Return to: College of Arts & Sciences: Departments/Programs
Requirements for Major
In order to complete a major in religious studies, each student must:
A. Complete a minimum of ten graded courses (30 credits) within the Department of Religious Studies.
- Primary Concentration: Take at least three courses (9 credits) in one of the world’s major religious traditions as a primary concentration: African religions (RELA), Buddhism (RELB), Christianity (RELC), Hinduism (RELH), Islam (RELI) or Judaism (RELJ).
- At least one of these courses (3 credits) must be at the 3000-level or above.
- RELG 1010 and RELG 1040 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Secondary Concentration: Take at least two courses (6 credits) in another of the world’s religious traditions as a second concentration. (Both courses must be in the same religion.)
- RELG 1010 and RELG 1040 cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Cross-listed courses may count toward either concentration with the exception of RELC/J 1210 which must count toward the primary concentration if the primary concentration is in Christianity or Judaism
- Diversity Requirement:
- If the first and second concentrations are in Buddhism and Hinduism, or Buddhism and African religions, or African Religions and Hinduism, then one course must be taken in Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
- RELG 1010 can be used to fulfill this requirement.
- If the first and second concentrations are in Christianity and Islam, or Christianity and Judaism, or Islam and Judaism, then one course must be taken in African religions, Buddhism, or Hinduism.
- RELG 1040 can be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Take three courses (9 credits) of the ten required at the 3000 level or above. Courses taken to fulfill requirements #1 and #2 may be used to fulfill this requirement.
- Take RELG 4500 (Majors’ Seminar).
B. A grade of C (2.0) or above must be achieved in each course offered for the completion of the Religious Studies major.
Students interested in declaring a major may obtain the major declaration form in the Religious Studies Office, or in Monroe Hall. Prospective majors must consult with a faculty member in order to plan their courses and to choose an advisor.
C. Courses from other University Departments
The Department permits a total of twelve credit hours of coursework to be taken outside the Department, in other University of Virginia departments and outside the University, to be counted towards the Major. Of these, a maximum of six credit hours may be taken in other University departments, from a list of designated University courses. For this list, see the Undergraduate secretary or the Department Website. Approval cannot be given for courses that are not on this list at the time of enrollment.
Requirements for Minor
In order to complete a minor in Religious Studies, each student must complete a minimum of five graded courses (15 credits) within the Department of Religious Studies. Two courses (6 credits) must be in one of the world’s major religious traditions as a primary concentration. At least one of the five required courses (3 credits) must be taken at the 3000 level, or above. A grade of C (2.0) or above must be achieved in each course offered for the completion of the Religious Studies major.
A maximum of three credit hours of coursework may be taken outside the Department either from another University department (see list of designated courses) or from outside the University, and counted towards the Religious Studies Minor.
Distinguished Majors Program
The Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in Religious Studies affords qualified students the opportunity to do advanced research, and to receive, at graduation, the honor of high distinction or highest distinction.
Entry into the program
- Students qualify for the program if they have achieved an average of 3.400 GPA in all course work prior to application for the program.
- Students who declare as a religious studies major in the spring of their second year will be eligible for entry into the program in the fall of their third year. Applicants cannot be considered earlier than the spring of their second year. Students must declare by the spring of their third year.
- Application should be made to the director of the religious studies distinguished majors program. Applications are available on the Religious Studies website and must be submitted by April 1st.
- The applicant must obtain a Religious Studies faculty member’s agreement to direct the reading and thesis research, as well as a second reader from the Department.
- Admission into the program will be considered by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies.
Requirements for completion of the program:
- Completion of normal major requirements of 30 credits (including the Majors Seminar, RELG 4500).
- At least 12 of these credits (generally four courses) must be in the student’s primary concentration.
- In addition to the 30 credits required for the major, students must take RELG 4800 Research Methods in Religious Studies and RELG 4900 Distinguished Majors Thesis. In RELG 4800 students write a thesis proposal outlining the thesis’s driving questions, its methods and its sources. Students also write an annotated bibliography of works relevant to the thesis. RELG 4900 is an independent study in which each student works with a faculty advisor to write the Distinguished Majors Thesis.
- The thesis should be thirty (30) to fifty (50) pages in length. Final copies must be submitted to the faculty advisor and the second reader no later than May 1st for Spring graduation and August graduation, and December 1st for December graduation. A final copy must also be submitted to the department archives.
For more information, contact the Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Religious Studies, P.O. Box 400126 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4126; (434) 924-6705.
