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About the Program

Interdisciplinary Major/Minor in Religious Studies in the College of Humanities

The RELS program draws from existing course offerings in approximately 13 departments and programs (English, History, Communication, Philosophy, Languages & Literature, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology, Anthropology, Art & Art History, Theater, Health Promotion & Education, and the Middle East Center) spread across five colleges (Humanities, Social & Behavioral Science, Social Work, Fine Arts, and Health).

Students majoring in RELS must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours divided into 3 core courses, a series of 7 electives, and a senior seminar capstone course to be taken at the end of their curriculum.

Eligible classes include (but are not limited to):

Early Christian Literature
Biblical Hebrew Poetry
Qur'anic Studies
 Philosophy of Religion
 Sociology of Religion
 Spirituality in Social Work
 Baroque Art in Europe
 Myth, Magic & Religion
 Native American Religion
 Religions of India
 Islam and Politics
 World Religions
 Medieval England


A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Religion shows that an important shift has occurred in the past few years in the academic study of religion: large state universities are now opening departments and programs in order to bring the study of religion on their campuses. This shift indicates that in the current political, social, and cultural environment, the study of religion is seen as an intrinsic part of the education of future generations of students, increasingly interested in the global world.

In the larger Salt Lake City Valley, several institutions of higher education have now developed such a course of study: whereas Utah Valley University and Westminster College offer minors in RELS, the U of U following in the footsteps of Utah State University offers now a major in RELS. In developing its own course of study in the field of Religious Studies, the University of Utah is now taking its place in this important dialogue.

Last Updated: 7/28/16