May 22, 2022
The comparative study of religion approaches religion as a cultural dimension of society. It contextualizes religious beliefs and behaviors within their specific historical and social frameworks to understand the impact of religion in shaping human experience. Studying religion fosters critical thinking and formal reasoning, and contributes importantly to a broad liberal arts education.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
While some students go on to Masters and Ph.D. programs in the study of religion, many choose careers or advanced study in other areas. Students frequently pair a Comparative Religion with a second, complementary major in order to build a secondary specialization and so enhance their credentials. Such careers include areas like: Teaching (K-12), Law, Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising, Human Services, Non-profit work, Publishing, Counseling.
What skills are developed within this major?
Skills developed within this major include: Intercultural Competence; Research skills; Analytical skills; Writing and Communication skills; Problem solving.
Hours Required for Degree
Minimum credit hours required for major: 34; at least 19 of which must be upper-level (300- or 400-level).
Students must receive a C or higher in a Comparative Religion course in order for it to count toward the major.
Required Courses (6 credits)
Students must take at least one course in each of the following areas.
Religions originating in Asia (3 credits)
Religions originating in the Middle East (3 credits)
Religion in the Americas (3 credits)
Research Skills Requirement (6 Credits plus 1 Credit Hour Capstone)
Students must take at least two of the following courses. One of them must be taken simultaneously with the 1 credit hour Capstone in Religious Studies in order to fulfill the senior thesis requirement.
Comparative Religion Electives (12 credits)
Students are required to complete an additional 12 credit hours of REL electives to reach the total hours required for the major. Anywhere between 3 and 9 credits must be upper-level (300- or 400-level) depending on the courses used to fulfill the diversity requirements.
The 1 credit hour Capstone in Religious Studies is to be taken simultaneously with a Research Skills course to fulfill the senior thesis requirement.
Students will be encouraged to use a number of their discretionary courses to develop a concentration in one particular religious tradition, geographical region, or historical era. The courses involved in such a concentration should be determined in consultation with your adviser.
Transfer students must complete a minimum of 19 credit hours of religion courses at CSU for a major in Comparative Religion.
Honors Program Requirements
The University Honors Program in Comparative Religion requires completion of:
All these courses count toward the regular major. No additional credits beyond the regular Comparative Religion major are required.
- An Honors contract version of the Comparative Religion capstone sequence (REL 490 , REL 491 ).
University Scholars Requirements
Students completing the University Scholars Program in Comparative Religion are required to complete:
- Three (3) Honors contract courses in Comparative Religion, chosen by the student in consultation with a departmental advisor.
All courses count toward the regular major. No additional credits beyond the regular Comparative Religion major are required.