Major in Religion

The Department of Religion offers a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and critical approach to religion that explores the variety of religious experiences and expressions. In addition to courses that introduce the various religious traditions of the world and their histories, the department provides opportunities to explore the nature of religion; the powers and limits of interpreting religion; patterns of religious behavior; the effects of religion on society; and philosophical reflections on religion. Students are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad to broaden their understanding of cultural diversity. Exceptional students have the opportunity to pursue honors in the major through independent work on a senior thesis.

Religion majors gain a basic knowledge of the major world religions, their histories and texts, and an advanced knowledge of at least one religious tradition, as well as a critical understanding of major theoretical approaches to the study of religion. The resulting “religious literacy,” understanding of religious motivations, and broad capability in critical thinking that graduating majors in Religion take into the world prepare them for careers in international work, social services, media, law, government, and education and set them apart as noteworthy applicants for business and related fields and for admission to medical and other professional schools.

A student graduating with a B.A. in Religion (or a dual major in religion) will have learned the following:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of multiple religious traditions, including their history, ideas, rituals, and vocabulary. 
  • Demonstrate ability to interpret critically religious texts, ritual practices, and other forms of religious expression. 
  • Demonstrate and apply understanding of major theoretical models for the study of religion to religious events, phenomena, ideas, and texts. 
  • Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of at least one religious tradition. 

You can find our specific course- and distribution requirements here.

When you are ready to declare your Religion Major, you should take the following steps:

  1. Use the online form to declare your major or go to the CAS Advising Office located at 100 Bay State Rd, Rm 401 to fill out a  Declaration of Major  form.
  2. The Administrative Coordinator will assign an academic advisor, or you can request a specific member of our faculty (to request an advisor, email religion@bu.edu). Your academic advisor will help you design a program of study to meet all departmental requirements.

For further information, contact religion@bu.edu.