Why Study Religion?

"If I went back to college today, I think I would probably major in comparative religion, because that's how integrated it is in everything that we are working on and deciding and thinking about in life today."
John Kerry, Former U.S. Secretary of State, 8/7/13

“I love for medical schools to see that I studied the subject of religion while in college, because I will personally be working with people from different religions and cultures. Religious Studies has better prepared me to interact with people from all walks of life as a physician.”

UA Religious Studies and Biomedical Sciences Double Major

A degree in religious studies can take you in many unique directions.

The Religious Studies Program provides students with a deeper understanding of global cultures through the academic study of world religions. Many students have found Religious Studies to be an engaging and flexible second major. Students pursuing entrance into professional schools and graduate programs have found that the Religious Studies major helps them to stand out as distinctive. Religious Studies alumni can be found in a wide variety of fields, including business, education, government, law, medicine, and social services.

The Religious Studies major enhances any career path through developing intercultural competence and higher-level thinking skills. The religious studies major combines the opportunity for personal development and growth with the rigor of a liberal arts education that teaches students to think critically and express themselves articulately.

A recent panel at the American Academy of Religion identified the religious studies major as being of particular advantage to working in an increasingly globalized world. Alumni in such diverse fields as business management and criminal justice expressed appreciation for their education in religious studies, which allowed them to connect on a personal and empathetic level with employees and a broad range of ethnic communities, in ways that would not have been available to them without a religious studies degree.

Religious studies is not only about pre-professional training. This degree is also for you personally.

Student Testimonials

“Religious Studies is a diverse program that instructs beyond specific beliefs. I have enjoyed this major because as you will realize, religion is tied to everything around us. It is a perfect second major for those who want to expand their historical, philosophical, and cultural knowledge base. Religious studies courses are challenging, fascinating, and meaningful.” – Amme Verbarendse, Religious Studies Major

“To me, the Religious Studies program at the U of A means the opportunity to gain a greater worldview and a deeper, more well-rounded sense of self. Over the past couple of years, this discipline has expanded and challenged my thinking, connected me to an incredible world of scholarship, and paved the path for my future career.” – Danielle Oxnam, Religious Studies Major

"My Religious Studies courses were invaluable when I took the MCAT and interviewed for entrance into medical schools. The Verbal section of the MCAT exam has ‘mind/body’ essay topics that are very abstract, and a lot of people have trouble. But I was used to writing about these issues in my Religious Studies courses. Through Religious Studies, I had a lot of practice with that kind of language and topic. Thank you for preparing me for this!” – Stephanie Cardenas, Religious Studies Minor

“My Religious Studies major has enriched my undergraduate career unlike any of my other majors. Not only have I had the opportunity to take interesting classes with amazing professors, but I've been able to participate in incredible events outside of class. When a group of Tibetan monks visited the U of A for two weeks to build a sand mandala, I was asked to help them, and while they were here I sat with them in between classes, learning about their culture and religion, laughing as they taught me how to make a singing bowl sing. With no other major do opportunities like this arise. I am so glad I decided to make religious studies a part of my life.” – Tiffany Lee, Religious Studies Major