Religious Studies Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The Department of Religion does not admit students to a terminal master of arts program. However, PhD students in good standing are awarded the MA after they have met the following criteria:

  • 5 quarters of residency
  • successful completion of the two-quarter Religion research paper (570-1, 2)
  • 11 other courses graded ABC/NC

Note: Students whose second department's curriculum makes Religion 570-1, 2 impossible may petition for an oral examination in lieu of paper but must have a total of 13 ABC/NC courses.


Courses Units
Core Courses
Religion 481-1,2 Theories of Religion 2
Religion 482-1 Themes in Comparative Religion 1
Religion 570-1,2 Research Seminar 2
11 additional courses in Religion and/or affiliated disciplines 11
Total Required Units
* including introductory graduate sequence during the first year

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Language examination: Demonstration of proficiency in at least one foreign language; more may be necessary for a particular area
  • Examinations: upon completion of coursework, written and oral comprehensive examinations
  • Research/Projects: as required by dissertation
  • PhD Dissertation: based on original, independent research
  • Final Evaluation: oral defense of dissertation