Jul 21, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25

Religious Studies Major (B.A.)

Major code BA5218*

College of Arts and Sciences  
Classics and Religious Studies  
Ellis 201B
Phone: 740.597.2100

Brian Collins, contact person

Program Overview

Religious texts, beliefs, and practices are central to being human, as is conflict over religion. Religious Studies majors acquire both a theoretical knowledge of the components and dynamics of religions and a specific knowledge of religious ideas and pratices. Our courses cover Judaism, early Christianity, Greek and Roman religions, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Each student chooses an area of specialization, and learns a foreign language connected with that specialization. Students in the Religious Studies major have also majored in English, history, and sociology. Religious Studies majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher can complete a departmental honors thesis in one or two terms for 3-6 credit hours in addition to the regular requirements for the major. Preapproved application and interview required.

*This program was previously BA5215 - World Religions. Students entering either under either name/code in the 2024-25 catalog year will have the same requirements, which are listed below.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

The demand for people knowledgeable in the religions of this increasingly smaller globe is growing, and the United States is also becoming increasingly diverse religiously. Expertise in the study of a number of religious traditions benefits students preparing for careers in journalism, politics, and business. It can also be part of one’s preparation for leadership in religious communities. Often pre-professionals are encouraged to pursue a broad liberal arts education in which religious studies may be a significant component. Courses in religious studies are also of interest to many graduate programs. Our graduates have gone on to further study in religious studies and theology graduate programs. Outside academia, Religious Studies graduates have gone on to work abroad in the Peace Corps and for NGOs; others have become counselors and therapists; others have entered into business careers and work in government.

Students can also browse through dozens of internship opportunities and full-time job postings for Ohio University students and alumni on Handshake, OHIO’s key resource for researching jobs, employers, and workshops and events for professional development.


University-wide Graduation Requirements

Ohio University requires the completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours for the conferral of a bachelor’s degree. This program can be completed within that 120-hour requirement. For more information on the minimum hours requirement and other university-wide requirements, please review the Graduation Requirements – University-wide  page.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirement

View the College and Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirements .

Religious Studies Hours Requirement

Complete 33 credit hours of classics and religious studies coursework, including all the requirements below. 

Foundations: Major Traditions

Complete three of the following courses (9 credit hours total):

Religious Studies Electives (21 credit hours)

Complete 9 credit hours from the Class I Electives list and 6 credit hours from the Class II Electives list. The remaining 6 credits can come from any CARS or JS class or any approved affiliate class. Courses used to fulfill the Foundations requirement cannot be used to fulfill the Electives requirement.

Class II Electives

Capstone in Classics and Religious Studies

Complete the following course or any other 4000-level CARS course designated as a capstone. Students can also meet this requirement by completing 3 credit hours of CARS 4900  or CARS 4930 .

Senior Honors Thesis

Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher will have the option of researching and writing a senior honors thesis.