BA in Humanities (Religious Studies)

Units required for Major: 39

Program Description

The Department of Humanities and Religious Studies offers an integrated approach to the study of world cultures from ancient times to the present. In our courses, students undertake interdisciplinary study of core ideas, ideals, and values. The Humanities – known by Renaissance thinkers as studia humanitatis (“studies of humanity”) -- explore such subjects as literature, history, philosophy, religion, the visual arts, music, drama, and film. Religious Studies focuses on beliefs and practices of the world’s religions in their historical and cultural contexts. Employing the methods and insights of disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy, Religious Studies approaches its subject matter with empathy while avoiding assumptions or judgments about religious truth claims.

The BA in Humanities with a Concentration in Religious Studies emphasizes religion as an aspect of culture and investigates major religious traditions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Students in all five available programs acquire concrete skills in critical thinking, analysis, research, writing, and organization that lead to attractive careers throughout the job market. Many of our students prepare for careers in teaching at the elementary level (as part of a Liberal Studies major program) or secondary level (as part of a single subject credential program in English/Humanities). Others pursue postgraduate study in the Humanities, History, Theology, and related fields in preparation for careers in teaching at the community college and university levels or in library, museum, or curatorial work. Humanities majors are also well-prepared for careers in government and fields such as law and counseling, which require interaction with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (9 Units)
Select three of the following:9
Arts and Ideas of the West: Ancient to Medieval
Arts and Ideas of the West: Renaissance to Modern
Arts and Ideas of Asia: Ancient to Medieval
Arts and Ideas of Asia: Medieval to Modern
Required Upper Division Courses (9 Units)
HRS 108Approaches to Religious Studies3
HRS 140
One course in the HRS 190 Seminar in Humanities and Religious Studies series3
HRS 198Seminar in Religious Studies3
Required Areas of Study (9-18 Units)
Select at least three of the following, at least one from each of the categories A and B:9 - 18
A. Religions with South and East Asian Origins
History of Buddhism
Chinese Philosophy and Religion
Zen Buddhism and Daoism
The Confucian Tradition
Religions of India I: The Formative Period
The Hindu Year: Fall
The Hindu Year: Spring
B. Religions with West Asian Origins
Paganism in the Roman World
Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Introduction to the New Testament
History of Christianity to the Reformation
History of Christianity Since the Reformation
Introduction To Judaism
Introduction to Christianity
Introduction To Islam
Supporting Courses (0-9 Units)
Select up to three of the following:0 - 9
Approaches to the Humanities
Classical Mythology
Introduction to Islamic Cultures
World Mythology
Great Mystics of the World
Food, Farming, and the Sacred
Spirit and Nature
World Religions and Cultures in Cinema
Experimental Offerings in Humanities and Religious Studies
Special Problems
With approval of HRS faculty advisor, advisor approval, a student may select up to two of the following:
Magic, Witchcraft and Religion
Rise of Religious Cults
Communication and Religion
Native American Religion and Philosophy
African Religions and Philosophies
History of Religion in the United States
Philosophy Of Religion
Sociology of Religion
Feminism and the Spirit
Total Units27-45

Note: With approval of HRS faculty advisor, foreign language study may be applied as elective units. The advisor and student together will determine if the language is appropriate to the student's area of interest in Religious Studies. Students should consult with an advisor before choosing any electives.