Post Graduate Employment
Graduates of the MA program in Religious Studies have followed a variety of employment tracks. Over 40% have gone on into doctoral programs, most in religious studies, two in related fields (Anthropology, and Political Science on religious terrorism). Of those who have not pursued doctoral work, three are adjunct professors in this Department, two teach in localelementary/secondary schools, one is a professional tutor of secondary students, one is a professional writer, one works for the State Department in Thailand, one is pursuing further language studies before attempting doctoral work, and one works at FIU in another program.
As this list indicates, there are a number of employment paths possible with an MA in Religious Studies. Especially if your degree reflects a comparative study of more than one religion, it is likely to be good preparation for any kind of administrative or professional work which involves interaction with persons from diverse religions and cultures, whether for corporations or government. There are many positions available within religious publishers for those who write or edit well. In the state of Florida, an MA in Religious Studies is one of the Humanities degrees which, when augmented by five counseling courses, earns a level I license in counseling (family, addiction, etc).Some MA students are updating and deepening their credentials as ministers or are headed toward the rabbinate. The skills in reading, writing, research, organization and analysis that are taught in this program, combined with the store of knowledge of religious cultures that it imparts, prepares one for a great many positions in diverse fields.
For those intent on university teaching in the field of religion, here are some points to note:
- Without a PhD it is impossible to obtain a full time, non-temporary university teaching position today.
- Only 30% of new PhD’s in Religious Studies each year are hired in full time, non-temporary positions. Those that are tend to have graduated from the top schools, obtained excellent grades, delivered papers to national academic meetings while in graduation school, published articles and even books while in graduate school, and presented strong letters of recommendation from their supervising faculty in their doctoral programs.
- In order to get into one of the top doctoral programs so as to have a shot at the above, an MA student at FIU must have at the time of application to a PhD program: an excellent academic record (GPA), strong letters of recommendation, high GRE scores, a major part of the facility in languages required by the school or by the area in which the student intends to write his/her dissertation, and preferably some indication of national competitiveness, such as published articles, book reviews, or papers accepted for delivery at national academic meetings. Though FIU as a school does not have name recognition in the field, due to its youth, the faculty in the department do occupy, on the whole, an unusually high status within their own subfields of Religious Studies, which can work to the advantage of our students.