Secular Studies

At Pitzer College, Field Groups (similar to a discipline or department) organize major requirements and courses.

Secular Studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on manifestations of the secular in societies and cultures, past and present. Secular Studies involves the study of non-religious people, groups, thought, and cultural expressions.

There are many possible approaches, but the program emphasizes the meanings and impact of political secularism and philosophical skepticism, as well as various forms of private and public secularity. Secular studies is not a major, but students wishing to develop a special major in secular studies should consult with Professor Phil Zuckerman concerning a proposed plan of study.

Sample Courses

Sociology of Secularity

There are more secular people in the USA – and the wider world – than ever before, with rates of secularity not only increasing here in North America, but also in Europe…

Secularism and Public Opinion

The purpose of this course is to analyze research and carry-out projects that examine the causes and consequences of secularism…

African American Humanism

Despite strong traditions of religiosity in African American communities, Black secular humanist, freethought and atheist views have always coexisted…


Scot A.C. Gould
Professor of Physics
Keck Science Center
[email protected]
Azamat Junisbai
Professor of Sociology
[email protected]
Adrian Pantoja
Professor of Political Studies/Chicano Studies
[email protected]
Phil Zuckerman
Professor of Sociology & Secular Studies
[email protected]

Outcomes describe specific knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes students should demonstrate

1: Students are able to compare and contrast different forms and manifestations of political secularism in various countries and societies around the world.

2: Students are able to understand and analyze key developments of secular thought and ideology over the course of history.

3: Students are able to articulate as well as critique fundamental philosophical justifications for atheism, agnosticism, naturalism, and humanism.

4: Student possesses a firm grasp of the demographic patterns and trends of secularity.

5: Students are able to articulate the ways in which the “secular” and the “religious” are often dialectically-related concepts/phenomena.

Law (especially first amendment litigation); public policy; education; social work.