Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016

Majors

Religious Studies (REL)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 38.0201

College of Arts & Sciences

http://religious-studies.usf.edu/ugrad/requirements/

Major Description

In Religious Studies, students are exposed to a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary study of the way in which both individuals and civilizations are deeply influenced by human religious experience. The goal is to enable the educated person to understand better the various ways in which religious values and institutions shape human behavior through a comparative study of religions and cultures. Such an education is invaluable for careers as diverse as journalism, law, medicine, business, as well as careers more directly related to the practice of religion. Majors in Religious Studies will also find courses designed to give them the methodological, theoretical and linguistic skills needed to go on to advanced graduate study in the field.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at the community college. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements

There are no State Mandated Common Prerequisites for this degree program.

Total Major Hours: 36 Hours

Major Core

Students must choose a total of 36 credit hours from Religious Studies courses. Transfer students may not apply more than 12 hours taken elsewhere toward the major at the University of South Florida.

Students declaring Religious Studies as a second major need to complete 30 credit hours. To do so they must make a written request to the Undergraduate Director at the time they declare the second major.

Major Core Courses - 36 Hours

All majors must take the following (12 credit hours):

  • One of the following courses (only one will count toward Religious Studies requirements):
  • REL 3040 Introduction to Religious Studies
  • REL 3043 Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • REL 4931 Seminar in Religion

Completion 24 additional credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

Take at least 18 credit hours at 3000- and/or 4000-level course, of which a minimum of 12 must be at the 4000-level. Take at least one course from each of the areas:

  • Western Tradition (primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam):
  • Non-Western Tradition (religious traditions other than those Western tradition referenced above):
  • Issues and Approaches

Variable Credit Individualized Courses (Students are limited to six (credit) hours of the following courses):

Optional Accelerated Program

B.A./M.A. Religious Studies

This program allows B.A. majors in Religious Studies to take graduate courses in the M.A. degree in Religious Studies during their senior year. These shared credits will be applicable to the M.A. degree, thus accelerating the time to completion, with successful students able to earn the M.A. degree in two additional semesters beyond the completion of the B.A. degree.

This accelerated program shares 12 credits between already existing degrees:

  • B.A. in Religious Studies
  • M.A. in Religious Studies 

Target students and expected outcomes

This program builds on the department’s B.A. and M.A. degrees. It will give talented Religious Studies majors the opportunity to take graduate courses and apply them to a non-thesis M.A. in Religious Studies. If successful, students will be able to complete an M.A. two semesters after the B.A. requirements have been met. This will allow them to more expeditiously pursue career opportunities requiring a graduate degree in Religious Studies or pursue Ph.D. studies.

Description and Requirements

For admission to the program, a student must:

  1. have completed at least 15 hours in the Religious Studies undergraduate major;
  2. have a minimum undergraduate 3.33 GPA overall; and
  3. have a minimum undergraduate 3.5 GPA in the major.

Application to the program may be made by any student who has satisfied the minimum requirements. Applications should be addressed to the Religious Studies Graduate Director and should include a statement by the student affirming satisfaction of minimum requirements (with supporting documentation) and a letter of recommendation from a Religious Studies faculty member familiar with the student’s academic performance.

Requirements for the B.A. in Religious Studies

Within the 120-semester hour program listed in the College of Arts and Sciences General Requirement section (including the state mandated common prerequisites), students must choose a total of 36 credit hours from Religious Studies courses. Transfer students may not apply more than 12 hours taken elsewhere toward the major at the University of South Florida. Only letter grades of at least C- will be counted toward the minimum of 24 credit hours taken at the University of South Florida for transfer students or 36 (for non-transfer students) credit hours necessary to complete the 36 credit hours required for the major. Students taking Religious Studies as a second major need to complete only 30 credit hours. To do so they must make a written request to the Undergraduate Director at the time they declare their major.

Required Courses:

  • REL 2300 Introduction to World Religions or REL 2306 Contemporary World Religions or REL 3308 World Religions
  • REL 3040 Introduction to Religious Studies
  • REL 3043 Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • REL 4931 Seminar in Religion
  • 24 additional credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:
    • Take at least one course from each of the areas (Western Religions, Non-Western Religions, and Issues and Approaches)
    • Take at least 18 credit hours of 3000- and/or 4000-level coursework, of which a minimum of 9 must be at the 4000 level

Shared B.A./M.A. Requirements

Twelve (12) hours of graduate credit may be shared as follows:

  • REL 4931 (Senior Seminar) is satisfied by RLG 6035 (Theory and Methods in Religious Studies)
  • 9 elective hours at the 4000 level are satisfied by 9 elective hours at the 6000 level

Graduate Degree Requirements For Accelerated M.A. in Religious Studies

Total Minimum Hours: 36

Core Requirements: 15 hours

  • RLG 6035 Theory and Methods in Religious Studies
  • Six hours in Western Religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)
  • Six hours in Eastern Religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism)

Electives: 21 hours

  • No more than six hours may come from independent study/directed reading.
  • No more than six hours may come from departments other than Religious Studies.

No grade lower than a B will be accepted in a graduate course in the B.A./M.A. program. Students earning less than a B in a graduate course must retake the course and earn a B or higher to apply it to their graduate degree.

Timeline and benchmarks:

  1. To be considered for acceptance into the Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Religious Studies, students must have completed a minimum of 15 credits in the Religious Studies undergraduate major.
  2. Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.33 overall, and a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major to be eligible for the accelerated degree program.
  3. Following completion of a minimum of 15 hours in the undergraduate major, students may be considered for acceptance into the accelerated program.
  4. Applications should be addressed to the Religious Studies Graduate Director and should include:
    • a statement by the student affirming satisfaction of minimum requirements (with supporting documentation)
    • a letter of recommendation from a Religious Studies faculty member familiar with the student’s academic performance.
  5. Students must earn a minimum of a “B” (3.00) in all graduate courses. Failure to earn at least a “B” in a graduate course will result in academic review by the graduate program. Failure to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA will result in academic probation, according to the procedures of the USF Office of Graduate Studies.

A comprehensive plan of study to complete the integrated B.A./M.A. program will be developed with the guidance of an advisor and a faculty member. A possible plan of study could be as follows. Summer sessions may also be included in the study plan.

First and Second Year

  • REL 2300 Introduction to World Religions, REL 2306 Contemporary World Religions, or REL 3308 World Religions
  • REL 3040 Introduction to Religious Studies
  • 9 credit hours of undergraduate electives

Third Year (Apply for Admission to the Integrated B.A./M.A. program)

  • REL 3043 Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • 6 credit hours of undergraduate electives

Fourth Year (Student accepted in M.A. in Religious Studies program)

  • RLG 6035 Theory and Methods in Religious Studies
  • 9 credit hours of 6000-level electives
  • 6 credit hours of 6000-level electives

Fifth Year

  • 18 credit hours of 6000-level electives

  More About this Major

  Accelerated Program

This major has an accelerated track that confers an undergraduate and graduate degree upon completion.

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  Honors Program

This major has an optional component designed for the academically superior student who embraces challenge and wishes to go the extra mile.

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  Research Opportunities

There are research opportunities associated with this major.

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  Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for this major such as grade, GPA, foreign language, and/or general education requirements.

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  Additional Information

There is more information available for this major such as faculty, advising, and/or accreditation information.

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