The Religion major is designed to serve as a focus of a liberal arts education for the general student and as a pre-professional foundation for those pursuing the study of religion beyond the baccalaureate degree. Some courses in the Religion Department are cross-referenced or crosslisted with other programs of study in the College—e.g., African American Studies, East Asian Studies, Jewish Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies. While offering a broad focus in the humanities and in the study of religion, the major also affords an opportunity for concentrated study in particular religious traditions and specific areas of religious thought and practice. Students who contemplate graduate study in religion or professional study in seminary or rabbinical school after graduation are advised to consult with the Chair or other members of the department as early in their undergraduate careers as possible.
Entry-Level Courses and Sequence Suggestions
The Department of Religion offers nine introductory courses dealing with traditions and topics in the scholarly study of religion. These courses—101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, and 109—have the same purpose but draw on different traditions and topics. These courses may best meet the needs of students who seek only one course in Religion, or they may serve as a first course for students who plan further study in the department. They are not, however, prerequisites for course work at the 200 level. The department also offers several “First-Year Seminar Program” (FYSP) courses and “Colloquia for First- and Second-Year Students” as indicated in the course listing. Seminars (taught at the 300 level) require the consent of the instructor, and students taking them will ordinarily have done previous 200-level coursework in subject matter relevant to the topic of the seminar.