CONSIDERING A MAJOR OR MINOR IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES?
The B.A. degree in Religious Studies is appropriate for a general liberal arts education and for preprofessional training leading to graduate degrees in religious studies, theology, or other areas of the humanities. Departmental courses are offered in four areas: philosophical studies of religious ideas and values, historical studies of religious movements and institutions, scientific studies of religious beliefs and behavior, and textual studies of religious traditions and scriptures. A well-balanced program of undergraduate study includes courses from each of these four areas. Students planning to undertake graduate studies are strongly encouraged to take the major with departmental distinction and to complete twelve term hours in either French or German and other relevant foreign language preparation as early as possible.
The requirements for Religious Studies majors and minors who enter SMU in the Fall 2011 and subsequent semesters will be slightly different from the requirements familiar to students already enrolled at SMU.
To minor in Religious Studies, fifteen semester hours must be completed in the department. Of the fifteen hours, nine must be completed in courses numbered 3000 or above. The minor has no specific required courses, which will allow minors a greater ability to tailor their plans of study to individual needs and interests.
To major in Religious Studies, thirty semester hours must be completed in the department. Twenty-four hours must be completed in courses numbered 3000 or above and must include:
1) either RELI 3319: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible or RELI 3326: Introduction to the New Testament;
2) either RELI 3306: Intro to Hinduism, RELI 3307: Introduction to Buddhism, or RELI 3378: Religions of China;
3) an additional course in non-western or comparative religions, drawn from the following:
- RELI 3306: Introduction to Hinduism
- RELI 3307: Introduction to Buddhism
- RELI 3352: Love and Death in Ancient Mythology
- RELI 3365: Understanding the Self: East and West
- RELI 3368: Wholeness and Holiness: Religion and Healing across Cultures
- RELI 3375: Wives, Mothers, Lovers, Queens: Expressions of the Feminine Divine in World Religions and Cultures
- RELI 3377: Cultural History of Tibet
- RELI 3378: Religions of China
- RELI 3382: Mysticism: East and West
- RELI 3384: Hinduism and Colonial Encounters
- RELI 3386: Myths, Epics, and Tales from Ancient India
The following requirements are still in place for students who entered the university prior to Fall 2011:
Thirty (30) term hours in the department.
Courses must include:
Either RELI 3306: Introduction to the Hindu Tradition or RELI 3307: Introduction to Buddhism;
Either RELI 3319: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible or RELI 3326: Introduction to the New Testament;
Twenty-four (24) term hours in courses numbered above 3000
A Religious Studies major with minimum overall G.P.A. of 3.00 and a 3.50 G.P.A. in the major by the middle of the junior year may apply for the degree “with departmental distinction.” Candidates for distinction must enroll in a Directed Research tutorial in the fall term of their senior year followed by an Independent Studies course in the spring term for which they will write a senior thesis. Only the Directed Research tutorial may be used to fulfill the 30-term-hour requirement for the major.
Fifteen term hours in the department
Courses must include:
Nine term hours in courses numbered above 3000
One course of the following:
RELI 3306: Introduction to the Hindu Tradition or RELI 3307: Introduction to Buddhism;
RELI 3319: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible or RELI 3326: Introduction to the New Testament.
Should you need more information, please contact the Department of Religious Studies, located in 300 Hyer Hall or call 214.768.2095.