Religious Studies (Minor)

Religious Studies (Minor)
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What is religious studies?

In the religious studies minor, you’ll be introduced to the academic study of religious thought and explore religion as a cross-cultural and experiential phenomenon. You’ll study beliefs, rituals and the meaning of life in a variety of religious traditions and through a range of courses on topics such as Islam, religious reform in Europe and the Bible as literature. The minor draws from several programs, including anthropology, English, history, humanities and philosophy. Combine a minor in religious studies with one of these majors or other areas of study such as education or journalism to enhance your future career opportunities or graduate studies.

Why study religious studies at UNH?

This minor offers the benefit of being a structured yet flexible undergraduate program,and your course of study will be tailored to your interests. The interdisciplinary nature of the program means you’ll explore religion from multiple viewpoints using multiple methodologies, which will provide you with both a broad and deep view of the subject. The College of Liberal Arts boasts an award-winning, internationally recognized faculty across its departments. You’ll receive excellent instruction as well as advising and mentoring to help you with career or graduate school preparation.

Potential career areas

  • Anthropology
  • Community advocacy
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Museum curation
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Religious leadership
  • Teaching

Curriculum & Requirements

The religious studies program at the University of New Hampshire currently offers an interdisciplinary minor, bringing together courses in several fields that address religion as a cross-cultural and experiential phenomenon. Topics include beliefs, rituals, texts and the meaning of life as explored in a variety of religious traditions. A religious studies major is available through the self-designed major program. For more information, consult the coordinator.

Required Courses
HIST 483History of World Religions4
HUMA/RS 505Introduction to Religion4
Electives: Select at least 3 additional courses from an approved semester list. See examples below.12
Total Credits20

Examples of Approved Elective Courses

ANTH 640Anthropology of Islam: Muslims' Everyday Lives in Contemporary Communities4
ENGL 518WBible as Literature4
HIST 585Medieval Islam4
HIST 642Saints, Sinners, and Heretics: Europe in the Age of Religious Reform4
HUMA 526Humanities and Science (topic: Cognitive Science of Religion)4
PHIL 417God, Religion, and the Meaning of Life4

Students especially interested in religious studies are encouraged to combine the minor with further pertinent coursework in one of the established departments contributing to the program: classics, humanities and Italian studies; history; philosophy; anthropology and English. The religious studies self-designed major includes the minor requirements of HUMA 505/RS 505 Introduction to Religion and HIST 483 as well as eight other relevant courses, which can include independent studies. The program coordinator can aid in advising such a major program.

Courses ordinarily have some degree of focus on issues related to the academic study of religion, conceptualizing religion, or religious influences as a principal concern, asking comparative questions, and/or developing models of cross-cultural usefulness.

Interested students also should be alert for special topics courses in history (e.g. HIST 600 Explorations), English, anthropology (e.g. ANTH 500 Peoples and Cultures of the World), humanities, classics and other disciplines that might be relevant to the study of religion.

Students interested in the religious studies minor should see the coordinator to fill out an intent-to-minor form by the beginning of their junior year.


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