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Religious Studies

Religious Studies Program

Religious Studies uses the tools of many academic fields to study religion, one of the oldest, most universal, most varied, most compelling, and most radical aspects of human experience.

Religious Studies students will both analyse from the outside many of the world’s religions and their role in society and culture, and study critically and open-mindedly the experiences and beliefs of people within those religions.

Electives allow students to tailor our program to their own goals, for example whether they seek a more theoretical understanding of religion, or they wish to include experience with religious institutions in their practical or activist life.

The Religious Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary major and minor. ‘Interdisciplinary’ here means that students take a short list of required core courses, and they also choose from a long list of elective courses on religion taught in many parts of the University.

Students will count towards the major or minor many courses not listed in the Catalog under Religious Studies. Students should consult the ‘Degree Requirements’ dropdowns under the ‘Major’ and ‘Minor’ tabs below for pre-approved classes, and the ‘Courses’ tab for lists of current or recent classes. Students may suggest other classes for approval (email wlc-advising@utah.edu before registering to ask for pre-approval). 

Any questions? Please contact the Religious Studies Program Director, Professor John Wynne, at john.wynne@utah.edu or the WLC Department Academic Advisors at wlc-advising@utah.edu

Eligible classes include (but are not limited to):

Early Christian Literature
Biblical Hebrew Poetry
Qur'anic Studies
Philosophy of Religion
Muslim-Americans in the US
Ancient Myth and Religion
Traditional Asian Medicine
Classical Chinese Philosophy
Sociology of Religion
Spirituality in Social Work
Baroque Art in Europe
Myth, Magic & Religion
Arts of Buddhism
God, Love, and Mysticism
Mormonism and the
     American Experience

Native American Religion
Religions of India
Islam and Politics
World Religions Medieval England
Sex and the Bible
Global Islam
The Bible as Literature

 

Religious Studies Major (BA)

The Religious Studies (RELS) Major consists of a minimum of 31 credit hours of course work.   This includes: four (4) Required Courses (12 credits), six (6) Upper Division Enrichment Courses selected from our approved course list (18 credits), and one WLC Signature Practicum Experience (1 or more credits).  Students must pass all class requirements with a "C-" or better. Of the 31 credit hours at least 21 must be taken at the U of U (including Faculty-Led Learning Abroad programs). 

Exceptions to the major requirements are made at the discretion of the Program Director.

Any questions? Please contact the Religious Studies Program Director, Professor John Wynne, at john.wynne@utah.edu or the WLC Department Academic Advisors at wlc-advising@utah.edu

  1. Students will be able to analyze and interpret religious phenomena and identities and be able to make an informed assessment of their role in current social institutions as well as past historical events. They will identify and discuss disciplinary perspectives on religion, including those of anthropology, sociology, history, art history, philosophy, literature, political science, psychology, social work, and theater. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including the knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world; the thorough study of the social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts; and foundations and skills for lifelong learning.

  2. Students will be able to acquire cultural and religious literacy in order to better understand world religions and their history, practices, and beliefs. They will use this literacy to develop practices of intercultural dialogue and exchange, including in some cases, the ability to read and translate other languages. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including inquiry and analysis and critical and creative thinking, anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.

  3. Students will be able to critically assess and synthesize the approaches to religion that are presented in different disciplines. Ultimately, students are encouraged to formulate personal approaches to understanding and interpreting religious phenomena and religious identities, bringing together their scholarly investigations, discussions with peers, and personal experiences. This outcome supports the Essential Learning Outcomes (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2002), including integrative and applied learning, synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies, demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.

Required Courses

12 Total Credits

Complete all of the following

PHIL3640 World Religions (3)
RELS3620 Thinking about Religion (3)
CL CV1550 Classical Mythology (3)

Complete at least 1 of the following

HINDI4610 South Asian Literature & Culture (3)
HEBR3880 Special Topics in Hebrew Studies (3)
PERS4325 Hyphenated Lives: Muslim-Americans in the U.S. (3)

Electives

18 Total Credits

Complete at least 18 credits from Approved Courses

For listings of recently approved courses, see the Approved Courses tab. Approved Courses for upcoming terms are added to the Approved Courses tab shortly after the Class Schedule for the upcoming term is released. 

Students may suggest courses for approval (email wlc-advising@utah.edu before registering for the course to ask for pre-approval). 

Practicum

1+ TOTAL CREDITS 

Choose and complete one of the Practicum Options for 1 or more credits

Contact the Religious Studies Program Director Professor John Wynne (john.wynne@utah.edu) to discuss practicum options before choosing. 

