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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in Religious Studies

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Religious Studies Program

The curriculum is organized into the basic areas of Western, Eastern, and North American religions, and method and theory in the study of religion. A core of courses provides broad exposure to the range of issues, perspectives, and methods in the study of religion. The program encourages interdepartmental and interdisciplinary cooperation as part of a comprehensive program. This cooperation is reflected at the undergraduate level in cross-listed and cross-referenced courses and in the design of the major.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

The major consists of at least 27 hours in religious studies. 15 hours must be in courses numbered 300 and above, and 8 of these junior/senior hours must be completed in residence at KU. The 27 hours may include no more than 12 transfer hours, no more than 12 hours from study abroad, and no more than 15 hours in combination of the two.

Forms are available in the department office to help students select courses. The program should be planned with the advice of a religious studies faculty member. All majors, particularly those taking advantage of the 4-year tuition compact, are strongly advised to consult the department’s undergraduate studies director no later than two semesters before their anticipated graduation to make sure their course of study is on track.

Every major must meet the following requirements toward fulfilling the 27 hours:

1. Students must take these 3 courses:

  • REL 104 Introduction to Religious Studies or
    REL 105 Introduction toReligious Studies, Honors
  • REL 124 Understanding the Bible or
    REL 125 Understanding the Bible, Honors
  • REL 490 Senior Seminar in Theories and Methods

2. Students must take 1 of the following courses that provide an overview of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam:

  • REL 107 Living Religions of the West
  • REL 109 Living Religions of the West, Honors
  • REL 311 Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament in English)
  • REL 315 History and Literature of Early Christianity
  • REL 325 Introduction to Judaism
  • REL 345 Christianity
  • REL 350 Islam
  • REL 570 Studies in Judaism

3. Students must take 1 of the following courses that provide an overview of religious traditions other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam:

4. Students must take 1 of the following courses that focus on religion in North America:

  • REL 171 Religion in American Society
  • REL 172 Religion in American Society, Honors
  • REL 330 Native American Religions
  • REL 339 History of Religion in America
  • REL 373 The Supreme Court and Religious Issues in the United States
  • REL 375 The Supreme Court and Religious Issues in the United States, Honors
  • REL 585 New Religious Movements (Western)
  • REL 586 New Religious Movements (Nonwestern)
  • REL 671 American Communes

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for religious studies.

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