- RELG 1500 - Introductory Seminar in Religious Studies Credits: 3
- RELG 1005 - World Religions Credits: 3
- RELG 1010 - Introduction to Western Religious Traditions Credits: 3
- RELG 1040 - Introduction to Eastern Religious Traditions Credits: 3
- RELG 2140 - Archaic Cult and Myth Credits: 3
- RELG 2150 - Religion in American Life and Thought to 1865 Credits: 3
- RELG 2160 - Religion in American Life and Thought from 1865 to the Present Credits: 3
- RELG 2190 - Religion and Modern Fiction Credits: 3
- RELG 2210 - Religion, Ethics, & Global Environment Credits: 3
- RELG 2255 - Religion and Film Credits: 3
- RELG 2260 - Religion, Race, and Relationship in Film Credits: 3
- RELG 2285 - Religion, Politics, Society Credits: 3
- RELG 2290 - Business Ethics Credits: 3
- RELG 2300 - Religious Ethics and Moral Problems Credits: 3
- RELG 2370 - Religion After Jefferson Credits: 3
- RELG 2380 - Faith and Doubt in the Modern Age Credits: 3
- RELG 2390 - Theism and Humanism Credits: 3
- RELG 2440 - Human Nature and Its Possibilities Credits: 3
- RELG 2455 - Christian America? Credits: 3
- RELG 2475 - God Credits: 3
- RELG 3605 - Religion, Violence and Strategy: How to Stop Killing in the Name of God Credits: 3
- RELG 2630 - Business, Ethics, and Society Credits: 3
- RELG 2650 - Theological Bioethics Credits: 3
- RELG 2660 - “Spiritual But Not Religious”: Spirituality in America Credits: 3
- RELA 2700 - Festivals of the Americas Credits: 3
- RELG 2713 - Sensing the Sacred: Sensory Perception and Religious Imagination Credits: 3
- RELG 3050 - Religions of Western Antiquity Credits: 3
- RELG 3051 - Religion and Society Credits: 3
- RELG 3053 - Religion and Psychology Credits: 3
- RELG 3057 - Existentialism: Its Literary, Philosophical and Religious Expressions Credits: 3
- RELG 3200 - Martin, Malcolm, and America Credits: 3
- RELG 3210 - Major Themes in American Religious History Credits: 3
- RELG 3315 - Jefferson, Religion and the Secular University Credits: 3
- RELG 3360 - Conquests and Religions in the Americas, 1400s-1830s Credits: 3
- RELG 3365 - Conscious Social Change: Contemplation and Innovation for Social Change Credits: 3
- RELG 3370 - God Since Cinema Credits: 3
- RELG 3375 - Spiritual Writing Credits: 3
- RELG 3380 - Feasting, Fasting and Faith: Food in Judaism and Christianity Credits: 3
- RELG 3400 - Women and Religion Credits: 3
- RELG 3420 - First Amendment Limits Credits: 3
- RELG 3444 - Religious Conflict and Resolution Among the Abrahamic Religions Credits: 3
- RELG 3470 - Christianity and Science Credits: 3
- RELG 3485 - Moral Leadership Credits: 3
- RELG 3560 - Issues in Theological Ethics Credits: 3
- RELG 3600 - Religion and Modern Theatre Credits: 3
- RELG 3630 - Idolatry Credits: 3
- RELG 3640 - Religion, God, and Evil Credits: 3
- RELG 3650 - Systems of Theological Ethics Credits: 3
- RELG 3750 - Taoism and Confucianism Credits: 3
- RELG 3780 - Faulkner and the Bible Credits: 3
- RELG 3795 - Theology, Spirituality and Ethics of Sustainability Credits: 3
- RELG 3860 - Human Bodies and Parts as Properties Credits: 3
- RELG 3800 - African American Religious History Credits: 3
- RELG 3820 - Global Ethics & Climate Change Credits: 3
- RELG 3950 - Evil in Modernity: Banal or Demonic Credits: 3
- RELG 4023 - Bioethics Internship Seminar Credits: 3
- RELG 4220 - American Religious Autobiography Credits: 3
- RELG 4450 - Visions of the Apocalypse Credits: 3
- RELG 4500 - Majors Seminar Credits: 3
- RELG 4800 - Crafting a Research Project in Religious Studies Credits: 3
- RELG 4810 - Poetry and Theology Credits: 3
- RELG 4900 - Distinguished Major Thesis Credits: 3