CLCS3940 Community Engaged Learning (3)
WLC3910 Undergraduate Research (1 - 3)
UGS4820 Capstone Projects (3 - 4)
HNKLY4903 Internship (3 - 12)
Any 3-credit upper-division course on a Learning Abroad program (3)
Honors Thesis

View All Practicum Options

Minimum Degree Hours

122 Total Credits

Minimum Major Hours

31 Total Credits

Only course work taken for a letter grade will contribute to major requirements; CR/NC course work will not count.

Only 12 credits from a dual major can count toward Religious Studies and all courses must be classes at the 3000-level or above.

A maximum of 12 transfer credit hours may be applied to the major.  

The overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at 2.0.

No individual course receiving a grade lower than C- will count for any of the requirements.

  Religious Studies MAJOR REQUIREMENTS     WLC Practicum Options

Religious Studies Minor

The Religious Studies (RELS) Minor consists of 18 credit hours of course work.   This includes: two (2) Required Courses (6 credits) and four (4) Upper Division Enrichment Courses (12 credits) selected from our Approved Course list.  Students must pass all class requirements with a "C-" or better.

Exceptions to the minor requirements are made at the discretion of the Program Director.

Any questions? Please contact the Religious Studies Program Director, Professor John Wynne, at john.wynne@utah.edu or the WLC Department Academic Advisors at wlc-advising@utah.edu

Required Courses

TOTAL CREDITS

Complete both of the following

RELS3620 Thinking about Religion (3)
PHIL3640 World Religions (3)

Electives

12 TOTAL CREDITS

Complete at least 12 credits from the Approved Courses

For listings of recently approved courses, see the Approved Courses tab. Approved Courses for upcoming terms are added to the Approved Courses tab shortly after the Class Schedule for the upcoming term is released. 

Students may suggest courses for approval (email wlc-advising@utah.edu before registering for the course to ask for pre-approval). 

Minimum Minor Hours

18 TOTAL CREDITS

Only course work taken for a letter grade will contribute to the above requirements; CR/NC course work will not count.

No individual course receiving a grade lower than "C-" will count for any of the requirements.

The overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at 2.0.

  Religious Studies mINOR REQUIREMENTS 

Approved Courses

Students may suggest courses other than those already listed for approval (email wlc-advising@utah.edu before registering for the class to ask for pre-approval). 

Two lower-division transfer courses from Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) may be approved for the Religious Studies major. One lower-division transfer course from SLCC may be approved for the Religious Studies minor. Please contact wlc-advising@utah.edu for details.

2022

ARAB 4880-003 / CLCS 4900-004 Visions of Islam
ANTH 3321 Classic Maya
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England

HIST 3400 / MID E 3540 Middle East Since 1914

HIST 4660 History of Utah

HIST 4130 Early Medieval Social and Cultural History
MID E 3880-090 Religion & Fashion in Mid E
NAVJO 4550-002 Navajo Culture & Tradition
PERS 4325 / CLCS 4325 Muslim-Americans in US
PHIL 3600 Philosophy of Religion

PHIL 3820 Meaning of Life

POLS 4400 / HIST 4400 / MID E 4510 Introduction to Islam

THEA 3001 Zen, Eastern Theatre

2021

ARAB 4880 Traditional Asian Medicine
ARTH 3060 Arts of Buddhism
ARTH 3150 Medieval Art
CHIN 4900-002 Traditional Asian Medicine
CL CV 1550 Classical Mythology
CL CV 4550 Ancient Myth & Religion
CLCS 4900-002 Traditional Asian Medicine
CLCS 4900-004 God, Love, and Mysticism
ETHNC 4730 Race, Religion, Spirtuality
HONOR 4810 Christianity in the Modern World
JAPAN 4900-005 Traditional Asian Medicine
MID E 2780–090 Religiosity in the Middle East / USA
MID E 3500 Ancient Empires
PERS 4880-002 God, Love, and Mysticisim 
PHIL 3640-001 World Religions
PHIL 3640-070 World Religions
PHIL 3640-090 World Religions
PHIL 4140 Classical Chinese Philosophy
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

HIST 3910-001 God and Money
MID E 3753-090 
Anthropological Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
PHIL 3640-070 and -090 
World Religions
PHIL 3810 
Existentialism

ARTH 3060 Arts of Buddhism
CLCV 1550 Classical Mythology
CLCS 4325 Muslim Americans in the US
CLCS 4900 Traditional Asian Medicine
ENGL 5030 Sacred Verse in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Traditions
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4120 Christianity int the Modern World
HIST 4660 History of Utah
MID E 3540 Middle East Since 1914
MID E 3880 Religion & Fashion in the Middle East
PHIL 3010 - 004 The Problem of Evil
PHIL 3900-001 Ancient Christian Thought
PHIL 3900-002 Philosophy & Religious Studies
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLS 4400 Introduction to Islam
PERS 4325 Muslim Americans in the US
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

