Undergraduate Program Requirements Prior to June 2013

major in religious studies

The curriculum for majors is designed to move students sequentially from foundational courses, through deeper investigations, culminating in integrative research courses. Thus, the introductory sequence is designed to lead to courses which build on this foundation with topics including: particular traditions such as Judaism or Buddhism; comparative studies such as nonviolence in Hinduism and Buddhism, or Muslim and Christian interpretations of scripture; specific topics such as mysticism, gender and religion, or theodicy; and distinctive approaches such as the philosophy of religion or ritual studies. Majors complete their careers with integrative courses that afford opportunity for research and consolidation of the knowledge and skills gained earlier.

A Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies requires 60 units of course work. At least 44 units are taken in courses numbered above 100. Ten units out of the 60 may be taken for the grade of ‘CR/NC.’

  1. At least 8 of the 60 units must be courses at the introductory level. Students may satisfy this requirement from any courses in the following categories:
    1. Religious Studies Thinking Matters courses.
    2. Prior IHUM courses (Winter/Spring sequence) in Religious Studies, e.g., IHUM 73A,B: Ultimate Meanings. IHUM courses are no longer offered.
    3. Introduction to religious traditions (courses numbered 11-50).
    4. Introductory topics in the study of religion (courses numbered 51-99).
    5. Introductory Seminars in Religious Studies.
  2. At least 29 units are to be taken in intermediate lecture and seminar courses numbered 100-289. Of these, at least two seminars are required from courses numbered above 200. With approval of the Undergraduate Director, language courses relating to the students’ program of study (such as Arabic, Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Chinese, or Japanese), but not counted towards the University language requirement, may be counted among these 29 units.
  3. Fifteen units in integrative courses:
    1. Majors’ Seminar: RELIGST 290, Theories of Religion (5 units; Winter Quarter of junior year; fulfills WIM requirement; letter grade only)
    2. Senior Essay or Honors Thesis Research: RELIGST 297 (3-5 units; minimum 5 units; up to 10 units over two quarters; graded ‘N’ until completion of essay or thesis)
    3. Senior Majors’ Colloquium: RELIGST 298 (5 units; Spring Quarter; grading option S/NC)
    4. Completion of either a senior essay or honors thesis. See below concerning the difference between these options.
  4. Each student, in consultation with his/her advisor, works out a focus of study centering either on a particular religious tradition or on a theme or problem which cuts across traditions such as ritual, ethics, scripture, or gender.
  5. Students focusing on one religious tradition must take at least 8 units in one or more religious traditions outside their concentration.

SENIOR ESSAY: A 25-30 page essay on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the advisor upon receipt of a student’s proposal by the end of the third quarter prior to expected graduation. The character and content of the essay, which is meant to allow the student to call into play knowledge and skills learned in the course of the major, may take several forms. For example, a student may return to a subject studied earlier but now pursued with more questions or from a new perspective, or research a recent or new topic of interest in the field, or offer a carefully framed critical assessment of what has been learned in the major based on review of influential sources, theories, and methods of studying religion. The senior essay is read and graded by the student’s advisor and one other member of the Religious Studies faculty.

HONORS THESIS: A 40-80 page research paper on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the advisor upon receipt of a proposal in the fourth quarter prior to expected graduation. The paper, supported by mastery of primary and secondary scholarship, advances a well-reasoned, supportable thesis. Writers of honors theses must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in Religious Studies courses, and at least 3.2 overall, and are expected to have already demonstrated success in writing research papers. The honors thesis is read and graded by the student’s advisor and one other member of the Religious Studies faculty. Theses earning a grade of ‘B+’ or above receive honors.

minor in religious studies

A minor in Religious Studies requires a minimum of 30 graded units (S/NC or CR/NCR not permitted). Students are encouraged to focus their program of study either in a religious tradition or in a theme that cuts across traditions. In consultation with their advisors, students may design the minor in Religious Studies to complement their major. The minor must be declared no later than the last day of the quarter, two quarters before degree conferral. Requirements for the minor are:

  1. Two introductory courses. Students may satisfy this requirement from any courses in the following categories:
    1. Religious Studies Thinking Matters courses.
    2. Prior IHUM courses (Winter/Spring sequence) in Religious Studies, e.g. 73A,B: Ultimate Meanings. IHUM courses are no longer offered.
    3. Introduction to religious traditions (courses numbered 11-50).
    4. Introductory topics in the study of religion (courses numbered 51-99).
    5. Introductory Seminars in Religious Studies.
  2. At least 22 units in courses at the intermediate and advanced level (above 100), including at least one 200-level seminar.
  3. Diversity requirement: Students may not take all courses in one religious tradition.
  4. One course in directed reading (RELIGST 199) may count towards the minor.
  5. With approval of the Undergraduate Director, one language course related to the student’s program of study (such as Arabic, Biblical Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Chinese, or Japanese), but not counted towards the University language requirement, may be counted toward the minor.
  6. Courses from other departments may not count towards the minor. (Exception: language courses covered by point 5.)

joint major with philosophy

The joint major in Philosophy and Religious Studies consists of 60 units of course work with approximately one third of them in the philosophy core, one third in the religious studies core, and one third as further coursework (either general major or special concentration). Affiliated courses cannot be used to satisfy any of these requirements. Students pursuing a joint major in Philosophy and Religious Studies may also apply for honors by following the procedure for honors in either of the departments.

1. CORE REQUIREMENTS FOR PHILOSOPHY:

Philosophy (PHIL) courses:

  1. PHIL 80
  2. 16 units, including at least one Philosophy course from each of the following areas:
    1. Logic and philosophy of science: 50, 60, 61, 150, 151, 154, 156, 162-168;
    2. Ethics and value theory: 170-173
    3. Epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language: 180-189
    4. History of philosophy: 100-103

2. CORE REQUIREMENTS FOR RELIGIOUS STUDIES:

Religious Studies (RELIGST) courses: 20 units, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor, including:

  1. RELIGST 290. Majors Seminar (5 units; Winter Quarter; recommended junior year; fulfills WIM requirement);
  2. At least one course in philosophy of religion, broadly construed: 54, 62, 101, 174E, 183, 212, 220, 226, 238, 240, 242, 244, 245, 271A, 271B, 273 274, 275, 278, 279, 280.

Rules relating to core requirements:

No courses in either the philosophy or religious studies core may be taken satisfactory/no credit or credit/no credit.

In general, transfer units cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements. Transfer units and substitutions must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies in the appropriate department.

In Religious Studies students may not take all their religion courses in one religious tradition.

3. FURTHER COURSEWORK (Choose either General Major or Specific Concentration):

General Major – Five additional courses (approximately 20 units) divided between the two departments. No more than five of these units may come from courses numbered under 99 in either department. Each student must also take at least one undergraduate seminar in religious studies and one undergraduate seminar in philosophy.

Special Concentration – With the aid of an advisor, students pursue a specialized form of inquiry in which the combined departments have strength; for example, American philosophy and religious thought, philosophical and religious theories of human nature and action, philosophy of religion. Courses for this concentration must be approved in writing by the advisor.

Rules relating to further coursework:

Units of directed reading for fulfilling requirements of the joint major are allowed only with special permission. No more than 10 units of work with a grade of ‘satisfactory’ may be counted toward the joint major under the rubric of Further Coursework.

Honors Program – Students pursuing a joint major in Philosophy and Religious Studies may also apply for honors by following the procedure for honors in either of the departments.