Religious Studies

From antiquity to the present, religion has provided a vocabulary for individuals to confront ultimate questions about the meaning of life. Understanding the role of religion is critical for analyzing socio-political forces shaping the world. A major in religious studies provides training for any humanitarian profession. Recent graduates have gone on to study law, medicine, and journalism; work in social service organizations; and pursue graduate study in a variety of disciplines. The skills students hone as majors—critical reading, analytical thinking, and writing—along with knowledge of global religious traditions, serves them well in whatever career path they choose.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Build skills in writing and critical reading.

  2. Become an informed and engaged global citizen.

  3. Engage with important texts and ideas.

  4. Understand one of the most powerful social and cultural forces in history.

  5. Equip yourself with a variety of opportunities for careers or further study.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

Students in Religious Studies may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS). Religious Studies provides students with a foundation for employment in:

Nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations

Community and social services


Religious organizations

Immigrant and refugee service providers

Cultural heritage organizations

Print and online media publishing

Political action committees

Public interest groups

Legal aid societies
Alumni Jobs

Legislative correspondent

Client services associate

Digital media coordinator

Event producer


Investment advisor representative

Educational counsel

Human resource specialist


Courses You
May Need

1st Year
REL 101; REL 102; 1 lower-division elective for major

2nd Year
(No specific major courses required; focus on general education requirements this year)

3rd Year
1 lower-division elective for major; 5 upper-division courses in REL

4th Year
Two upper-division courses in REL

Major Credits
Required 8
Electives 36

Total 44

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Critical thinking and reasoning

Oral and written communication

Library research

Textual analysis

Grant writing

Policy development and analysis

Public relations and community outreach


Peacebuilding and conflict resolution
Experiential learning opportunities

Specialized Courses


War, Terrorism, and Religion

Religion after Atheism

Dead Sea Scrolls

Women in Judaism

Readings in Buddhist Scriptures

Advanced Study of the Qur'an

Medieval Japanese Buddhism
Add A Minor Or Certificate

Arabic Studies


Global Studies

Middle East and North Africa Studies


Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/13/2020