The Washington State University Catalog

Religious Studies Major

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WARNING: The following information reflects a degree requirement which expired as of Summer 2018. Please click the appropriate link under "Degree Programs" on the right side of this page to view the currently effective requirements for this program. If a link to this program does not appear, the program may no longer be available, or may be available under a different academic unit. You can find past requirements under the appropriate archived catalog.

Religious Studies Major (120 Hours)

M. W. Myers, Coordinator

The BA in Humanities - Religious Studies major is a cross-disciplinary program designed for students who wish to develop an understanding of the nature of religion and its role in individual and social life. The program enables students to analyze critically and evaluate western and non-western religions without a predisposition to defend or reject the claims of any particular faith. The program offers both a major and a minor; it is preparatory for careers and future study in international affairs, arts, humanities, social sciences, and intercultural studies. Students who major in religious studies will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree.

A student may earn a major in Religious Studies by completing 39 semester hours of work from among the designated courses in the several departments involved. Of these 39 hours, 12 must consist of the core courses specified below for all majors. Further courses are specified as required or elective depending on the student’s focus: western religions, non-western religions, or comparative religions. There is also a language requirement.

A student must also satisfy the UCORE and College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements and take at least 40 of the total 120 semester hours in 300-400-level courses. For a minor in Religious Studies, a student must take at least 18 semester hours of work, including the core (minus the Seminar in Religious Studies) and three courses from the required list of comparative religion. Religious Studies also makes an ideal second major.
First Year
First TermHours
Biological Sciences [BSCI] with lab or SCIENCE 101 [SCI]14
Foreign Language24
Quantitative Reasoning [QUAN]3
Second TermHours
Communication [COMM] or Written Communication [WRTG]3
Foreign Language 24
HUM 103 [HUM]3
Physical Sciences [PSCI] with lab or SCIENCE 102 [SCI]14
Second Year
First TermHours
Creative & Professional Arts [ARTS]3
Creative & Professional Arts [ARTS], Humanities [HUM], or Social Sciences [SSCI]3
Foreign Language or Elective24
Social Sciences [SSCI]3
Second TermHours
Diversity [DIVR]3
Foreign Language or Elective24
PHIL 2073
Elective Core33
Complete Writing Portfolio
THIRD and FOURTH Years [See “OPTIONS” below]60

1To meet University and College of Arts and Sciences requirements, students must take a [BSCI] course with lab and [PSCI] course with lab or SCIENCE 101 [SCI] and SCIENCE 102 [SCI]. SCIENCE 101 [SCI] is offered Fall semester and is a prerequisite for SCIENCE 102 [SCI]. SCIENCE 102 [SCI] is offered Spring semester.
2Students with two years high school foreign language are required to complete 2 additional semesters. Students without high school foreign language are required to complete 4 semesters.
3Elective Core courses: FOR LANG 102, HUMANITY 101, or HUMANITY 335.


Third and Fourth Years — Students must complete one of the following options. Options and Elective coursework must reflect University requirements of 120 total credits, 40 credits of 300-400-level coursework, two [M] courses, and a [CAPS] course.

  1. Western Religions: HISTORY 272, 445, PHIL 407, and seven courses from: ANTH 330, ENGLISH 305, 306, 485, FINE ART 201, 202, HISTORY 341, 423, 440, 441, HUMANITY 101, 302 [M], PHIL 320, 322, 413, 420, or 446.
  2. Non-Western Religions: HISTORY 273, PHIL 314 [M], 315 [M], 407, and six courses from: ANTH 303, 330, FINE ART 201, 202, 302 [M], HISTORY 270, 275, 308, 370, 373, 374, 472 [M], 473, or HUMANITY 350.
  3. Comparative Religions: HISTORY 273, 407, 445, PHIL 314 [M], 315 [M], and five courses from: ANTH 303, ENGLISH 305, 306, 483, 485, FINE ART 201, 202, 302 [M]; HISTORY 308, 341, 370, 373, 374, 440, 441, 472 [M], 473, or HUMANITY 350.

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