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Religious Studies

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Religious Studies


What is religious studies?

The Religious Studies program has grown substantially since its creation eight years ago to become one of the most diverse programs in the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences. Religious Studies students take classes from multiple disciplines that give them an in-depth overview of global religious traditions. In addition to seven full-time RELS faculty members, 15 or more OU faculty from many departments (e.g., Anthropology, Classics, English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, etc.) offer courses each year that count for the RELS major or minor. This multi-disciplinary approach reflects accurately the contemporary academic study of religious traditions and human religious life. Many students choose to double major or pursue a dual degree program since Religious Studies complements numerous academic disciplines.

Graduates have moved on to sought-after careers in the business world or have chosen to pursue graduate studies or seminary. Many businesses hire Religious Studies graduates to work with sensitivity programs in their companies that cater to people of diverse backgrounds.

So, what's my degree?

A Religious Studies student graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies degree. Students can also minor in Religious Studies. The Religious Studies Program currently provides 10 partial scholarships each year in a competitive process for RELS majors and minors.

Many Religious Studies alumni pursue graduate studies in seminary or divinity school, medical school, law school, or MA and Ph.D. programs in various disciplines.

Do my interests fit?

A Religious Studies student typically has:

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • History
  • Diversity
  • Foreign Language

How can OU Religious Studies help me?

The Religious Studies Program sponsors or co-sponsors numerous programs featuring a variety of prominent speakers and authors each year. In addition to speaking in classes and meeting with students, most of these visitors present public lectures on religious dimensions of important contemporary issues. The public lectures are open to the wider OU campus and local community.

The Religious Studies Program actively encourages and supports foreign study opportunities. In addition to annual summer foreign study trips, faculty members are working with the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences to develop a wide range of mew semester and year-long programs at universities in Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Turkey and the UAE. Some scholarships are available to facilitate foreign study programs.

What courses will I take?

Religious Studies courses can include:

  • Introduction to Religious Studies
  • Religion in Everyday Life
  • Philosophy & Human Destiny  
  • Intro. to Philosophy of Religion 
  • Comparative Religion
  • Religion, Culture, Meaning of Life 

Select courses from the following categories:

  • The Variety of Religious Traditions
  • Religion, Literature, and the Arts 
  • Religion, Social Organizations, & Politics 
  • Religion and History 
  • Religion and Philosophy

How can I study abroad?

OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies. 

What kind of career could I pursue?

Places of worship
Human rights organizations
Colleges and universities
Secondary schools
U.S. military
Government agencies
Church Staff
Nonprofit organizations

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Department of Religious Studies
Phone: (405) 325-3349