Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Undergraduate Program


Religious Studies

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the  Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Religious Studies major is met by completing Religious Studies 410 or 412 or 413 or 420 or 425 or 430 or 432 or 441 or 460 or 461 or 465 or 471 or 480 or 485 or 490 or 491 or 499. Those courses are referenced in item 3. e. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Arts and Letters for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major (34 to 40 credits):
a. One of the following courses (3 credits):
REL 101 Exploring Religion 3
REL 150 Introduction to Biblical Literature 3
REL 185 Introduction to Religion and Nonprofits 3
REL 205 Myth, Self, and Religion 3
b. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
REL 220 Religion in America 3
REL 301 Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion 3
c. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
REL 310 Judaism 3
REL 320 Christianity 3
REL 330 Islam 3
d. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
REL 306 Native American Religions 3
REL 325 East Asian Buddhism 3
REL 335 East Asian Religions 3
REL 340 Hinduism 3
REL 345 Religions of South Asia 3
REL 350 Buddhism in South Asia 3
REL 355 Southeast Asian Religions 3
REL 360 African Religion 3
REL 380 New Religions 3
REL 385 Religion, Health, and Healthcare 3
e. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
REL 412 Jewish Mysticism (W) 3
REL 413 Jewish Philosophy (W) 3
REL 420 Birth of Christianity (W) 3
REL 425 Apocalypse Then and Now (W) 3
REL 430 The Qur'an and its Interpreters (W) 3
REL 432 Modern Muslim Thought (W) 3
REL 441 Devotional Hinduism (W) 3
REL 460 Advanced Topics in the Philosophy of Religion (W) 3
REL 461 South Asian Religions and Bollywood Film (W) 3
REL 471 The Ritual Process (W) 3
REL 480 Comparative Studies in Religion (W) 3
REL 485 Religion and Nonprofit Leadership (W) 3
REL 490 Independent Study (W) 3
REL 491 Special Topics in Religious Studies (W) 3
REL 493 Religious Studies Internship 1 to 4
f. The following course (1 to 4 credits):
REL 499 Senior Thesis or Project (W) 1 to 4
The completion of Religious Studies 499 satisfies the capstone course requirement for the major in Religious Studies.
g. Religious Studies electives: Six additional credits in Religious Studies courses as needed to meet the requirement of at least 34, but not more than 40, credits in courses in the major.
Nonprofit Leadership Concentration
The Nonprofit Leadership concentration is available to students who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. Students who elect this concentration must complete the following courses, all of which may count toward the 34 credits in courses for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. The concentration will be noted on the student’s transcript.
Complete 12 to 16 credits from the following:
At least one of the following courses (3 credits):
REL 185 Introduction to Religion and Nonprofits 3
REL 210 Religion and the Environment 3
REL 385 Religion, Health, and Healthcare 3
All of the following courses (7 to 10 credits):
REL 485 Religion and Nonprofit Leadership (W) 3
REL 493 Religious Studies Internship 1 to 4
REL 499 Senior Thesis or Project (W) 3


Minor in Religion in the Americas

The Minor in Religion in the Americas, which is administered by the Department of Religious Studies, provides students with the development of critical awareness, appreciation of cultural difference and diversity as well as a structured empathy for the “other.”

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies or the Minor in Religious Studies.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in Religious Studies.

Requirements for the Minor in Religion in the Americas

Complete 15 credits from the following:

               
1. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  REL 101 Exploring Religion 3
  REL 220 Religion in America 3
2. Three of the following courses (9 credits):  
  REL 221 Islam in North America 3
  REL 240 Music and Spirituality in North America 3
  REL 275 Magic and Mysticism: Western Esoteric Traditions and Practices 3
  REL 306 Native American Religions 3
  REL 365 Evangelicalism in the U.S. 3
  REL 375 Religion and U.S. Literature 3
  REL 380 New Religions 3
3. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  REL 465 Advanced Readings in American Religion (W) 3
  REL 491 Special Topics in Religious Studies (W) 3

Minor in Religious Studies

The Minor in Religious Studies, which is administered by the Department of Religious Studies, provides students with a foundational understanding of religious traditions around the world.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies or the Minor in Religion in the Americas.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in Religious Studies.

Requirements for the Minor in Religious Studies

Complete 15 to 19 credits from the following:

1. One of the following courses (3 credits):
REL 101 Exploring Religion 3
REL 150 Introduction to Biblical Literature 3
REL 185 Introduction to Religion and Nonprofits 3
REL 220 Religion in America 3
2. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
REL 306 Native American Religions 3
REL 310 Judaism 3
REL 320 Christianity 3
REL 325 East Asian Buddhism 3
REL 330 Islam 3
REL 335 East Asian Religions 3
REL 340 Hinduism 3
REL 345 Religions of South Asia 3
REL 350 Buddhism in South Asia 3
REL 355 Southeast Asian Religions 3
REL 360 African Religion 3
REL 380 New Religions 3
3. Complete one 400-level Religious Studies course as approved by the student's academic advisor 3 or 4
4. Complete an additional 3 to 6 credits in Religious Studies as approved by the student's academic advisor.