Degree Requirements

As of 2020, the requirements for the Religion Major and Minor have been updated. Please see 2020 Religion Major/Minor Requirements.

Religion Major (outgoing; limited to students in the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023)

This track is valid until 2022-2023. A Religion major requires nine courses. It has the following components:

  1. a set of five courses from which four are required;
    REL 201The Reality of God
    REL 204Religious Pluralism and American Identity
    REL 211Introduction to the Bible
    REL 215Hinduism
    REL 224Religion and Social Ethics
  2. a concentration of at least three courses in designated areas, designed in consultation with the student's Religion Department advisor;
  3. a seminar for majors and minors only, designed around special topics that will be in a concentration area;
  4. a comprehensive examination with take-home and in-class components.

Ordinarily, no more than one course at the 100-level may count. If a student has completed the common courses and fulfilled a concentration, one semester of a Senior Research Project may count toward the nine-course requirement.

Religion major (established 2020)

A new Religion major was approved by the Denison faculty in February, 2020. The new major curriculum is an option for students in the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023.  All students majoring in Religion from the class of 2024 forward will follow the curriculum below. It has the following components:

A Religion major requires 9 courses, including:
REL 200Thinking about Religion ( to be taken before the senior year.)
Majors elect at least two courses at the 300 level.
REL 450Religion Senior Research Colloquium ( to be taken in the first semester of senior year.)

Majors take at least one course whose intellectual center, and the majority of the content (75%), lie outside the Euro-American Christian historical and cultural tradition. The following courses will fulfill this requirement: 

REL 103World Religions
REL 104Religions in India
REL 105Buddhism
REL 215Hinduism
REL 216Religions of China and Japan
REL 218Islam
REL 327Women and Social Ethics: In the Global Context

Ordinarily, no more than one course at the 100-level may count. By the middle of the student’s junior year, each Religion major, in consultation with a member of the department, shall submit for departmental approval a proposal for a self-designed thematic concentration of 3-4 courses.

Religion Minor

Religion minor through 2023

This track is an option for students in the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023. A Religion minor consists of:

a common set of five courses from which four are required;

REL 201The Reality of God
REL 204Religious Pluralism and American Identity
REL 211Introduction to the Bible
REL 215Hinduism
REL 224Religion and Social Ethics

an elective course;

a seminar for majors and minors only, designed around special topics; and 

an abbreviated comprehensive examination.

New Religion Minor

A new Religion minor was approved by the Denison faculty in February, 2020. The new minor curriculum is an option for students in the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023.  All students minoring in Religion from the class of 2024 forward will follow the curriculum below. It has the following components: 

A minor requires 6 courses. 

Minors take REL 200 - Thinking about Religion before the senior year. 

Minors must elect at least one course at a 300 level.

No more than one 100-level course may be taken to fulfill the requirements. 

All minor students must take at least one course whose intellectual center, and the majority of the content (at least 75%), lie outside the Euro-American Christian historical and cultural tradition. The following courses will fulfill this requirement: 

REL 103World Religions
REL 104Religions in India
REL 105Buddhism
REL 215Hinduism
REL 216Religions of China and Japan
REL 218Islam
REL 327Women and Social Ethics: In the Global Context

Additional Points of Interest

Off Campus Study

Denison University works to make study abroad and other off-campus study possible for all students, typically during their junior year. Most students who major in Religion transfer one or two courses for the concentration within the Religion major, satisfy a GE requirement or two, and gain general credits towards graduation. Quite a few do independent research or internships as part of their study abroad experience. We encourage students to visit the Off-Campus Study office to explore options, and to meet with a faculty advisor in the Religion Department to discuss how study abroad can best be integrated into the student's major.

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