Religion, BSLAS

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Religion


department page: Religion

department website: https://www.religion.illinois.edu/

department faculty: Religion Faculty


overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

college website: https://las.illinois.edu/


email: religion@illinois.edu


Each student must complete two courses in any of the following: Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese Religions, or indigenous American religious practices, chosen from a list maintained in the departmental adviser's office. And each student must complete two courses in any of the following: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or religious practices of the ancient Near East, chosen from a list maintained in the departmental adviser's office.

Additionally, each student will establish a primary and secondary field of study. For the primary area of study, a student must complete a minimum of three courses (nine credit hours), and for the secondary area two courses (six credit hours) are required. An individual course may not be counted twice toward fulfilling the requirements of the primary and secondary areas of interest. (Students are encouraged to complete more than the minimum of three courses in the primary area of study.)

The following are the areas of study: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Philosophy of Religion, Religion in America, or individually designed area of study chosen with the approval of the departmental adviser.

Capstone Experience

Research paper for one 400-level course in Religion (REL): Each major must make special arrangements with a professor teaching a 400-level REL course to conduct a significant research project that results in a research paper of 20 pages (minimum). The goal of this requirement is to ensure that each Religion major has conducted a significant research project.  REL 493 can be used to satisfy this requirement.

Students considering graduate study in Religion are urged to consult with professors on the necessary preparation for graduate study in their area of interest.

Language Requirements: The major in Religion does not require any language study beyond meeting the University's general education language requirement. However, majors are strongly encouraged to learn the languages relevant to their primary field of study and to begin that course of study as soon as possible. Please consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Religion or a professor in your area of interest about appropriate language study.

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours). Please see your adviser.

Departmental distinction: To be considered for departmental distinction a student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5. Distinction is granted on the basis of a senior thesis written in the context of REL 493. The level of distinction is based on evaluation of the thesis.

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences Major in Religion


Students considering graduate study in Religion are urged to consult with professors on the necessary preparation for graduate study in their area of interest.

Language Requirements: The major in Religion does not require any language study beyond meeting the University's general education language requirement. However, majors are strongly encouraged to learn the languages relevant to their primary field of study and to begin that course of study as soon as possible. Please consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Religion or a professor in your area of interest about appropriate language study.

Capstone Experience

Research paper for one 400-level course in Religion (REL): Each major must make special arrangements with a professor teaching a 400-level REL course to conduct a significant research project that results in a research paper of 20 pages (minimum). The goal of this requirement is to ensure that each Religion major has conducted a significant research project.  REL 493 can be used to satisfy this requirement.

Departmental distinction: To be considered for departmental distinction a student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5. Distinction is granted on the basis of a senior thesis written in the context of REL 493. The level of distinction is based on evaluation of the thesis.


General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.


Minimum required major and supporting course work: A minimum of 30 hours of coursework is required for the major.  This includes (a)REL 230 or REL 231, and (b) completing a Capstone course. At least 15 of the 30 hours must be at the 300 or 400 level, and no more than 9 hours may be at the 100 level. 

Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level in the major must be taken on this campus.


Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours.

Minimum of 30 hours of Religion courses including:
PHIL/REL 230Philosophy of Religion Intro3
or REL 231 Religion and Philosophy
Distribution Requirement: Courses taken must include:12
(a) Two courses in the following: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or religious practices of the ancient Near East, chosen from a list maintained in the departmental adviser's office and
(b) Two courses in the following: Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese Religions, or indigenous American religious practices, chosen from a list maintained in the departmental adviser's office.
Three courses in a primary area of study 19
Two courses in a secondary area of study 16
Capstone Experience: a 400-level REL course in which a research project is undertaken and a 20 page research paper is written. This course can be REL 493 and can also be used to fulfill part of the distribution or primary or secondary area of study requirement.3