Majors and Minors


The Department of Religious Studies offers options for both a Major and Minor in Religious Studies for undergraduate students. Majoring or minoring in Religious Studies can be excellent preparation simply for living and working in a pluralistic and multicultural society. It can also provide excellent training for a variety of careers, such as teaching, counseling, business, law, writing, medicine, the arts, and professional religious leadership. The faculty seeks to develop in students a number of important, valuable, and transferable skills required by any profession or position. Courses in Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside encourage students to become well-informed and independent thinkers prepared to learn and engage in scholarly research techniques, including a collection of information and distillation and analysis of data with the help of critical skills and methods. 

The major and minor require students to pay close attention to facts through a careful and unprejudicial reading of texts; have an open attitude toward sources, and make close observations of individual and group behavior. Students also apply critical analysis and interpretation of data based on appropriate theoretical and methodological tools and communicate findings and conclusions clearly and effectively through expository and analytical writing and oral presentation.

Religious Studies majors have many opportunities for research and special and independent studies beyond coursework. The Department’s teaching faculty regularly sponsors field trips to religious sites such as the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights, Saint Andrew’s Orthodox Church, and the Islamic Center of Riverside. Internships in the field of Religious Studies are available, as well as award funding through the department.

For the most up-to-date information on course offerings, see the catalog here.