Religious Studies Major

A student majoring in Religious Studies can expect to trot the globe studying the world's religions, actively participate in sacred rituals and ceremonies, all the while learning more about one's neighbor and ultimately about oneself.

Colby Hill, B.A. '13

The Religious Studies major is a 30-credit program that pairs well with many fields of study. Students combine their professional skills in natural science, pre-medicine, public health, nursing, social work, public affairs, philanthropic studies, secondary education, business, and technology with excellent writing and communication skills, the flexibility to conceptualize complex social and moral problems, and the cross-cultural understanding needed to build respectful relationships and teamwork.

Beyond the general distribution and credit hours required by the IU School of Liberal Arts for the Bachelor of Arts degree, students who choose to major in Religious Studies complete 30 credit hours of course work.

The major combines introductory courses in the academic study of religions with advanced study of the history and diversity of religious traditions (for lists of courses, see: CURRICULUM). The 30-credit major requires the following:

I. 9 credit hours of 100- or 200-level Religious Studies courses, one of which must be R101, R133 or R212

II. 15 credit hours of 300- or 400-level Religious Studies courses

III. 3 additional credit hours at any level in Religious Studies

IV. Integrative Capstone: R433 Theories of Religion (taught only in fall semesters) (3 credit hours)

For courses to count toward the major, students must receive a C or better (C- and P do not qualify).


Students can declare a Religious Studies major online using the Declaration Form.

Students are invited to discuss their interest in or questions about the major with our department mentor, Prof. Kelly Hayes:; other faculty members in the department; or Shannon Kelly, the department's advisor.

For a helpful summary of the major's requirements, please see our Religious Studies Major Checksheet.