Because religious ideas and practices influence a host of human activities (history, politics, art, social dynamics, literature, and so forth), they are studied by scholars in a range of disciplines (history, political science, art, sociology, literary studies, and so forth). Because we draw upon the courses offered by faculty across these many disciplines, the Religious Studies Program at the University of Minnesota provides students with the most cutting-edge knowledge and approaches available. This range of approaches offers students extraordinary range in developing their programs.
Requirements depend on which "Track" you select. See Track I and Track II requirements here.
It depends on which Track you select:
Track I (Religion, Society, and Culture) majors do not need to complete a language requirement for their major.
(However, like all CLA majors, Track I Religious Studies majors must complete 4 semesters of a language of their choice for graduation.)
Track II (Text and Traditions) majors must complete 4 semesters of language associated with their Religious Studies Area Concentration.
Relax! The Director of Undergraduate Studies in Religious Studies works closely with all RS majors as they design their programs because each program is as individual as the student. Make an appointment to learn more about the options available.
No. The program emphasizes the academic study of religion. Religious Studies majors, like University of Minnesota students generally, include a wide variety of individuals, some of whom hold religious beliefs, some do not.
Yes. Track II is designed specifically to focus on a specific tradition and to begin to study documents from that tradition in an original language.
Many Track I majors also focus on a single tradition by specifying the tradition as their Area Concentration.
Absolutely. Many Religious Studies majors double-major with such areas as history, art history, anthropology, sociology, theater, English, journalism, Jewish Studies, Classical and Near Eastern Studies, and many other fields.
Yes. Double-dipping, or using one course to satisfy the requirements of two majors or of a major and a minor, is perfectly acceptable.
Yes. Several courses encourage or require visits to local religious institutions.
Yes. Course offerings change each semester, but several recent courses that addressed contemporary issues include the following:
Religious studies majors have gone on to work in many fields, but the following are the most common:
A degree in religious studies provides students with all the communication (writing and speaking) and analytical skills that any liberal arts program provides, but it also adds something more: a deep understanding of how religious beliefs and practices have shaped and continue to shape individuals’ and groups’ perceptions of themselves and the world around them. Such knowledge provides an important foundation for working with people from diverse backgrounds and fostering dialogue and cooperation among groups.
Yes. The Religious Studies student organization, the RAD (Religion, Arts, and Diversity) League sponsors a number of events each year. Internships with local organizations are also available.