The School of Humanities
The undergraduate major is built to be as flexible as possible so that students may pursue individual interests and interdisciplinary goals. The major provides students with the opportunity to explore mainline religious traditions and marginal/repressed religious currents within multicultural and transnational contexts. Students will gain religious literacy while studying the historical, social, cultural, psychological, philosophical, and cognitive dynamics of religion and religious experience. For research degrees in the graduate program, see the Graduate Requirements tab.
Upon completing the BA degree, students majoring in Religion will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Religion (RELI) must complete:
Students who are pursuing two majors (i.e., are double majors) and have declared the Religion major must complete:
Double majors who drop their second major are required to meet the requirements listed for single majors.
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below to satisfy the Religion major's Core Requirements.
Core CourseStudents must complete the following Core Course:
Religious TraditionsStudents must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from each of the following two categories for a total of 2 courses (6 credit hours):
Judaism/Christianity/Islam/African-American Religions Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Indigenous African Religions/American Religions/Buddhism/Hinduism Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Senior ProjectStudents must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the list below to satisfy the Religion major's Senior Project requirement. The course is either a Seminar or Independent Study with a required research paper.
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining Religion major requirements, single majors must complete a total of 6 additional courses (18 credit hours) from departmental (RELI) course offerings. Double majors must complete a total of 4 additional courses (12 credit hours) to satisfy the Electives requirement. Selection of courses should be worked out programmatically with a faculty member advisor so that at least 3 courses form a concentrated area of study.
Qualified undergraduates may choose the option of writing a senior thesis and submitting it to the department for consideration to receive Distinction in Research and Creative Works. For details about the submission process and this honors award, visit the department's website. To complete the thesis, the student elects RELI 400 "Senior Thesis." Students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA in Religion courses prior to enrolling in RELI 400, a Religion faculty supervisor, and the permission of the Undergraduate Director. Further details are available upon consultation with the Undergraduate Director.
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the undergraduate Religion degree and major. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: RELI Department Description and Code - Religion: RELI Degree Description and Code - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA Major Description and Code - Major in Religion: RELI
Upon completing the PhD Degree in Religion, students will be able to:
The graduate program accepts a limited number of qualified students. A distinguished undergraduate record and high scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are essential, and an advanced degree in the humanities is desirable. For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees. Students admitted into the program normally will receive financial assistance in the form of a tuition waiver and a stipend. As part of their training and in return for their stipends, students are expected to perform a minimum amount of services in return for their stipend by assisting the department as needed.
Although students are not normally admitted to study for an MA, graduate students may earn the MA after obtaining approval of their candidacy for the PhD.
The PhD in Religion is a 5-8 year program (based on 3 courses per semester). Course requirements are:
Reading Lists—Reading lists are available for all Qualifying Exams. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with this material enough that they draw on it on their exams and the dissertation itself. The graduate seminar is, in part, an introduction to areas of the reading list and to the techniques for engaging in deep, independent reading.
Opportunities are available to teach undergraduate courses in the department. Students are encouraged to pursue teaching opportunities at colleges and universities. Limited funds also are available for students to attend conferences to present their research. The department encourages these and other efforts to prepare students for academic careers.
For more information regarding the Certificate in Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism (GEM), please see the GEM page.
Descriptions and Codes Legend
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Religion graduate degree program. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: RELIDepartment Description and Code: - Religion: RELIDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Arts degree: MA - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in Religion: RELICertificate Description and Code - Certificate in Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism: GEM
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for Religion can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Religion, see the department's website: https://reli.rice.edu/.