University Studies - BA, Religious Thought, Practices and Cultures Concentration

The University Studies concentration in Religious Thought, Practices, and Culture gives students a knowledge base for analyzing how religious beliefs and practices work in a global context. Students develop the mental flexibility to see the world from multiple points of view and also learn to recognize how religion shapes social organizations, political actions, and individual behavior. The study of religion requires critical distance, analytical skills, and the mental flexibility to see the world from multiple points of view. 

The concentration in Religious Thought, Culture, and Practices sits at the intersection of multiple disciplines. Any minor, in or outside the College of Liberal Arts, is thus likely to contribute to a concentration in religion. For example: a minor in biology offers a research path into the neuroscience of religious experience; a minor in psychology contributes a secular view of how religious belief affects people’s behavior; a minor in anthropology shows the ways religion shapes cultural identity; a minor in history applies methods for analyzing how religious traditions evolve and change; a minor in mathematics could allow students to model changes in the global distribution of religious traditions; a minor in political science provides methods for analyzing the interplay between religion and politics.

A University Studies concentration is the ideal curricular model for allowing students to focus on the complexities of religious thought and practice in the modern world while supporting that focus with minors than enhance their knowledge base and lead toward careers.

No student enrolled in the University Studies concentration in Religious Thought, Practices and Cultures may pursue a double major or a double degree.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3
American history 3
Foreign language 1 4
Mathematics 3
Concentration directed elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
American history 3
Communication 3
Foreign language 1 4
Mathematics 3
Concentration directed elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall
Foreign language 1 3
Government/Political science 3
Life and physical sciences 3
Minor 3 3
Concentration directed elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
Foreign language 1 3
Government/Political science 3
Life and physical sciences 3
Minor 3 3
Concentration directed elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall
Social and behavioral sciences 3
Minor 2 3
Minor 2 3
Concentration directed elective 2 3
Literature directed elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
Creative arts 3
Life and physical sciences 3
Minor 3 3
Minor 3 3
Literature directed elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall
RELS 480/COMM 480 Religious Communication 3
Minor 3 3
Minor 3 3
Minor 3 3
Minor 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
RELS 491 Research 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
Minor 3 3
Minor 3 1
Social and behavioral sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Graduation requirements include 3 hours of International and Cultural Diversity courses and 3 hours of Cultural Discourse courses. A course satisfying a core category, a college/department requirement, or a free elective can be used to satisfy this requirement. The required 6 hours may be met by courses satisfying other areas of a degree program.  See your academic advisor for further information.