What Can I Do with a Religious Studies Degree?

A religious studies major or minor develops transferable skills useful in any occupation. Courses in the department examine the ways in which religions influence the arts, politics, economics, and history. They help you learn to think for yourself, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, to communicate clearly, and to have an informed perspective on the world and its diverse cultures.

What Can I Do with a Religious Studies Degree?

Religious studies students pursue careers in a variety of fields. Recent graduates have held positions such as:

  • a volunteer in the Peace Corps;
  • staff writer at a denominational newspaper;
  • executive director for Teach for America in a major metropolitan area;
  • ministerial positions at churches in Washington, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida;
  • managing director of an art auction company;
  • assignment editor for the national desk of an internationally known media organization;
  • manager in training at an international communications corporation; and 
  • case manager for a job training and placement program serving under-privileged populations.

Many religious studies students attend graduate or professional school. Majors from the department have recently been admitted to:

  • law school at Emory University, SMU Dedman School of Law, New York University Law School, and the University of Houston;
  • medical school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham;
  • Cox School of Business at SMU;
  • Candler School of Theology (Emory University), Duke Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School, Perkins School of Theology (SMU), University of Dallas, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and Yale Divinity School;
  • doctoral programs in Asian religions at Rice University and the University of Virginia, in theology at Graduate Theological Union, and in religion, ethics, and politics at Princeton University;
  • Master of Arts programs in Religious Studies at SMU, Marquette University, Claremont Graduate University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara;
  • Masters in Social Work programs at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
  • Masters of Public Affairs program at the University of Texas at Dallas and the Master of Arts in Political Science program at the University of Oklahoma;
  • Masters in Counseling programs at Dallas Baptist University and the University of Oklahoma.