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Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Religious Studies Students

Religious Studies Students at Bolton Street Synagogue religious field site study.

Given the impact of religious power, it is crucial to study and understand it.

Because religion is believed to be one of the most powerful and widespread forces in the world, the Religious Studies concentration will help you understand the relationship between religion and politics, economics, and social structures.

  • Learn about the faiths, world views, and ways of life of people all over the world.
  • Receive a balanced, nonsectarian, cross-cultural perspective leading to a better understanding of the phenomenon of religion in human experience.
  • Develop critical thinking and analytical skills, public speaking, and cross-cultural communication.
  • Gain experience in factual description, comparative and critical analysis, and historical judgment.
  • Enhance your knowledge of cultural diversity and the complexity of diverse world views.
  • Prepare for professions as ministers, priests, rabbis, or careers in international relations and development, religious education, religious journalism, and religious broadcasting.
  • Strengthen your education by complementing a BA in Religious Studies to majors in such fields as anthropology, English, fine arts, history, international studies, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.
  • We believe in real-world experience. That's why we recommend that all of our majors get internships. If you work hard, we will make sure you get an internship that challenges you.

Resources for Students in the Religious Studies Concentration

Stages of Education
Find out more about the various stages of an Education in Religious Studies.

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Information:
Information on the GRE, preparation, and scheduling for students planning to apply to graduate programs available here.

Religious Studies Professional Organizations

The American Academy of Religion

Society of Biblical Literature

Grants and Scholarships

AAR International Dissertation Research Grants

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Social Science Research Council

American Association of University Women

The Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Fellowship in Women’s Studies

The National Academies Fellowships

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship

The Louisville Institute: Dissertation Fellowship Program

The Spencer Foundation: Dissertation Fellowship Program

American Philosophical Society: John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship

Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR Awards and Fellowships)

United States Institute For Peace: Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program

The Fund for Theological Education Dissertation Fellowships

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Resources for the Future: Joseph L. Fisher Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

Foundation for Jewish Culture: Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Jewish Studies

Dartmouth College: Chavez/Eastman/Marshall Dissertation Fellowships

Kenyon College: Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship

Five Colleges, Incorporated—Amherst/Hampshire/Mount Holyoke/Smith/Umass Amherst

The University of Iowa Graduate College: Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Year Fellowships

Williams College: Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellowships

Collegium: Fellowships and Grants

Religious Research Association—The Intersection of Research and Application

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

McGill University (Canada) Graduate Fellowships

Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

For a brief description and more information on each of these grants, see the AAR’s page on Getting Funded.


Whether applying to graduate schools or for jobs, having one or more published article(s) will reflect highly in application materials. The following are some of the journals that are considered “student friendly” and which accept submissions from religious studies students:

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Axis Mundi

JAGNES: Journal of Associated Graduates in Near Eastern Studies

Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue

Journal of Mormon History

Journal of Religion and Culture

Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

Religion Compass

SAGAR: A South Asia Research Journal

Shift: Queen's Graduate Journal of Visual and Material Culture

Religion Dispatches

For a brief description and more information on each of these journals, see the AAR’s page on Getting Published.