2020

CLCV 1500 Classical Mythology
CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4440 Introduction to Islam
HIST 4600 History of Utah
MID E 3880-001 The Jewish Experience
MID E 3880-002 Modern Syria and Lebanon
MID E 3880-009 Religion and Fashion in the Middle East
MID E 5635 Politics and Society of Iran
PHIL 3900 Modern Christian Thought
PHIL 4110 Ancient Greek Philosophy
POLS 4440 Introduction to Islam
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

MID E 3753 Anthr. And Archeology of Ancient Egypt
PHIL 3810 Existentialism

ARTH 4195 Seminar: Medieval Books
BUS 3930 God and Money
CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
CLCS 3900-001 Prophets on the Edge
CLCS 4900 Traditional Asian Medicine
CLCS 4900-001 Mormon Literature
ENGL 5775 Holocaust Literature
HINDI 4630 Bollywood: Seeing India through Indo-Pakistani Film
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3398 History of the Middle East 1798-1914
HIST 3700 Colonial America
HIST 4230 Global Islam
HIST 49901-001 Biography as History
MID E 2910 Arabic and Persian Culture and Civilization
MID E 3773 Silk Road
MID E 3880-090 Anthropological Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
MID E 3880-091 Oil in the Middle East and Central Asia
MID E 4007 Women’s Voices: Egypt and Iran
PERS 4880 God, Love, and Mysticism
PHIL 3013 Philosophy of Daodejing
PHIL 3100 Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 3110 Survey of Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4400 Metaphysics
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
POLS 5470 International Relations of the Middle East
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion
THEA 3001 Zen and the Art of Eastern Theatre

2019

CLCV 3790 Ancient Epic
CLCV 4550 Ancient Myth and Religion
CLCS 3900-001 Prophets on the Edge
CLCS 6680 Text and Image
ENGL 5775 Holocaust Literature
HINDI 4630 Bollywood: Seeing India through Indo-Pakistani Film
HIST 3398 History of the Middle East 1798-1914
HIST 3560 Modern India
HIST 4795 Mormonism and the American Experience
MID E 4007 Women’s Voices: Egypt and Iran
PERS 4880 God, Love, and Mysticism
PHIL 3013 Philosophy of Daodejing
PHIL 3600 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 4115 Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 4120 Early Modern Philosophy
POLS 3440 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

MID E 3753 Anthr. And Archeology of Ancient Egypt
MID E 3773 Silk Road: Past & Present

CLCS 3720 Empathy, Medicine, and the Human Condition
CLCS 4900 Quest for Immortality 
CLCV 1550 Classical Mythology
ETHNC 4730-001 Race, Religion, Spirituality
HIST 3040 Early Medieval England
HIST 3400 Middle East Since 1914
HIST 4400 Introduction to Islam
HIST 4660 History of Utah
HIST 4790 American Religions
MID E 3540 Middle East Since 1914
MID E 3644 Comparative Politics of the Middle East
MID E 3880-001 Israeli/Palestinian Cinema
MID E 3880-002 Modern Syria and Lebanon
MID E 3880-090 Religion and Fashion in the Middle East
MID E 4325 Muslim-Americans in the U.S.
MID E 4510 Introduction to Islam
PHIL 3900-001 Ancient Christian Thought
SOC 3440 Sociology of Religion

Career Opportunities - Why Study Religion?

The skills you will gain in this program will prepare you for careers in a host of fields including, international relations, medical vocations, education-–just to name a few. Listed below are other career opportunities that open up with a religious studies degree.

Curator
Chaplain
Attorney
Historian

Anthropologist
Freelance Writer
Campus Ministry
Teacher/Professor

Humanitarian Work
Social Justice Advocacy
Economic Development


Why Study Religion?

Fear of the “other” (marked as ethnic, racial, and of course, religious difference) is at the heart of so many of the conflicts that currently afflict the world. Students of Religious Studies learn about the sociological and psychological factors which shape belief and often inform global conflict. They also study the history and theology of multiple religious traditions.

We focus on teaching students ways of engaging religious difference in complex ways and learning to talk thoughtfully, and respectfully about these differences. With this training place they are uniquely able not only to analyze how religious discourse informs divisive situations, but more importantly how to actively foster civil dialogue that honestly honors, rather than mitigates religious difference.

Huffpost Religion Logo
The Top Five Reasons to Study Religion

Chronicle of Higher Education
The Value of Teaching Religious Literacy 

Student Opportunities

Aziz Atiya Comparative Religion Research Awards

The Religious Studies Program of the Department of World Languages and Cultures is pleased to announce an annual competition for faculty and graduate student research awards for 2019-2020. The competition supports activities that enhance research productivity connected to the study of religion, broadly defined.

Click Here for Details

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Last Updated: 11/15/21