May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religious Studies, M.A.


The primary criteria for admission are the same as those for University graduate admission. In addition, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, or its equivalent, and have achieved a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester units attempted. Three letters of recommendation two of which should be from the instructors in the undergraduate major are required.


  1. Minimum total units: 30 units of upper division or graduate study, at least 24 of which must be in Religious Studies. The remaining 6 may be in Religious Studies or another field of study related to Religious Studies and/or the candidate’s educational interests. Each student’s program must include a minimum of 24 units of graduate courses (which can include 6 units of Biblical Aramaic or Biblical Hebrew, Nahuatl, or Sanskrit), at least 12 of which must be in the 600 series (not including R/ST 697  and R/ST 698 ). All students must satisfactorily complete R/ST 601 . Students taking courses for language proficiency outside the Department offerings may need an additional 6-16 units of work beyond the minimum number of units for the M.A.
  2. A thesis or comprehensive examination. (Note: In order to satisfy the culminating activity requirement (thesis, project, or comprehensive examination dependent upon the program), students must earn at least three (3) units and no more than six (6) units related to the completion of the culminating activity.)
  3. Proficiency in a modern research language (German or French) demonstrated by passing either the ETS examination with a score of 400 or better or two years of course work with an average grade of “B” or better. Proficiency in an appropriate ancient research language (Nahuatl, Sanskrit, Biblical Aramaic, Hebrew, Chinese, etc.) replaces the modern language requirement for students concentrating in a related area of study. Exceptions to the language requirement are rare, but may be made at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Committee.
  4. Advancement to Candidacy is a statement of how the student plans to complete all courses and requirements for the degree, including establishing a date and a committee for the thesis or comprehensive examination. It is best done as early as possible. Students taking a comprehensive examination must be advanced to candidacy no later than the semester preceding the examination. Students writing a thesis are advanced to candidacy at the time they begin their thesis work.


Students admitted to the M.A. in Religious Studies who have deficient preparation in Religious Studies must take up to 24 units from undergraduate courses.