Religious Studies Major

Studying religions is a way to learn about people and society.

The Religious Studies major is a 30-credit program that pairs well with many fields of study. Students combine their professional skills in natural science, pre-medicine, public health, nursing, social work, public affairs, philanthropic studies, secondary education, business, and technology with excellent writing and communication skills, the flexibility to conceptualize complex social and moral problems, and the cross-cultural understanding needed to build respectful relationships and teamwork.

Degree Requirements

Beyond the general distribution and credit hours required by the IU School of Liberal Arts for the Bachelor of Arts degree, you need to complete 30 credit hours of course work.

The major combines introductory courses in the academic study of religions with advanced study of the history and diversity of religious traditions. The 30-credit major requires the following:

  • 9 credit hours of 100- or 200-level Religious Studies courses, one of which must be R101, R133, or R212
  • 15 credit hours of 300- or 400-level Religious Studies courses
  • 3 additional credit hours at any level in Religious Studies
  • Integrative Capstone: R433 Theories of Religion (taught only in fall semesters) (3 credit hours)

For courses to count toward the major, students must receive a C or better (C- and P do not qualify).

What Religious Studies Did for Me?

“Learning about people from diverse backgrounds teaches you to how to communicate and be empathetic with different people. These skills are essential for all careers. I always draw on my Religious Studies major to ask, ‘What do I need to do to communicate? How do I connect with people?’”

Mohamad earned an M.D. from IU School of Medicine and is now a resident in otolaryngology at IU School of Medicine.

-Mohamad Saltagi, Religious Studies B.A. and Biology B.S. (2013)

Recommended Curriculum

To provide students with guidance that will both enhance their academic experience and avoid problems meeting requirements, the Department of Religious Studies has developed the following suggested curriculum.

Freshman Year Religious Studies Introductory Core Course Religious Studies Elective 100/200 Level Sophomore Year Religious Studies Elective 100/200 Level Religious Studies Elective Junior Year Religious Studies Elective 300/400 Level Religious Studies Elective 300/400 Level Religious Studies Elective 300/400 Level Religious Studies Elective 300/400 Level Senior Year REL-R 433: Senior Capstone Religious Studies Elective 300/400 Level

Degree Map

To help you guide your four-year college journey, consult your degree map for a snapshot of classes that you will be taking to finish your degree.

More Info

Contact department mentor Prof. Kelly Hayes or department chair Professor Rachel Wheeler.