Declaring a Major, Second Major, or Minor
We've written the following instructions to assist students who want to declare Religious Studies as either their major, second major or minor.
- Download the Change of Major form.
- Fill out the Student Section.
- Please email the undergraduate advisor, Mr. Raydel Jimenez, we will let you know your next step to follow and upload the form to your my.fiu.edu.
Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies
Degree Program Hours: 120
Lower Division Preparation
Students are admitted directly to their chosen major at the University. Students are expected to make good progress based on critical indicators that include course completion and GPA requirements. In cases where students are not making successful progress, a change of major may be required. Academic advisors work with students to identify an appropriate major where a student will be successful in completing an undergraduate degree.
Recommended Courses: Religion, Philosophy, History, and Anthropology.
Religious BA - Now Fully Online
The Religious Studies major is now available totally online. This path of study offers great flexibility to FIU students who work full-time or do not live in the Miami area. Since not every course the department teaches will be offered online, it is very important for students to consult with the undergraduate program director to work out a viable plan for satisfying all the major’s requirements.
Upper Division Program: (60)
The Religious Studies major serves as a basis for students who wish to pursue the study of religion or theology as a career, for students preparing for a career in counseling, education, business, law, or medicine, or for students who wish to undertake a dual major in a related field of study. The major is designed to allow students to focus either on comparative topics in a critical approach to understanding religious phenomena and their relation to society in a broader cultural context or on the theory and practice of a specific religious tradition in its historical setting.
Major requirements in Religious Studies
The major in religious studies requires 36 credit hours with a grade of 'C' or better. To view the plan of study please download the UCC from here.
- Foundation Course (3 credits), a course that introduces students to the world's great religious traditions as well as various multicultural approaches and interdisciplinary approaches in the study of religion:
- REL 3308 Studies in World Religions
- Area Courses (12 credits), one course in each of the following areas in order to develop an awareness of the breadth of the field and provide a foundation for more specialized studies:
 Abrahamic Religions
 Asian Religions
 Indigenous and Other Religious Traditions
 Society, Culture, and Ethics
- Focus Courses (18 credits), including at least 12 or more credits in Religious Studies and up to 6 credits in related studies, aimed at building in-depth knowledge of a particular area, theme, or tradition. Related studies are selected from courses in Art History, English, History, Humanities, International Relations, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, or other appropriate departments.
- Capstone Course (3 credits), a senior or capstone seminar covering advanced methodology in the study of religion: REL 4030 Methods in the Study of Religion
General Electives: 24
The Green School and the College of Arts and Sciences require for the bachelor’s degree that a student take at least nine hours outside the major discipline, of which six hours must be taken outside the major department.
Students select their required courses in Religious Studies with the approval of the Undergraduate Program Director. Students are also encouraged to consider a dual major, i.e., simultaneously to meet the requirements of two academic majors. The Department serves the community and professional groups by offering courses off campus. For further information concerning these courses, consult the department.
A student majoring in another academic discipline can earn an academic minor in Religious Studies by taking at least five REL courses. These may be REL 2011 or any upper-division courses (3000 or 4000 level). Students are encouraged to take REL 3308, Studies in World Religions, as one of these courses.
Honors Track in Religious Studies (B.A)
To earn the B.A. with Honors in Religious Studies, a student must maintain a 3.5 GPA in religious studies courses.
Candidates for the B.A. with Honors in Religious Studies will complete the same requirements as for the B.A. major with one exception: among the “Focus Courses,” 21-semester hours of course work will be taken plus 3 semester hours of “Religious Studies Research,” during which a thesis or honors paper will be proposed, researched, written and defended orally.
In the semester prior to graduation, the student will enroll in “Religious Studies Research” (REL 4912), in which he/she will expand a term paper into an honors paper/thesis, or will begin a thesis anew, under the direction of an appropriate member of the Religious Studies faculty.
When the thesis is approved by the faculty member, the coordinator of REL 4912 will organize and schedule a defense of the honors paper/thesis, at which time the student will present his/her research and will respond to questions from faculty and students. This requirement will be deemed to have been met upon a majority positive vote of faculty.
The honors paper/baccalaureate thesis normally would be approximately 25-35 pages, must be presented according to FIU regulations (available in the department office), and will be deposited in the FIU Library. The honors paper/thesis must demonstrate that the student has mastered skills in defining a topic, research, and expository writing, as well as oral skills required for the presentation and defense of the honors paper/thesis.
Combined Degree Pathways
To be considered for admission to the combined bachelor's/master's degree pathway, students must have completed at least 75 credits in the bachelor's degree program at FIU and meet the admissions criteria for the graduate degree program to which they are applying.
Under this pathway, Religious Studies majors have the opportunity to enter the FIU College of Law after their junior year, allowing them to earn a baccalaureate (BA) degree in Religious Studies and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence (J.D.) in six years.