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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.

Religious Studies Major Course Requirements

Religious Studies Core Knowledge and Skills

Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:

  • Introduction to Religion. Satisfied by REL 104/REL 105
  • Understanding the Bible. Satisfied by REL 124/REL 125
  • Overview of Judaism, Christianity, or  Islam. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following:

REL 107 Living Religions of the West
REL 109 Living Religions of the West, Honors
REL 307 Living Religions of the West
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

  • Overview of Religious Tradition other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following:

REL 106 Living Religions of the East
REL 108 Living Religions of the East, Honors
REL 306 Living Religions of the EastREL 360 The Buddhist Tradition in Asia/EALC 331 Studies in the Buddhist Tradition in Asia
REL 507 Religion in India
REL 508 Religion in China
REL 509 Religion in Japan
REL 510 Religion in Korea

  • Religion of North America. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following:

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 372 Religion in American Society
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

  • Religious Studies Required Electives. Satisfied by 3 courses (9 hours) within, or cross-listed with, the Religious Studies Department course offerings.
  • Capstone Experience. Satisfied by REL 490, Senior Seminar in Theories and Methods.

Religious Studies Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses (above), majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 27 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major, of which 8 must be at the junior/senior level (300+).

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

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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