Why Study Religion?

The University of Arizona’s interdisciplinary Religious Studies Program offers a major in Religious Studies (B.A.) and a major in Religious Studies for Health Professionals (B.S.), as well as undergraduate minors in Religious Studies, Religious Studies for Health Professionals, and New Testament Language and Literature. The Religious Studies Program prepares students to engage intelligently with the religiously diverse cultures of the United States and societies around the world. Religious Studies is central not only to understanding the borderlands of the Southwest and the entire multicultural U.S., it is key to comprehending today’s complex global issues.

Strengths of the Religious Studies Program

  • The Religious Studies Program challenges students to engage with the study of religion from an academic, interdisciplinary perspective.
  • The Religious Studies Program teaches students about multiple worldviews, communities, and ethics that have shaped world history.
  • Our research and course offerings are strongly interdisciplinary, involving our core faculty and associated faculty from disciplines across the University, including Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Classics, East Asian Studies, German Studies, History, English, Judaic Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Russian and Slavic Studies, and more.

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 Religious Studies 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.

Religious Studies enhances any career path through developing intercultural competence and higher-level thinking skills. The majors in religious studies combine 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 religious studies majors as having a particular advantage in an increasingly globalized workforce. Alumni in a wide range of fields have expressed appreciation for their education in religious studies, which allowed them to connect on a personal and empathetic level with a broad range of 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

“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

“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



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