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Students who major in Religious Studies gain expertise in the history and practices of religious traditions, encountered from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and in theoretical discussions across multiple domains: from literature and the arts, to ethics and philosophy, to politics and global affairs. Students also learn how to engage with sources critically and sensitively and to communicate their ideas and arguments clearly.

Instructions on how to declare Religious Studies as your major are here.

Degree Requirements:

If you declared your major prior to August 1, 2023, your degree requirements are under our previous model and can be found here.

Completing a major in Religious Studies requires thirty credits (generally completed over 10 courses). The degree requirements for the major consist of four parts: 

First, over the course of your major you’ll take three required courses

Second, you will choose at least three courses that will provide you with a concentration.

Third, you will take two additional courses outside your chosen concentration to provide breadth.

To determine which courses are outside your concentration course list, please consult the course lists on the concentrations page. Note that some courses appear in two concentrations. For the purposes of breadth, you will need to check that the courses you intend for your breadth requirement don't also appear in the list for your concentration. RELG 1010 and 1040 do not count for breadth.

Fourth, by completing the three requirements above, you will have taken eight three-credit courses. Therefore, you'll need to take at least two more courses on any topic in Religious Studies ("electives") to meet the thirty-credit requirement for the major. 

Please note that three of your ten courses must be at the 3000 level or above. RELG 3730 counts towards this requirement, but RELG 4500 does not. At least one of your 3000+ level courses must be in your concentration.

We will consider up to two courses from outside the UVA Religious Studies Department (study abroad, courses from other departments at UVA, etc.) to count towards the major. Courses taught by UVA Religious Studies faculty in other departments generally can be integrated without counting towards this total. Unless it already appears on a concentration list, each outside course must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Here’s a worksheet to help you plan your major:

Worksheet to plan major

The University Registrar's official description of the Religious Studies major can be found here

*Note that you may substitute RELG 1010 and RELG 1040—that is taking both Intro to Western and Intro Asian Religionsf​or the RELG 1000 requirement if you choose. These courses cannot be used to fulfill other requirements. Please contact the DUP if you have any questions. 

Students with any questions about the major are encouraged to reach out to the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the department, Prof. Noah Salomon, or to one our department's Undergraduate Peer Advisors.