The major in Religious Studies is a cooperative program offered jointly by Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona and Scripps Colleges. The program of study is designed to serve both as one focus of a liberal arts education and as a foundation for students planning to pursue the study of religion beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students may enroll in Religious Studies courses offered at any of the undergraduate colleges and advanced students may with permission, enroll in master’s-level courses in their area of specialization at Claremont Graduate University.
While offering a broadly based and inclusive program in the study of religion for all liberal arts students, the Religious Studies major affords the opportunity for more specialized work at the intermediate and advanced levels in particular historic religious traditions, geographical areas, philosophical and critical approaches and thematic and comparative studies.
The Department of Religious Studies recognizes the importance and legitimacy of personal involvement in the study of religion, but it does not represent or advocate any particular religion as normative. Rather, the aim is to make possible an informed knowledge and awareness of the fundamental importance of the religious dimension in all human societies-globally and historically. In addition to preparing students for graduate study in religion, the multidisciplinary nature of the major affords students intellectual training to enter a variety of fields and careers. Recent graduates are, for example, in schools of law, medicine and business. Others have careers in management, journalism and the media, college administration, primary and secondary education, government, and health and social services.
Requirements for the Major
The Religious Studies major consists of 10 courses, including one introductory course, four courses in a specialized field, two integrative courses, two elective courses outside the specialized field, and a senior thesis.
Language study appropriate to the specialized field and a period of study abroad when possible are strongly encouraged.
Specialized Fields of Study. Fields of specialized study offered to Religious Studies students include: Historical Religious Traditions I, Asian (HRT I); Historical Religious Traditions II, Western (HRT II); Philosophy of Religion, Theology and Ethics (PRT); Contemporary and Women's Studies in Religion (CWS)
Requirements for the Major in Religious Studies
The Religious Studies (RLST) major encompasses both breadth and depth of study. Major requirements are: • One introductory course chosen in consultation with your adviser.
- • Four courses in a specialized field at intermediate and advanced levels.
- • Two integrative courses: Religion 180 and Religious Studies 190. It is recommended that 180 be completed prior to the senior year.
- • Two elective courses in Religious Studies outside the specialized field.
- • Religion 191 (Senior Thesis).
Requirements for a Minor in Religious Studies: To complete a minor, a student must complete three courses in one of the specialized fields; two courses in a second specialized field (only one of these five courses may be at the introductory level); and 180.
Students may petition the chair of the department to take a specific major or minor course on a P/NC grading option. Students may also petition the chair to receive credit for Religious Studies coursework or project work completed during study abroad programs.
Pitzer Advisers: Carina Johnson, Joe Parker