Jul 20, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Religious Studies | BA

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New Program | Fall 2017

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies gain a critical but sympathetic understanding of religion, a powerful and pervasive aspect of human experience. Through learning to describe, interpret, explain, and evaluate religious phenomena across cultures, students of religion develop insight into how human beings have made sense of the world and ordered their lives and societies.


Majors in Religious Studies learn to:

  • Analyze their own assumptions, presuppositions, and expectations about religion
  • Examine religious beliefs, behaviors, practices, texts, experiences, communities, and institutions in context and comparison
  • Employ multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives in the analysis and interpretation of religious phenomena
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of religious phenomena
  • Communicate clearly, persuasively, and respectfully
  • Identify problems and develop solutions by gathering, analyzing, and assessing data, sources, and arguments
  • Recognize how their own worldviews are similar to and different from those of others
  • View religion as a part of the human cultural, literary, and artistic heritage
  • Understand how religions imagine and implement their visions of a just world


Religious Studies majors develop widely transferable skills of critical and creative thinking, research, and communication, which are highly valued by employers. Religious Studies prepares students for employment or graduate study in fields involving qualitative research—such as law or information science—or intercultural communication—such as international business or social work. This major also provides an excellent background for graduates who seek employment or further study in religion-related fields such as religion journalism, non-profit administration, religious counseling, or religious ministry.

Department Information

History & Philosophy, College of Arts & Sciences

James Egge, Ph.D. | Department Head | 701 Pray-Harrold | 734.487.1018 | jegge@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Mary Strasma, Ph.D. | Associate Professor | 701 Pray-Harrold | 734.487.1018 | mstrasma@emich.edu

General Education Requirements:

For specific General Education requirements, click here  or print a General Education Worksheet  

Major Requirements: 30 hours

Students considering a major in Religious Studies should meet with an advisor early in their university studies to map out a tentative course of study.

Elective Course: 3 hours

Capstone Project: 3 hours

Students majoring in Religious Studies must meet with an advisor at least eight months before their expected date of graduation to plan a capstone project. Advisors help students plan a project that builds on their coursework and helps them prepare for post-college career or graduate study. Options for the capstone project include:

  • Independent Research Project | Students work with a faculty advisor to propose and conduct research on a topic in the study of religion. Students considering graduate study are strongly encouraged to elect this option. 

  • 3 hrs

    Internship | A student electing this option works with a Religious Studies advisor and a supervisor at an external organization to design and complete a project in which the student draws on their Religious Studies training to address a situation in an organization or community. This project will include a written report. 

  • 3 hrs

Minor Requirement:

This major requires a minor | For a list of available minors, please see Academic Programs  or contact your major advisor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above.

Beginning in Fall 2022, all baccalaureate degree programs for all undergraduates (regardless of catalog year) will require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for the fulfillment of the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult the online catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
  • Complete a Writing Intensive (GEWI) Course in your major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement. (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details.)
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor; students should check requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; the internal review of such courses is conducted by individual departments/schools within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credits for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor will be used in the calculation of their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.


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