Comparative Religion and Humanities

A statue of Ganesha is seen during a Hindu celebration.

Insight

The Department of Comparative Religion and Humanities is devoted to the scholarly interpretation of religion, the appreciation and analysis of cultural traditions, and the interdisciplinary study of arts and ideas over time. Our outstanding faculty and intellectually rich course offerings empower graduates with a deep foundational knowledge of the histories, beliefs, and customs of diverse people and traditions so that they can act as literate guides in our complex contemporary society. 

Interdisciplinary work is at the core of our department’s vision providing students an unparalleled opportunity to study a wide range of exciting material that expands their knowledge of both the world and themselves.

Experience

Our department is relatively small which ensures student interaction with our faculty and each other. Other highlights for students include:

Student Society. The Comparative Religion and Humanities Student Society organizes relevant activities such as quiz games, paint parties, and outings, in an informal, stimulating, and fun environment. Membership is open to all and is a great way to meet others with similar interests.

Foreign Languages. Our faculty are widely published experts in their respective fields and speak over a dozen languages between them in order to conduct their primary research. Humanities majors are required to study a language, and many students link language study to a study abroad program.

Study Abroad. Our students commonly spend a semester or year abroad at one of our partner campuses. Overseas study and experiences solidify a student's appreciation of other cultures, reinforce language study, and provide students with friendships, contacts, and other career-oriented resources that last a lifetime.

Internships. A number of our programs involve an internship that allows students to gain hands-on experience.

Honors. Motivated students are invited to complete an honors project that will better prepare them for graduate school or any career in which writing will be important. Top students have the option of joining the Theta Alpha Kappa, an honors society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in religious studies.

Outlook

Religious studies majors are prepared for careers involving critical thinking, analytical skills, oral and written communication, and the ability to reflect on questions of meaning and value in a pluralistic context. From here, you might proceed to a field such as law, teaching, counseling, social work, journalism, film studies, political science, public administration, anthropology, history, philosophy, English, psychology, or sociology. While a few majors go on to graduate work in the academic study of religion, many find themselves prepared for work in public service, not-for-profit endeavors, or international affairs, all of which increasingly demand multireligious competencies.

With a humanities degree, you receive a classic liberal arts education that builds your capacities for critical thinking, sensitivity, imagination, oral and written communication, and research. You also develop your intellectual skills and the adaptability and nimbleness that come from a broad cultural and intellectual foundation. Our majors have pursued careers in public and private administration, teaching, medical school, journalism, performance, and museum work, among other fields. The Humanities Program also constitutes excellent preparation for law school or graduate study in classical civilization, Renaissance and medieval studies, film studies, art history, cultural studies, comparative literature, and modern Jewish and Israel studies, particularly when combined with a relevant minor.

In most jobs today, you will be working with people from a variety of different religions and cultures, so a degree from our department gives you an advantage in the diverse environment of today’s world.

Programs

Undergraduate

Bachelor's

Minors

Certificates