Off-Campus Studies can help Religion students…

  • Gain exposure to different cultural contexts in which the religions the student is studying are practiced
  • Improve and acquire foreign language skills
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Gain primary research skills from field studies or work with primary sources
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Religion prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Develop language skills
  • Build networks abroad and a foundation for post-graduate opportunities, such as Fulbright and other grants and fellowships
  • Engage in research projects that give the students ideas and possibly preliminary material for their senior theses
  • Provide opportunities for depth and breadth of study beyond what is available locally

As a general rule of thumb, the Religion Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should take any 100 or 200-level religion course open to first-year students.
  • Religion majors should complete a significant amount of work in the major prior to off-campus studies including at least one course related to the religions of the country they intend to study.
  • Religion majors should enroll in at least one 300-level religion course at Whitman by the end of their junior year, regardless of whether they study off campus or not.

Which requirements can Religion majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Research that can be used for Senior Thesis, if IRB approved
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Religion major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Religion department?

  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students
  • Field study program with opportunities to engage in research with the local community
  • Program that offers an opportunity for independent study research
  • Program that offers an opportunity for an internship or experiential learning embedded in an academic course as part of the program

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Religion department?

  • There are many possible OCS programs that would be fruitful for a religion major.  The department recommends that you focus on a location where the religions of interest to you are practiced.

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.