If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that
Pope Francis with journalists
Professionals in a discussion group, four white, one South Asian
Muslim and Christian clergy at an international conference
Peer discussion group for teenagers.
Two coworkers, one white, one Sikh
Protesters praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court building.

 

Doctor giving a checkup to a child whose mother wears a head covering.

Major

From a graduate:

"Thinking deeply about religion, and being so frustrated about popular understanding of it, particularly in the mainstream press, was the main driver of my decision to become a journalist."
Beckie Schmoll
Journalist

In recent years, growing numbers of students have chosen to double-major in order to expand the skills set they will take onto the job market. If you are majoring in a field that prepares you to work in business, government, health services, education, media, or non-profit work, consider adding a major in Comparative Religion to your career preparation.

The Comparative Religion major is a flexible, interdisciplinary program of study, designed to work well as a second major.

What does the religion major give you for the job market?

  • Exposure to a diversity of religious traditions.
  • A deeper introduction to two or more religious traditions (or religions from at least two regions of the world).
  • An introduction to theories and methods for the study of religion.
  • Opportunities to apply those theories and methods to specific questions about religion in society and culture.
  • An interdisciplinary background that expands the intellectual toolkit you bring to your profession.
  • A mentored senior research experience, as an exercise in locating information to solve problems.
  • A minimum of 27 credit hours in coursework designed to develop your skills in writing, critical reading, critical thinking, analysis, and intercultural competence.

How does the major compare with a minor or Thematic Sequence in the study of religion? Compare them side by side.

Requirements for the religion major

Descriptions for these courses are available in the General Bulletin.

Breakdown of required hours
3 hours REL 201 - Methods for the Study of Religion
3 hours

One course from List A:

  • REL/HST 233 - History of Christianity
  • REL/AMS 241 - Religions of the American Peoples
  • REL 275 - Introduction to the Critical Study of Biblical Literature
  • REL 286 - Global Jewish Civilization
3 hours

One course from List B:

  • REL/AAA 203 - Global Religions of India
  • REL 223 - Introduction to Buddhism
  • REL 226 - Introduction to Islam
3 hours

One of the following:

  • One more course from List A
  • One more course from List B
  • REL 101 - Introduction to the Study of Religion
12 hours

Selected from these courses:

  • REL 312 - Religions of the Hebrew Bible
  • REL 313 - Marriage Across Cultures
  • REL 314 - Social and Religious History of the Jewish People
  • REL 316 - The Age of the Reformation
  • REL 331 - Paul and the Beginnings of Christianity
  • REL 332 - The Development of Christianity, 100-451
  • REL 333 - Religion, Dress, and Status
  • REL 334 - Women's Religious Experiences in the Ancient Mediterranean World
  • REL 335 - Women in the Bible
  • REL 336 - Jesus and the Gospels
  • REL 337 - Religions of Russia and Eurasia
  • REL 338 - Eastern Christianity
  • REL 341 - Protestantism and the Development of American Culture
  • REL 342 - Religious Pluralism in America
  • REL 343 - African-American Religions
  • REL 345 - Women, Religion, and Social Change in America
  • REL 346 - Issues in the Study of Native American Religions
  • REL 355 - Religion and Law
  • REL 360 - Interdisciplinary Special Topics
  • REL 376 - Global Militant Islamisms
  • REL 385 - The Religious Roots of Anti-Semitism
  • REL 392 - Philosophy of Religion
  • REL 399U - Arab Gulf Economies in Social Transition
15 hours

Related hours in cognate departments. Note: 9 of the related hours must be 300-level or above. Any of the following qualify as related hours:

  • Any course in AMS, ATH, BWS, CLS, HST, LAT, PHL, POL, WGS
  • Any advanced language course
  • Selected courses in ART, CMS, COM, ENG, GEO, MUS, PSY, or SOC, with approval of the Chief Departmental Advisor
3 hours
or more

A 400-level research seminar. Any of the following meet this requirement:

  • REL 402 - Basic Structures in the History of Religions (Miami Plan Capstone course)
  • REL 430 - Early Christian Literature and Religion (Miami Plan Capstone course)
  • REL 470A - Havighurst Colloquium
  • REL 480 - Independent Reading for Departmental Honors
  • An approved 400-level CAS writing course in a cognate department
42 hours TOTAL