Religious Studies, BA

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

A religious studies major enables students to gain competence in global religious diversity and develop the skills necessary for living and working effectively in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

A degree in religious studies is often added as a second major to enhance students’ education and training by stimulating their curiosity, expanding their imaginations, deepening their thinking, and helping them to better understand themselves and other people.

The department also provides its majors and minors with support for undergraduate research, for example in the form of scholarships, awards for the UI Undergraduate Research Festival, research assistant positions, and other support.

Learning Outcomes

Courses in religious studies help students to gain competence in global religious diversity by:

  • understanding influential religious ideas and traditions;
  • learning critical approaches to interpreting historical events and explaining the role of religion in societies;
  • gaining analytical reading and writing skills and cross-cultural communication strategies;
  • developing practical strengths to function well in diverse societies and a globalized world; and
  • employing technologies to interpret ancient texts, images, and artifacts, and studying the output of new tools including radio, television, and digital media.