3510 Religious Studies

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies
  • Minor in Religious Studies
  • Dual B.A./M.A. in Religious Studies

Department of Religious Studies
17th floor, 25 Park Place Bldg.

Molly Bassett, Chair
Jonathan Herman, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Offerings in religious studies, all of which are taught from a non-sectarian perspective, include comparative courses on such topics as world religions, religious thought, religious ethics, mysticism, and women and religion, as well as a host of courses on specific religious traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students majoring in religious studies can take and have counted toward their major select courses in other departments and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences including African-American studies, anthropology, art history, classics, history, music, political science, and sociology. Courses in religious studies contribute to a student’s understanding of the beliefs and actions of diverse peoples and cultures. They also contribute to the student’s self understanding through uncovering and exploring major tenets of his or her own culture. The major in religious studies is designed to provide a rich training in the liberal arts and is particularly appropriate for those students considering careers in government, health, law, education, international business, social work, the ministry, or media. Students in other fields are encouraged to consider the possibility of a double major with religious studies. Students can find a more detailed description of the Religious Studies program and its offerings, as well as news about its faculty and upcoming events, online at religiousstudies.gsu.edu.

Program Admission

All undergraduates in good academic standing are eligible for the major and minor in religious studies.

Academic Advisement for Undergraduate Students

Academic advisement for undergraduate students is provided through the University Advisement Center (freshman through junior status/fewer than 90 hours) and the college’s Office of Academic Assistance (senior status/90 or more hours). See section 3040 for additional information.

Program Academic Regulations

Only courses in which students earn a C or higher may be applied to the major and minor in religious studies.

Program Degree Requirements

In addition to the Program Degree Requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see section 3030) and the University Degree Requirements (see section 1400).

B.A. in Religious Studies

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Major (18)

  1. Required Courses (6)
    • RELS 2001 Introduction to World Religions (3)
    • World language at the 1002 or higher level (3)
  2. Select additional 1000- or 2000-level courses from those with a subject in the core curriculum to complete 18 hours in Area F.
    • Recommended courses: World language 2001 or 2002 (See “World Language Requirement for B.A. and B.I.S. Majors,” previously described.)

Area G: Major Courses (24)

A grade of C or higher is required in all major courses. To satisfy the requirements for the B.A. degree with a major in religious studies, a student must take a total of 24 semester hours, including the following distribution requirements:

  1. Required course to fulfill CTW requirement (3):
    • RELS 3750 Theories and Methods in Religious Studies-CTW (3)
  2. Required Course (3):
    • RELS 3270 Religious Traditions of the World (3)
  3. Electives (18)

Students must take an additional 18 credit hours in RelS courses at the 3000 and 4000 level to complete the major. Of these 18 hours, up to six semester hours may be taken in the following upper-division courses taught outside the Department of Religious Studies: AH 4020, AH 4200, CLAS 2202, CLAS 2203, HIST 3510, HIST 3780, HIST 4530, MUS 4300, POLS 4285, SOCI 4360.

Area H: Minor and Additional Courses

  1. Students majoring in religious studies are not required to take a minor.
  2. Additional courses not in the major must be taken as electives to complete a minimum of 120 semester hours, exclusive of KH 1010. The department strongly recommends that religious studies majors take the fourth semester of a foreign language as an elective course.

Minor in Religious Studies

Students who wish to minor in religious studies must take at least 15 hours in courses with a RelS prefix, including at least nine semester hours at the 3000 level or above. Students taking more than 15 hours in RelS courses may count the additional hours toward their electives or may consider completing a double major. (A grade of C or higher is required in all courses counting toward the minor.)

Critical Thinking Through Writing Requirement

As of summer 2015, all students are required to complete one Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) course as part of the major. The university formerly required two CTW courses. Students following previous catalog requirements who have passed one CTW
course in the major should consult with their senior academic advisor to determine which courses may be used as a substitution for the other formerly required CTW course. Information on senior advisement in the Office of Academic Assistance is available at

Dual B.A./M.A. Program in Religious Studies

The department offers a dual Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Religious Studies. The dual degree opportunity enables qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and apply the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Students must be formally accepted into the dual degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Additionally, acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes.

Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.

Graduation with Distinction in the Major

This unit offers undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn the designation of graduation with distinction in the major. Please contact the undergraduate director for the specific criteria for this honor.