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Careers in RELS

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Buddha Statues

What Can I do with a Religious Studies Degree?

RELS and Participation in the World Around You

The career opportunities for undergraduate Religious Studies students are many and varied, especially when students blend their major or minor RELS curriculum with coursework in other fields.  Students in Religious Studies gain an interdisciplinary and global perspective, and follow a range of career opportunities in professions in which critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills are important.

Our majors have gone on to pursue careers in a wide variety of professional and scholarly fields, with a variety of employers, such as:

  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Journalism
  • Editing/Publishing
  • Library, Museum, and Archives Professions
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Foreign Service/NGO Work
  • Social Work/Social Service/Counseling/Psychology
  • Teaching
  • Graduate School
  • Peace Corps
  • University Administration
  • Religious Vocation or Ministry
  • Interfaith or non-profit organizations
  • Government positions, including elected office

A major, or even a degree, does not necessarily dictate a career.  Many people, including RELS faculty, majored in different areas from their ultimate careers.  A variety of things will contribute to the ability to be employable:  internships, academic performance, related work experience, leadership, campus commitments, etc. Take advantage of the opportunities on campus, including the Religious Studies Student Association, to put increasing understanding of diversity and plurality to work in a variety of contexts.

The College of Arts & Sciences has developed internships for A&S students, and is at work on expanding those opportunities.  Students may enroll in CAS 3091, Internship; CAS 4113, Life After OU; and CAS 4630 CAS Internship.  The instructors of these courses, along with RELS faculty and the RELS departmental advisor, can offer advice about and recommend resources  for career planning and preparation.  

For more information, contact OU Career Services or the departmental advisor, Lee Green-Hall.