The graduate program in the History of Religions provides training in the comparative study of religion and in the study of specific religious traditions. The program includes courses designed to introduce the student to the general field of phenomenological and comparative religious studies, as well as advanced courses in which the student will pursue specialized work in the practices, rituals, literatures, philosophies, and social and cultural histories of individual religious traditions. The History of Religious Program focuses on several principal traditions, though others are possible as well:
- African and African Diaspora Religions
- Buddhism (Chinese; Indian, Burmese and Sri Lankan; Japanese; Tibetan)
The program is interdisciplinary and draws upon related courses in other departments and programs of the University, for example, Anthropology, History, and Asian Studies. Master's candidates are expected to concentrate on a single religious tradition. Doctoral students will concentrate on a specific religious tradition and also develop competence in a second religious tradition.