Oct 19, 2019  
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) 
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Religious Studies - BS

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Students must complete the General Education Requirements .

Students must also complete the University Studies Depth Requirements :


Religious Studies Major

Program Director: Philip L. Barlow
Location: Main 331
Phone: (435) 797-3406
FAX: (435) 797-3899
TTY: (435) 797-1290
E-mail: philip.barlow@usu.edu

College of HaSS Advising Center: Mary Leavitt
Location: TSC 302
Phone: (435) 797-3883
Utah State University, 0107 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-0107

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Admission Requirements

1. New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.

2. Transfer students from other institutions or transferring from other USU majors need  an overall GPA of 2.5 for admission to this major in good standing.

Program Description

The Religious Studies BS or BA degree requires a total of 36 credits for the major.

Students commonly begin their course of study by completing one lower-division course (RELS 1010 , Introduction to Religious Studies).

Students must take 30 credits of upper-division coursework, chosen from the following four areas: Cultural Inquiry (humanistic approaches), Scientific Inquiry (social scientific approaches), Doctrinal Inquiry (philosophical and theological approaches), and General Inquiry.

To culminate the program, students completing either the BA or the BS degree must take a capstone seminar.

Purpose and Outcomes

Students completing the BA or BS degree in Religious Studies should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  1. 1. understand the influence of religion upon culture, and the influence of culture upon religion;
  2. 2. analyze the influence of religious value systems on individuals and peoples;
  3. 3. apply appropriate methods of research and argumentation to questions concerning religion and culture;
  4. 4. communicate their findings in clear, well-reasoned writing; and
  5. 5. express cultural literacy concerning the major religions of the world.


Degree Options

Students in the program may work toward one of the following two degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree

Students enrolled in the BA degree focus their work on cultural questions within religious studies. Since sufficient coursework in a foreign language is required, students should consider completing courses offered by USU in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Chinese, or other appropriate languages. The BA degree requires a minimum proficiency in a foreign language. This proficiency may be established in one of the following ways:

  1. Sixteen credits in a single language
  2. Documentation of a proficiency level of “intermediate low” or better through an examination administered by the USU Department of Languages, Philosophy, and Speech Communication.
  3. Completion of any upper-division foreign language course constituting a third-year course of study with a grade of C or better

Note: Demonstration of proficiency in American Sign Language will not meet the foreign language requirement for the BA degree in history.

Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree

Students enrolled in the BS degree focus their work on quantitative or clinical questions within religious studies. Students should consider completing upper-division courses in social science  methods or statistics. Students must complete 15 credits of math and science beyond the University Studies requirements.

Sample Four-year Plan for Religious Studies Major

A suggested semester-by-semester four-year plan for students working toward a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies is available in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Students should consult with their advisor and with Ms. Mary Leavitt at the Advising Center to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Religious Studies Major

Minimum GPA for Admission: 2.5, USU; 2.0, Career
Minimum GPA for Graduation: 2.5, major courses; 2.0, USU
Minimum Grade Accepted: C in all major requirements

Students must complete at least 36 credits in interdisciplinary coursework. A grade of C or better must be earned in all classes used for the major.

Elective Courses (30 credits)

Students must complete at least 6 credits of coursework chosen from each of the first three divisions (Cultural Inquiry, Scientific Inquiry, and Doctrinal Inquiry). The remaining credits may be selected from any of the four divisions. The total credits for coursework completed in this section must be at least 30 credits. Students should check all courses for prerequisites.

Note: In consultation with the program advisor, students may receive approval to fulfill division elective requirements with courses other than those shown above.

Cultural Inquiry

Courses in this section use the methods of the arts and humanities to explore religious expression and the ways in which religion and behavior interact over time.

Select at least two of the following courses:

Scientific Inquiry

Courses in this section use the methods of the social sciences to explore religious values and behavior on an individual and a societal level.

Doctrinal Inquiry

Courses in this section use the methods of philosophy and theology, exploring systems of belief and major theological models.

Requirement Changes

Graduation requirements shown on this sheet are subject to change. Students should check with their assigned advisor concerning possible changes.


Materials for Persons with Disabilities

This requirement sheet is available in digital format, recordings, or large print upon request to the USU Disability Resource Center.

Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (30 USU credits, 20 of which must be upper-division courses, 10 of which must be courses required for student's major)

30 USU credits

Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 )


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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