Majoring in Religion

Requirements for the Religion Major

A minimum of 36 Credits in Religion courses, including the following:

  1. One course in Gender Studies/Sociology of Religion (107, 287, 359)
  2. One Course in Near Eastern Religions (201, 207, 209, 217, 315, 345, 368)
  3. One Course in Asian Religions (221, 222, 250, 251, 330, 347)
  4. One Course in Religion in America (180, 230, 259, 260, 349)
  5. One Course in Modern Western Religious Thought (202, 227, 228, 229, 350, 353, 358)
  6. At least two courses in Religion at the 300 level (which may simultaneously fulfill the above area requirements)
  7. The Senior Seminar and Thesis (Religion 448 and either 490 or 498).

No more than one 100 level course may be counted towards the major. Courses in the Comparative Study of Religion (116-117) do not fulfill area distribution requirements.

The Department does not allow the P-D-F grade option for courses taken to fulfill the major requirements.


The Individually Planned Major

If the standard Religion Major does not meet your educational objectives, you might want to consider proposing an individually planned major. The individually planned major is a possibility for highly motivated students with unique interests who wish to pursue a coherent field of study crossing two or more disciplines regularly offered at Whitman.

The process of establishing an individually planned major involves creating an individually planned major committee. With the committee, the student develops a proposal consisting of a title, rationale and a schedule of course work. The proposal is submitted to the Board of Review for approval and is subject to review by the Academic Council.

Recent individually planned majors have combined Religion and History, Religion and Philosophy, and Religion and Studies in World Literature.

Interested students should obtain the Guidelines for the Construction of an Individually Planned Major from the Registrar's Office, and consult with members of the Religion Department as soon as possible in your planning process.

The Religion Minor

A minimum of 20 credits in Religion. At least one course must be taken in three out of the five distribution areas (see above for specific course listings):

  1. Gender Studies/Sociology of Religion
  2. Near Eastern Religions
  3. Asian Religions
  4. Religion in America
  5. Modern Western Religious Thought


No more than one 100 level course may be given credit towards the minor.

At least one course in Religion at the 300 level must be taken.

The Department does not allow a P-D-F grade option for courses within the minor.