraduate Research.
  6. A grade of "C-" is required 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.

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 Religious Studies (3)
  2. REL 3043 Introduction 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.