The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies provides students with knowledge of the nature, history, diversity and common themes that characterize religious traditions. The study of humanity's diverse and developing religious traditions is vital to understanding what it means to be human and how to live wisely as members of the world community. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to study Eastern and Western traditions and to explore the artistic, ethical, literary, psychological and social dimensions of religions, as well as the relationship between religious ideas, institutions, and practices and gender, sexuality, race, nationality, health, social justice, human rights and nature.
Combining classroom-focused and community-based learning through study-abroad programs, internships, and community research, the program provides students with opportunities to study lived religions and participate in the work of building a truly multi-religious democracy that supports religious understanding and collaboration to address such issues as socio-economic empowerment and environmental protection.
Religious Studies emphasizes excellence in written, oral and visual interpretation and communication, critical thinking, informed dialogue, cross-cultural understanding, the ability to see the world from diverse perspectives, and global citizenship. In so doing, the program provides students with an abundance of knowledge and skills that are highly appreciated and sought by businesses, government institutions and agencies, and non-profit organizations that are comprised of and engage with diverse individuals and communities.
A degree in Religious Studies strengthens students’ capacity to empathize with others and to facilitate meaningful dialogue to build stronger, more cohesive communities. Students will find opportunities for work in social justice organizational management, leadership, and advocacy; humanitarian relief; refugee assistance; research analyst for organizations and institutions that focus on barriers to and support for development, democracy, human rights, and environmental restoration, preservation, and protection; international cultural ambassadorship and cultural affairs; international journalism, reporting, communications; global business affairs; civil rights and legal aid/advocacy.
We encourage students to double-major in Religious Studies and one of the other majors degrees in the School of World Studies: Anthropology, Foreign Languages or International Studies, as doing so strengthens their cumulative knowledge, experience, academic record and resume for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.
Completion of associate degree
Minimum GPA of 2.5
All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better
|MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING||GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY||BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE||GET REAL EXPERIENCE||PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE|
|SDV||SDV 100 or SDV 101||UNIV 101||1||Elective|
|ENG 111||College Composition I Note: students with credit for AP English Language and Composition will only receive credit for UNIV 111 at VCU and should take ENG 112 to fulfill the VCU composition requirement.||UNIV 111-112||3||General education|
|ITE 115 (or ITE 119)||Intro. to Computer Applications and Concepts||INFO 160, 161, 162||3||Elective|
|MTH 154||Quantitative Reasoning||MATH 131||3||General education|
|Science #1||Select 1: BIO 101 General Biology I OR CHM 101 Introductory Chemistry I OR GOL 105 Physical Geology OR PHY 101 Introduction to Physics I OR PHY 150 Elements of Astronomy||VCU equivalent||4||General education|
|CST||Select 1: CST 100 Principles of Public Speaking OR CST 110 Introduction to Communication OR CST 126 Interpersonal Communication||SPCH 121||3||Elective|
|ENG 112||College Composition II||UNIV 200||3||General education|
|History||Select 1: HIS 101 History of Western Civilization I OR HIS 102 History of Western Civilization II OR HIS 111 History of World Civilization I OR HIS 112 History of World Civilization II OR HIS 121 United States History I OR HIS 122 United States History II||HIST||3||General education|
|Humanities||REL 231 Religions of the World I||RELS 311||3||Major|
|Science #2||Select 1: BIO 101 General Biology I OR BIO 102 General Biology II OR CHM 101 Introductory Chemistry I OR CHM 102 Introductory Chemistry II OR GOL 105 Physical Geology OR GOL 106 Historical Geology OR PHY 101 Introduction to Physics I OR PHY 102 Introduction to Physics II OR PHY 150 Elements of Astronomy||VCU equivalent||4||General education|
|Humanities||Select 1: ENG 241 Survey of American Literature I OR ENG 242 Survey of American Literature II OR ENG 243 Survey of English Literature I OR ENG 244 Survey of English Literature II OR ENG 251 Survey of World Literature I OR ENG 252 Survey of World Literature II||ENGL||3||General education|
|Social/Behavioral Sciences #1||Select 1: PLS 135 American National Politics OR PLS 211 United States Government I OR PSY 200 Principles of Psychology OR SOC 200 Principles of Sociology OR SOC 211 Principles of Anthropology I||VCU equivalent||3||General education|
|Social/behavioral Sciences #2||Select 1: GEO 210 Introduction to Cultural Geography OR PLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics OR PSY 219 Cross-Cultural Psychology OR SOC 211 Principles of Anthropology I||VCU equivalent||3||Elective|
|Open Elective||REL 232 Religions of the World II||RELS 312||3||Major|
|Open Elective||REL 233 Islam||RELS 317||3||Major|
|Open Elective||World Language 101 or ASL 101||VCU equivalent||3 to 4||General education|
|Open Elective||World Language 102 or ASL 102||VCU equivalent||3 to 4||General education|
|Open Electives||Select three open electives||VCU equivalent||9||Elective|
|Northern Virginia credits transferred to VCU||60 to 62|
|Experiential learning requirement. Students must fulfill an experienctial learning requirement through an approved internship, service-learning course or study abroad program. See VCU advisor for options.||0 to 3||Major (Ancillary)|
|World ePass Portfolio (see VCU advisor). The World ePass portfolio content requirements include professional preparation, transferable skills articulation, academic career highlights, experiential learning experiences and global citizenship.||0||Major (Ancillary)|
|RELS 340/INTL 341||Global Ethics and the World's Religions||3||Major|
|RELS 490||Senior Capstone Seminar||3||Major|
|RELS||Select two religion, society, and culture electives (see VCU advisor for course options)||6||Major|
|RELS||RELS electives: Select an additional three courses from the list below, with at least six credits at the 400-level||9||Major|
|RELS 108||Human Spirituality||3||Major (Ancillary)|
|Upper-level electives (300- or 400-level courses): consider a minor or a second major Note: Students must complete a minimum of 45 upper-level credits to graduate from VCU.||15||Elective|
|Open electives||19 to 21||Elective|
|Credits completed at VCU||58 to 60|
|Bachelor's degree total||120|